Continuing Education in Digital Skills for Healthcare Professionals — Mapping of the Current Situation in EU Member States

Document Type : Short Communication

Authors

1 Department of Public Health and Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland

2 Faculty of Health and Well-being, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Master School, Turku, Finland

Abstract

The rapid advancement of technology in healthcare is creating new competency requirements for professionals, such as skills for data management and the adoption of new technologies, understanding the effect of digitalisation on clinical processes, and evaluating clinical safety and ethics within the context of digitalisation. These requirements call for improved educational curricula and ongoing continuing education in digital skills. This study, as part of the Digital Skills Training for Health Care Professionals in Oncology (DigiCanTrain) project, aims to map and describe the existing continuing education in digital skills for healthcare professionals (HCPs) in European Union (EU) Member States. Using a mapping study methodology, data was collected from experts in 25 EU countries through surveys and from online sources. Qualitative content analysis was used for categorising the data. The results show variations between countries in policy strategies, training organisation, and funding mechanisms. Educational institutions, employers, third parties, and national/regional authorities were found to be the main organisers of the digital skills training. Comprehensive accreditation systems seemed to be scarce, and practices also varied between countries. The study highlights the importance of adopting a systematic approach to enhancing continuous professional development in digital skills, which would ensure that professionals have equitable access to education, resulting in consistent, quality patient care across countries and regions. The findings offer valuable insights for policymakers, educators, healthcare institutions, and professionals. 

Keywords



Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 05 June 2024
  • Receive Date: 12 October 2023
  • Revise Date: 13 May 2024
  • Accept Date: 02 June 2024
  • First Publish Date: 05 June 2024