Learn about the Key Competences for digital health that every healthcare professional should consider, thanks to Docline.
The figures that emerge from the report by the Capgemini Research Institute speak for themselves: despite the fact that the connected health offer is expected to increase by 40% over the next 5 years, only 16% of the companies have implemented – or are considering – a digital health program.
The growth of big data and the pandemic caused by Covid-19 have meant that telehealth and telemedicine are at their peak today, but the truth is, there is still a long way to go. A path in which both public bodies and ordinary citizens have a more or less relevant role, but which will ultimately be led by health agents, who must continue to adapt to a new changing and uncertain paradigm.
Faced with this situation, what are the key competencies that every healthcare professional should consider?
The 5 key competencies for digital health
Although the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System has approved, together with the Mental Health Strategy for the period 2022-26, a Digital Health Strategy of the National Health System, in addition to investing the endowment of 675 million euros, it must be invested in the training and education of professionals so that they are part of the system itself and implement all the changes that it entails.
To accelerate this imminent digital transition, health professionals need to develop their skills in the use of new technologies.
This transformation also represents an interesting opportunity for renewal and continuous improvement in such diverse areas of the sector as information management, communication, research, innovation, teaching or scientific publication.
1. Digital literacy
First of all, it is essential that all health personnel have a basic understanding of computers and, therefore, know how to carry out daily activities using their work PC, mobile phone or tablet. We refer to activities such as browsing the Internet, managing e-mail or using the most popular word processors or spreadsheets to carry out your daily work.
The use of the most basic computer tools also requires acting ethically and consistently on the Internet (that is, taking care of privacy, protecting passwords…), being aware at all times of the dangers inherent in the use of cyberspace and the risks of sharing compromised information through e-mail in the workplace.
Likewise, it is crucial to know how to identify, contrast and evaluate with scientific criteria (because on many occasions common sense is just not enough) health websites to select those whose information is reliable and of quality and to dispense with those whose content does not have sufficient rigor.
2. Effective management of health information
As stated by some sources, the use of ICT by health personnel also requires having the ability to manage information and scientific knowledge effectively to make decisions based on evidence and to improve patient care.
This implies knowing the sources of digital information in the health sector and learning how to efficiently search, filter, select, monitor, evaluate, capture, store, organize and retrieve the content obtained through them. Similarly, it is necessary to use criteria of validity, quality and reliability to evaluate these resources.
Likewise, it is advisable to develop a critical attitude that allows adding valuable information to this information (“content curation”) and sharing it with the rest of the community. This could be the most complex point of the matter, since it implies making a more active, enriching and participatory use of ICTs in the health sector.
3. Health communication
If new technologies make anything easier for us, it’s non-face-to-face communication, and the field of health is no exception to this rule.
Thanks to technologies, devices and other types of digital channels (as well as all kinds of telemedicine software, hardware and even wearables), it is possible to improve the network connection between all health agents and patients. In this sense, it is necessary to know how to protect identity and digital reputation in the work context, as well as to know the platforms, communities and professional networks where it is possible both to share and obtain reliable and quality health information.
Those who wish to expand their scope of action by reaching a wider audience and publish and disseminate quality scientific-health content using their individual creativity must know how to use the network to do so and capture the attention of their target audience. In this case, they should also know the digital content design and production tools that the Internet makes available to them.
4. Collaborative and coordinated work
The tools and resources that telemedicine or digital health platforms make available to health sector personnel aim to facilitate remote health care in collaboration with agents from different areas. Patients are also included in this interdisciplinary equation.
For this reason, all healthcare professionals must know and know how to use the different digital tools based on «cloud» technology, as these facilitate non-face-to-face coordination and teamwork between colleagues and colleagues, as well as interaction and professional conversation.
5. Analysis and use of data
As important as the rest of the skills is knowing the sources of health data well, as well as processing them in the optimal way to extract valuable and relevant information from them in real time that facilitates clinical decision making, both when caring for a patient and when making a diagnosis or proposing a treatment.
For this, it is not enough to have the necessary knowledge to manage the databases of the most common office tools, but it is necessary to go a step further and know how to select, organize, interpret and use the data obtained from all the databases tracked, as well as distinguish those that are based on scientific evidence from those that are not.
In this sense, it is also essential to be aware of the regulations related to privacy, security and confidentiality of health data in an environment as delicate as the digital one.
The best help for health professionals
For the greater convenience of professionals in the sector when it comes to developing the key skills for digital health, it is essential to have Docline, an easy, confortable and intuitive telemedicine platform on different devices.
In addition, our solution has all the necessary security measures to protect the data of your clinic or patients safely.