A new international project strengthens the eHealth competencies of healthcare professionals
The increasing number of digital solutions in the social and healthcare sector require that the healthcare professionals have stronger eHealth competencies. In an international collaboration, Welfare Tech is taking part in developing innovative training methods which provide healthcare staff with on-the-job training in eHealth.
DISH (Digital & Innovation Skills Helix in Health) is a new European three-year project, which focuses on the lack of digital competencies among healthcare professionals when they need to apply new technological solutions in their work.
Many digital solutions promise increased efficiency, better workflows and easier communication, but they rarely reach their full potential nor full deployment. Predominantly, this is due to two things: First, because the solutions are not developed in collaboration with the health and social care professionals and not accommodated to their workflows, culture and needs. Secondly, the healthcare professionals lack eHealth competencies and abilities, preventing them from optimal use of the technology.
The solution is neither more manuals nor introduction courses. The solution is education and training of the healthcare professionals, strengthening their eHealth competencies. That is what the Danish digital health strategy 2018-2022 from The Ministry of Health declares in a publication from January 2018. Not all healthcare personnel have the same basis for applying new solutions. The technology needs to assist the healthcare professionals – not be an extra procedure, or a pointless registration, effectively diverting attention from the care of the citizens. The strategy states that it is critical that the healthcare personnel receive adequate education in the use of digital solutions, so everybody can profit from the opportunities that new technologies provide. A strategy which DISH wants to pursue.
A concept for on-the-job training in eHealth
Through Triple Helix partnerships in five European countries, DISH wants to develop a concept, a Learning Innovation Unit (LIU), for training eHealth competencies. Here, the healthcare personnel need to, through collaboration and concrete use of digital solutions, be able to identify specific implementation challenges, innovation- and training needs. The training should take place in professional daily work environments. Moreover, the practical use of the solutions will develop the necessary competencies, collaboration and communication methods across sectors which will allow patient involvement.
The practical approach to the training concept makes the DISH project interesting for health and social care providers who provide eHealth solutions. The training in the use of eHealth solutions give the companies an opportunity to have a dialogue with the users of their solutions and receive feedback on the technology’s usability.
- Many companies experience that the healthcare professionals are challenged when it comes to eHealth competencies and innovation readiness in relation to changing the workflow, thereby preventing the full potential of the eHealth solution can be realised. Eventually, this can cause the healthcare institution not to harvest the expected benefits or the lack of deployment of scale, says Karen Lindegaard, Senior consultant at Welfare Tech.
European collaboration and knowledge sharing
The DISH-partners are from 5 regions in Europe: Southern Denmark, Bergen in Norway, Liverpool in Great Britain, Lübeck/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany and Valencia in Spain. Each country has an established Triple Helix partnership consisting of an education institution, a health and social care provider and an enterprise representative. They will each contribute to the 3 phases of the project: Preparation, development and testing. All the partners will be actively involved in the testing phase to secure that the consignments are developed as close to the real need as necessary.
In Denmark, the Triple Helix partnership consists of The Hospital of Southern Jutland, testing the training, UCL University College concentrating on the evaluation of skills and the joined development of evaluation methods and, Welfare Tech, supporting the involvement of companies in the “Learning Innovation Unit” concept.
Additionally, the DISH project is supported by participants from Krakow in Poland, the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance) and partners from Brussels.
Are you joining?
Are you interested in sharing knowledge or following the DISH project? Then please contact Karen Lindegaard, Welfare Tech firstname.lastname@example.org and hear more.
The DISH project is financed in collaboration with the EU programme Erasmus+.