Academics in Devon have designed a new smartphone application, or “app”, which is intended to enhance the communication skills of healthcare professionals.
The Peninsula Communication Skills app has been developed by Plymouth University’s technology-enhanced learning team. Also involved in the development were nursing students and medical trainees from the university.
“We are confident that we have delivered a useful and easily accessible resource”
The app is intended to address a number of important communication issues deemed important to get right to ensure patient safety, excellent patient care and enhance the patient experience.
It covers a number of scenarios including – giving information to patients, breaking bad news, effective communication within the healthcare team, dealing with angry patients and communicating with relatives.
The app delivers the information via a series of videos showing poor and good practice, multiple choice questions and links to useful resources.
Users can print a certificate after they have successfully answered the questions and there is a feedback survey.
Free ‘app’ to aid nurse communication skills
The project team was led by Professor Hisham Khalil, associate dean for strategic planning and liaison at the university’s Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
He said: “Poor communication, between health care professionals and patients and between the healthcare team themselves can lead to serious yet avoidable problems.
“Through working with Health Education England, our colleagues in the South West NHS and our healthcare students across a range of disciplines, we are confident that in the app we have delivered a useful and easily accessible resource which should help healthcare trainees and professionals enhance their communication skills,” he added.
- Peninsula Communication Skills is available free of charge for Android devices, iPhones and iPads.