Self-care Portal as a Trigger for a Work Process Change: A Case from Finland
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While the innovations of the public health service make promises of better health and quality of life, individual citizens have also become conscious of possibilities of the electronic health care. However, in spite of the wishes and promises the mere technology itself is not enough. Analysed and open information about the possible advantages and drawbacks of the new technology is needed before appropriate technology investment choices could be done. A variety of Health Information Systems (HIS) applications have been described in different references. For the time being, there have been only few if any reviews of a research-based state-of-the-art on the study of HIS based timesaving changes in work processes.
Our paper presents a case study evaluating the effects and quality of an electric appointment and message channel portal (SCP) in Finland. The study shows how the web service improves the throughput of incoming patients and creates new work roles and know-how demands in the organisation. The empirical research material was collected by interviewing and observing both patients and employees in a public health centre. An important finding was that to get full benefit from the implemented appointment and message channel portal, it was advisable to modify the process even if it was not in target in the first place.
Based on future scenarios, the amount of adulthood sicknesses is increasing and need for self-care is evolving. Any instrumental tool in supporting self-care is significant in future. The implemented electric appointment and message channel portal decreased the patients’ need to pay visits to health care personnel but more importantly, it both decreased the waiting time in the process and untied time allocations for other patients to use. To support and intensify other service chains, this interactive system can be duplicated for intended and emergent project outcomes.
KeywordsICT productivity User empowerment Patient portal Appointment and message channel portal Health processes Health technology Delivering health care services Process improvement Self-care
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