The Joy of Webinars


Stuart Kaill, Project Manager here at Haelo, explores the joys of webinars.

On Wednesday, I dialled into my first ever Webinar – an experience which would have more impact than I had anticipated.  Firstly, a little bit about webinars:  Forgive me if I am preaching to the converted but for me, coming from a profession that had a tendency to be a bit old fashioned in some ways, the experience was a bit of a lightbulb moment.  Previously, the model for accessing CPD as I knew it was to take a full or half day out of work, travel miles away to a specified hospital location, spend about 30 minutes trying to park, another 30 minutes finding the seminar room or lecture theatre and then listen to a series of speakers on a range of topics relevant to my profession but not necessarily relevant to my interests.  Lots of people in the room would be scurrying away making extensive notes at the expense of listening.  I usually chose to listen at the expense of making extensive notes.  If you were lucky, the organisers would share the slides.

Webinars negate these issues.  I loved the way I could dip out of work for an hour, without having to leave the office, and then go back to what I was doing.  I chose to participate because the content was extremely relevant to my work, not because of geography or convenience.  Furthermore, I didn’t then have to sit through another 3 lectures on topics of no interest.  One other little plus I noted around asking questions:  Sometimes, in a large room, you might sit with your hand up for 10 minutes and still not get acknowledged.  Or sometimes you might not feel like getting up and speaking.  With this webinar, I found myself constantly raising my virtual hand and getting stuck in with questions!

To the content of the webinar:  Improving Safety Culture, hosted by Sign Up to Safety. Annette Richardson – Sign up to Safety Campaign Director at The Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust gave a run through of work they had undertaken to change incident investigation and develop a safety programme to reduce intrapartum harm.  They used incident reporting rates, safety culture surveys, uptake of specialised foetal monitoring  training and, interestingly, claims data as their measures for improvement.  I was also interested in a human factors-based tool which they developed and piloted to improve investigation of and learning from incidents.

Moira Dunbridge, Director of Safety and Risk, University Hospital Leicester, gave a summary of how they are working to improve safety culture and use human factors to reduce avoidable death and harm.  This talk was more focused on the importance of leadership in improving culture.  As well as starting a Trust Board Safety Development Programme through AQUA, they identified being authentic, being visible, being open and transparent and building excitement and joy in work(a great concept!) as key factors in improving safety culture.  They have undertaken a trust-wide quality improvement programme, part of which aimed to reduce harm by unwarranted clinical variation and Moria talked about how they have been implementing the IHI model for improvement – music to Haelo ears!  They have also partnered with local Human Factors experts to develop an e-learning package for staff!

A really interesting piece of work Moira talked about was a project around the ‘Second Victim’, which is explained by this quote: “Healthcare team members involved in an unanticipated patient safety incident  and/or medical error can become victimised in the sense that they are traumatized by the event.” (Scott, et al, 2009).  Moira talked about the support that has been put in place for second victims at all levels and how, from the top down, policies have been rewritten to remove reference to disciplinary action and steer focus away from blame.

The webinar helped me to widen my knowledge about patient safety and introduce a number of interesting concepts.  I’m not sure how you can measure joy in you work or measure it’s impact on safety but as an aim you can’t argue with it!

What do you think?

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