Committed to improving healthcare
The Erasmus+ DISH project aims at bridging the “missing link” between the progressive digitalisation of the healthcare sector and the lack of eHealth and innovation skills among health and social care professionals to fully benefit from the use of innovative eHealth products and solutions.
The project consortium, 19 organisations overall, is made of six regional triple helix clusters composed by health care providers, educational institutions and enterprise representatives that will test DISH concepts and outcomes in Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Poland, and is completed by two EU-wide organisations to promote its dissemination and stakeholder’s involvement.
Started in November 2018, the project runs over three years and will include a preparation phase, a development phase and a testing phase, where the triple helix partners will work closely together to ensure the fulfilment of real needs expressed by the health care providers, exploitability and scale up of achieved results.
The demographic change and the effects it has on the health care systems are among the key challenges the European society is facing. The progressive ageing of the European population increases demands from senior citizens who need integrated health and social care services whilst the care workforce is shrinking and less public funding is available to meet such needs.
In order to respond to this challenge, many innovative eHealth solutions have already been developed and many health care providers have invested in innovation. However, it often turns out that the solutions are not being implemented or are only partly used, hence the full potential of innovation is not exploited.
Many of these solutions do not reach full implementation stage for different reasons, such as:
- – the solutions have not been developed in close collaboration with the health and social care staff,
- – there is a lack of overall digital competences and specific eHealth literacy within the staff,
- – there are barriers to changing organisational practices, pathways and models of working that enable smart solutions to be deployed.
Research results point out that one of the areas to focus on to succeed in applying and implementing eHealth solutions is the development of digital skills, innovation readiness and decrease resistance to change. The health workforce needs to have adequate instruments, capabilities and knowledge to face this rapidly evolving scenario, thus being fully aware and prepared to take advantage from the possibilities offered by the digital transformation in health and care.
DISH is aimed at strengthening the innovation readiness and digital skills of health and social care staff regarding development, use and implementation of digital solutions in their everyday practice.
The DISH project will equip the health and social care workforce with relevant knowledge and competencies as well as enabling them to use and implement eHealth solutions supported by national digitalisation strategies.
The objective of the DISH project is, therefore, to look into the present and future skills’ needs and develop, test and present different concepts, which will support health and care staff to better cope with the digital transformation of the health and social care sector.
Through work-based learning and training in a secure environment, the health and social care staff will replicate day-to-day situations where the use of eHealth is involved. The project therefore will deliver hands on education, in the form of on-the-job training, and provide the skills that the labor market demands from the staff. The project will use the concept of simulation in order to create a secure environment for learning.
Providing training to health and social care staff on the use of eHealth solutions and equipment will contribute to:
• implementation of digitisation strategies on local level,
• more efficient use of eHealth solutions,
• staff being more confident in their ability to use eHealth solutions,
• fewer mistakes and delays in applying eHealth solutions in treatment and care,
• time saved due to digital literacy in specific and broad technologies,
• more time spent with the patient / citizen instead of figuring out how an eHealth solution works.
Results and outcomes
The project will produce the following concrete results and outcomes:
– Creation of “Learning innovation Units”: A concept where health and social care staff, enterprises and educational institutions can work together, shaping innovative products and services and training programmes, to improve the triple helix skills and to enhance the understanding of concrete needs and challenges related to the use of eHealth solutions.
– Creation of a methodological concept : A concept on how to provide on-the-job training, providing health and social care staff with innovative readiness, digital skills and a better understanding on how to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams.
– 600 health care staff trained: In each of the DISH 6 pilot sites a minimum of 100 staff working in the health care sector will be enrolled in the Learning Innovation Units and will receive “on the job training” with real-life simulations and replicable methods.
– Assessment of the competences: Leveraging existing frameworks for skills acknowledgement and validation, DISH will develop a conceptual model to assess the enhanced triple helix skills within health and social care staff to improve their opportunities on the labor market and support mobility and recognition in their career paths.
– A sustainability and sector skills strategy: By addressing EU care providers, social partners and policy makers DISH will give concrete directions on how the project results can be transferred and up-scaled beyond the project’s end.