South Karelia Social and Health Care District (Eksote), endoscopy care unit, streamlines patient care with the help of a mobile application. Anni Toikka is one satisfied mobile app user who received care instructions digitally.
Since August, patients undergoing endoscopic procedures at South Karelia Central Hospital have had the exciting option to download an app, through which the hospital will instruct them in preparations for their procedures.This means that the South Karelia Social and Health Care District has started testing the BuddyCare Care Coordination & Patient Engagement Platform, which digitizes the endoscopy care unit’s patients’ care pathways.
Anni Toikka from Lappeenranta city in Finland is one of the patients who has used the BuddyCare mobile app. She downloaded the app from PlayStore and logged in with an activation code, which she had received in her appointment booking letter. The app provided instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. Anni also submitted her pre-assessment form via the app.
“The app was very convenient to use. It had a timeline and reminded me of what I was supposed to do and when. The day before the procedure, for example, the app reminded me of where I had to go and at what time exactly. Being a forgetful person, for me these reminders were helpful”, says Anni.
South Karelia Social and Health Care District’s Service Manager Merja Lampinen says, “We are not planning on totally giving up supporting patients with traditional phone calls and letters if needed, but we do want to offer mobile app guidance as it belongs to the modern world. Our goal with the app is to make patients’ preparation easier and reduce pre-procedure calls from patients.”
Team Lead, Katri Toivakka, explains that “downloading and using the mobile app is suggested in a patient letter to all patients who will be receiving endoscopic procedures. However, if there is a patient who doesn’t want to use the app, it’s ok. The letter also includes instructions on how to proceed in this case.”
The BuddyCare platform is in use in many other hospital districts than South Karelia Social and Health Care District. “The platform is very beneficial for care coordination purposes for the outpatient clinics that have a large number of surgeries and small operations like ear, nose, and throat diseases.”, says Toivakka.
Positive and encouraging patient feedback
Anni Toikka describes herself as a mobile app heavy user. Using the BuddyCare app was natural and easy for her. Overall, Anni felt that she was able to navigate the app easily, but the pre-questionnaire was a bit challenging as it had many questions.
“Patient safety is very important for us, and therefore we ask many preliminary questions. The questions have been prepared in close collaboration with doctors,” Lampinen emphasizes. "We have also received new development ideas from our customers. Some patients have shown interest in digitizing all care pathways within the hospital." Lampinen continued.
"Even though the system isn't yet fully integrated into the hospital networks, it does provide other benefits. For example, a nurse can monitor patients' progress through the dashboard. The platform also makes it easy to send messages to the patients," says Toivakka.
Lampinen concludes that "different specialty care units in the hospital are interested in expanding the use of the app and the platform. Until then, we are collecting valuable data and feedback to measure the effectiveness of the solution."
If you would like to read the Eksote magazine in Finnish, click here and scroll to the page 11.
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