Video: Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, Health Education England discusses digital literacy, digital capabilities and engagement

On day three of HTN Digital Week we were delighted to be joined by Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, Head of Blended Learning and Digital Literacy Workstream Lead at Health Education England.

Henrietta took us through building a digitally literate workforce, how to develop capabilities in digital literacy, engagement and what works.

“HEE in 2018 defined digital literacy as ‘those capabilities that fit someone for living, working, learning, participating and thriving in a digital society.”

Henrietta explains the importance of this definition as our generation of so called ‘digital natives’ are not necessarily digitally literate.

Covid-19 has pushed digital communications over the past three months but clinicians have had to use it with very little training. “The scale of change is rapid”, she said.

“Health is the area where we most need complex digital skills; we will need our workforce to be digitally skilled in the 21st century.”

View the session here:

Henrietta showed us a graph of the speed of change in digital technology progression where humans are not keeping up with the development of such technology in terms of adapting to the increasingly complex nature of tech.

“Digital ready means to be digitally willing and digitally able.”

Essentially, people need to both possess the skills to wield digital tech but also be willing to do so from the outset.

The challenges with people are to provide them with the necessary skills; in order to do that we need to engage with people who are digitally negative, digitally ambivalent and digitally excluded.

Henrietta explains that culture plays a large part in digital engagement and there is currently a shift in culture change towards digital tech which has undoubtedly been pushed by Covid-19.

“Local policies can prevent the implementation of digital tech; not to provide challenges, but to improve the process.”

The challenges according to Henrietta surround design; is it user centric, ethics, and keeping the tech up-to-date: “we should bring users to help design technology that is fit for purpose.”