The European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services is open for business. It provides a much needed quality benchmark that will build trust among service users and carers; and help with service reforms. Importantly the Code supports the perspective set out by the European Commission in its Ehealth Action Plan 2012-2020.
The Code is supported by a wide range of people with expertise in the field of telehealth – both from the planning and operational perspectives. We have included their statements of support in the linked fliers.
- The European Code applies to all kinds of telehealth services – including those that provide simple remote welfare checks; social alarms and telecare; vital signs monitoring; remote assessment; video-befriending and health coaching;
- The European Code recognises all contexts of service provision – the home, the school, the workplace, the care home, prison or ship;
- The European Code embraces services that operate with all kinds of communications technologies whether using simple telephony, television and web-cams, video links through fixed or wireless telecommunication networks and using devices such as smart phones and tablets;
- The European Code supports service provision in ways that help and support users to take control over their health and, where appropriate it encourages people to self-manage and learn more about their health;
- The European Code addresses health in both its clinical and well-being senses. It is positioned, therefore, within a preventative and public health arena - as well as contributing to clinical health.
You can view and download the Code here.
East London NHS Foundation Trust Is the First to Earn Prestigious Accreditation. You can view and download the press release here.
Once an organisation has registered they receive a personalised copy of the ‘full’ Code, including the guidelines, by which they will be assessed. Examples of the guidance that relates to each clause of the Code can be viewed here.
Organisations will then be able to participate in a free training course that will help them in their preparations for assessment.
Assessments are being undertaken in a new way. The procedures have been agreed with DNV GL http://dnvglhealthcare.com/ who, building on their extensive international expertise will undertake the assessments.
- The Assessment Process does not follow the old ‘tick-box’ approach that is associated with one-off inspections;
- The Assessment Process requires telehealth services to be open about the way they operate – with declarations and key documents posted on the service website;
- The Assessment Process follows a four year cycle. First is a traditional type of "Foundation Assessment", then there are "Interim Reviews" together with an ongoing process of "Conformity (including Spot) Checks". This means a lighter touch process;
- The Assessment Process is designed to support services to reach, maintain and exceed the standards set out in the Code;
- The Assessment Process provides reassurance about service quality to governments, to regulatory agencies, to commissioners and purchasers, and to users and carers.
The first assessed and accredited service is expected by July and the new organisation that will accredit organisations is expected to be in place by August.
Additional information for The European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services was presented at eHealth Forum Athens, May 12-14, 2014, Athens, Greece
The Changing Context for Telehealth and the Role of the European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services
Ageing Society Grand Challenge Initiative, Coventry University, UK