Having the ability to record and track clinical skills and interventions is an important part of learning cycle for medical students. Many healthcare providers, especially those involved in emergency care, may find this ability helpful to record mandatory skills and avoid potential gaps in practice through learning.
Medical residents from US have couple of solutions, such as ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) website, which offers tracking of procedures and cases for physicians. However, most residency programs, especially primary care specialties are not permitted to use the procedure log from ACGME website because it requires surgical specialties only. Fortunately, primary care residents can use several other solutions, both web-based and native apps, which could help them track resident evaluations, procedures, as well as competencies and milestones.
But, an important question remains. What students and providers can use after residency?
There are certain procedure logging apps, but they're usually poorly implemented with slow or hard-to-use interfaces. Others aren't HIPPA compliant. Using third party solutions or non-medical apps for this purpose could work for some providers, but these apps are still not the most convenient solution, mostly due to inability to properly log the procedures (with patient identifiers) like is the case with Evernote.
Fortunately, MedTree and CPDCloud filled the gap, by launching their app called Clinical Skills in December 2015. This app allows clinicians to quickly record and track their clinical skills and keep an accurate record of their airway and skills interventions.
Although the Clinical Skills app has been predominately developed for clinicians within the UK, it could be used as a useful resource to all providers to track clinical skills performed on primary care or ER shifts.
In order to use this app, you'll need to create the account. The registration is available within the app, which would be really great if the app doesn't send password to your email address. This is convenient if you use the same email for your mobile device. Otherwise, you'd have to navigate out of the app.
Also, you'll be given an option to change your password, but you'd be bothered more than once that your chosen password is too weak, so it's the best to go with password the app gave you. Although secure step, we found this to be an unnecessary hassle.
Once you manage to get through, you'll find clean and intuitive interface offering the stats for past week and month. As a new user you'll see this part blank, which will populate once you start new shift or add skill set with date.
Starting new shift is required to add and access your skills. Adding patient's details is the first step that allows you to fill in as much info as possible, starting with incident number, call type, nature of patient, their age, gender and condition, and call pathway. Once you add all necessary info, you'll be guided through easy flowing menus to add notes on airway interventions, minor or major injuries, pain management, wound management or administered drugs.
All these options have predefined choices, but also allow app users to activate new features and skills, or to deselect whole sections of the log, allowing users to customize their skills to their own clinical scope of practice. The ability to customize the app's features gives medical providers more freedom to shape the app for their own needs, which is in our opinion one of the strongest parts of this app.
The Clinical Skills app also allows you to build clinical reports in a form of graphical and/or descriptive reports. Graphical report really impresses with its intuitive and elegant design. It basically accumulates the logs from chosen period of time, and presents them in a form of nicely designed infographic.
Descriptive reports allows you to choose the logs you want to be shown for certain period of time, so it could be everything from airway to wound care, or just drugs administered. This report is presented in a form of exhaustive tables, which offer excessive information for the whole year, despite we just started using the app. Basically, this type of report has only quantitative value, showing only number of skills. Both reports can be printed, shared or sent via email.
We have to note that Clinical Skills app doesn't provide any medical reference links. Their support system consists of free monthly webinar that allows users to discuss app and its future development with both the medical team and IT team behind the app.
The lack of relevant reference shows that Clinical Skills app isn't intended to provide any evidence based medicine, but certainly could be useful to the users and their supervisors by providing the insight into clinical skill accomplishments.
Although designed by and for UK providers, it could be used by medical personnel in US as well, but only if there's no other solution available or more suitable system required by your residency program.
Benefit: Medical students and healthcare providers involved in urgent care/emergency medicine, who would like to track their clinical skills and procedures.