The number of learners needing to gain clinical practice experience is increasing across medical and healthcare professional settings in response to the clinical workforce need.
This is happening alongside a change in where and how patients are cared for with a shift to community and primary care. The result is inefficient access to learning opportunities which is a challenge for funders and education providers. This was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with limited patient exposure impacting place-based learning experience and availability. This problem spans all clinical placement environments in acute hospital trusts, community trusts, primary care settings and care providers such as Hospices. The pandemic has highlighted this challenge but was present before and will remain after the pandemic has resolved.
Recent experiments have shown virtual clinics to be effective for education and training, and we will leverage the power of these technologies for this virtual clinical experience project. By implementing a remote telepresence solution and learning experience – individual healthcare professionals and clinicians can see patients in various environments and collaborate in real-time and interact with students who signed up for the sessions in real-time. This solution would provide clinical learning environments free from geographical boundaries, bring efficiencies with scale and personalization for the learner based on their educational needs.