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Web based Medicines Information Computer-aided Learning (MiCAL) Package

MiCAL is a web based training package, designed to provide training in the skills required to answer questions about medicines. It is suitable for pre-registration pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, newly qualified pharmacists, clinical staff wanting to refresh their skills, or healthcare professionals involved in medicines management. Learners can access the tool from any PC once registered and assessors/trainers can provide supplementary assistance to learners when requested.

MiCAL is a self-directed learning tool which should be used in conjunction with other training tools such as the UKMi Training Workbook (see below). A user guide is provided to assist in effective learning with the MiCAL package. Users are not required to work through the package from beginning to end but use the training tool to address identified training needs (how these are identified is outside the scope of the package). MiCAL will assist learners to: 

  • understand the role of the Medicines Information services
  • make decisions regarding patient safety issues in hospital pharmacy practice through scenarios
  • understand the priority information to ask for when questioned about medicines dealing with high risk patient populations
  • use the appropriate information resources effectively based on type of question asked (with "test yourself" questions)
  • understand ethical dilemmas encountered in pharmacy practice through practice based scenarios
  • understand and practice the concepts required for effective literature searching using Medline and Embase via the NHS evidence platform
  • critically appraise a recently publised randomised control trial using a step-by-step worked example
  • improve writing and referencing skills
  • improve ability to effectively complete enquiries relating to medicines through access to 21 example enquiry scenarios of varying complexity and clinical topic. Each requires learners to complete pre and post multiple-choice questions (MCQs for a quantitive assessment of of the improvement in knowledge and skills. Designated assessors can view learner progress to provide additional assistance as necessary.
  • become familiar with the UKMi recognised enquiry recording database MiDatabank.

The interactive MiCAL package is updated annually (release date: July) and will be accessible to learners via their local medicines information centres. Visit http://midatabank.com/mical/Register.aspx to see if your organisation is listed.

Any feedback or enquiries relating to the CONTENT of MiCAL should be sent to nwlh-tr.mical@nhs.net.

The UKMi Training Workbook is a tutorial based package designed to provide training in the basic skills and knowledge required to answer enquiries about medicines. It is suitable for a variety of staff and can be worked through at an individual’s own pace. The workbook is extensively cross referenced to the MiCAL package and contains the following tutorials:

  • introduction to medicines information services
  • enquiry answering (including writing skills)
  • sources of information
  • 21 tutorials

The workbook can be used as a portable record of evidence. It is made available to pre-registration and Band 6 pharmacists through local MI centres. Individual tutorials may also be downloaded from the UKMi website.