“Digital Health Training: Supporting patients to use technology to manage their health”
The Digital Health Training project involves co-designed resources and training for clinical staff to become ‘Digital Health Champions’.
Digital Champions already deliver informal digital skills training across the Online Centres Network; the new, specialised role of Digital Health Champion would be to enable new conversations, between clinicians and people with long-term conditions, to encourage and support the use of digital health for self-management alongside clinical interventions.
Good Things Foundation, as lead partners in this project, have been supporting the Test Bed to develop further insight into the views and needs of clinicians and health professionals regarding digital health, and, supported by the Test Bed Advisory Group, hosted a co-creation workshop to explore and challenge perceptions of digital health literacy and conduct an initial training needs analysis.
Why are we doing this?
For the past three years, Good Things Foundation has worked with NHS England to deliver Widening Digital Participation, a programme focusing on the activation of patients to self-care using digital tools and resources. The programme connected primary care services with community digital inclusion support, using online and offline resources to help patients gain digital confidence, use NHS Choices and GP online booking systems; and reflecting the findings, Good Things Foundation calculated that every £1 invested in digital inclusion by the NHS would save £6.40 in avoided GP or A&E visits, and that the true saving could be considerably higher.
However, there is not a clear understanding as to how these approaches and resources could be used by healthcare professionals to help people with one or more long term conditions (LTCs) to self-manage their health. Data indicates that digital inclusion activity is most effective when delivered in familiar settings by familiar people; tailored to personal interests, motivations and needs; and as part of other services or activities of which the user already understands the value.
In theory, this makes healthcare environments and interactions ideal opportunities for developing the digital skills and confidence people need to manage their own health using online tools.
Who is involved in this project?
What happens next?
We hosted our three digital health workshops between December 2017 and February 2018 and we would like to thank all the health professionals and patients that took part and shared their opinions and experiences.
We are now reviewing all feedback and evaluating the programme and look forward to sharing our learning (and toolkit for hosting Digital Health Workshops) in May 2018.
In the meantime, do take a look at our online resources at https://test.learnmyway.com/nhs-test-beds-resources