Placements available to give students insight into digital healthcare

Extending our support for learning for healthcare students

As part of Patients Know Best’s social mission, we offer the platform free of charge to any institutions teaching healthcare professional students, to support them in their learning of digital remote consultations and patient management practices.

“I want to be an advocate of patients managing and taking control of their health”

Leicester Medical student

Within this work, we recently offered 4 Leicester medical students an internship placement over the summer holidays. The students joined PKB teams that suited their interests – from product development and software engineering to information governance and customer success for those interested in how a personal health record system is deployed into hospitals.

This formalised placement is being introduced with a view to nurturing talented students who wish to learn more about the implications of a patient-controlled, electronic personal health record (PHR) for patients and their health and social care providers. The students will additionally learn about remote working within a business environment in a tech company.

By the end of the placement, we expect students to have learnt:

1. the potential to patients of having access to their PHR for their care, health and wellbeing;

2. the benefits of a PHR for health and social care providers and their workforce, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and managers;

3. the challenges of introducing a PHR to health and social care providers and their workforce, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and managers;

4. the information governance and technical issues in ensuring PHRs are kept secure, confidential and auditable;

5. how to be effective when working remotely in a business environment.

“putting patients at the centre of decisions is where I wish the future of healthcare to go”

Leicester Medical Student

The summer internship students all spoke positively about their experience and what they learned. Feedback from one of the students was that they appreciated the overview of working in a company made up of different teams, likening this to experiencing Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings in clinical placement. 

Another of the interns mentioned that they learned a lot about “how a business operates, how multiple people interact on the same team and how different teams interact” as well as seeing how “each team’s work relates to each other and the overall aims of the company”.

“I really enjoyed my time at PKB and I’m very grateful for my experience”

Leicester Medical Student

Patients increasingly want, and expect, to be included in decisions about their health and care, which means that electronic personal health records are a reality for current and future doctors. These internship placements complemented the understanding of PKB that the Leicester medical students had already gained through the use of PKB in their curriculum (learn more here). 

When discussing what they had gained from this placement, one student commented that in their career, they want to “be an advocate of patients managing and taking control of their health” and another noted that “putting patients at the centre of decisions is where I wish the future of healthcare to go”. 

All of the interns agreed that they had learned more about PKB’s mission for all patients to own a copy of all their health information, to understand the information and to make shared decisions with family members and healthcare professionals. Every intern noted that they wanted to take this mission forward in their careers, with one noting that they “will advocate for patients to have access to their own health records and will make sure to communicate honestly and effectively with patients about their health”.

Following their time at PKB, the four students presented to their Medical School colleagues about their experience with PKB and we are pleased to be able to share their presentation at the bottom of our Education webpage here. The presentation was followed by discussion groups which had many positive outcomes including the creation of a “Technology in Healthcare” Student Society.

PKB will soon expand the placement offering to other healthcare education institutions as part of electives or Student Selected Component modules.

One student commented on their experience working with PKB saying : “The company as a whole has a very friendly and supportive culture, which has allowed me to learn so much in the very little time I had there. In the future, I would recommend a longer placement for interns so they can gain as much as possible.”

Feedback from the initial cohort of interns will be reflected on and actioned to improve the placement for future students. We would also like to thank the students for the valuable contributions they made to the company whilst on their placement. 

For more information on how this can work for your students, please contact education@patientsknowbest.com

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