Maybe it (Tin) Can after all….

For anyone who read my previous blog on Tin Can API (Tin Can’t), you’ll know I was mildly lost on the concept. It’s actually quite funny looking back on that blog post – and how much my own perceptions have changed in the past seven months.

So, previously my issue was that I couldn’t see where Tin Can API could fit into the conventional NHS training methodology. To a degree, I do still have some of the feelings I previously detailed, there is a limit to how much use there could be for this framework, however some things have definitely changed.

I stated before that I couldn’t understand how it would fit into the current delivery methods, however I’ve recently held a number of discussions with Alison Potter (@wrightal2) about how the Tin Can API could be used within the NHS context. Alison is currently working on a collaborative project with colleagues from the Yorkshire and Humber NHS region about how Tin Can API could be used in the area of Dementia training (which is a target subject in the NHS at the moment). Listening to Alison’s concept about how the framework could be applied to this area of training, and capture the different interactions suddenly made it all fall into place.

Hearing the concept, along with the context as to how the information could be captured and recorded by the different staff immediately made me realise that there really was an active opportunity for this technology, where previously I thought there wasn’t. I don’t want to write too much about Alison’s project at the moment, however I’m sure she’ll be happy to talk about it to anyone who gets in touch with her directly.

Aside from hoping to be involved in this project with Alison, this has then also made me realise that there is an active need right under my own nose which I hadn’t even considered previously. Within our own organisation we train a number of statutory and mandatory compliance subjects, however we are really ineffective in capturing any practical assessment of these skills. For example, manual handling practical is assessed by staff having to attend a pre-booked session where they will cover some of the theory then demonstrate the fact they can practice this theory. It’s then reliant on the “trainer” returning to a PC and logging into the administration system and recording that the staff member has attended the training (which in itself takes a long time, even after the trainer has managed to find time to get to a PC).

So, what if our senior staff (or even the “trained assessors”) recorded this data on a daily basis? Rather than wait until training was about to expire and running a training session, they could instead log that they had observed correct practice on the day it happened. So rather than saying “Nurse Smith has attended a practical manual handling session” we regularly capture the fact that “Nurse Smith was observed moving a patient in the correct manner by Matron Jones”.

If we simply set up the requirements (e.g. the staff member must be observed to move equipment and move patients – so two actions) these could then be captured throughout the year (and recorded on mobile devices) – we could maintain (and probably increase) compliance, whilst reducing the amount of time our staff are taken off of the front line. Resulting in improved patient care through increased staff availability.

To me it all now makes sense – now I just need to work out how to make it happen……..then convince our subject leads!!