Ventilator Training Alliance Marks One Year of Training for the Greater Good
This article originally appeared in LTEN Focus on Training Magazine.
In Spring 2020, COVID-19 cases began to spike around the world. Dozens of ventilator manufacturers began shipping makes and models to hospitals unfamiliar with how to operate them, leaving healthcare professionals without proper ventilator training and experience overwhelmed. More than a year later, cases in Brazil and India continue to climb.
Many clinicians, who aren’t usually responsible for ventilators, were being called in from other areas of the hospital to help. With so many different ventilators and unique operating methods, hospitals faced a ventilator training crisis. The patients requiring their technology far outnumbered experienced clinicians to properly operate the machinery.
Naturally the question became: How can you quickly and effectively train a group of clinicians when ventilator manufacturers can’t access the hospital to provide training, deliver in-service meetings and demos?
In response to this industry-wide training gap, ventilator manufacturers—in an unprecedented move led by Medtronic—came together to form the Ventilator Training Alliance (VTA), a collaboration designed to assist medical professionals by teaching them how to safely and effectively handle their products.
This alliance connects hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world to critical information and ventilator training materials to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competitors Unite in a Collaborative Effort
The medical field is generally seen as a hyper-competitive market. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, companies have been sharing ideas like never before. Pharmaceutical giants, for example, have collaborated to expedite the search for a vaccine and its distribution.
Understanding their pivotal role, ventilator manufacturers have teamed up to ensure their essential products are used safely and efficiently in a way that focuses on training as many people as possible.
To help streamline the effort, my company, Allego, provider of a learning and enablement platform built for today’s virtual teams, created the VTA app, a centralized knowledge hub that connects frontline medical providers with critical information from ventilator manufacturers.
The same technology that is used to help remote workforces at global companies access learning, content and collaboration in their daily flow of work was applied to the VTA app. This app gives clinicians easy access to critical information from ventilator manufacturers, including instruction manuals, how-to videos, communication hubs, training materials and more.
The teamwork and humanitarian goal behind the VTA is revolutionary. More than 27 ventilator manufacturers, including Medtronic, GE Healthcare, Dräger, Getinge, Hamilton Medical, Nihon Kohden, and Philips, are working together to take on the pandemic in a modern, dynamic way that has already shown success—all despite being competitors in the market.
The VTA app is seamless for both manufacturers and medical workers alike, creating an intuitive platform with a worldwide reach.
Hospitals and clinics around the globe can access crucial information such as uploaded manuals, videos, troubleshooting guides and more for free. Ventilator manufacturers combine their instructive materials with modern learning technology to train many more clinicians than before, better assisting the often overcrowded COVID-19 treatment centers and hospitals.
Continuing Our Success in 2021
To date, the VTA app has been accessed nearly 75,000 times in 200 countries and its user base continues to grow every day.
With some of the largest ventilator manufacturers on board, the VTA has already helped train tens of thousands of frontline healthcare workers, showing a different and effective approach to training healthcare professionals.
New staff, veteran respiratory therapists and everyone in between can learn how to operate various devices through the platform and prepare for uses even beyond the current crisis. Moving forward, the VTA is still growing and adding more content that helps medical workers respond to COVID-19 in a quicker, safer, scalable way.
Ventilator manufacturers interested in joining the VTA can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.