Every year around the world, the WFH provides multiday workshops to train laboratory professionals. Fellows of the International Hemophilia Training Centre (IHTC) Program also receive expert training in laboratory diagnosis. The effectiveness of these in-person learning opportunities—where participants stand right beside an expert, match their movements, and can ask the how and why of every step—cannot be equaled. But what about those laboratory professionals who do not have the opportunity to attend a live training? Or the professional who trained a few years ago, and now needs a little refresher?
In order to give everyone the opportunity to learn from laboratory experts, the WFH has created a number of lab manual videos that demonstrate the three foundational manual techniques of bleeding disorders diagnosis. These videos are available to anyone with an internet connection through the new WFH eLearning Platform.
Improving the diagnosis and treatment of bleeding disorders in developing countries is a WFH strategic objective because accurate diagnosis is key to adequate treatment and management. The WFH Diagnosis of Hemophilia and Other Bleeding Disorders: A Laboratory Manual, written and reviewed by the world’s leading experts in coagulation testing, is the definitive, how-to guide for the accurate diagnosis of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. But laboratory techniques can be complex and their execution must be nearly perfect in order to obtain accurate results. A written protocol provides important information—but nothing beats watching someone actually do the technique.
Sukesh Nair (outgoing chair of the WFH Laboratory Sciences Committee) and Steve Kitchen (current chair of the Lab Committee) carefully crafted the videos to provide step-by-step demonstrations of the manual execution of the APTT (activated partial thromboplastin time), one-stage FVIII, and FVIII inhibitor assays. Shot from multiple camera angles, the videos provide laboratory professionals with the chance to compare their own method to that of an expert. Each video provides a master class on an important technique, from working several typical patient samples to preparing calibration dilutions to plotting and interpreting results.
The videos also address challenges faced by laboratories operating with significant resource constraints, and they go over practical solutions to help laboratory professionals maximize the accuracy and precision of their diagnostic work. “Addressing the realities of diagnosis in suboptimal situations was key to producing a learning tool that would be really practical and useful,” explained Nair.
Each video is accompanied by the corresponding protocol from the Lab Manual, sample assay record sheets, the graph paper required to plot the results, and a full transcript of the entire text of the video. A keyword search of the transcript highlights each point where that topic is discussed, and with a simple click the viewer can jump to the corresponding spot in the video. This multimedia approach, made possible by the launch of the new WFH eLearning Platform (eLearning.wfh.org), allows Kitchen and Nair to share their wealth of knowledge with laboratory professionals all over the world. Kitchen said of his involvement, “I really enjoy delivering the WFH regional live laboratory trainings in person, but these videos are an opportunity to reach so many more people. Two days spent filming in my lab to make videos that will be seen by far more laboratory professionals than I could ever train in two days is time well spent.”
The videos were launched at the WFH 2016 World Congress in Orlando, and delegates had the opportunity to explore them at the WFH Resource Centre in the exhibit area. “These videos are a great addition to the Lab Manual,” enthused Sheldon Simson, a medical technologist and WFH International Hemophilia Training Centre (IHTC) Fellow from Suriname. “I am looking forward to sharing them with my colleagues in the lab. It’s a handy tool… you can even skip to certain points of interest by typing in a specific phrase. What more could we ask for? I also think that countries who cannot do factor assays yet can get a jump start with this.”
To find out more about the WFH lab manual videos, watch our demonstration video on eLearning.wfh.org.