Developing a mobile web application for completing WPBAs in Foundation Training - North West Deanery


G Tack
D Powley
J Miles
P Luthra
P Baker


Mobile Learning


Case Studies


NHS North West & North Western Deanery, Manchester, UK


Background and Purpose
• Mobile technologies offer an exciting potential for documenting Workplace-based Assessments (WPBAs).
• We have developed an innovative, free and user-friendly mobile web application for our Foundation e-portfolio known as Horus.
• The mobile Horus web application is designed to help support trainees and supervisors complete WPBAs within the daily time and resource constraints of clinical practice.
• We report findings of the current usage of the mobile web application and a recent trainee evaluation survey.


• The mobile web application offers an alternative method of data entry and validation of WPBAs during clinical activity.
• Internet access is a barrier at present. To address this issue we are exploring the development of an offline version of the mobile web application. This will improve usability as it will allow trainees to input data in the workplace and synchronise their devices at a later stage when internet access is available.

Summary of Work



• The mobile web application was built on standard technologies available in all modern
  web browsers (html and JavaScript) and used jQuery© mobile framework for the interface.
• The following devices were supported: iOSdevices (iPhone, iPad), Android Blackberry
  and Windows Phone 7.
• Three WPBAs were developed: Case-based discussion (CbD), Direct Observed Procedural Skills (DOPS) & mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX).

• Activity data were gathered on the current usage of the mobile web application since its launch in August 2011.
• A trainee evaluation survey was also carried out in June 2012 to gather further information on the usefulness of ‘mobile Horus’.



Take-home Messages

The mobile Horus app is an excellent method that

   - ensures entry of WPBA at the time it is done/completed

   - feeback is provided and recorded at the time as it happens

   - validated at the time thus avoiding any errors or missed entry

It does require active involvement of trainee and trainer - better promotion and education of all parties

Summary of Results

• Activity since August 2011 demonstrates 324 WPBAs have been completed by 134 trainees (12% total Foundation trainees), majority were
  foundation year 1 & of the activity 50% were DOPS.
• This accounts for 1% of the total WPBAs completed in Foundation training via the mobile technology.
• Top ten users accounted for 24% of activity, feedback was positive with 99% of overall users finding it useful once they tried the application.
• However, less than 5% of supervisors use the option for immediate validation.
• 279 trainees responded (25%) to the evaluation survey, of which 72 trainees (26%) had used the application.

The commonest mobile platforms were iOS devices.
• Approximately 1 in 5 used the application on a regular monthly basis, and 77% of trainees stated they would use it again.
• Of those that had not used the application, the main reason cited was lack of Wi-Fi and internet availability in the workplace.
• Lack of supervisor validation was reported to be due to the supervisor not having login details to hand or because they preferred to use a stand alone computer.

• The data demonstrates that Foundation trainees find the mobile application a useful way to
access their Horus e-portfolio to complete WPBAs.
• DOPS is the most popular WPBA completed which may reflect the opportunistic nature of this assessment.
• Main barriers to the use of the mobile application were lack of Wi-Fi and internet access in the workplace.

   Feedback suggests trainees would like an offline version of the web application.



We would like to thank all members of the Junior Doctor
Advisory Team and the Foundation trainees for their input.
Developing a mobile web application for completion of WPBAs in Foundation Training in the North Western Deanery

Summary of Work
Take-home Messages
Summary of Results
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