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Partners of the ENS4Care project presented the final guidelines for the deployment of eHealth by nurses and social workers to policy-makers on 8 December 2015 at the European Innovation Summit. The acceptance of eHealth by health and social care professionals is fundamental in order for it to be taken up successfully across Europe.

Partners of the ENS4Care project presented the final guidelines for the deployment of eHealth by nurses and social workers to policy-makers on 8 December 2015 at the European Innovation Summit. The acceptance of eHealth by health and social care professionals is fundamental in order for it to be taken up successfully across Europe.

Over the last two years, the partners of the ENS4Care project, including EPHA, have developed eHealth deployment guidelines in five different areas (healthy lifestyle and prevention, clinical practice, integrated care, skills development for advanced roles and nurse ePrescribing) for the benefit of nurses and social workers across Europe. An event in the European Parliament hosted by MEP Alojz Peterle (EPP, Slovenia) underlined eHealth’s role in prevention and health promotion, and concluded the project by presenting recommendations to EU policy-makers.

An overview of the ENS4Care project is provided in this documentary, which is also available in a 1-minute version.

Project leader Paul de Raeve of the European Federation of Nurses Associations underlined that only a well-designed EU health and social workforce with the right evidence-based tools will be ready to address front-line concerns and offer high quality, patient-centred care. A political commitment is key to strengthening the design of integrated care, in which continuity of care and prevention are well embedded.

EPHA Board member Peggy Maguire representing the European Institute of Women’s Health points out new technology is often not ’gender neutral’: solutions are ill-adapted to the needs of women who occupy multiple roles. e.g. workers, mothers and wives, family managers and carers for the elderly. Given these constraints, Maguire said it was important that eHealth solutions were user-friendly and tailored to women’s specific roles and responsibilities, also in the workplace.

The European Commission, represented by Peteris Zilgalvis from DG CONNECT and Tapani Piha from DG SANTE, welcomed the guidelines in the context of increased need for IT skills and competences in digital healthcare systems, and other developments such as ’Big Data’ and self-care undertaken by patients. Mr Zilgalvis made the link between the guidelines and implementation of the eHealth Action Plan and as a follow-up to the Commission’s Green Paper on mobile Health, stressing that eHealth is merely a tool at the service of nurses and other health professionals.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the project, the European Nursing Research Foundation (ENRF) has been created, which will collect, analyse and present evidence on outcomes and deployment, which will aid political decision making and ensure eHealth’s integration into the health and social ecosystem.

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