Virtual reality training and new teaching programme sees Waitemata doctor win award

21 Aug 2017 | Building Leadership & Capability

A forward-thinking approach to how our young doctors are trained is behind the latest Open for leadership award.

Health Quality & Safety Commission chief executive Dr Janice Wilson presented the award to Waitemata DHB junior doctor Eleri Clissold on Friday.

Dr Clissold divides her time between clinical work and the DHB’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement where she is a fellow, leading and participating in a number of improvement programmes over the past 18 months.

The Open for leadership awards are coordinated by the Commission. They recognise and celebrate health professionals who demonstrate excellent practice, quality improvement and leadership skills. They are part of the Commission’s work to build capability and leadership in the health sector.

Dr Clissold established a post-graduate year two teaching programme at the DHB, which means doctors in training receive greater clinical education prior to starting formal specialist training.

She is also co-leading a research study on the use of virtual reality technology such as Google Glass for junior doctor training. Four emergency medical scenarios have been created, with junior doctors able to view these as a 3D video and answer questions about the care given. This study is ongoing but Dr Clissold says it is promising.

‘VR has been used extensively to teach surgical skills and for patient rehabilitation but, to date, no published work has applied VR to teaching junior doctors as a group,’ she says.

‘VR offers a largely untapped opportunity to provide on-demand, highly realistic training. Innovations such as Google Glass and increasing smart phone capabilities mean it is increasingly affordable and accessible.’

Dr Wilson says Dr Clissold’s exemplary commitment to quality improvement, while also working in a clinical role, make her a deserving recipient.

‘Eleri is a shining light, a young doctor who provides great care to her patients, but also goes away and thinks deeply about how their care may be improved, and how these improvements can benefit the many.’

Dr Clissold says she was surprised to find out she had won the award, because quality improvement is an integral part of what she does and she did not expect the recognition.

‘I enjoy what I do because it is always possible to make things better, you just need to keep plugging away and having small victories,’ she says.

‘When it’s done correctly, you don’t actually notice. When you teach someone something or change a system, you don’t necessarily see the harm you’ve prevented because that harm doesn’t happen. I think that’s a good thing, to know the small changes you make can have a big impact.’

Dr Wilson says Dr Clissold’s work is in line with the Government’s strong focus on supporting and enabling safe patient care and saving lives.

‘Recent nationwide successes include a reduction in falls resulting in broken hips, a reduction in CLAB – a blood stream infection, and a reduction in some surgical site infections. All these successes owe a lot to the work of our current and emerging leaders.’

Read more about the Open for leadership awards here.


Last updated 22/08/2017