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Spreading new ways of working with digital solutions

Published: 24 November 2016

Last week a conference was held on Sunderby hospital for sharing experiences and inspiring new ways of working with digital solutions in health care. Luleå University of Technology is one of the partners in the international project RemoAge, which tested several digital solutions presented at the conference.

The purpose of the conference was to share experiences on practical implementation processes to inspire others to get started, talk about the success factors and obstacles and difficulties along the way. It is also important to reach citizens, who have or will have need of these services, so they know what they can request from the local governments, says Marja-Leena Komulainen, Project Manager for RemoAge in social services in the county's municipalities, which organized the conference together with Ingela Johansson, Project Manager for RemoAge in Norrbotten County Council.

Obstacles and successes in projects

Project managers from Haparanda, Övertorneå, Gällivare, Luleå, Boden and Luleå spoke about their experiences of using distance-spanning technology in the RemoAge project. Remoage is an EU project that will find new ways to working to support old frail people living in sparsely populated areas in northern Europe. The aim is to find solutions that make it possible for them to stay longer in their homes. The speakers shared their obstacles and successes, for example, mobile security alarms using GPS, virtual coordinated individual plan, virtual family support, virtual rounds and night supervision.

– The project leaders recommendations is to prepare properly for the purpose and goals before the project begins, use the technology support from IT, involve managers and staff what are positive and get the work anchored in the organization, summarizes moderator Karin Zingmark, Department of Development in Norrbotten County Council.

Inform about the possibilities

Eastern Norrbotten, Kalix Hospital together with Övertorneå Health center and Neurorehab specialized care, Competence Centre for Rehabilitation Medicine in Sunderby Hospital shared their experiences of care at a distance, both in the acute phase and the planned activities.

– In order to create sustainable conditions for distance solutions, the project must take hold in the organization with the procedures, guidelines and methods on how to proceed, says physiotherapist Malin Eberhardsson.

– We must also disseminate the information about the opportunities available. It is quicker to implement the work if patients ask for these opportunities. Also, the staff must understand the benefits, says Moa Bjerner, Doctor and Medical advisor at the Emergency Department at Kalix hospital.

Designing care initiatives for resident

Elisabeth Eero, Operations Manager at the Health Center in Övertorneå, ended the afternoon to talk about the "flip", flipping healthcare, where the basic idea is to start from what is important for the residents and what they can and want to do themselves, and then design the health care efforts. The objective is to contribute to the best possible health and safety of citizens.

– The development of these new ways of working will come from rural areas here in the north and we have a 10-15 years head start from other cities in Sweden, Europe and the world.

The project RemoAge goes on til the spring in2017. During this year the implementation of this new ways of working will continue and in a year another conference will be conducted.

– There was a great interest in the conference from the county, but also from other parts of Sweden, who participated remotely by video. I think the time is right to develop new working methods with the support of the technology. Today, both health and social care are currently deficient of staff and the demand for services increases, so there is a need of finding other ways to solve the need. It's great that we have new businesses interested in developing new ways to use technology in their everyday lives, says Ingela Johansson.