What is the European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services?
This exciting and important Code will change telehealth. It supports transformations in health and care services in a way that responds to the direction set by the European Commission. The Code provides a benchmark for telehealth service standards; and it supports reforms in health services. The Code promotes a move away from top-town and technology-led service approaches. It encourages services and their staff to recognise telehealth as the means by which technologies and related services concerned with health and well-being are accessed by people or provided for them, at a distance. Developed by the TeleSCoPE (www.telehealthcode.eu) project and introduced in May 2014, the much needed standard supports the European Commission’s Ehealth Action Plan, and fits with EU initiatives promoting a healthy lifestyle for all. DNV GL – Business Assurance was selected as the accreditation partner for the Code thanks to our respected expertise in healthcare assessment and accreditation, combined with our European and international track record in working with and supporting organisations concerned with health matters.
The benefits of the European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services
A new approach to assessment has been developed for the Code in close collaboration between the TeleSCopE project group and DNV GL. The approach to accreditation is based on a four year cycle; it offers an approach that is ‘bottom-up’ and responds to the needs and aspirations of the service users. The accreditation programme is rigorous and consists of conformity spot checks throughout the four years, including for example, on-site visits and reviews of public information provided on the service’s website. It demands that services meet a number of basic requirements - but services must also demonstrate their accountability, not just to DNV GL, but also to regulators, commissioners, users and carers.
QUOTE: "The European Code represents an important development to help health reforms in the EU. It sets a quality benchmark for telehealth services that fits well with the objectives of the Commission’s eHealth Action Plan. I encourage telehealth services to seek accreditation to the Code as a demonstration of their good practice; and I wish to see the Code being endorsed by key regulatory or government bodies in member states." Tapani Piha (Head of eHealth and Health Technology Assessment Unit) European Commission DG SANCO.