STC on Development of the National Telemedicine Guidelines for Primary Care in Vietnam

Background:
Telemedicine is defined as “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities” 1. Some distinguish telemedicine from telehealth but sometimes they are synonymous and used interchangeably 2. Telemedicine can be applied for the interaction between health professional-to-health professional or health professional-to-patient. According to the timing of the information, telemedicine applications can be classified into two basic types: (i) Store-and-forward, or asynchronous, and (2) real time, or synchronous. Store-and-forward telemedicine involves the exchange of pre-recorded data between two or more individuals at different times. The real time telemedicine requires the involved individuals to be simultaneously present for immediate exchange of information, as in the case of videoconferencing3. In both types, relevant information may be transmitted in a variety of media and are applied to a wide array of services in diverse settings.

Telemedicine services have been widely applied in industrialized countries and are expected to profoundly transform the delivery of health services in this region. In low-income countries and in regions with limited infrastructure, telemedicine applications are primarily used to link health-care providers with specialists, referral hospitals, and tertiary care centres5. Even though low-cost telemedicine applications have proven to be feasible, clinically useful, sustainable, and scalable in such settings and underserved communities, these applications are not being adopted on a significant scale due to a variety of barriers6.

With the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on access to medical care, there is no better time to help physicians navigate and implement telemedicine into their practices and enhance their ability to care for patients. Through telemedicine, we can triage patients and help avoid unnecessary visits to health care settings, thereby reducing exposure to the COVID-19 virus and helping to keep our front lines safe, ensuring they have the resources needed to take on this immense challenge8. The application of telemedicine is even more urgently at the primary care level.

In Vietnam, the application of online consultation between healthcare facilities has been defined in the Law on Examination and Treatment issued in 20099. This type of telemedicine application is promoted in support to health system resilience and easing transition to new normal from the coronavirus disease 2019 health situation10. In addition, a variety of telemedicine services have also been applied for provider to patient interaction, mostly in primary care setting without legal regulations and technical guidelines.

In this context, the development of guidelines and standards for telemedicine is an important and valuable process to help insure effective and safe delivery of quality healthcare. This support from WHO is to help Vietnam to develop the national guidelines for Telemedicine practice in primary care settings as a response to Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Work to be performed
Method(s) to carry out the activity
The contracting partner will perform the following activities:
– Hire 3 experts with relevant clinical experiences to develop the Guidelines. These experts will form the technical working group (1 team leader and 2 consultants) to develop the draft the guidelines, revise and finalize the guidelines according to comments from MOH and other experts.
– Conduct 2 round-table discussions to obtain comments and contributions from experts in related disciplines for the first draft of the Guidelines. The first discussion involves experts from related Departments of MOH (policy makers), the second involves experts from health facilities at different levels.
– MOH’s committee/board reviews the Guidelines: The second draft will be reviewed by a Consultation Committee/Board that established by MOH including national experts from related disciplines and agencies.
– Organize a workshop to get comments from experts, health care managers and providers from different areas and settings throughout Vietnam for the third draft of Guidelines. Based on input from this workshop, the technical working group will finalize the guidelines.
Output/s
The contracting partner should produce the deliverables specified below under the supervision of Coordinator, UHC-HLE, WHO Viet Nam:
Deliverable 1: Full TORs of the Technical working group, CV of the selected candidates
Deliverable 2: The first draft of the Guidelines
Deliverable 3: Summary reports from 02 round table discussions
Deliverable 4: The second draft of the Guidelines
Deliverable 5: Summary report of the Consultation Committee’s comments for the second draft
Deliverable 6: The third draft of the Guidelines
Deliverable 7: Summary report from the workshop to get comments for the third draft
Deliverable 8: Final edited version of the Guidelines (both in Vietnamese and English)

3. Specific requirements
The Terms of reference for the team leader of the technical working group

a) Tasks to be performed by the team leader:
– Work closely with the team members and WHO experts to develop the National Telemedicine Guidelines for Primary Care
– Ensure the technical quality of the Guidelines: review the draft guidelines (1st, 2nd and 3rd drafts) prepared by the team member and adjust if necessary.
– Coordinate among the technical working group to ensure deliverables are delivered on time
– Chair the roundtable discussions with other experts to obtain comments on the Guidelines
– Conduct the summary reports on the roundtable discussions and MOH’s comments
– Present about the Guideline at the final workshop, and facilitate the discussion around the Guidelines
– Conduct summary report of the final workshop
– Finalize the guidelines before submitting to WHO

b) Education required for the team leader:
Essential:
– Medical doctor degree from a recognized university, specialized in Family Medicine or Telemedicine
– PhD degree in relevant areas (such as Telemedicine, General Practice and Primary Care or Family medicine) from a recognized university.
Preferable:
– An Associate Professor level (or higher) personnel is preferred to provide leadership to the technical working group, as well as to foster excellence discussion and knowledge sharing throughout the process of developing the Guidelines.

c) Experience required for the team leader:
Essential:
– At least 20 years experiences working in Primary Care/Family medicine/Telemedicine
– Experiences in developing guidelines of Ministry of health
– Experiences in being a team leader and coordinating among team members
– Experiences in delivering presentation and facilitating discussion at high-level workshop
Desirable:
– Preferably involved in MOH’s previous projects/tasks on telemedicine d) Language requirements:
– Good command of English and Vietnamese both speaking and writing

The Terms of reference for the research team members (02 persons)
a) Tasks to be performed by the team members
– Work closely with the team leader and WHO experts to develop the National Telemedicine Guidelines for Primary Care
– Under the guidance from the team leader, develop the first draft of the Guidelines
– Based on comments from roundtable discussions on the first draft, revise the guidelines and develop the 2nd draft
– Based on MOH Committee’s comments on the 2nd draft, revise the guidelines and develop the 3rd draft  Consultants_TermsOfReferenceTemplate_Version2_20160329 P a g e | 4
– Based on comments on the 3rd draft provided through the final workshop, finalize the guidelines
– Support the team leader to facilitate the discussions at 02 roundtable discussions and the final workshop.
– Carry out other duties as requested by the team leader

b) Education required for the team members:
Essential:
– Medical doctor degree from a recognized university
– Master degree in relevant areas (such as Telemedicine, General Practice and Primary Care or Family medicine) from a recognized university.
Preferable:
– PhD degree in relevant areas (such as Telemedicine, General Practice and Primary Care or Family medicine) from a recognized university.

c) Experience required for the team member:
Essential:
– At least 10 years experiences working in Primary Care/Family medicine/Telemedicine
– Experiences in developing guidelines of Ministry of health
– Experiences in facilitating discussion at high-level workshop
Desirable:
– Preferably involved in MOH’s previous projects/tasks on telemedicine

d) Language requirements:
– Good command of English and Vietnamese both speaking and writing

5. Place of assignment
Ha Noi, Viet Nam

6. Medical clearance
Medical clearance is not required for this contracting partner.

7. Travel
Any travel costs will be incorporated into the APW contract.

8. Budget
Please take note of the following when submitting application:
– The contractor will be responsible for paying taxes, if any.

Those who are interested can contact our focal person with contact detail at the end of the announcement before/by 5 January 2021

  • The below paragraph to be added when necessary:
    Full proposal with estimation of costs,
  • Description of technical team, and supporting

Documents should be received on/or 05 January 2021 and should be addressed to:
Administrative Officer, World Health Organization, UN Building, 304 Kim Ma Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam
OR wpvnmapplicants@who.int

For further information on this TOR, please contact:
wpvnmwr@who.int

Candidates have to confirm having received the recruitment information through the recruiting channel NGO Recruitment in the application letter for this position

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