Good Practices Overview | Basque Country | Czech Republic | Norrbotten | Puglia | Scotland

Technology Enabled Care Programme

Summary of the good practice:

The Scottish Government’s TEC Programme was set up to mainstream adoption of technological solutions within service redesign. Its principle focus is on primary, community and home-based care rather than acute specialities, with the general objective of ensuring that outcomes for individuals, in home or community settings, are improved through the application of technology as an integral part of quality cost-effective care and support. A number of specific objectives relate to the further embedding of telecare (including future proofing in the digital age), the expansion of home & mobile health monitoring (this is subject to a separate submission), greater use of video consultations and creation of a national digital platform framework.

The Programme consists of a combination national funding and support being made available for local implementation (to the tune of around €35 million over three years), and is governed by its own Programme Board. A dedicated Programme Office oversees the distribution of funding (the availability of which was determined by a competitive bidding process) and the distribution of expert support. Support at a nation a level consists of technical support, strategic planning support and service redesign support, with other expertise drawn when required.

The principles underpinning the programme, and the approach to large-scale mainstream adoption, are entirely transferable.
URL: care-guidance-for-2016-18

Challenge addressed by the good practice

The overall challenge being addressed is one of mainstream adoption of technology enabled care within routine service delivery. Within the specific focus areas, the principle challenges are:

  •  Telecare – although routinely used, is done so with significant variation in approach and application (from referral pathways, to the way the service is run), and is run using analogue systems in a digital age
  • Home & mobile health monitoring – there is a need to move from small-scale, and fragmented, pilots and trials to a national approach
  • Video consultations – there currently exists a complete network across the NHS, but is mainly used for staff-staff meetings. Other than in a few isolated examples, where video consultations are routinely used for clinical consultations (primarily island-mainland), there is a pressing need to ‘normalise’ the use of video for health & care consultations with patients and service users
  • Digital platforms – a core component of this is be considering the business case proposal for the implementation of a National Digital Platform to support self-management information, products and services for Scottish citizens, recognizing the fragmented approach to date and the lack of common standards/APIs.

Key innovative elements of the good practice

Although the programme is ongoing, to date it is beginning to show that sustained national support can provide the necessary impetus to introduce core budgets into mainstreaming previous small-scale approaches. By providing national focus, the profile and visibility of technology enabled care has been significantly increased, leading to a greater cohort of individuals championing the use of TEC, above and beyond the usual enthusiasts. A significant part of this has been driven by the communications strategy, with specific events targeted to raise awareness, and a strong emphasis on embedding TEC into existing service redesign initiatives, rather than seeing TEC as a separate approach.

Taking the broader holistic view allows for access to additional resources and expertise.

Full Scirocco information on the good practice

SciroccoGP-Scotland-4-TEC-Technology-Enabled-Care-Programme.pdf [PDF]

Publications and reports on the good practice

An overview of the first year’s activity is available at overview-of-year-one-activity/ and a report into progress as at the end of the first year is due to be published soon. This can be made available. We are also able to accommodate study visits, and have hosted the annual Digital Health & Care Conference in Edinburgh on 30 November when several aspects of the practice were presented.

Contact point: Alistair Hodgson:

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