Gap Analysis: Executive Summary

Gap analysis involves the comparison of actual findings with desired results.  A gap analysis was undertaken on the Survey of Current State of Needs of the eHealth Workforce performed by the EU*US eHealth Work Project in early 2017. The survey was performed to validate the current status of the eHealth workforce by assessing demographic information about its membership, identifying allocation and integration of inputs such as availability of training resources, courses, budgetary allocations, etc., and determining, identifying and documenting areas where there were needs or deficiencies.

The gap analysis that was performed reflects the current state of needs expressed by a large global community including not only the European Union and the United States, but in fact an international respondent demographic.  The respondents for the survey and gap analysis selectees consisted of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals, ICT experts, members of the public sector representing ministries of health and education, educators and academics, scientists, and others in the healthcare industry. The gap analysis also reveals the trends in eHealth and health informatics as perceived by this community of experts.

Ten major gaps were identified that corroborate previous broad findings in the eHealth industry. Therefore, the gaps are not necessarily new findings, but rather highlight areas that have been found previously to be areas needing improvement or where the eHealth industry may not be operating at its full potential. This gap analysis herewith strengthens these statements. The ten gaps address the following areas

GAP 1: eHealth knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals

GAP 2: eHealth knowledge and skills of informal caregivers

GAP 3: Knowledge and skills of teachers and trainers

GAP 4: Availability of courses and programmes at various levels and for various professions

GAP 5: Quality and quantity of eHealth training material

GAP 6: Adaptation of job descriptions, training on the job, staff development

GAP 7: eHealth infrastructure

GAP 8: eHealth usage

GAP 9: Acceptance and usability of systems

GAP 10: Shortage of health professionals and gender disparities

Also, the eHealth trends mirror points that were articulated before. They embrace

and express the opinions on barriers and facilitators of eHealth.

Thus, the unique benefit of this gap analysis is to have a sound basis to develop recommendations and curricula in every field of eHealth diffusion and adoption. It may sound disappointing that no thrilling brand new gaps were identified, however, this does not seem to be the problem. The gaps and deficiencies are known more or less for many years, solutions now must be put in place. One of these solutions is to leverage eHealth education to percolate into every niche of healthcare and raise the awareness of every healthcare professional of how to make use of eHealth tools to better patient care.

This analysis, therefore, is an instrument to effectively leverage eHealth education by shaping curricula and material according to the needs of a global community.