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Health Professional Digital Capabilities Frameworks: A Scoping Review

Authors Brice S, Almond H

Received 25 June 2020

Accepted for publication 9 September 2020

Published 2 November 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1375—1390


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Sophie Brice, Helen Almond

Department of Nursing and Allied Health, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Correspondence: Sophie Brice
Department of Nursing and Allied Health, Swinburne University of Technology, No. H21, PO Box 218, HAWTHORN, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
Tel +61 403 483 305

Introduction: The term “digital healthcare professional” alludes to a health professional with the additional digital capabilities such as information and technology. The assumption that attaining technical knowledge and skills to meet the available professional standards in digital healthcare, will engage and empower healthcare users, thus deliver person-centered digital healthcare (PCDHc), is flawed. Identifying where digital healthcare and technologies can genuinely support person-centered care may lead to future discourse and practical suggestions to build person-centered integrated digital healthcare environments. This review examines current digital health and informatics capability frameworks and identifies the opportunity to include additional or alternative principles.
Methods: A scoping review was conducted. Literature valuing person-centered digital healthcare requirements, digital health capabilities, and competencies were identified between 2000 and 2019 inclusive, then collated and considered. Using a PRISMA approach for eligibility screening, thirteen articles met the study inclusion criteria. Analysis used a thematic framework approach, which assisted in the data management, abstraction and description, and finally the explanations.
Results: Analysis indexed fifty-nine (59) capabilities, charted thirteen (n13) categories, mapped four (n4) themes, which were then interpreted as findings.
Findings: The four themes identified were Change Management; User Application; Data, Information, and Knowledge; and Innovation. The themes recognize the opportunity to align the application of technical skills towards the capabilities required to deliver authentic PCDHc.
Discussion: Holistic mindsets are imperative in maintaining the objective of PCDHc. The authors propose that debates regarding professional digital capability persist in being “siloed” and “paternalistic” in nature. They also recommend that the transition to authentic PCDHc requires refocusing (rather than rewriting) current capabilities. The realignment of capabilities towards individual healthcare outcomes, rather than professional obligation, can steer the perspective towards a genuine PCDHc system.
Conclusion: This scoping review confirms the assumption that digital skills will empower all healthcare stakeholders is incorrect. This review also draws attention to the need for more research to enable digital healthcare systems and services to be designed to realize complex human behaviors and multiple person-centered care requirements. Now more than ever, it is imperative to align healthcare capabilities with technologies to ensure that the practice of PCDHc is the empowering journey for the healthcare user that theory implies.

Keywords: person-centered, digital healthcare, capability, professional practice

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