Digital training and performance support: The future of ‘on and off’ the job training

Posted by Incision on Sep 24, 2021 12:05:52 PM

Keeping up to date with the latest knowledge, skills and technological changes in the operating room can be a tough challenge. With limited time for further training, perioperative practitioners are often dependent on each other, while medical technologies continue to advance at a rapid pace.

In the past, perioperative practitioners obtained their diploma and gained experience by working in hospitals. Once in a while, they joined a conference or a clinical class, and that was enough. Now, we’re up for a challenge to deal with modern techniques. 


Today we are increasingly dealing with innovation in the operating room; from digital imaging techniques to complex equipment that requires new analytical and problem-solving skills” said Diederich Cornelisse, Operating Room (OR) Manager at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in the Netherlands. 


1. Learn new - Da Vinci Surgical System - and C-Arm Pulsera device course

Da Vinci Surgical System - and C-Arm Pulsera device course

Research by Incision, a surgical performance platform aimed at educating surgical professionals, shows that the speed at which medical innovation occurs is a challenge for the surgical team. The survey shows that 36% of OR staff feel the need to learn at least once a week. A staggering 62% indicate that they find courses on (new) surgical technologies relevant to improve performance in the operating room.

Furthermore, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the training of surgical teams. As a result, university courses were postponed or shifted to remote learning and placements were cancelled. In addition, numerous professionals working within the perioperative field were redeployed from the OR to the ICU.

The pandemic’s impact did nothing to help sustain or enhance the knowledge and skills of many OR professionals. However, from time to time, everyone needs educational support. 


No matter what your challenge is, learning and improving is the way to achieve it, even when you have limited time to work on improvements. Incision uses a framework called the ‘5 Moments of Need’ which identifies great ways of how you can train, learn, and improve as a surgical team, both on the job and off the job. This framework will enable staff to gain and sustain effective on-the-job performance. Whether you’re an OR manager, scrub nurse, nurse anesthetist, ODP, healthcare assistant or resident, the ‘5 Moments of Need’ can help you and your team improve their skills. 




When you learn something new, you are learning to do something for the first time. Hospitals often use a curriculum for mandatory in-service education. Typically using one-on-one teaching, the old master apprentice method, often with limited technical support. This method of teaching requires a lot of time from supervisors, teachers, and admin staff, making it difficult to train new people, especially if the staff turnover is high, and many people need to be trained.
At Incision we believe learning can be done more effectively and efficiently, that’s why we are using technology to support blended learning, combining on the job learning with off the job learning through video content, step-by-step learning, and 3D anatomy. By using digital multimedia technology for surgical training, we can close the gap between theory and practice.



When you learn more, you are expanding your knowledge and skills. With new techniques and devices being introduced continuously, it is key that surgical teams find time in their busy schedules to train for this. Increasingly, hospitals want their teams to be flexible, so they can be efficient when it comes to planning and scheduling to ensure they have the right team per procedure.
Learning more will not only help the OR manager plan better, but it will also help the team to stay ‘all-around’, benefiting you whenever you need to move around the staff. 


Learn More - Flexible learning


Incision has created adaptable learning solutions so that you and your team can benefit from flexible learning in your own time, or on the job. The content comes in various sizes and includes interactive quizzes. What’s more, you will always have direct access to the latest information about a procedure or device.



When you ‘Apply’ your learning, you are using the knowledge and skills at work. Applying the knowledge in practice can be a big challenge, especially in a busy OR environment. In addition, there are many basic (often practical things) you need to know before you can ‘Apply’.
Hospitals carefully record how procedures should be performed and what items are needed for surgery. However, these ‘protocols’ are not always easy to follow. In particular, finding and remembering the preferences of different surgeons can be challenging. If the flow of supporting work by the team is not ideal, for example, IV on the wrong side, ECG stickers misplaced, missing instruments, miscommunication about required implants, it can slow down the pace of the entire team, resulting in a lot of sorrys and repair work.

Incision is currently building a workflow product that will help surgical teams to better align ahead of surgery as well as during the day in the operating room, covering this need. By registering all the protocols in a content management system, the right information is provided to the right person, at the right time, via an easily accessible app.

3. Apply- CMS workflow product

Content management system for OR protocols 




Solve applies when you need to find a solution for your problem. Finding solutions is a core competence in an environment where ‘a day in the OR is always different and unexpected.’ Complications occur frequently in surgery, and surgeons and OR teams are trained to deal with them. The way in which surgical teams do this, differs a lot between hospitals. OR managers often indicate that they would like to see more ‘joint problem solving’ - anticipating a patient complication or knowing how to deal with equipment malfunction instead of calling the technical department for help and wasting precious time. Other industries have workflow support tools for this, like handbooks in airlines for example, but this type of support tool is not available in the operating room. Incision have developed workflow tools to help surgical teams work more efficiently, these include key pieces of information such as knowing exactly what to do when certain errors occur.


Performance support app: clear instructions on surgical equipment and materials  


Change is about unlearning and relearning, in essence changing the way you work. At Incision, we believe that you need ‘Lean Management’ to improve your way of working, meaning you work with feedback loops to make small improvement steps every day. So how does that work? ‘Lean’ records the events of the day that you want to ‘Keep’, and the ones that are a ‘Problem’ are used to define ‘Try’ as an experiment to find a solution for the problem.

Such activities are rare in the operating room, however, the best teams capture new ‘learnings’ each day, they then use the ‘learnings’ the next day in the daily briefing, and so on... to grow, as a team.

At Incision, every day we are learning and improving ourselves through the application of ‘Lean Management’. We work with proactive individuals from all over the world to understand how ‘on and off’ the job learning can be implemented sustainably. Why? Because we believe digital training and performance support will empower people working in perioperative practice to improve their performance. Our shared goal is to perfect how your teams perform in the operating room, and to help improve the quality of surgical care. At Incision, we try to facilitate surgical teams in the best way possible, honouring the amazing work they deliver each day.

5. Change - getting better every day with lean management


Getting better every day with lean management


Improving surgical workflows can be as simple as downloading an app
Rumour has it that Incision is launching a product at Intelligent Health AI on the 12th of October, aimed at improving surgical workflows. 
Pre-register for the app download below so you don’t miss out. 
Pre-register for app

About IncisionScreenshot 2021-09-23 at 17.19.43

Incision is a fast-growing platform for surgical performance and online training, founded in Amsterdam by Prof DrTheo Wiggers and various other entrepreneurial professionals, on a mission to improve surgical care. Incision’s team of medical doctors and product experts believes in sharing surgical skills and making high-quality surgical knowledge accessible to everyone. On May 27th this year, Incision received €5M funding in its Series A funding round from SHS and Rubio Impact Ventures. 


Topics: AI Platforms, Digital Health, MedTech