The e-Quals platform
During the Covid pandemic, Provide Digital created a series of apps and software to facilitate the provision of hospital beds for patients, and for locating and deploying staff to hospital wards where there was a shortage of skills.
The latter highlighted a problem in how the NHS store and manage the core competencies of staff.
Up until this point, most staff would keep their records in paper format. Trusts would then input data into a computer system but there was no uniform way to remind staff when their skills or competencies needed to be renewed or updated.
The problem with this was that during redeployment, staff were being moved between between departments and there was no centralised way to monitor whether they were equipped to handle certain treatments and medical care provision.
This presents a distinct risk to quality care and also can result in medical negligence claims further down the line if treatment is administered by a professional who is not qualified.
Provide Digital created the eQuals Platform to transform how skills and competencies were managed. This has now been rolled out across Essex and Derbyshire with the potential to be adopted nationwide.
The software helps NHS staff to complete, register, renew and maintain key competencies, allowing service levels to remain consistently excellent across hospitals, bolstering patient trust and reducing the instances of medical negligence claims.
Not only does it protect patients, but it allows staff to manage their own records on one simple system.
How it works
Nurses, doctors, carers and other medical staff have to carry out a series of skills to meet core competencies.
Skills might include a range of wound dressings for example. While the overall competency will cover all types of dressing – burns, cuts, grazes and more.
A member of staff will have to have completed all the skills to meet the competency.
Our app allows medical staff to undertake the skills and mark them off in real time. Each skill will be overseen by another member of staff who will receive a notification on their own app to approve it. Once all skills have been completed, the competency will then have to be authorised by a pre-approved person such as a ward sister or clinical service lead.
On top of marking off skills and competencies, the app will also send notifications to users to remind them when skills and competencies need updating. The time frame for these can be controlled by the admin.
As well as reducing admin time and paperwork, the eQuals Platform gives trusts, staff and patients peace of mind.
It is also useful to HR teams because up until now, the onus is on the staff member to show and prove their competencies and this gives HR better oversight on staffing standards.
Ultimately it also makes the trust more accountable, creating a more appropriate digital paper trail to demonstrate they are meeting best practice for the purpose of CQC compliance.
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