By analysing recent telemedicine practices, experts from across Europe found these 18 critical success factors for deploying telemedicine:
- Check that there is cultural readiness towards telemedicine;
- Ensure leadership through a champion;
- Identify a compelling need;
- Put together the resources needed for deployment and sustainability;
- Address the needs of the primary client(s);
- Involve healthcare professionals and decision makers;
- Prepare and implement a business plan;
- Prepare and implement a change management plan;
- Put the patient at the centre of the service;
- Establish that the service is legal;
- Ask advice from legal, ethical, privacy and security experts;
- Apply relevant legal and security guidelines;
- Ensure that telemedicine doers and users have "privacy awareness";
- Ensure that the IT and eHealth infrastructures needed are in place;
- Ensure that the technology is user-friendly;
- Monitor the service;
- Maintain good practices in vendor relations;
- Guarantee that the technology has the potential for scale-up (i.e., "think big").
"Telemedicine - care where the healthcare professional and the patient are not in the same room - holds promise for European healthcare systems", says Momentum project coordinator Marc Lange. "Its widespread deployment will help to improve safety, quality and efficiency of care, and to ensure that citizens have access to healthcare services when they need it."
Helping the "doers"
Lange: "Telemedicine in Europe suffers from 'pilotitis': A glut of technology experiments that have received start-up subsidies from public or commercial sources to get them off the ground, but which cease to exist once the subsidy is withdrawn. These success factors will help the 'doers' move their projects into routine care and scale them up to provide real benefits to patients in Europe."
The Momentum project convenes telemedicine experts and stakeholder organisations from over 20 organisations in Europe. The final outcome of the project will be a blueprint for telemedicine deployment which will be published in December 2014.
Join the network
All interested parties are invited to comment on the critical success factors, to submit successful practices, and to join the Momentum network. More dissemination events will be held between May and September 2014.
For an ongoing list and more information go to www.telemedicine-momentum.eu.