Introduction There is very limited sleep medicine education within the UK at undergraduate or post graduate level. There are a small number of accredited, online sleep medicine course offered at UK universities but these are costly and this may limit access for many health professionals. Face to face training is available for small numbers only. Any sleep education and training should be validated
Method An interactive, online sleep medicine training package was developed and embedded within the e-learning modules of the National Health Service Electronic Staff Record (ESR). This was then made freely available to every staff member of a large UK mental health trust (total staff 7000). This allowed all health professionals to access the material. Data analytics then tracked patterns of use, the knowledge gained as measured by knowledge based quiz before and after training. The results of the first 50 users are presented in detail. It comprised 4 x 45 minute modules covering function of sleep and physiology over the lifespan, sleep disorders, relevant investigations for in-patients and out-patients, basic principles of CBT for insomnia.
Results Of the first 50 users that registered sequentially, the majority were nursing staff (36%), psychologists (30%) but medical (4%), pharmacy (2%), service managers (10%) also completed training. 39 viewed all modules, of those who completed post intervention quiz all had improved knowledge base. Time to complete training had a wide range from 5 days to 3 months with 32% viewing on multiple occasions.
Discussion This is a novel use of the NHS ESR system which allows e-learning for sleep medicine in a format that can be used to validate the effectiveness of training. It allows a complete range of health care professionals in secondary care to access free, online sleep medicine education.
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