HeLMS - Development and Implementation of a Health e-Learning Management System Framework for the Clinical Workplace

Ian Graham MD, Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria

The development of e-learning systems, tailored to the clinical workplace, has been fragmented, opportunistic and uncoordinated. The HeLMS Framework has been developed to build understanding of the potential of these technologies and to ensure that they are implemented in a well planned, timely and cost-effective manner across all healthcare disciplines and at all levels of training and professional development. The framework identifies requirements and specifies high level objectives for such systems as they impact on individual trainees and supervisors, hospitals practices and accrediting bodies. The HeLMS framework comprises six domains: e-portal (accessibility, collaboration & calendars); e-Learning (curriculum, authoring & resources); e-Portfolios (assessment, credentialling, reflection & planning); e-Practice (log-books, simulation & scope of practice); e-Performance (supervision, appraisal, metrics & KPIs); and e-Deployment (allocation, macro- and micro-rostering). Each domain has its own specific requirements in terms of database design, data interchange standards and functionality. Workplace-based clinical training presents special challenges for the planning and development of an effective HeLMS. The definition, standardisation, integration and use of ‘Clinical Learning Objects’ will facilitate these developments along with Web 2.0 technologies, the use of digital media repositories and Medbiquitous standards, specifications and guidelines. The HeLMS framework is easily communicated, readily understood and well received by key stakeholders. It has formed the basis for business case and funding proposal to undertake a proof of concept study spanning rural, regional and urban Australia.