Australia’s health workforce will become better trained in digital skills, under a strategy released today by the Australian Digital Health Agency.
The National Digital Health Capability Action Plan was put together in collaboration with the Australasian Institute of Digital Health.
“Across the health sector, concerted action is required to build the capability of the workforce so that the benefits of digital health are realised for more patients in more settings,” ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said in a statement.
“Workforce strategy development and planning requires consultation, including with professional colleges, universities and educators and employers in the public and private sectors.
“Coordination of effort is also vital, and the AIDH, with its strong existing knowledge, relationships and independence in this area, is well positioned to take on this role.”
Better digital skills, the action plan said, will improve diagnosis, treatment and management of health conditions, reduce clinical risk, improve workflows, patient flows and information sharing, enable out-of-hospital care, as well as making healthcare more transparent and more efficient.
Its three key components are to produce national guidelines for digital skills in the sector; digital education; and regulation to “require the inclusion of digital health in regulated health education”.
These will be delivered in parallel.
The skills framework is expected to take two years to complete; education and regulation will be developed over three years.
While not specifically part of the strategy, the document notes that a key barrier to the development of digital skills in healthcare is the fragmentation of systems.
“A lack of interoperability between systems and a general lack of consistency or user-friendliness makes it more challenging for health workers to learn and apply digital skills,” it states.