Tapping Into Technology - Online Infection Control Staff Competency Test

Tapping Into Technology - Online Infection Control Staff Competency Test

Emmaus, a modern aged care facility located on the Mid North Coast Of NSW in Port Macquarie tapped into technology during the month of October 2013. Home to 115 elderly Australian's, Catholic Care of the Aged teamed up with QPS by tapping into technology and utilising the online services provided by QPS.

Community Leader, Joy Walsh and Clinical Nurse Educator, Bron Watson designed the mandatory training project for Infection Control, a standard all staff are required to complete on an annual basis. Rather than hold generalised face-to-face education sessions, or an all online training, the outcome in 2013 was to take a 'snap shot' in time of the staff of Emmaus understanding of Infection Control by utilising the QPS Benchmarking Staff Competency Test for Infection Control Procedures via the unique online facility access link provided by QPS.
The project began with information emails to managers, supervisors and Registered Nurses introducing the aim of the training, and to raise any potential issues such as computer literacy. Two weeks prior to the start date, information packs, including posters, the purpose of the training, sign off sheets, how to access the online questionnaire and hard copy of the test were given to all supervisors and managers. This raised awareness prior to commencement, provided answers to questions staff may have had, plus who to contact throughout the assessment period.

On 1st October, the access link which had already been installed on all desk tops throughout the facility opened. Staffs were able to simply click on the link and complete the test online via the internet. At times, small groups could be seen surrounding a computer, discussing the correct answer to the multiple choice questions. The purpose for such training provided the staff the ability to collaborate, connect and discuss infection control within their work space, thus, providing a positive learning environment. A training computer was installed in the training room for ancillary and casual staff to access the online test with ease, providing flexibility within the workplace.
Each week, QPS provided an updated list of staff who had completed the test, the file was emailed to all supervisors and managers so staff who had not completed the online test, could do so before the cut off date of 31st October 2013. Staff who lacked confidence in completing the test were either assisted to log on by a team member or supervisor. Those who were significantly challenged were provided a hard copy to complete, with results entered by the CNE.
During the final week of October, the updated weekly report meant supervisors and managers could specifically contact staff who needed to complete the test. Of staff who were to complete the test, 136 participated, with a result of 84% participation. The results are very positive as it shows a true 'snap shot' of staff understanding of infection control, areas of excellent understanding and areas where improvement is needed.

Following the test period, all staff who had not completed the test, for reasons such as annual leave or sickness, were given a hard copy of the competency test, and these results were also collated to the remaining results, further increasing the participation rate, added to the prompt report received by QPS.
Joy and Bron analysed the results, staff who did not meet targeted results were given a learning package with individualised needs addressed on infection control and subsequent follow up. This was developed based on the segments within the QPS test, and delivered in the months following the test period. A follow up report to all supervisors and managers forms part of the final segment of the project, with answers to questions provided, so that all staff have the opportunity to review the correct answers. In addition, a small survey to review and reflect on the success of the project from the staff's perspective concluded the project. This enables Emmaus to see what worked well and what areas can be improved upon next year.
The trial of tapping in to technology has been hugely successful from an efficiency and an educational perspective, as the results provide a true representation of staff awareness and understanding of infection control, along with meeting the QPS requirements for Infection Control Procedures.

Emmaus has continued to utilise online surveys for other areas such as fire and emergency, encouraging the use of available technology, ensuring staff enjoy ongoing professional development using a collaborative approach to training.

If you would like to conduct your satisfactions surveys or competency tests online - Email the QPS Benchmarking office today for further information.