Lifelong Learning Platform: untapped analytical potential?


Perella et al. should be applauded for publishing the largest anaesthetic logbook analysis to date [^1] and illustrating the educational value of such previously underutilised data. Despite the plethora of different logbook platforms in use, they managed to capture 801 trainees out of a total of 4720 across the UK and Republic of Ireland. The Royal College of Anaesthetists’ (RCoA) Lifelong Learning Platform became mandatory for all UK trainees from August 2019 [^2] replacing the ePortfolio, and includes logbook functionality that the RCoA recommends all trainees utilise. The Lifelong Learning Platform logbook is thus likely to represent the most comprehensive dataset of UK anaesthetic trainees’ practice. However, these data remain within the confines of the College.

In keeping with the ‘forward‐thinking’ spirit of the RCoAs’ Technology Strategy Programme and Strategic Plan 2018–2021 [^3], I suggest that such data should be made locally available in a manner analogous to that of the Peri‐operative Quality Improvement Programme [^4]. Real‐time summarised data, presented via an online dashboard, could be anticipated to be of multiple benefits, most obviously by allowing for regional and national comparison of case‐mix and case‐load, procedural exposure and levels of supervision.

Here, a real‐time system would facilitate earlier identification of issues, thus expediting their rectification and minimising any resultant impact on training, as well as allowing rapid feedback of iterative changes facilitating a culture of continuous improvement. Furthermore, such a resource would offer a novel dataset to facilitate local quality improvement and research projects, again as championed by the Peri‐operative Quality Improvement Programme.

As we enter the era of digital health, I would encourage the RCoA to embrace these suggestions and act as a role model for data sharing, education and quality improvement.


[^1] Perella P, Palmer E, Conway R, Wong DJN. A retrospective analysis of case‐load and supervision from a large anaesthetic logbook database. Anaesthesia 2019; 74: 1524– 33.

[^2] Royal College of Anaesthetists. Lifelong Learning FAQs. 2019. (accessed 11/10/2019).

[^3] Royal College of Anaesthetists. Our Strategic Plan 2018‐2021. 2018. (accessed 11/10/2019).

[^4] Wagstaff D, Moonesinghe SR, Fulop NJ, et al. Qualitative process evaluation of the Perioperative Quality Improvement Programme (PQIP): study protocol. British Medical Journal Open 2019; 9: e030214.