In order to highlight the potential of eHealth in supporting the health and social ecosystem, 24 EU stakeholders designed EU guidelines for the deployment of eHealth services in nursing and social care (eHealth Action Plan 2020). These 5 EU guidelines in eHealth services relate to prevention, clinical practice (COPD), integrated care, continuity of care and nurse ePrescribing, focusing on the design of advanced roles within a vibrant, motivated and highly qualified health and social EU workforce.
Based on the work of ENS4Care partners, it becomes clear that “Integrated Care” and “Continuity of Care”, supported by ‘fit for practice’ ICT solutions, anables the shift towards community-based care, building a sustainable health and social care system. This implies the recognition that we need to be in the business of health and social care and not in the business of illness and primarily hospital-based care. Through eHealth, it is possible to shift the traditional way of managing care towards an integrated system lowering down the workload of frontline, upscaling person-centred care, enhancing patient empowerment, and ensuring continuity across the primary and secondary health and social care sectors.
To develop further the ENS4Care sustainability, the 5 guidelines are already in process of deployment in Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, the member states which have made major progress since they joined the EU. However, more needs to be done through the European Nursing Research Foundation to make evidence based policy-making grounded into European health and social care policy. The Digital Single Market is therefore genuine opportunity to realise the potential of integrated care to empower citizens.