How iConnect has transformed Lakeside Healthcare’s approach to GP training and become a vital part of the practice’s teaching strategy:
- Made reflecting on practice easier, quicker and safer
- Alleviated set-up, quality and sound problems to focus consultation recordings on improving trainee practice
- Overcome data protection issues and information governance risk with a secure, password protected system
- Improved trainee and trainer relationships by enabling trainees to choose which consultation videos they share
- Reassured patients by being a less invasive option than other technology
- Offered possibilities for career-long professional learning and support
Lakeside Healthcare in Northamptonshire are using iConnect across their three surgeries to support the training of GP specialist trainees.
The system’s secure recording and video review has revolutionised Lakeside’s previously traditional approach and become an essential part of how the practice delivers teaching.
“I’m surprised not all surgeries use it. As registrars, it’s much easier for us to record our videos than it was before iConnect.”
A modern approach to solving traditional problems
Prior to implementing iConnect, trainees at Lakeside recorded patient consultancies using traditional video cameras. This caused a few problems:
- Uncertainty about the security and storage of confidential patient data
- A session could only be watched back on the camera’s small screen, which made group review difficult
- For patient privacy, footage could not be taken away from practice premises, stopping trainees from reflecting on consultations at home
- Difficulty watching videos back on the small camera screen, but due to data protection issues, recordings had to be deleted from the camera and could not be downloaded
Looking to alleviate these issues and provide an easy way for trainees to review their consultations, Dr James Burden introduced iConnect at Lakeside.
“We wanted a system that was going to be high quality, good sound quality, that enabled videos to be used very routinely and reduced the amount of time it took trainers to set-up. iConnect has done that in every aspect. It’s taken the stress of technology away from the recording of consultations. It’s made recordings able to be about learning and how consultations can be improved.”
Regular feedback and support
At Lakeside, Consultation Observation Tool (COT) meetings are held twice a week with the practice’s 6 trainee GPs. In preparation, the trainees use iConnect to record their patient consultations and bring their videos to share, review and gain feedback on in the group.
Now that the issues caused by Lakeside’s previous technology are no longer, trainees are better supported; receiving contextualised advice and feedback from trainers on a regular basis. With the ability to watch consultations back in a group setting, they are also able to learn from each other.
“It’s a great teaching tool to enable trainees to reflect on their own consultations. They can also either pick random cases, or what they feel to be their best or worst cases, to show to their trainer or their peer group.”
Building confidence and trust
According to Dr Joymala Banerjee, one of the practice’s trainers, the fact that the trainee has a high level of control and can choose which of their consultations are seen by the group, helps the relationship between trainee and trainer.
As a result, the trainees are recording more consultations than ever before and are getting more from the COT sessions.
According to James: “iConnect has really transformed how we teach in the practice. Before, it would be one person watching a recording of a consultation with the student. Now, a trainee has the opportunity to record many consultations and watch them at home, in a group setting at a different site or in a group tutorial within the practice.”
Patient consent and privacy
iConnect has removed the need for Lakeside to use tapes or SD cards containing confidential patient information. Of course, the practice still has strict protocols as to how and when videos can be viewed, to protect the privacy of patients. All patients are asked for permission if a trainee wants to record a consultation.
James explains: “iConnect has solved the information governance risk by having a password protected system. The data is much more securely held now than it ever was before. It’s made us a lot more relaxed about any risk for the organisation.”
Importantly for the GP and patient relationship, iConnect doesn’t create an artificial setting in the consultation. “It seems a lot less invasive for the patients; they don’t see a camera pointing in their face. Instead, the screen goes black and they don’t seem themselves. I think they feel a lot less intimidated and a lot more relaxed.”
“It seems a lot less invasive for the patients; they don’t see a camera pointing in their face. Instead, the screen goes black and they don’t see themselves. I think they feel a lot less intimidated and a lot more relaxed.”
Career-long professional learning and support
In addition to being a way for trainees to record consultations, ST3 Registrar, Dr Munisa Patel, sees potential for using iConnect with the COT sign off process. She explains: “The Forms tool could be really useful to make the COT process even easier; creating a form like the COT marking sheet and using it to time-stamping key moments in a consultation video.”
Outside of the COT sessions, Munisa is planning to use iConnect throughout her journey to becoming a qualified GP. For instance, to help her prepare for her upcoming CSA (clinical skills assessment) examination: “I’ve been thinking of recording my practice cases at home, so I can watch it back myself and also get feedback from others. It should be really useful for that.”
She’s also excited about the possibilities iConnect holds for supporting her throughout her career. James agrees there is room for Lakeside’s use of the system to grow: “At the moment, GPs don’t need to record their own consultations for re-validation. But, they probably should have peer review of their consultations. It could also help them move their practice forward.”