Digitalising healthcare for medical staff and patients

Health workers spent large portions of their workday searching for stationary PCs to fill inn patients’ medical records, while patients spend hours travelling to the hospital for consultations. New digital services could be the solution.

Published: 5 July 2018 13:06

In the county of Nordland, northern Norway, two pilot projects are now starting within mobile health records and remote supervision of patients with home dialysis. Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke witnessed the impact these new solutions can have on health care when he and other health executives from the region were given demos at the Nordland Hospital in Bodø this week.

Time spent on treatment

For too long, doctors and nurses have had to run between patients’ beds and the office to search their records, check results from medical samples, or to see what treatment plans have been established for the patients. The efforts spent running to and from patients steals time that could otherwise be used on treating patients or other work.

“We can’t continue for it to be this way. Telenor and DIPS are now ensuring that health personnel at hospitals can use their time on what’s important, namely to treat patients and ensure the best follow-up based on easily accessible information. I’m impressed by the innovation speed in the healthcare sector,” says Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group.

Brekke also emphasises that it is important for Telenor to be an active partner in enhancing the working conditions for employees at hospitals and the welfare of the patients.

Mobile app

The Bodø-based company DIPS delivers electronic health records (EHR) to more than 80,000 employees at Norwegian hospitals and have now developed an app that can be used on a mobile phone in a secure and safe way. This happens with safeguards in place to ensure no patient information is compromised.

“Together with Telenor, we are offering a tool that simplifies the workday of clinicians and ensures more time available for patient treatment,” says Tor Arne Viksjø, CEO of DIPS.

“This technology is sorely needed by doctors and nurses all over Norway. Telenor’s e-health team often receives questions from medical personnel when they meet, such as when can I exchange my pager with a mobile, or why can’t I see my patient’s lab results on my phone? This is why we are very pleased to present a secure solution that can offer real value to the healthcare industry,” says Ove Fredheim, head of the Business market in Telenor Norway.

Dialysis – time consuming and taxing

Dialysis treatment of kidney failure is a major intervention in a patient’s life. Many have to travel to the hospital three or four times a week to receive hour-long treatments. If you have two hour travel time to the nearest hospital, the majority of your time is spent on travelling. The ambition is now that a third of patients with kidney failure will receive their treatment at home.

To carry out dialysis at home demands close supervision and follow-up by the hospital. Telenor and Nordland Hospital are now offering a solution to enable this. Previously, patients had to make extensive logs of all measurements and liquid consumption, and send to the hospital by mail or bring it to the hospital at their quarterly health examination. This was both time consuming and complex, and risked errors as it was done manually.

“Telenor and the Nordland Hospital now have a digital solution where patients on home dialysis easily can report the status of the treatment, weight, and blood pressure. Our patients are very pleased with the simplicity of the solution and this ensures that they frequently report back to us. For the hospital, it provides a better overview of the state of the patient group and enables easier prioritization of those in need of follow-up. Ultimately, it gives the patients reassurance that we have insight into their clinical pathway,” says Paul Martin Strand, CEO of Nordland Hospital.

Beate Sørslett, the hospital’s medical director, adds: “We see this as a really exciting opportunity for the needs we are now facing. With Telenor we are confident that we can expand this solution to other types of patient treatments, and also where we need collaboration with their family doctor and the local council in the treatment of the patient.”

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