In short, the two positions seem to reflect top-down versus bottom-up approaches:
- The TSA’s integrated code is an extension of the current matrix approach and will require its standards to be measured against performance indicators (KPI). For telehealth, these will focus on vital signs monitoring, clinical pathways and risk stratification.
- The European code is characterised as having a broader focus, covering health training, lifestyles and self-management as well as social alarms, telecare and vital signs monitoring and a flexible approach in relation to the introduction of ‘new’ technologies. Compliance with the TeleScoPe code would be based on an element of judgement rather than KPIs.
In the absence of the protagonists’ up-to-date slides from the Telehealth and Telecare event held at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh last week, here are some presented in April at Med-e-Tel. (PDFs)
Perhaps the rift reflects something deeper, such as the problem Telecare Aware has frequently observed in the variations in the use of the term ‘telehealth’ and lack of an internationally agreed definition of it.
It is a great pity that, despite all the work on the codes of practice and heartache that such a resignation brings to all parties, one has to ask ‘What is the point of having COPs at all?’ It has become clear recently [see comments on this TA Soapbox] that accreditation against them has no teeth in service procurements and that non-accreditation is proof only of ‘not belonging to the club’ and not evidence that a non-accredited service is inferior.