ENS4Care: Evidence Based Guidelines for Nurses and Social Care Workers for the deployment of eHealth services
Innovative, high quality, safe and cost-effective national healthcare systems are dependent upon policy-makers and stakeholders developing and implementing high-quality eHealth services. The EU project “ENS4Care” will share good nursing and social work practices in eHealth services (telehealth and telecare) and – through the evaluation and consensus building – will create a set of guidelines focusing on: healthy lifestyle and prevention (WP2), early intervention and clinical practice in integrated care (WP3), skills development for advanced roles (WP4) and nurse ePrescribing (WP5).
Therefore, the project will collect best practices on:
ICT enabled Health Coaching in Prevention (WP2)
ENS4Care will support the exchange of information and experiences among different partners and will provide an overview of the range/type of eHealth services currently being used for prevention, in order to extract knowledge on the use of eHealth applications as tools to enhance healthy lifestyles that will boost prevention in healthcare from a life circle approach. There is evidence showing how to strengthen the role of nursing in the reshaping of the healthcare systems that, with the right knowledge, skills and opportunities, nurses and social care workers are uniquely placed to act as a health coach and to help prevent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), by supporting healthy lifestyle. The guidelines will therefore look into how nurses and social care workers could use eHealth services and technologies to boost prevention in healthcare.
ICT enabled Integrated Care: Clinical Practice (WP3)
In line with the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, a major focus of the work will focus on strengthening Integrated Care as a system, as an efficient way to integrate primary and secondary care, and health and social care. Evidence based clinical practice guidelines for the implementation of eHealth services in ICT enabled integrated care systems will be produced based on existing guidelines and experience within or accessible to the members of the Network. There are some examples of guidelines that have been developed along with the implementation of specific telehealth or telecare services at local level. Other examples on existing guidelines which the network will take further focus on overall aspects of telehealth and telecare services primarily addressing general concepts of telemonitoring, telephone advice, etc.
ICT enabled Integrated Care: Advanced Practitioner in Nursing and Social Care (WP4)
One of the fundamental pillars to promote high quality healthcare is through a highly educated, dedicated and skilled workforce. Specifically, the promotion of advanced roles for nurses and social care workers in ICT enabled integrated is proven to boost quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of the healthcare delivered. These roles have made an enormous difference on the governance and management of healthcare, and improve efficiency, enhance patient care, improve health outcomes, contributing ultimately to the sustainability of health systems. Large part of the debate will be dedicated to the role of nurses and social care workers and to the education and competencies they must have in order to be able to take care of patients in the more efficient way with the use of ICT tools.
ICT enabled Integrated Care: Nurse ePrescribing (WP5)
Nurse prescribing is an area of professional development which has made huge steps forward in the past few years and that is being fully implemented in several Member States (UK, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Spain, etc.). Evidence suggests that this implementation is safe and clinically appropriate (West, 2011; University of Southampton, 2011; Latter et al, 2011, An Bord Altranais, 2008), and shows that nurse prescribing improves patient care by ensuring timely access to medicines and treatment, and increasing flexibility for patients (Carey N, Stenner K 2011; Drennan J et al 2009; National Prescribing Centre 2010). Nurse prescribing is first and foremost about making a difference for patients and service users. It is about enhancing professional capacity and developing new skills that lead to services that are more patient-focused thereby delivering better outcomes. The introduction of the concept is usually followed also by availability of eHealth platforms where nurse prescriptions are managed online allowing the communication with the communities, pharmacies, social services, and hospitals. Examples where its introduction has brought measurable benefits for the care systems will be identified.