Evaluating Your Telecare Service: Improving Quality and Outcomes is primarily aimed at commissioners and providers of social care and health services who have identified technology-enabled care services (TECS) as an effective way to support the health and social care needs of their local population.
It will sit alongside the “Telehealthcare Quality Standard” and provides sufficient detail in order to frame a set of metrics that directors of social services and stakeholders can use to monitor the progress of telecare locally. At present the mostly widely used metric is simply the number of users.
Many local authorities would be interested in metrics that measured:
• Value for money
• Return on investment/benefit realisation from using technology to avoid service provision
• Improved outcomes for the individual receiving technology
• Timeliness of assessment for technology after referral
• Timeliness of provision of technology after referral
• Data on the types of technology being used e.g. whether simple or complex, for use inside the home or outside the home
So we set about pulling together a working group. In developing this document, Tunstall was referred to and I would like to thank Jim Ellam, Project Lead, Staffordshire County Council who have a well-developed telecare service and to Nathan Downing regional telehealthcare lead in West Midlands for their contribution to the development of these metrics.
In addition the ADASS West Midlands Telehealthcare Network has provided excellent feedback in the development of these metrics, in particular Sue Williams, Chair.
We didn’t intend this document to be prescriptive, enforcing one model of service on each commissioner, but wanted it to be used as a framework tool which can be adapted for each locality based on the needs of the particular area.
Technology enabled care services should be seen as an integral tool within the overall health or care package and not a stand-alone service. When used most effectively it is within an integrated approach to assessing the overall holistic needs of the individual.
So we hope this document tries to answer the question - how do we measure the outcomes from telecare for people and the overall service - and importantly supports more people to live an even better life.
ADASS Standards and Performance Network
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