The Amstelland hospital used GPAL to efficiently communicate safety measures to employees during COVID-19.

In March a Cohort nursing department was opened in hospital Amstelland. Due to the substantial increase of COVID-19 patients, healthcare workers were expected to take on more diverse tasks and had to be retrained quickly. With the use of GPAL the hospital was able to train 200 employees and supervisors effectively in a short period of time via instructional videos. These instructional videos concerning the use of protective equipment, safety measures, and changing protocols, were made available for all healthcare personnel through notifications on a mobile App.

‘’During Corona times the biggest challenge we faced concerned training healthcare personnel to be able to work at the Corona department as fast as possible, without being able to train them collectively in a classroom […] Employees who normally did not work on that unit now had to quickly get familiar with new protocols.”

– Ingrid, coordinator GPAL at the Amstelland hospital

The Challenge

Due to the increase of patients, the continuously changing safety measures, policies, and protocols in the hospital, it became essential to train employees in as quickly as possible.  However, the ability to use regular educational methods had become limited due to the social distancing rules and the fact that mentors and educators in the hospital were needed elsewhere to care for patients. This meant that new employees missed out on a big part of their education

‘’It occasionally happened that suddenly we had to use a different type of apron with a different type of closure, or different masks. It is essential to be able to instruct everyone in the hospital on how to use the new equipment properly and safely.’’

The Approach

Within an hour and a half, an online GPAL environment was created, enabling the hospital’s own experts to make instructional videos and upload them. A team of healthcare workers made a basic range of instructional videos that immediately was shared with all employees in the GPAL app. Two lung specialists, an operation assistant, and infection control set out to make instructional videos on the use of facemasks and personal protective equipment, such as masks, splash goggles, aprons and gloves.

In one afternoon, many videos were created and then shared in the GPAL app with healthcare workers in the COVID-19 department. Important yet complex actions, such as correctly putting on a face mask, are made visual and understandable through video instructions.

“For example, when someone puts on a facemask they have to test if the mask is working properly. You can write down how to do this, yet when made visual [in a video] it is much more comprehensible.”

“In the beginning some employees had to get used to filming themselves. However, after a while it became clear that most people are very passionate about their work and actually were very excited to make the videos.”

The Results

Accelerate making, sharing, and learning

With GPAL the hospital can easily communicate new procedures and changing measures to healthcare personnel. Furthermore, the visual aspect of the videos makes the instructions more comprehensible. By making a simple instructional video with the hospital’s own material and experts, all staff can now be instructed on a new mask within 10 minutes. When a video is uploaded in the GPAL app, a notification is sent out to all employees. They can learn the new procedure at their own pace with a mask in their hand.

’Because we are making our own instructional videos, we are becoming very aware of how we are performing certain procedures. It sometimes becomes clear that certain tasks are not done according to standard procedure. That’s when the learning truly begins.”

The visual aspect stimulates learning on the job for new employees. The app also offers support to freshen up knowledge amongst more experienced employees. After all, the videos are always available on their phones in the GPAL app.

 Employees feel more secure in their work

“It was really noticeable [in the evaluation] that employees claimed that they felt more secure in their work when being able to watch instructional videos.”

During COVID-19, a lot of personnel had to deal with tasks and procedures that usually were not part of their daily work activities. Being able to watch short instructional videos provided more support for healthcare personnel in the performance of difficult work tasks and guaranteed high quality health care.

On the Job instructional videos connects to work floor needs

Apart from COVID-related instructions, GPAL is also used in the obstetrics department of the hospital. The nurses working in this department have enthusiastically started to make instructional videos that will be used for a new “Learning on the Job” programme. This way new or more experienced employees are able to learn from their peers and the hospital’s own experts. With the GPAL app, they can make, upload, and easily share the videos themselves.

Ingrid talks about the various possibilities she sees with GPAL.

“At the moment we are using universal e-Learning Modules to train our employees, however these often use different materials than the ones we use in the hospital, such as a specific type of mask or specific needle. It is much more personal to visually learn in the familiar environment of one’s own hospital and with our own materials. For this reason we have started to use the instructional videos as our own personal e-Learning Module.”

Another problem that is experienced with e-Learning is the big gap of time between the moment something is learned, and the moment knowledge can be applied in the work environment. It often happens that a certain procedure is taught to a new employee, which they will only perform for the first time 8 months later. By that time that specific knowledge is no longer at hand and partly forgotten. Being able to watch a short instructional video to freshen up that knowledge can be extremely convenient at such a moment.

“Another advantage is filming with the hospital’s own employees and experts. By filming yourself while explaining a certain task, you immediately watch it again before posting it and start to reflect upon your own work. Perhaps you decide to make the video again, resulting in you practicing and reflecting more regularly on your daily tasks.”

Complementing classroom education?

“I believe that instructional videos will be a good additional means in the classroom. It provides the opportunity for students to watch the instructional videos independently and then replicate the new skills in a video. The role of the teacher would become more that of a mentor or coach and they would be able to give more individual attention to students and thus see their individual progression and skills.”

GPAL as examination

A big opportunity for innovation could be to use GPAL to test healthcare personnel. Ingrid explains that everyone in the hospital must be tested on the use of medical aids, equipment, and high-risk actions. This is legally obligated and can be a time demanding task. It sometimes occurs that an employee works during a night shift and has all the time to be tested, yet no examinators are available at the moment. Or the other way around, the examinator wants to test someone, but three new patients just came in and there is no time.

“It would be great if we could use GPAL to test employees, because employees can film themselves on the subjects they need to be tested on when they have the time and the examinator does not even have to be on site.”


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