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There’s a lot to be learned when hospital managers and staff from different countries get together.

Top of the learning agenda between Swiss and Scottish hospitals during summer 2019 was integrated care, and bringing health and care for patients together in hospitals and at home.

On 4-6 July 2019, eight staff members from the Spital Zollikerberg and the Diakoniewerk Neumünster Park Foundation from Zurich, Switzerland, paid a study visit to Scotland. Among the visitors were a variety of directors of centres and services, including medical informatics. 
The visit took place at the Swiss hospital’s request, and was facilitated thanks to the support of an EHTEL member.
Following wide-ranging introduction into the future of health and care in Scotland, visits were paid to the most populous part of the country. Several hospitals in a corridor which runs from the Scottish west to east coast were included, in the Lothian and Midlothian regions. Meetings were held in the country’s two largest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Hospitals and services in this corridor cover one million of Scotland’s 5.5 million inhabitants.
EHTELconnect services brought together the three supporting Scottish institutions:
- The Scottish Government
- Digital Health & Social Care Scotland
- Technology Enabled Care.
Site visits were made to:
- Digital Health and Care Institute
- Midlothian Community Hospital/Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership
- NHS Scotland/National Golden Jubilee Hospital and Golden Jubilee Foundation
- NHS Lothian/St John’s Hospital.
As Nicola STURGEON, when Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, outlined in a report:
“We want to ensure that adult health and social care services are fully integrated around the needs of individuals, their carers and other family members [..]. [A]rrangements are characterised by strong and consistent clinical and professional leadership.”
Today’s formulation of Scotland’s ideas in terms of caring for people in their own home is:
“There is no ward like home.”

study visit scotlandLooking ahead in an even more futuristic way, George CROOKS and Grant REILLY of the Digital Health and Care Institute gave some concrete insights into how personal health data and systems’ health and care data can be gathered and integrated. See the presentations they delivered during the EHTEL 2019 Symposium.

It was easy to see how both health institutions and tech companies can start collaborating. When processing data, both people and machines can learn new facts and insights, and become more intelligent about the way in which our health and care are handled.
Just one example of the transition to accessing electronic patient records came from Scotland’s Golden Jubilee National Hospital (see image on the left).
For more useful info about all these issues, download EHTEL’s study visit report from the resources section below.
For more information about EHTELconnect study visits, click here to open the dedicated web page. 





NHS National Services Scotland


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