What is needed to deploy telemedicine in routine care? The right context, involvement of the key people, good planning and sound “running” of the process.

The Momentum Blueprint offers critical success factors and performance indicators that help decision makers to scale up healthcare services from a distance through information technology. It also delivers a self-assessment toolkit that helps organisations determine whether they are “ready” for telemedicine deployment. The Blueprint and supporting documents are available on the Momentum website.

“Telemedicine deployment is not rocket science: it will work if the critical elements are in place” says Marc Lange, coordinator of the Momentum project and General Secretary of EHTEL. “The Blueprint distils the key learnings from the Momentum project: it can be used as a kind of cookbook or set of guidelines for doing telemedicine scale-up.”

The Momentum Blueprint builds on two earlier versions which were released in May 2014 and December 2014. As a result of the feedback from various audiences invited to validate the Blueprint as well as personnel from the Sørlandet hospital and University of Agder (in Kristiansand, Norway) who were invited to test it, the Blueprint has been substantially edited and abridged; the explanations and the order of the critical success factors were improved; and the self-assessment toolkit was added. This toolkit is a combination of the Telemedicine Readiness Self-Assessment Tool (TREAT) and Momentum’s critical success factors. Used in the right circumstances, the toolkit helps to gauge the level of readiness of an organisation by way of a comprehensive questionnaire and a consultative workshop involving all the relevant stakeholders. It ensures that the people in the organisation share the vision of scaling-up and are committed to its success.

The Blueprint comes from the Momentum project, a three-year initiative of European eHealth stakeholder associations and competence centres that was co-funded by the European Commission . The project contributed to the achievement of the second part of Key Action 13 of the Digital Agenda, set out in the Communication of the European Commission of 19 May 2010 (COM (2010) 245): “[…] to achieve by 2020 widespread deployment of telemedicine services”.

Although Momentum ended in January 2015, a mechanism and business model is being developed for Momentum consortium members to be made available on contract to help an organisation or region deploy telemedicine and share their positive experiences with others.

A proposal for support in learning more on the Blueprint and in using it can be obtained by contacting the consortium via info@localhost.

Momentum, 25 February 2015