The health and social services reform that secures the health of the people in Finland calls for letting go of the silo-like IT thinking
The guiding principle of the health and social services reform is to build services starting with the customer, as seamless customer paths that cross organisational borders. This principle, which is also essential to patient safety, means historical reforms in IT services, as well. The reform requires that we let go of the silo-like IT thinking and utilise the strengths of the different operators in a variety of ways.
The background for the reform is the need to produce health and social services more efficiently while securing their availability and quality. Organising the services with the customer in the centre instead of individual organisations has been presented as a key solution. Organising the operations with lower organisational boundaries requires a lot from processes and information systems. “The customer at the centre” is often said when talking of the health and social services reform but the understanding of the meaning of it is variable.
“It must be possible to manage the health, well-being and illnesses of Finns in a planned way: working in the right place, efficiently and at the right time,” explains Sami Rantanen, director at Digia.
From the perspective of health and social care operators, this means that the following four aspects must be in order:
1) Customer-related information must be commonly accessible.
2) There must be a place where plans can be managed consistently on how treatment is implemented.
3) Service producers must implement individual services consistently across Finland, and therefore there must be a place where the services are jointly described.
4) Eventually, these will enable customer relationship management and a comprehensive view to the customers, which, in turn, is the key to efficient, correctly timed treatment.
“The traditional, silo-like model with operations organised based on the organisation producing the service rather than based on the customer, and in which customer data is not transferred even between the systems inside an organisation, let alone between organisations, has resulted in a situation where the professionals of health and social care do not have a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s situation. A comprehensive, more planned operating model enables the shift from reactive treatment of illnesses to proactive services that support people in maintaining their health and well-being and preventing illness,” Sami Rantanen says.
The health and social care sector needs modularity—even component vendors must understand the whole
Digia offers the health and social care sector with shared accessibility of information and resource optimisation solutions, project reform consulting and total architecture design in addition to the design and implementation of electronic services.
A good example of the benefits of the new thinking and digitalisation is the service voucher and procurement service system (PSOP) implemented by Digia and owned by municipal operators and the model created around it, which has increased the efficiency in user municipalities by up to 80% while providing the municipalities’ residents with service transparency.
“It is time for the health and social care sector to adopt the policy used in many other fields to procure systems in a modular way, utilising several operators and their different strengths. With the system built one piece at a time, the IT vendors must have solid understanding of the health and social care ecosystem and the ability to work as part of it,” Rantanen concludes.
In the fresh review, Digia’s specialists present their view of what it means to place the customer in the centre of the health and social care reform, what functional changes are required by customer-centricity and how digitalisation supports the reform. Download the review here!
Head of Industry, Public administration and health and social care reform
sami.rantanen(at)digia.com / +358 40 772 2920