All Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) should have access to efficient digital health and care record systems, which allow their services to use, collect and share meaningful data.
This is one of the key messages from the CSP, and other AHP Professional Bodies, in a joint letter sent to the Chief AHP Officers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Chief Therapies (AHP) Adviser in Wales.
The letter highlights the urgent need to improve the quality and provision of digital healthcare technology for AHPs across the UK, and the increasing importance of accurate data collection and sharing during the coronavirus crisis.
‘During the Covid-19 pandemic it has become increasingly clear that digital healthcare has a leading part to play in meeting the ongoing and additional demand for AHP services,’ the letter states.
‘The pace and scale of platform implementation to offer services remotely was unprecedented. However, these new ways of delivering services are not based on solid foundations.
We often lack the access to systems, meaningful data or AHP digital leadership to support the service transformation needed
‘With ubiquitous access to systems, AHPs would be able to capture and utilise meaningful data to convey the value of their services giving us the opportunity to analyse, scale up and share good practice locally, regionally and nationally.
'It would also enable us to evidence our impact, support quality improvement and service transformation to help us to understand and respond to demand and unmet need.’
Three strategic ambitions
The letter calls for the Chief AHP Officers and Chief Therapies (AHP) Adviser to commit to working with UK AHP professional bodies – and other stakeholders – to prioritize three strategic aims, which would help to ensure that:
- Every AHP in the UK has access to electronic health and care record systems that are fit for purpose
- All AHP services are able to collect, use and share quality AHP data
- AHP digital leadership is available at all levels to enable and develop these foundations
The group of AHP professional bodies add in the letter that: ‘We need collective UK action and leadership from you to support us to meet these priorities…
‘As a first step, we would like to propose that we meet as a group to better understand the current challenges and opportunities, and identify how to work together to ensure better systems, better data and better digital capability for our professions.’
Digitally ready and data enabled
Euan McComiskie, CSP digital and data lead, said: ‘Covid has shown us all and our patients how, when appropriate, digital can be an adjunct to physiotherapy service provision.
‘The CSP has continuing plans to make the physiotherapy profession more digitally ready and data enabled, and to enable our members to be at the forefront of the digital innovation that is needed to advance healthcare.
‘We will be using our existing enthusiasts and experts within the Digital and Informatics Physiotherapy Group (DIPG) to help make that happen.’
As well as the CSP, nine other AHP professional bodies are signatories of the letter.
They include the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Society and College of Radiographers, the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists.
The full letter and list of signatories is available here:
Open letter from AHP Professional Bodies to the Chief AHP Officers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Chief Therapies (AHP) Adviser in Wales
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