2012 Conference Presentation
The South Karelia District of Social and Health Services (Eksote) combines primary, secondary health care and social care in a totally new way covering 8 municipalities (130 000 citizens) that were earlier working independently. The new organization makes it possible to develop truly integrated care processes as the same electronic patient record system is used in the health care centers and hospitals of all communities belonging to the new organization.
One of the goals in Eksote is to emphasize the importance of preventive health care and to empower citizens to take more responsibility of their own health and well-being. A large number of aging people are living in less-populated areas from where it is often difficult to have transportation to centers where the social and health services are located. Eksote launched a Mobile Clinic in November 2010 to address to these difficulties. Offered services consist of nurse’s consultation as well as social services in the form of service guidance for the older people. The service structure, optimal routing and the technical requirements of the vehicle as well as functioning of wireless connections are being assessed. One goal is to be able to provide services synchronized with the already existing activities in the villages to allow people to take care of their health care needs as they are taking part in their everyday activities. Citizens can get all the needed nurse’s services from the Mobile Clinic. The nurse can for example give health guidance, conduct small operations such as removing stitches and clearing ears, give vaccinations, take blood work for analysis and take care of the prescription traffic. The Care manager can give information on e.g. various benefits available, different tools and technologies that can aid the older people in their everyday life, health risks and prevention of accidents, different services provided by the private sector such as cleaning work.
The new mobile and wireless clinic provides patient centered social and health services taking full advantage of information and communication technologies in delivering quality care. ICT enables professionals working in the Mobile Clinic to have a secured access to Eksote’s common Electronic Patient Record, Web Lab and the Internet. The nurse writes entries into the system during the consultation in the mobile unit the same way the entries are written in any other health care unit within Eksote. Eksote’s Electronic Patient Health Record (EPR) solution contains the whole medical record of a patient. All information concerning primary or secondary care as well as dental health record can be found from the same place. A health care professional working anywhere in Eksote’s region, can utilize, when needed, information on the patient’s whole care process e.g. the reasons for using health care services, any operations made and the time of being discharged from the hospital.
According to a client survey the Mobile Clinic’s services are welcomed by the citizens living in less-populated areas and the number of people using the services is increasing. The clients have been satisfied with the services they have received from the Mobile Clinic. According to the survey a majority of clients would want to receive their health services from a Mobile Clinic close their home in the future. Most of the people that participated to the survey were over 65 years old. This in part confirms that new service caters especially the needs of the aging citizens.