How Digital Competency Management Shows Its Value In Times Of Crisis

Authored By:

Dossier web 10

Geir Arnhoff


Throughout the pandemic many healthcare professionals have expanded work functions and taken responsibility for new tasks. This role expansion put a spotlight on the need for digital tools that help staff quickly and efficiently convey information and guidelines to large numbers of employees.

We recently spoke with Eddy Mikkelsen, advisor in the Department for Subjects and Education. Ms. Mikkelsen manages the Dossier competence portal at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen. We discussed how Haukeland University Hospital has used Dossier during the pandemic.

“Competence plans help us get things in order. We all know what is needed, and if staff need to be relocated, we have requirements for competence and competence plans, which they must implement before they can be included in the operation,” Mikkelsen said.

At the request of the clinical professional environment and the top management at Haukeland University Hospital, Mikkelsen and her colleagues prepared several new COVID-19 focused competency plans, including plans that cover undressing and dressing, as well as guidelines for patient cleaning and hygiene.

Efficient Collaboration

The Department of Subjects and Education worked closely with the e-learning team and produced short videos about the use of CPAP and respirators. This content was then distributed via Dossier’s competency platform, which pushed information to the right groups quickly and allowed for easy follow up on implementation status and competency progress.

“It is an advantage that employees know what is expected of them at all times. This means that both managers and employees have good insight into competence requirements. It benefits us all,” Mikkelsen said.

“We use competency plans to ensure employees are current on competency and in possession of the right competencies at the right times and places. In addition, we freed up a lot of time by avoiding manual review, updates and follow up. Employees automatically receive a notification when a competence requirement expires, and we have much better oversight.”

When COVID-19 entered Norway, having Dossier in place proved to be a great advantage as staff were already familiar with structured competence management, and thus, also with effective procedures for competence development and quality assurance.

“Everything has gone a little faster, and the need for new competence plans has been great. Fortunately, we work closely with those responsible for infection prevention, with directors and with those who have the professional responsibility for content. When we had to push plans for undressing and dressing throughout Helse Bergen and Haukeland, we used Dossier’s platform to immediately push those updates to 16,000 employees and students,” Mikkelsen said.

Easier Implementation

Today, Dossier is used by most of Norway’s healthcare system, as well as in Region Zealand in Denmark and Region Skaane in Sweden. Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen has been a pioneer in competence management. They were some of the first to use Dossier in 2014 when Dossier launched its new technology targeting healthcare competence management. The project was developed in collaboration with Norway, Dossier and Eddy Mikkelsen, as well as the Department for Subjects and Education at Haukeland Hospital.

The digital competency solution replaces many manual processes in a sector where there is a great need for training and competencies to be updated frequently. And during a time when complexity and documentation requirements have increased going digital makes sense and minimizes opportunities for error.

For many years, managing employee competence has been in physical and electronic folders, where it has been difficult to get a comprehensive look at competencies and competency gaps. With Dossier’s competence solution, competence development and certification can be managed and followed up within the digital competence portal, providing both managers and employees with an overview.

Overall Impact

When exploring the healthcare sector as a market opportunity, the team agreed there needed to be a strong focus on change management, especially in relation to getting employees and managers to see the usefulness of digital competence management.

One approach to address concerns was to share stories about how shifting from paper to digital would improve efficiency and staff job satisfaction. As a result, those metrics were monitored.

The Dossier team knew they needed to select committed, ambitious partners, so they intentionally sought health systems with numerous competence requirements and documentation (e.g. in relation to introductory programs and medical equipment).

The collaboration with Helse Vest resulted in a powerful, robust platform that meets the needs of healthcare systems around the world. When you join the staff at Helse Vest today, you are automatically assigned a competency plan, which includes competency plans for hygiene, information security, fire and rescue, and first aid. The plan is valid for one to two years, and employees are notified by the Dossier system when plans expire.

To verify critical competence, digital signatures from skill assessments, return demonstrations and preceptor-based training sessions were crucial to gather evidence that satisfied regulatory requirements from auditing authorities.

In Conclusion

The COVID-19 crisis provided Mikkelsen with new opportunities for the competency portal, “Users are more positive. We have worked systematically since the beginning, and we were able to stay one step ahead during the pandemic. Some of the doctors have previously been difficult to motivate due to busy lives, but they quickly saw the benefits of working with digital competency plans. Those who previously had reservations, now see the value.”

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