Monthly Archives: April 2017
I was recently asked to explain the digital health marketplace in the UK and how providers are supposed to access the market. This marketplace includes, for example, telehealth, telemedicine, eHealth and mHealth products, as well as telecare.
A marketplace is formed where there is demand for a product or service, and when this demand is supplied. Of course then, markets grow and evolve over a period of time.
Within the digital health space, on the supply side there is a vast range of products and services, but the demand side is unclear. The need is there, but organisations responsible for planning and commissioning services are often unsure of how best to engage with some of the technologies available and to procure these. What works? Where do we start? Is it cost effective? How can we assess service impact?
So we could reasonably conclude that the marketplace for digital health is not well defined and has not yet matured. This is discouraging for providers, especially SMEs, and there is confusion about the best approach for accessing the market. This could even cause a provider, particularly a smaller one, to ‘give up’. This would be a shame if they had an excellent product which they were struggling to sell.
It is important for those on the demand side to be clear about what it is that they want to procure or commission, and that they are ready for adopting the technologies and services. Organisational readiness is often an area overlooked; yet this is such an important issue to address to ensure the marketplace matures and thrives.
While there are some pockets of excellent working in getting products to segments of the market e.g. acceleration programmes, processes are not the same across different geographical areas and sectors. These issues are not limited to the UK. From conversations I am having with people overseas, the situation is pretty much the same internationally.
The imbalance between the supply and demand sides of the market cannot continue.
So, what can be done?
To help shape the marketplace, CECOPS has developed the first ever International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services. This is an outcomes-focused quality framework for procurement and provision of services. It offers an end-to-end solution which addresses all aspects of the marketplace.
This new framework for the first time provides structure to the marketplace and is set to become the recognised benchmark.
Working with the Code will help to create and shape a more balanced marketplace. Following it will also help to ensure an organisation’s readiness before engaging with digital health. The Code can also act as a framework to support providers coming into the space, so that they have a clearer understanding of what might be required of them.
Using the Code within tender specifications simplifies the procurement process. As the Code is outcomes-focused, it encourages providers to be innovative. It will also help to achieve sustainable economic growth in the space; as growth for some providers is currently minimal and short-lived.
As the standards and certification body for these services, CECOPS is also able to accredit services via an external assessment.
Some of the many benefits of this new approach include:
- Marketplace development and maturity
- Brokering improved relationships in the marketplace
- Accelerating organisations to a state of readiness
- Achieving sustainable economic growth for the sector
- Simplifying procurement, commissioning and contract management processes
- Better chance of realising benefits from providers’ products and services
- Saving time and cost (by providing a ready-made framework)
- Improved quality and performance
- Local, regional, national and international benchmark and platform for sharing good practice and having a community building approach
- Improved clinical, wellbeing and financial outcomes
Copies of the International Code are available from here. The Code is free to organisations registered with CECOPS.
To find out more about CECOPS accreditation scheme or the Code, please get in touch.
Brian Donnelly MSc, CEO, CECOPS CIC
E: firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0) 7511 667 330 | T: +44 (0) 1494 863398 | www.cecops.org.uk
Having previously worked in the public sector I have personally been guilty of procuring technologies without firstly giving a lot of consideration as to how ready the organisation was to use the technologies effectively. For example, does the organisation have the right skills, resource, capacity or information systems to benefit from such technologies and measure service impact?
Not considering organisational readiness appropriately means that it is likely the technologies will not meet their intended purpose, and neither will expected benefits be realised.
This oversight is something that happens regularly, especially within the public sector. We have all witnessed it with failed local and regional technology related projects, as well as national multi-million pound IT projects, for example.
I once knew someone who bought £500K of telecare ‘boxes’ for a local authority. After 6 months the ‘boxes’ were still in a store; no one knew how to deploy and use the contents of the ‘boxes’!
On a national or even international scale, the cost of investing in technologies without ever realising their full potential or improving care to patients and users must be colossal. This is a complete waste of public funds.
Organisational readiness: For too long the focus has been on the provider and supplier end of the market; whilst this has its place, time and consideration has to equally be given to the planning and commissioning end of the market. It is in the long term interest of good providers and suppliers of technology to provide their products, solutions and services into organisations that are ready.
Not only should organisations assess their own readiness prior to committing to acquiring technologies, there is a role also for providers and suppliers to help ensure organisations are ready.
So how can organisations make sure they are ready before taking a leap into the world of technology enabled care services? This is very important now that technologies are playing more of a role in health and social care provision.
Good News: We are glad to inform you that CECOPS has some new developments which will help!
First end-to-end outcome-based International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services
We have just developed the first ever end-to-end outcome-based International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services. Following the sequential steps set out within this Code will help to ensure organisations are ready before engaging with technology enabled care services. It will also help to ensure any service implemented results in the best possible outcomes, and that the service is innovative and sustainable.
The new CECOPS Code is available from HERE. The Code is FREE to organisations working with CECOPS.
To supplement the Code, CECOPS has also developed a self-evaluation and continuous improvement tool for both planning and commissioning TECS, as well as service provision. This tool can also help with determining organisational readiness and implementing new services. There is a free trial available so you can see how it works. Details can be downloaded HERE
“..this is more than a Code of Practice; it is a map, a guide and a chaperone. It is thought provoking and a source of inspiration.” Roy Lilley, Health expert and analyst.
Get in touch: If you would like to discuss any of the above issues please get in touch.
E: email@example.com | +44 (0) 7511 667 330 | T: +44 (0) 1494 863398 | www.cecops.org.uk
Technology Enabled Care Services: Overcoming barriers and organisational readiness – by Ruth Agbakoba
Understanding the landscape of the readiness to adopt technology enabled care services in practice is a key factor in ascertaining the likelihood for successful service transformation.
There is renewed pressure to act on the opportunities that digital technologies present with the publication of government documents such as ‘Personalised Health and care 2020’ and ‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’. Emphasis is focused on the ability for organisations to proactively adapt their products, services and operations in order to embrace transformative change. Many organisations that embark on projects incorporating TECS fail at this point as they underestimate the significance of evaluation.
Organisations need to be able to assess their own readiness in order to address barriers to adoption. Barriers impeding progress include but are not limited to a lack of stakeholder engagement, insufficient strategic planning, under-developed IT infrastructure and resource limitations.
How do you know if your organisation is ready to maximise the full potential of technology?
CECOPS can help your organisation to address this transformational gap by working closely with you to identify barriers early on before there is a significant investment in time, resources and finances. We provide you with our accredited CECOPS readiness framework and iCOPS evaluation tool for continuous improvement.
We will work with you to ensure that your organisation understands its current position whilst equally accelerating it’s state of readiness to enable successful uptake, fidelity and sustainability of TECS. We also provide added value in providing a platform sharing best practice for large scale innovation.
Our work in the TECS space is based on the International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services.
Get in touch today to find out how we can support you.
T: +44 (0) 1494 863398 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Agbakoba, Digital Health Consultant, CECOPS CIC. View Ruth’s profile HERE