Remote clinical decision making: Evaluation of a new education module

Mike Brady, Joni Jackson, Kate Northstone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
607 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: To determine the impact of a module developed by the University of the West of England (UWE) and the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) on participant confidence in making clinical decisions remotely.

Design: A quasi-experimental, pre-post design was used to assess the impact of an eight-day course. Quantitative and qualitative data was obtained via questionnaire. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with a small group of participants.

Setting: University of the West of England

Participants: Two student cohorts in 2015 (n=13) and 2016 (n=30).

Methods: Participants completed a baseline questionnaire and simple evaluation forms following each session of the module – both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Also, qualitative interviews were undertaken with a small group of participants.

Results: There were clear differences in the experiences of the two cohorts. However, the second cohort were predominantly paramedics working on the front line compared to the first who were more likely to be undertaking remote triage in their day to day work. Nevertheless, all participants reported increases in confidence in remote clinical decision making on average after taking the module. This was reflected in the interviews where three of four participants felt they were more confident in decision making and the use of decision support software after the module. Regarding delivery, the participants felt the group setting was appropriate but the teaching days had too much time between them. Some of the content was felt to be redundant. We could not directly assess learning nor were we were able to objectively assess any impact on practice using quantitative methods due to a lack of resource available to pull the required data (which would only have been available for n=3 participants in the first cohort).

Conclusions: Participant confidence reportedly improved after the module. For future delivery, we recommend that content is tailored for specific audiences. Further research is required to assess any impact on working practice and subsequently on patients and potential economic benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date6 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


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