visionOn Presentation
GSA Research

Event Type:

Research Week


NHS Lanarkshire


21 Apr 2016
12:00 -



tablet-based training tool

visionOn Presentation

Event info

visionOn Presentation
Thursday 21 April 2016

Please note this event is by invitation only

Researchers in DAHCRU (Design for Age, Health and Care Research Unit) have developed a prototype tablet-based training tool for use by healthcare staff to raise awareness and understanding of pathogens and their role in Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) by using dynamic digital visualisations as a basis for improving healthcare-based Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training. 

The visualisations make clear the direct relationship between the ward setting and the location, behaviour, causes of spread, and prevention of spread of pathogens. These explore themes of pathogen location, survival and transmission supported by original quantitative and behavioural data from research studies involving the microbiologist in the team.

Crucial to the success of the tool is understanding the training needs of staff, and the key preventable errors which lead to the spread of infection. The researchers have explored the above themes using tablet-based visualisation prototypes to engage doctors, nurses, cleaners and other roles in an iterative co-development and evaluation process involving 150 staff in NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Grampian Trusts over a 12-month period. These NHS partners have been closely involved in the specification, co-development and evaluation of the training tool to ensure it satisfies the requirements of current NHS training programmes and to maximise the opportunities for its adoption.

This work addresses an important environmental and social health issue, namely HAIs caused by pathogens such as MRSA, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile which present a substantial global problem. The 2014 World Health Organisation global surveillance report on antimicrobial resistance showed that "a post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries can kill – far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st Century". The prevention of the spread of HAIs in the first instance is therefore of crucial importance as the significant risk is that the pathogenic microorganisms, which cause these infections, can make designated healing places become harmful spaces. 

This work has been supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and by partners Gama Healthcare Ltd, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Grampian.

This event is part of GSA Research Week 2016. Running from 18th - 22nd April, the week comprises a range of talks and events showcasing research and researchers at The Glasgow School of Art - all welcome.