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Are we speaking the language of integration or confusion?

As we continue to develop relationships with related sectors Adrian Scaife from Alcuris suggests a framework of common themes to help move towards greater integration.

I’ve just finished reading a new report from Public Policy Projects called Connecting Services, Transforming Lives The Benefits of Technology Enabled Care Services. There is lots of excellent content and it made me think about the language, we use across the TECs sector. For example,

From Section 1

The terms telehealth, telecare and telemedicine are often used interchangeably, yet there are important differences. For clarity and ease of communication, it is important that this terminology is used correctly. The widely used catch-all term is Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS).

From Section 3

TECS encompass a range of services, models and provisions across community, primary, secondary and the care home sector. Whilst there is a wide range of models of care, they can be broadly categorised into five types of service provision:

  1. a) Teleconsultation
  2. b) Teletriage
  3. c) Telemonitoring
  4. d) Reminder technology
  5. e) Assistive technologies

An important question comes to mind – how are we as a TECS industry going to work with other sectors such as health or domiciliary care if we ourselves do not have some consistent terminology or at the very least some sort of framework into which different service descriptions fit?

The one thing Health, Social Care, Housing, and Domiciliary Care have in common is a patient, service user, resident, and client – potentially all the same person! While each of us is unique there are also common threads. Don’t we all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us? (Source)

I want to propose a simple unifying framework placing the person at the centre that will help us all to better describe what we do and to be able to bring our partners onboard using some common themes. It is a variation of an existing Tunstall Healthcare model

From a person perspective there are four types of TECS services

  1. Reactive services- used at a crisis point and that minimise the consequences of an event that has already happened. Often life and time critical.
  2. Preventative- interventions that aim to head off a crisis by highlighting changes to the usual.
  3. Enabling solutions- that help us do something we could not do on our own or that help us do something that is more convenient. A good example would be the use of video to reduce social isolation.
  4. Integrated Care -services that focus on the whole person providing greater insight, leading to improved outcomes and further personalisation, through the analysis of data from multiple sources.

The diagram below sets out to illustrate how all the pieces of the jigsaw called Technology Enabled Care join together:


Let’s use and share this model widely, focus our efforts on working together with our stakeholders using common themes and enabling more people to benefit from the valuable services we all offer.

Adrian Scaife is Head of Business Development at Alcuris Ltd.


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