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                    Dr Jim Berrington, Specialist Registrar
                        Southampton General Hospital

In April 2003 the Royal College of Anaesthetists published the document: ‘THE
CCST IN ANAESTHESIA IV: Competency Based Training and Assessment for
Specialist Registrar Years 3, 4 and 5 - A manual for trainees and trainers.’

For the first time the college has acknowledged the need for anaesthetic training to
include information technology and chapter 18 identifies six areas of required

               1. Basic Computing Skills
               2. Healthcare Computer Systems
               3. Security and Confidentiality
               4. Data Quality
               5. Information/Knowledge Management
               6. Medical Informatics

SCATA members have already taken an active part in both introducing information
technology as a competency and contributing to its content.

The European Computer Driving License already provides a flexible, well resourced,
recognised and validated qualification for the Basic Computing Skills competency.
There are plans to introduce the ECDL as a service-wide minimum standard for IT
training in the NHS and clinicians will be expected to attain this standard.

The other competencies are less well served by such a generic approach and it is here
that a concise educational package would be useful.
The implementation of the European Working Time Directive will have significant
effects on anaesthetic training with pressure on both time and resources. The lack of
local expertise and a recognised practical training solution will cause peripheral
competencies, such as information technology, to be neglected as resources are
directed towards more traditional clinical areas.

It is only logical that SCATA be involved in implementing training for this
competency and the society is unique in its gathering of relevant expertise for
developing such a practical training solution.

There are problems with some of the areas identified within the competencies, for
example Healthcare Computer Systems: There is no standardisation of theatre
management systems, patient administration systems operate within an outdated
infrastructure and the ongoing implementation of the Electronic Patient Record
remains sketchy. Any training would be largely conceptual rather than practical.

The aim of this presentation is to stimulate discussion into identifying resources and
expertise to develop a concise practical solution for delivering the Royal College of
Anaesthetists Information Technology Competency Training.

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