Best Practice Clinical Learning Environments

Best Practice Clinical Learning Environments

In 2008, Donna led a small team to undertake an investigation into best-practice teaching and learning environments within health services for clinical training of undergraduate and early-graduate learners in health professions. This project was conducted for the Service and Workforce Planning Branch of the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS).

The purpose of the project was to develop a best-practice framework that could be used by education providers, health services, clinical educators and learners to inform policies, practices or behaviours that improve clinical training experiences for all concerned. The project involved a literature review, development and implementation of online surveys, interviews with key stakeholders and informants, and case studies in hospitals.

The final report and best practice framework can be downloaded from the Best Practice Clinical Learning Environments resources page on the Victorian Clinical Training Council (VCTC) website of the Victorian Department of Health.

In 2009, darcy associates was contracted by DHS to conduct Implementation Phase I of the BPCLE project, with the aim of promoting the BPCLE Framework to health services across Victoria. As a first step, this project sought to validate the framework with a broader range of health service settings and health professional disciplines than were consulted in the original project. The second key aspect of the project was an exploration of how the implementation of the framework would most appropriately be measured and monitored (including the development of performance indicators). Forums and online surveys were used to obtain input from stakeholders on resources, tools and support they may need to implement the framework.

The final report of this phase of the project can be downloaded from the VCTC website of the Victorian Department of Health or is available here.

In 2011, darcy associates was again contracted by the Department of Health to conduct two further BPCLE projects. The first project involved development of a performance monitoring framework, to assist health services with monitoring their performance against the BPCLE Framework. The second project involved development of a suite of resources (the BPCLE Framework Resource Kit) to assist stakeholders with implementation and monitoring of the framework.

The BPCLE Framework was piloted in 11 health services across Victoria in 2012, including large metropolitan acute health services, regional and rural hospitals, community health, general practice/primary care services and aaged care settings. The project demonstrated that implementation of the BPCLE Framework is achievable on a whole-of-organisation basis, in a broad range of health service settings and in a relatively short period of time. The final report of the pilot project can be downloaded from the VCTC website of the Victorian Department of Health or is available here.

One of the outcomes of the pilot project was the development of prototype implementation tools using Microsoft Excel. While the tools were very helpful to pilot sites, feedback from participants suggested that online tools would be more useful and this lead to the development of BPCLEtool, an online organisational self-assessment tool that will assist clinical placement providers to assess their clinical learning environment against the elements of the BPCLE Framework.

The BPCLE Framework has been used by Clinical Education and Training (ClinEdQ) in the Queensland Department of Health as the basis for development of their own best practice framework. Health Workforce Australia (HWA) is also considering the potential of the BPCLE Framework to be used as the basis for a national framework for quality clinical learning environments.


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