Smartphone becomes most important tool for workers providing care for the elderly

[Stockholm, Sweden/ Implementations] - Care workers providing care for the elderly in the city of Stockholm have found that having access their schedules and documentation on  smartphones has greatly improved their way of working.

The smartphones are equipped with a proprietary software solution and communicate with the care provider′s and municipal authority′s IT systems using the mobile phone network. Nearly 2,000 care workers provided with the smartphones have access their day′s schedule immediately, saving a drive to the office and giving more time to spend with their customers. The care workers can also deal with the documentation in the customers′ homes using their smartphones, which has improved the quality of data collected.

Create reports about homecare in less time

Customers and their relatives can access the care documentation via a secure web connection and see exactly what care was provided and when. The managers of the care unit are also happy as it takes less time for them to create the necessary reports about homecare. Similar systems are in use or have been trialled in several places in the UK, but giving customers access to their care data is unknown.

“Getting to that stage hasn′t always been easy,” said Stefan Carlson, Head of Technical Development and Administration at the city of Stockholm′s IT department, who presented Stockholm′s homecare solution in a session during this year′s World of Health IT conference in Copenhagen. There were concerns in the beginning about too much control and too much documentation. This is no longer an issue, however, since users have realised that it is in fact an advantage to be able to show exactly who they have visited and how often.

Carlson added, “We are now planning to offer this in medical care as well. And we are planning to add new features like the eKey, a solution that uses the mobile phone as an electronic key to open the doors of homecare customers′ homes without having to carry a key chain all the time.” [hw]

[Related information]

Innovation for the elderly: Stockholm′s care providers go mobile

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Sourced from the British Journal of Healthcare Computing, 29th May 2012.