Digital Health: Developing Health Professionals’ Capacity to Support Patients

As part of the Sheffield City Region Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed, Good Things Foundation was commissioned to investigate and pilot the training needs of health professionals.

Our focus was to pilot the training of health professionals to become Digital Health Champions. Digital Champions already deliver informal digital skills training across the Online Centres Network and beyond. The new, specialised role of Digital Health Champion would focus on encouraging and supporting people to use digital health resources alongside clinical interventions, as a fully integrated part of the patient pathway.

More specifically, we were trying to answer the question ‘how can we develop health professionals’ capacity to improve digital health skills for people living with long-term conditions?’.

To answer this question, we undertook a small-scale pilot to:

  • Understand:
    • health professionals’ motivations and barriers when it comes to digital health and how that has an impact on their interactions with patients.
    • the training needs and preferences of health professionals.
  • Design, test and iterate the delivery of training to address this understanding. The resources we have developed through this pilot can be found below and are available to use.
  • Assess any resulting behaviour change in relation to digital health, with both colleagues and patients.