February 17, 2021

Medical Education on MS Teams

Orientations are important to anyone entering a new job. This is true also of our new interns, JMOs and HMOs. It is of utmost importance to provide them with information about our ways of working, values and what they need to know in order to provide safe, quality care to our patients.

This year, our orientation for over 200 HMOs and registrars was done completely virtually via MS Teams.

“These groups are very large and it is not possible to provide them with face to face orientation and socially distance at the same time. MS Teams was critical to deliver the sessions,” says Dr Rachael Coutts, Associate Director Medical Education Unit.

“We also used MS Teams to pre-record a number of the sessions so that they are accessible in the future, and have created an orientation showcase that can be used for any new JMO who comes in during the year.”

“It was really important to have the interns on site as this is their very first job. It is counter intuitive that MS Teams and the new technology in the rooms actually enabled this,” adds Rachael.

Tessa Low, one of our junior doctors and the co-president of the Junior Medical Staff Association (JMSA), says, “I would say that attending HMO Orientation virtually probably allowed more of us to attend the session than we otherwise could, because we were able to tune in whether we were at home or working at one of the other campuses.”

“Attending virtual HMO Orientation was as easy as it could be in the current environment, where congregating in large groups is not possible. The orientation through MS Teams was focused and relevant, and allowed us to ask questions and interact through the online chat. The online chat also allowed us to access and save key information like important email addresses and numbers for future reference. Finally, it was nice to be able to attend from any location and enjoy my morning coffee whilst at induction!” says Saras Mane, another of our junior doctors.

“MS Teams has resolved a number of long standing issues related to delivering education that is not related to COVID-19. By streaming across sites, we can cater for those who are not on site and wish to attend, those who record the session to watch it later and presenters who are not on site, which are some of the issues MS Teams has resolved. It is a huge increase in flexibility for us,” points out Rachael.

“We also had a nice surprise on our first intern education session. We had 100 per cent attendance for the first time ever. It was a hybrid session where we had a cohort in the lecture theatre, some in a conference room and some online. It showed us what is possible in terms of accessibility for the interns,” she adds.

Facilitating all of this was “the creation of a Medical Education Team, which helped centralise communication and allows us to broadcast information to targeted groups/teams,” says Brooke Williams, Project Manager MS Teams.

She adds, “Organisationally, we are experiencing increased attendance at meetings. Feedback from clinicians who work across multiple health services, is that as they can now attend meetings virtually from multiple devices. They can attend from the car whilst in transit if required.”

Looking to the future, Rachael says, “We are piloting the next phase of MS teams with the intern and JMO group. We have set up a Medical Education Team and are using it to provide education and training requirements. This is being steadily expanded.”

“We intend to extend our super user network, provide them with intensive MS Teams training to enable us to progressively offer MS Teams and channels for collaboration to more departments and divisions in coming months,” adds Brooke.

Philip Nesci, ICT Advisor, who worked closely with Brooke and the MS Teams team said, “The staff who rolled out MS Teams did an amazing job and Northern Health has enthusiastically embraced the new collaboration platform.”

Featured image shows from left to right, Brooke Williams and Dr Rachael Coutts.