What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?
We train by rotating through varied settings. However, once we qualify, opportunities for ‘experiential learning’ in different organisations rapidly diminish. It becomes hard to identify willing exchange partners, and to be granted ‘time-off’ to participate in a work exchange.
Health and social care organisations also frequently work in silos. This results in missed opportunities to find joint solutions to problems in common and to successfully integrate care for patients.
To address these challenges, and in order to build improvement capabilities and insights across boundaries, we are seeking Q Exchange funding to develop, test and nationally pilot a mobile app, ‘Exp-Ex’.
This will enable health and social care professionals to connect 1:1, organise spending time in each other’s work place, reflect on what they have learned, evidence this for their professional development and share their learning with others to improve patient care. We will build on existing exchange programmes.
What does your project aim to achieve?
The exchange programme will enable people working in health and social care to typically spend between half-a-day to two weeks shadowing one another in their respective workplaces.
The known benefits of exchanges for participants include:
– better understanding of one another’s roles and responsibilities;
– strengthened relationships across disciplines and organisations, breaking down insular barriers;
– increased self-perception of knowledge and abilities;
– increased opportunities for learning about patient safety and QI in everyday practice through discussion on near misses and methods
Feedback completed at the end of each exchange and data obtained by the back-end of the app will provide information on what objectives have been achieved and how. Benefits of the exchanges to employers and patient care will be evaluated and reported on. The literature suggests these are likely to include improved communication, teamwork, leadership development opportunities, and holistic patient care.
How will the project be delivered?
As a general practitioner and health policy researcher, we are well placed to successfully implement this project. Together we have over 25 years of experience working in and studying national and international in healthcare organisations.
We understand the current limitations of professional development opportunities, and how work exchanges could address these. We have studied the non-adoption of technology and are therefore familiar with the risks and how to mitigate these.
We have designed a prototype for the app, which is now ready to be built. This has been the result of iterative conversations, surveys, structured interviews and feedback from over 100 potential users and organisations in the past six months.
We will work with Q members, existing exchange programmes (e.g. GP-consultant exchanges), NHS England, university departments, and leading non-NHS organisations (e.g. think tanks, consultancy organisations) to become pilot sites and early adopters of the app.
What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?
The goal of this project is to share learning between exchange participants and their respective organisations. Exchanges will span the NHS and supporting health and social care organisations.
There is substantial research evidence regarding the value of experiential learning and work-based shadowing experiences to improve skills and increase workforce morale. There is also a body of evidence about the importance of networks and strong intra- and inter-organisational relationships to improve the quality of care we provide for patients.
As the exchange programme expands we envisage evaluating the benefits, and challenges, for participants, employers and patients and sharing these finding to improve the programme. Long-term we envisage using data from the exchanges, with participants’ consent, to identify common gaps in knowledge, to improve participant ‘matching’ and to share learning with key stakeholders, such as NHS England/Improvement and Health Education England.
How you can contribute
- We welcome feedback on the idea form the Q community.
- We would like to involve Q members in testing and developing the app, and we would look to Q members and their organisations to be early adopters of the app.
|31 Dec 2019||Identified pilot exchange programmes and end-users|
|31 Jan 2020||Refined product spec and wireframe with stakeholders|
|28 Feb 2020||Undertaken competitive selection process for tech developer|
|30 Apr 2020||Attended Q Network events to share progress|
|29 May 2020||Built MVP via up to 3 cycles of iterative end-user testing|
|29 May 2020||Built relationships with pilot sites and their organisations|
|31 Jul 2020||Evaluation and feedback to iteratively adapt user experience|
|31 Aug 2020||Piloted MVP with two to four organisations or networks|
|30 Oct 2020||Sought sustainable business model to scale up Exp-Ex app|
|13 Nov 2020||Shared findings with Q Network|