How we use Care Opinion in inter-professional education

Change from Care Opinion

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This is a guest blog post from Lucy Kirkham, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing and IPE Lead for Nursing and Midwifery, Sheffield Hallam University.

What is your role at SHU?

I am a senior lecturer in adult nursing. This involves linking with placement areas to support assessment in practice, assessing students’ academic work and delivering campus based education.

As a former HDU sister I tend to teach subjects such as leadership, service improvement, quality and patient safety, decision making, care of the deteriorating patient and many clinical skills. I also teach students about safeguarding and long-term conditions such as stroke, dementia, liver failure etc.

I am also the nursing and midwifery lead for inter-professional education. This involves students from several professions learning with, from and about each other to enhance collaborative working and ensure better patient care. Here at Sheffield Hallam University, we have a wealth of future health and social care professionals studying on one campus, so it makes sense to make the most of this!

Students from nursing, midwifery, social work and allied health professionals such as paramedics, ODPs, radiographers, radiologists, OTs and physios all participate in inter-professional modules at various points throughout their study.

How do you use Care Opinion with students at different levels?

I am module leader for the final IPE module which focuses on co-production, collaborative leadership and service improvement. The students learn about service improvement tools and techniques.

We encourage them to reflect on practice based experiences and the focus of their assignment is to develop their own service improvement idea. Care Opinion is perfect for this! The students are able to look at patient and service user feedback to identify areas for possible improvements. We also look at Care Opinion in the context of measuring quality in our nursing only modules. We can even look at a certain topic or theme, like dementia, to identify areas of good practice or things that could be improved.

What is it about Care Opinion that makes it helpful in your work?

It is an excellent tool to demonstrate the experiences of patients and service users when considering quality and service improvement. Numerical data can give so much information but lived experiences engage the heart as well as the head and bring things to life for our students.

They can look at areas they have worked in, or with conditions they are interested in, and listen to honest feedback on care received. They can learn about examples of best practice and see what is important to people when they consider good quality care. In an era when people increasingly use their mobile phone, Care Opinion demonstrates how technology can be harnessed to improve service delivery.

How do students respond to Care Opinion?

Initially students were surprised to hear about Care Opinion, but more and more are aware of it and use it as part of their studies. They enjoy using it and like to sit and search for common themes and read feedback. We often do this in class when looking at service improvement, quality measurement and co-production.

They are just as interested in the responses from organisations and how the feedback was dealt with. Newer features such as word clouds, tag bubbles and lily pads will be very welcome and open up new possibilities for how we use Care Opinion, such as exploring certain long-term conditions or topics such as communication, leadership, safeguarding.

What do your academic colleagues think?

Care Opinion is increasingly being used in our teaching and staff are keen to make the most of it. We demonstrate Care Opinion to the class and then stories may be used to generate group discussion around a certain topic.

Do you have plans for developing your use of Care Opinion further?

I think the new features have certainly opened up possibilities for the use of Care Opinion beyond service improvement and quality measurement. It will be useful when discussing person-centred care and the management of long term conditions to identify common themes across healthcare organisations, rather than just what we have collectively experienced. It will be a means of sharing good practice and learning from feedback to improve patient care.

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