Joint meeting of the EU Chief Medical, Chief Nursing and Chief Dental Officers (CMOs, CNOs and CDOs) in the EU Member States was organized in Bucharest, Romania on 21st – 22nd of March 2019.
Competences and multidisciplinary co-operation is needed to enhance the ageing European citizens’ health and wellbeing with less health care workers in the future. This topic was discussed in the Joint Meeting of the EU Chief Medical, Chief Nursing and Chief Dental Officers on March, 2019. In the official meeting there were participants from all the European countries. Three main topics were
- patients’ safety and quality of care and control of healthcare-associated infections, combating antimicrobial resistance,
- exploiting innovation and eHealth as part of care and
- enhancing cooperation to support health workforce and healthcare to support the health of population in the European Region.
In this blog, we mainly concentrate on eHealth. E-Health was seen as possibility to find new services and new solutions to better health care. It was also seen as a cost effective way to take care of the citizens’ health and wellbeing. There was discussion on how it is important to see healthcare from a larger perspective, not just hospital care, and to give primary care an important role in giving the citizens support with their health and wellbeing. Also, it was seen important to build the functional services and processes around the needs of the citizens. Yet, there was no discussion on how to combine health and social care as a functional service.
At the same time, there was discussion on how we can support health care workforce to have the needed skills and competences to work with eHealth and other technology branches. The lifelong learning and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) was seen as a very important way to increase skills and competences in the EU level.
In the meeting, I was invited to give a presentation about the Finnish Nursing Association’s eHealth strategy (https://www.nurses.fi/nursing_and_nurse_education_in_f/ehealth-strategy-of-the-finnish-/), where the main message is that nurses have an important role in developing eHealth services and, on the other hand, the citizens need to get active role in enhancing their wellbeing. I also presented two national projects about competences: 1) Project SH180 has identified new competences to all nurses in general nurse level https://blogi.savonia.fi/ylesharviointi/ 2) Project SotePeda 24/7 gives examples on how to organise multiprofessional studies and how to develop multidisciplinary competences for health and social care services in Finland. In the meeting, multidisciplinary meant mainly different professionals in health care while the project SotePeda 24/7 introduced the idea that we need larger multiprofessional groups to develop functional eHealth services, including IT and service design professionals. We also need to identify what kind of competences all of them need to have a common language to develop eHealth services.
During the breaks, there was fruitful discussion with education professionals and the presentative of World Health Organization. All agreed that there is need for future discussion on what kind of research and development work we already have on competences and how to make it visible to all, and what is still needed to increase health care workforce competences around the eHealth sector.
I would like to thank World Health Organization for giving the Finnish Nursing Association the possibility to give a presentation about their eHealth strategy and to introduce the national projects developing competences around eHealth sector from different perspectives. I also want to thank the University of Eastern Finland for giving me the possibility to take part in this meeting and present Finnish development work to EU Member States Chief Medical, Chief Nursing and Chief Dental Officers. Many thanks also to all the new colleagues I met during the trip for the future oriented discussions. Finland will take EU Presidency autumn 2019; we hope that eHealth and the competences of the professionals can be part of the EU level discussions also in future.
Writer: Outi Ahonen, project manager is SotePeda 24/7 project