Building resilient health and care systems: prepare the health workforce for the digital future

19 April 2021

Skills for Health’ Thematic Innovation Ecosystem Workshop

Testimonials from the DISH project

Today’s digital health landscape is one of telehealth, health informatics, health analytics and public health surveillance systems. Yet, health workers often lack the training, skills, equipment and support necessary to adapt to this new working environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that no health system can be resilient without digital literacy and the necessary digital skills of health professionals.

A country’s ability to cultivate a digitally skilled and innovation-ready health and care workforce is one of the most important factors underpinning national success in digital health. 

Organised by ECHAlliance on April 27th 2021, the “Skills for Health Thematic Innovation Ecosystem online Workshop” will address these challenges, present examples of good practices and discuss what guidance is integral to policy strategy and action implementation.

With an eye to the identification and sharing of needs and good practices from national and international projects and networks, the Erasmus+ DISH project will present some concrete results achieved so far that are already experimenting real-life implementations beyond the project boundaries. Representatives from Norway, Denmark and Spain, of the DISH Triple Helix partners will testify how the project’s concepts have been successfully used to identify and solve digital skills improvement needs and support the diffusion of innovation in the healthcare sector. The three success stories will illustrate how important it is to create an appropriate “missing link” between the progressive digital transformation of health and care and the lack of appropriate digital skills and literacy required to fully embrace the benefits of innovations for patients, staff and health systems.


10:30 – 10:40 Introduction: ECHAlliance International Ecosystems Network: The Need for a Thematic Ecosystem on the “Skills for Health” (Andy Bleaden, Director Ecosystems and Membership – ECHAlliance) 

10:40 – 11:10 Session 1: The Upskilling and Reskilling of the European Health Care Workforce: Needs and The Policy Context 

Facilitator: Brian O’Connor, Chair – ECHAlliance

  • The European Commission Pact for Skills 
  • The EUHPP Thematic Network ‘Profiling and training the healthcare workers of the future’ (George Valiotis, Interim Executive Director – EHMA)


11:10 – 11:40 Session 2: Identifying and solving the needs for digital skills & innovation in the health sector; Testimonials from three Triple-Helixes involved in the Erasmus+ “DISH – Digital & Innovation Skills Helix in Health’ project” 

Facilitator: Natalia Allegretti, Senior International Projects Manager – ECHAlliance

  • Norway: Barriers and promotors implementing e-health technologies in municipality health care: experiences from the Norwegian Triple Helix DISH Team (Christine Øye, PhD, Professor at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
  • Denmark: A mini-guide to smoothen the successful implementation of new technologies in health care (Henriette Hansen, Team leader & Project Manager- South Denmark European Office)
  • Spain: Evidence generation to speed up digital transformation in health (Vicente Traver Salcedo, R&D Manager – ITACA, Universitat Politècnica de València) 


11:40 – 12:20 Session 3: Panel discussion on the open innovation approach to co-create the future of healthcare services

Facilitator: Diane Nevin, Ecosystem Strategy Manager – ECHAlliance

  • ‘Digital skills’ needs in the nursing sector: the impact of digital innovation on nursing (Maria Teresa Parisotto, Executive Director – European Specialist Nurses Organisation)
  • The HSE Digital Academy – Ireland: support the health care system-wide digital capability, capacity and competence (Martin Curley, Director – Digital Academy Forum) 
  • Upskilling Professionals for efficient and fast Adoption of Innovation in Health care Settings

(iRaise – EIT Health Education Programme): blended-training programs for professionals involved in innovation promotion and adoption within healthcare organizations (Rossana Alessandrello, Value Based Procurement Director- AQUAS)

  • Digital skills & curriculum development across education: workforce development provision for the existing and future health care staff in Scotland (Sanna Rimpiläinen, Research & Skills Manager- Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre)


Final conclusions and call to join the Thematic Innovation Ecosystem on Skills for Health (Brian O’Connor, Chair- ECHAlliance) 


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