Overcoming the Tyranny of Distance: An Education Strategy to Assist Guideline Implementation

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 1:30 PM

Keppel W. Schafer, RN, RM, BN, GradDipMid, MMid1
Jacinta Lee, RN, RM, BNSc (Hons), MIS2
Lyndel Gray, RN, RM, GradDipNurs, MIntEc&Fin2
Jackie Doolan, RN, RM, BN, MSocSc2
Rebecca Kimble, MBBS, FRANZCOG, GradCertIVWT&A3
(1)Nursing/Midwifery Practice Development Team, Nambour General Hospital, Nambour, Australia
(2)Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guidelines Program, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Australia
(3)Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guidelines Program & School of Medicine, Queensland Health & University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Learning Objective 1: Identify strategies to engage clinicians in clinical guideline education

Learning Objective 2: Understand the geographical and education resource challenges present in a large publicly funded health service

Queensland Health is responsible for the delivery of publicly funded health services within Queensland.  Queensland is the second largest state in Australia covering 700,000 square miles (2½ times the size of Texas, USA) 1.  Some health professionals, particularly in rural / remote areas, providing maternal and neonatal health care do not have access to specialist nurse education resources.

The Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guidelines Program trialled an education package to increase clinician knowledge of clinical guideline content.  The package was available as a self directed learning tool or sessions facilitated by a local champion.  As a result of positive feedback from pilot site participants and intense interest in the education packages an innovative way of providing education, at minimal cost, was developed.

Video conferencing was identified as a mode of delivery that could reach a large audience simultaneously.  The PowerPoint presentation and a multi screen format was used which allowed the participants to see the presentation as well as participants at other sites.  The videoconference was facilitated by a Maternity Nurse Educator who electronically distributed pre and post tests and evaluation forms to the site coordinators ahead of the videoconference. 

Using adult learning principles, this program brings education to clinicians who do not ordinarily have the opportunity to access specialist professional development opportunities.  This is particularly topical in Australia since the introduction of mandatory continuing professional development hours in July 2010.

Preliminary data analysis shows participating clinicians found the program to be well structured, logical, of good quality and providing an appropriate level of interactive learning.  Further data will be available following analysis of feedback from future planned sessions.