Hybrid inter-professional ward rounds: telemedicine & simulation

Kirrane, Rebecca, Scott, Michelle, Strawbridge, Judith and Morris, Marie (2021) Hybrid inter-professional ward rounds: telemedicine & simulation.


Context: We outline a collaborative, inter-professional approach to technology enhanced learning through a hybrid, simulated surgical ward round incorporating telemedicine with live simulation.

Participants: Health Science students - Masters in Surgery and Pharmacy.

Objective: For students to communicate and collaborate with simulated patients and each other via tele-consultations and plan a shared approach to safe patient-centred care.

Methods/Application: Pharmacy students joined the ward round from home using their own devices, and consulted with surgical students and patients on-site via a bedside laptop setup. The session was facilitated by an interprofessional team using a combination of Blackboard Collaborate (BbC) and CAE Learning Space (LS). Pre-brief and debrief sessions were hosted on BbC. Teleconsultations were arranged through BbC and recorded in Learning Space.

Challenges: Challenges included complex operational logistics, connectivity issues, audiovisual issues and timing. Initially, BbC calls were placed using Microsoft Surface tablets on-site. Using display port adaptors, these were connected to capture kits to allow screencapture of the video conversation alongside standard video capture from on-site Learning Space cameras. Students were then tagged in their LS videos for review and self-reflection. However, the display ports and adapters proved temperamental, and the wifi-only connection was unreliable. Subsequently, the tablets were replaced with laptops with a wired LAN connection and HDMI output, which improved the reliability of internet and AV connections. Timing and communication were key to the smooth running of the ward round. Faculty, technical and administrative staff created a Teams chat group to facilitate communication. Ensuring provision of an interactive participation for all students and ensuring a psychologically safe environment for learning was paramount.

Benefits to Teaching and Learnings: Students demonstrated an interactive, collaborative, patient-centred approach despite the complexities and additional challenges of the short duration of interaction, working remotely and communicating solely via a digital interface.

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