Health Education England publishes digital competency framework for Allied Health Professionals

Health Education England has published a digital competency framework for Allied Health Professionals, developed as part of the Topol Digital Health Fellowship programme.

With 223,991 Allied Health Professionals (AHP) registered, the framework has been developed to support the enhancement of digital competence; the knowledge and skills associated with digital technology in practice.

Developed over the past year, through various rounds of analysis and development, a list of 124 competencies across 10 domains were produced. The competencies are categorised to be ‘compulsory’, ‘voluntary’ or ‘un-required’ for the AHP role.

The 10 digital competency domains include:

  • General:  such as attitudes, behaviours and fundamental skills
  • Data management / Clinical informatics: including types, uses, structures, regulation and policies
  • Records assessment and plans: electronic health record system focused, including capturing structured or unstructured data
  • Transfer of Care: the knowledge and skills required to effectively transfer or share patient data across systems
  • Medicines management and optimisation: considering the use of effective medicines management systems (e.g. electronic prescription services, electronic or automated dispensing)
  • Orders and results management: covering digital tools which enable the requesting, reporting or reviewing the results of medical testing
  • Assets and resource optimisation: business-related and personal competencies
  • Decision support: focusing on the use of systems which advise clinical reasoning and decision making in practice through the incorporation of evidence based guidelines and recommendations
  • Digital therapeutics: a broad spectrum of digital tools integrated into clinical practices in support of normal therapy and care
  • Meta-competencies: the knowledge and skills which cover leadership and behavioural characteristics which are required to facilitate organisational or departmental digital transformation

The framework was written by Christopher Tack, clinical specialist physiotherapist and digital lead for Allied Health Professionals at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT, a project undertaken as part of the Topol Digital Health Fellowship, on behalf of Health Education England and NHS England.

The digital competency domains are aimed to support AHPs including Art Therapists, Dieticians, Drama Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Operating Department Practitioners Orthoptists, Orthotists/ Prosthetists Osteopaths, Music Therapists Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists/ Chiropodists Radiographers (Diagnostic & Therapeutic) and Speech and Language Therapists.

View the framework here. 

In September, as part of our live online series HTN Now, we welcomed Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, Health Education England who presented a session focusing on digital capabilities. You can view the session here.