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The Hill & Knowlton Award for Innovation


cobas Academy e-learning

Roche Diagnostics

Summary of work

Developed and launched by Roche Diagnostics UK in 2009, cobas Academy was the first e-learning package to link nurse training status together with automated (re)certification. However, there was confusion around the sales strategy and positioning resulting in poor acceptance by external customers and internal sales and support teams. This was particularly evident from customer feedback such as: ‘all training packages do the same thing’, ‘everyone has e-learning’. There were further complications around product development and uncertainty regarding future direction and investment.

cobas Academy provides training support for hospital ward staff on point-of-care (POC) testing devices and streamlines management information to ensure quality control, accreditation and compliance.

cobas Academy was re-launched to customers and internal stakeholders in January 2010  and by the end of the year the initiative had orders from over one-third of the installed point-of-care IT base. Combined with face-to-face support cobas Academy is the only training package in this sector to be accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and the Institute of Biomedical Scientists. It helps customers meet the QIPP challenge made by NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson in March 2010 by driving up quality while making best use of scarce resources.

Future investment has been secured through the transfer of development and support to Roche Europe, Middle East and Africa group with sales and installation targets at managing director level.

cobas Academy in combination with training specialist support was awarded the Silver award for Productive Working at the inaugural Nursing Times Product Awards in 2010.

Judges comments

"The initiative reveals a good understanding of how the healthcare environment will change in the coming years with respect to diagnostic testing, partly driven by cost saving. This campaign brought all the pieces together, linked to quality – there is a real need here as operator error rates can be significant. The 'lock in' mechanism and independent accreditation were impressive. It satisfied customer need and provided continuing professional development."

Stakeholder comments

“The Training Specialist Service gives us confidence that operators are trained to an acceptable standard. As a point-of-care training (POCT) manager, I can rely on the training programme to cover all the CPA requirements and to ensure that operators know the correct process from consent to result. Hospital staff receive face-to-face, high-quality training with a consistent content and, as a result, patient safety is enhanced. Finally, it frees up my time considerably. This is an efficient way to get multiple staff members trained on a range of POCT devices.’’  
POCT manager, Royal Wolverhampton Hospital

“User competence is a key concern with point-of-care testing as it has a direct impact on the quality of patients’ care. cobas Academy allows nurses greater flexibility in completing mandatory training in POC testing as well as improving their IT skills. It helps the laboratory by reducing the time spent on annual re-certification training, and allows the latter to be delivered to larger groups of staff. cobas Academy combined with cobas IT 1000 will be rolled out across all hospitals in Northern Ireland reaching more than 25,000 staff.”
POC co-ordinator, Belfast City Hospital

Key dates

Entry deadline 26 August 2022
Extended entry deadline 2 September 2022*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 6 October 2022
Company/Team of the Year Interviews 21 October 2022
PMEA Event 23 November 2022