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NCCP Spring Forum

Members of Telehealth Team Speak at National Cancer Control Programme Forum

Over the past 3 years the landscape of the Irish health service has changed dramatically, including an increased appetite from both service users and providers for telehealth solutions to support service delivery remotely.  The eHealth National Telehealth Programme supports both government and organisational strategies that note the expanded use of telehealth as a key mechanism to enable care delivery closer to home, earlier discharge from secondary care services, and to enhance access to services for patients and families. 

This message was recently conveyed to attendees of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Advanced Nurse Practitioner Spring Forum in Athlone by Conor Kennedy (eHealth Senior Project Manager) and Emer Sheridan (eHealth Project Manager) who spoke about the core workstreams of the Telehealth Programme: Video-Enabled Care (VEC), Remote Health Monitoring, and Online Supports & Therapies. 

Delegates were updated on data outlining the approximately 400,000 video consultations that have taken place across community and acute services since 2020, along with updates on the procurement process of a new clinical video consultation platform for the health service, and the suite of supports available to support services who wish to develop VEC services. Key to this, a detailed overview was provided of the VEC Implementation Framework; a co-designed and validated process and toolkit to sustainably embed VEC in services.

Details of the HSE’s plans to develop upon promising evidence from national and international piloting and mainstreaming of Virtual Wards initiatives using remote health monitoring solutions were also outlined, along with data from successful online mental health supports and therapies HSE internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy by SilverCloud, and text-based active listening service text50808.

Alongside a broader discussion of the future of digital health within nursing and midwifery, other eHealth digital initiatives discussed on the day included an overview of the potential application of Robotic Process Automation within cancer care services by Kevin Kelly (eHealth General Manager, Digital Workflows & Automation).  Advanced Nurse Practitioner speakers on the day also spoke about a successful remote monitoring of COPD pilot project in Donegal, and the digital cancer support initiative which provides excellent tailored, subject matter expert informed materials for those with cancer and their families/carers.