Medical Device User Training Management

Did you know that e-Quip, the UK’s market-leading medical device asset-management database system, can also be used to plan, record and monitor device-user training? Effective training management comprises¬†several strands and e-Quip allows you to manage all of them within a single application, as recommended by the MHRA. Not only does this simplify your processes and take the sweat out of CQC audits, but data only needs to be maintained in a single source, making change-management simpler.

e-Quip has a device register which records every medical device within the hospital
Monthly imports from ESR are used to keep personnel records up-to-date as staff join and/or leave the Trust and change location within it
Different people may need to use the same device but in different ways. An ODP, for example, may need to set up an anaesthetics machine for use by an anaesthetist. They must both be 100% competent, but the nature of the competence is different
Training is perhaps the most obvious route to competence, but different types of training are often required for for different groups of people
Training Needs Analysis – Who needs to be trained and when?
This essential task can be handled either by centralised training staff or individuals can update their own training records
Is it enough to train someone and then just assume that they are then fully competent?
As well as providing evidence of compliance with a training policy, reports also allow department-by-department performance comparisons and highlights shortcomings

ESR, the NHS Electronic Staff Record, is the ideal source for information about people and provides accurate information about people’s work locations and roles, both critical in assessing training requirements. Put that together with e-Quip’s device register (probably the most widely-used within the NHS) and you have the perfect foundation on which to build your training management. Knowing who works where, the roles in which they work and the devices used at those locations is fundamental to your Training Needs Analysis, or TNA.

Risk is yet another key factor in constructing your TNA. With limited resources available training needs to be targeted at the highest risk devices. e-Quip supports separate risk assessments for several purposes, such as training, planned maintenance, decontamination etc.

Competence Groups

In e-Quip this is how links between people and devices are managed. Very often these are linked to locations or departments and as people change work locations within the hospital their changing training requirements can be automatically updated. A competence group serves several purposes:

Effectively this is the definition of training requirements. i.e. What level of competence is required by different groups of people on different devices and how that competence is to be achieved.

Which staff grades, if any, are authorised to self-certify competence on different types of device?

Are professionally registered staff authorised to self-certify competence?

What training has each person received, has their competence been assessed and when is refresher training required?

The much-simplified example below shows a location-based competence group.

Apple Tree Ward
NameGradeDeviceCompetence RequiredCompetence Achieved
Joy SmithHCAT34 Syringe DriverNoneNoneTick
Joy SmithHCAPortable SuctionUserUserTick
Joy SmithHCAPro 4000 Tympanic ThermometerUserNonecross
Kay BrownSenior NurseT34 Syringe DriverUserTrainerTick
Kay BrownSenior NursePortable SuctionUserTrainerTick
Kay BrownSenior NursePro 4000 Tympanic ThermometerUserTrainerTick
Mel GreenNurseT34 Syringe DriverUsercross
Mel GreenNursePortable SuctionUserUserTick
Mel GreenNursePro 4000 Tympanic ThermometerUserUserTick

Although a great deal of information has been omitted for clarify the example shows the key concepts:

1.It is a definition of policy

HCA’s do not need to use the T34 Syringe Driver, but Nurses and Senior Nurses do

HCA’s, Nurses and Senior Nurses must be competent to use portable suction devices and tympanic thermometers

2.It is a record of achievements

Joy Smith is competent to use portable suction devices

Kay Brown is competent to train others in the use of T34’s, portable suction devices and tympanic thermometers

Mel Green is competent to use portable suction devices and tympanic thermometers

3. It identifies Gaps

Joy Smith needs to be trained to use the Pro 4000

Mel Green needs to be trained to use the T34

4. Different levels of competence can be defined

5. It can be location-based

Should Joy Smith leave Apple Tree Ward and move to Pear Tree Ward, then:

She will automatically be removed from the Apple Tree Ward competence group and added to the competence group for Pear Tree Ward

If portable suction devices are not used in Pear Tree Ward then her requirement to be competent in their use will no longer apply (although her achievement will be retained)

The Competence Matrix

This important screen combines the information from every competence group. It can be searched based on absolutely any combinations of criteria.
e.g. Show only records for HCA’s and high-risk devices within the Cardiology Department where the required competence level has not been achieved.
This screen supports direct in-grid editing, single-record editing and bulk update. For example, a nurse might simply tick a box in the grid to indicate that she has self-assessed herself as being competent to use portable suction devices. Alternatively, a trainer having just delivered a training course to a group of nurses in Apple Tree Ward might select multiple records and update the competences in a single action.

Competence Reports

Training management requires reporting on an enormous volume of data. Although the row-by-row presentation style is ideal for data management many people cross-tab reports to be more meaningful. Below you can see how the information has been transformed so that there is a single row per person with a column for each device. Compliance and gaps are displayed using a RAG (red, amber, green) colour coding. The percentage compliance is shown for each person along with grand totals.