Remote health care services provide people with timely support easily and from any location. At the same time, dismantling the silos of digital service path and the silos of professional tools saves resources, enables better information flow and creates new ways of working for healthcare professionals. It enables also bringing medical resources to remote municipalities suffering from a shortage of doctors.
The clear service path for a customer in need of health services and facilitating the work of professionals will bring big savings. Depending on the source, up to 80 % of health appointments can be managed remotely. According to the calculations, new digital services will generate 50 % of the EUR 240 million annual savings sought by the health and social care reform in Finland.
In health services, the time for human to human support is the most important thing. Some of the encounters can be handled remotely through video meetings or secured messaging channels, which saves time and effort for the healthcare customer who also gets support and help faster. Especially in the field of preventive health care, telemedicine will play a major role in the future. In any case, prevention should be the main focus of healthcare reform.
In everyday work easy, compatible and practical digital tools help to focus the resources of the healthcare professional on the most important thing – people. It also opens up completely new ways of working, for example for doctors who can work from new locations.
Remote services bring help for the lack of resources
In Finland, small municipalities are struggling with a shortage of doctors and the budgetary pressure to increase salary as an incentive. This whole situation should be seen from a completely different angle: the necessary face-to-face healthcare appointments could be managed with the resources available in the community. Remote appointments and related processes could be conducted by a physician anywhere in Finland, for residents of that municipality, as part of the municipal care team.
Digitalisation of health services and e-banking – the requirement of fluency as a common factor
Banking can also be used as an analogue to the digitalisation of health services: very few nowadays would switch banking services to the old system. Compared to banking services, the health side emphasizes the need for rapid communication, encounter and support, whether remotely or face to face.
Movendos has for many years been developing remote solutions with healthcare providers. The first professional-to-customer remote support service was launched in early 2013, more than six years ago. Throughout this journey, we have always seen the great need for timely and proper remote support and remote services, but the tangible change in the way our professionals work and what their customers expect has taken time.
Fluent service paths bring savings to healthcare costs
The ease and comfort of the customer service experience and the integrity of the individual service path must be in the core of development. Far too many healthcare markets are confronted with services where digital service path and its fluency end already at the outset. The apparent digital service path is frustrating for the healthcare client.
If the chat service is fast and support is promised, there should be no stumbling blocks to delivery of services, even major delays of up to weeks – or paper and electronic documents in turn. What if an online banking service worked pretty well – someone would have transferred you money but the money would not arrive? Appointments, health scans, remote reception, and urgent and non-urgent communication should all work seamlessly and in a one-stop shop.
From the professional’s point of view, the customer’s fluent service path supports the smooth flow, collection and utilization of information. This allows professionals to use their time in the right way to meet the people face to face or remotely. Big cost savings are clear also, when the professionals can focus on the customers who are directed to them based on the right reason.
Serving people should be the basic target in the digitalisation of healthcare
Smooth and timely service paths are needed in both medical care and prevention. Whether you are experiencing acute influenza or symptoms of prolonged stress, getting the right kind of support fast is most important from a human perspective and also in terms of cost reduction. In Finland this applies to both occupational health and public sector services. For example, the health and social care reform aims to achieve significant savings through digitalisation. According to calculations, new digital solutions should bring about 50 % of the annual savings of EUR 240 million sought by the reform.
The blog is written by Paula Mäkeläinen, Account Director at Movendos Ltd. Paula works closely at the interface of service development for companies, occupational healthcare, associations and healthcare sector in Finland.
Over 350,000 Finns are already connected with Movendos-enabled health services.
Movendos Health Platform solution provides comprehensive tools to deliver customer oriented services. It enables seamless services for communication, appointment, reporting, care needs assessment, customer guidance and data collection. The secure and efficient platform is scalable and customizable as needs and operations evolve. It’s integrated in patient information system.