Improving quality of care in resource-limited hospitals

An independently validated approach to delivering continuous learning to healthcare professionals in two PNG hospitals.

Papua New Guinea

Health
Education & Skills Training
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Purpose

Improve quality of care for patients through training for staff at two major hospitals in Papua New Guinea

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Approach

A culturally relevant blended learning program incorporating mobile-first microlearning embedded in day-to-day responsibilities

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Impact

12.9% mean increase in knowledge compared to the pre-training exam

Statistically significant improvements in confidence in 13 of 15 clinical tasks, including triage assessment and identifying an unwell patient

100% agreed the online learning platform was easy to access, use and navigate, and that the digital teaching methods were appropriate for their learning needs

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Partners

PNG's National Department of Health (NDoH), and supported by the Australian Government through the PNG-Australia Partnership

In close partnership with NDoH, Catalpa developed Kumul Helt Skul, a program transforming the way professional development is delivered in two major hospitals in Papua New Guinea.

Using a blended learning approach, the pilot program is designed to ensure busy healthcare workers in low resourced hospitals can access and benefit from meaningful staff professional development opportunities.

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I was so excited to do these online courses. Actually, it was the first time I've ever learnt anything online. Sometimes I would make a mistake but it was easy to go back, read the information again and correct my mistake.

Sister Daisy Langu, an emergency department nurse at ANGAU Memorial Provincial Hospital

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The program offers online skills training via smartphone using Bero, supported by in-person tutorials and video conference sessions. The face-to-face opportunities are designed to reinforce content delivered through the online platform, and to address site-specific challenges.

Content for the online platform was co-designed with health experts to suit Bero’s microlearning design, which puts great focus on maintaining user engagement and contextual relevance.

Courses cover topics useful for health workers, clinical staff, and support and admin staff including infection prevention control, birthing, operating theatres, and emergency department.

Users can download courses to continue learning offline, providing greater flexibility given limited and inconsistent connectivity across Papua New Guinea. Courses and exams completed offline are synced once an internet connection is restored.

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In early 2023, an independent evaluation of the program was published in The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific validating the digital learning approach for resource-limited hospitals when coupled with peer mentoring and embedded in a broader development program.

Read first hand accounts of the program from emergency department nurse Sister Daisy Langu, and Ezekiel Tetang, who supported staff to adopt the digitally-enabled professional development opportunities on the ground.

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As the operating theatre staff undertook learning on certain topics, they encouraged each other to try to use that new knowledge in the workplace, and try to actually practise what they covered in the modules. They formed a group and they discussed amongst themselves.

Ezekiel Tetang, Support Coordinator for Kumul Helt Skul at ANGAU Memorial Provincial Hospital

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