Sunday January 29, 2023

Info systems only partially improve quality of patient work, services

Published : 24 Jan 2023, 01:44

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

About 54 percent of nurses and 35 percent of doctors and professional social workers estimated that information systems help to improve the quality of care or service.

This information emerged from surveys that were forwarded through trade unions to users of social welfare and health care information systems, said the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in a press release on Monday.

Over 9,000 nurses, doctors and professional social workers using a client or patient information system in their work responded to the surveys. Professionals estimated that they are experienced users of the client or patient information system.

“The mere introduction of information systems does not guarantee that they will be beneficial. In addition to the systems, the work community must learn new working methods and agree on common practices,” said Tuulikki Vehko, Research Manager of THL.

The clients’ ability to use electronic social welfare and health care services was also examined in the monitoring of the digitalisation of social welfare and health care. An extensive population survey revealed that the adult population is well qualified to use electronic social welfare and health care services.

However, the use of e-services was rarer in the oldest age groups. The need for guidance on the use of services varied in different wellbeing services counties: 14 per cent of Helsinki residents and 28 per cent of those living in South Ostrobothnia felt that they needed guidance.

About one fifth of the population had contacted a social welfare or health care professional via electronic services in 2020. 64 per cent of the adult population had used My Kanta during the year.

“Electronic services have established their position in Finnish health care and enabled the provision of new types of treatment to clients, such as communicating with professionals regardless of the time or place. On the other hand, the new service offering and the provision of services on varying digital platforms have caused uncertainty in many areas and excluded some of the population from these services,” said Researcher Maiju Kyytsönen.

The digitalisation of social welfare and health care has been monitored through surveys since 2010. In 2020 and 2021, six data collections were carried out to produce data for the monitoring of the ‘Information to support well-being and service renewal, eHealth and eSocial Strategy’.