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Health informatics – Telehealth services – Quality planning guidelines

Name: Health informatics - Telehealth services - Quality planning guidelines

Identifier: ISO/TS 13131:2014

Issuing Organisation: ISO

Country: International

Language: English

Organization website (opens in new window):

Link to standard (opens in new window):

Availability: Available to Purchase

Type: International Standard

Issue Year: 2014

Forward Review Date: 2018

Fields: Digital Health  Health and Wellbeing 

Intended Audiences: Private Sector Bodies, Professional and Trade Bodies, and Governmental and Public Sector Bodies


Aging populations are driving the demand for healthcare in many countries. Extended life expectancy will bring increased health issues for many people. Health systems are seeking to lower the demand for hospital beds by shortening the periods of hospitalization and providing more health care outside of the acute sector. The acute sector can also be geographically concentrated in capital cities which increases the potential demand for health services in primary care, community care settings, and preventative health care. Despite such measures, the demand for healthcare professionals and resources is likely to
increase across all these care settings.

The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is growing within the healthcare sector. The applications for ICT include devices and equipment that have embedded software. Originally, ICT was mainly used only within larger healthcare organizations, but has now spread throughout the healthcare sector. Applications and devices that use many types of information and communication technologies, including embedded software are now widely available for use in hospital clinics and the homes of patients or clients.

Healthcare organizations and healthcare supporting organizations can provide or support healthcare services using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to deliver health services and transmit health information over both long and short distances. The use of ICT in this way is known as telehealth or telemedicine services.

Although the use of ICT applications to deliver health care in community settings, in patient’s homes, and connect healthcare professionals is seen as advantageous, there are additional risks to the quality of health care services when delivered at a distance using ICT. This Technical Specification provides guidelines on the development of quality plans to manage these risks. These guidelines are intended for use by healthcare organizations and healthcare supporting organizations.

A quality plan identifies the desired quality characteristics, related quality objectives, and quality procedures. This Technical Specification provides examples of generally applicable quality plans applicable to telehealth services.

ISO/TS 13131:2014 provides advice and recommendations on how to develop quality objectives and guidelines for telehealth services that use information and communications technologies (ICTs) to deliver healthcare over both long and short distances by using a risk management process. The following key requirements are considered when developing quality objectives and guidelines for telehealth services:
– management of telehealth quality processes by the healthcare organization;
– management of financial resources to support telehealth services;
– processes relating to people such as workforce planning, healthcare planning, and responsibilities;
– provision of infrastructure and facilities resources for telehealth services;
– management of information and technology resources used in telehealth services.

Relevance to Active and Healthy Ageing: Medium

Older Person Specific: No

Usage / Adoption status: Not known


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