GP develops app for revalidation and appraisal

19 February 2013

A Leeds-based GP has developed the first app in the UK specifically designed to help GPs go through the  appraisal and revalidation processes. The new requirement, which came into practice in December 2012, means GPs nationwide must pass annual appraisals over a five-year period if they are to be relicensed to practice for another five years.

Dr Simon O’Hara, a Partner at the Chevin Medical Practice in Otley and Bramhope, decided to develop the app when going through his own appraisal and when thinking about the impending Revalidation process.

Dr O’Hara said, “I enjoy appraising, but not preparing for my own appraisal. While struggling to get my documents together, I realised how little valuable online research is actually recorded.

“I recognised that valuable online research was not actually being recorded, meaning that when the annual appraisal date approaches, the GP has to invest a significant amount of time putting together evidence of research which has taken place many months ago.”

With the advent of cloud technology and modern communications, Dr O’Hara was convinced there must be an easier way to gather evidence for the appraisal process, particularly in light of the new Revalidation process.

Dr O’Hara’s idea, Osmosis, is an online software package that helps GPs navigate the recently introduced revalidation process and includes a unique App as part of the ‘toolkit’.
Osmosis, which is pre-loaded with a group of websites identified by the company’s appraisal experts (users can also add their own preferred sites), automatically collates any online research undertaken by a GP as PDF files in one easily accessible location which can then be shared with an appraiser.

The App for Osmosis, which is available through iTunes and Android for the iPad and smartphones, to allow users to keep a record of meetings outside the workplace and photographic evidence needed for annual appraisals. The App also means any notes made are saved in the GP’s Osmosis Journal with information such as date, time spent and tagged in line with current UK appraisal parameters.

Dr O’Hara, as Training Programme Director for the Leeds Vocational Training Scheme monitors GP development, approached the New Knowledge Directorate (NKD) with the idea of the automatic learning log. Working with web development experts Stephen Iball and Martyn Rainford of Kirkstall-based NKD, and X-Lab, a health informatics software business at the University of Leeds, the three-way collaboration developed the software package. Now more than 150 GPs around the UK are already using Osmosis, just weeks after its launch.

Dr O’Hara continued: “When I approached NKD with the concept they ‘got it’ straight away. Osmosis eliminates the time-consuming process of gathering this evidence and allows the GP to focus on their day-to-day activities, while also having the opportunity to build a really useful portfolio of research which can be easily referenced.”

“The App is the first of its kind for this type of appraisal software and the feedback has been extremely positive. It allows the GP to gather information for their appraisal, even when they are on the move or perhaps at work-related conferences. This has been seen as a major USP of Osmosis over other appraisal software alternatives.”


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