The paediatric change laboratory: optimising postgraduate learning in the outpatient clinic

  • Mads Skipper (Ophavsperson)
  • Peter Musaeus (Ophavsperson)
  • Susanne Nøhr (Bidrager)



Abstract Background This study aimed to analyse and redesign the outpatient clinic in a paediatric department. The study was a joint collaboration with the doctors of the department (paediatric residents and specialists) using the Change Laboratory intervention method as a means to model and implement change in the outpatient clinic. This study was motivated by a perceived failure to integrate the activities of the outpatient clinic, patient care and training of residents. The ultimate goal of the intervention was to create improved care for patients through resident learning and development. Methods We combined the Change Laboratory intervention with an already established innovative process for residents, 3-h meetings. The Change Laboratory intervention method consists of a well-defined theory (Cultural-historical activity theory) and concrete actions where participants construct a new theoretical model of the activity, which in this case was paediatric doctorsâ workplace learning modelled in order to improve medical social practice. The notion of expansive learning was used during the intervention in conjunction with thematic analysis of data in order to fuel the process of analysis and intervention. Results The activity system of the outpatient clinic can meaningfully be analysed in terms of the objects of patient care and training residents. The Change Laboratory sessions resulted in a joint action plan for the outpatient clinic structured around three themes: (1) Before: Preparation, expectations, and introduction; (2) During: Structural context and resources; (3) After: Follow-up and feedback. The participants found the Change Laboratory method to be a successful way of sharing reflections on how to optimise the organisation of work and training with patient care in mind. Conclusions The Change Laboratory approach outlined in this study succeeded to change practices and to help medical doctors redesigning their work. Participating doctors must be motivated to uncover inherent contradictions in their medical activity systems of which care and learning are both part. Facilitators must be willing to spend time analysing both historical paediatric practice, current data on practice, and steer clear of organisational issues that might hamper a transformative learning environment. To ensure long-term success, economical and organisational resources, participant buy-in and department leadership support play a major role.
Dato for tilgængelighed2016