“Making an Impact Together!” – building RDI environments for social and health care services
Social and health care professionals who are in daily contact with their patients are often eager on adapting their work methods according to the patients’ needs. However, change happens slowly. The project “Making an Impact Together!” aims at creating a strong RDI ecosystem for social and health care in the Tampere region that will allow agile development.
During this project, key basic services are developed, and customer-oriented service and care chains are introduced. The project is focusing on the social and health care services for diabetes 2 patients and substance abuse care path.
“Our main goal is for everyone to discover new tools for their work and for the municipalities to benefit from developing more flexible services fitting their community,” says Anne Kivimäki, TAMK Senior Lecturer in Health care and substance abuse care path lead in this project.
Seven municipalities from the Tampere region participate in this project: Tampere, Akaa-Urjala area, Sastamala, Pirkkala-Vesilahti area, Mänttä-Vilppula, Nokia and Virrat-Ruovesi area.
Various stakeholders are participating in the project. The nurses and social workers bring in their professional and expert knowledge on the issues. On the other hand, the patients bring their experience-based knowledge. Additionally, pharmacies and other companies, which provide products and solutions, can learn more about the patients’ needs and about the social and health care system.
“Companies can find their role in this project. Their participation is vital for a sustainable RDI ecosystem,” comments Taija Karhe, TAMK Senior Lecturer in Business and service design lead in this project.
One of the RDI methods used for this project are the “learning cafés”, workshops where the participants are hosted in a safe environment to share knowledge and experiences openly. To start with, all the stakeholders were invited to a big collective workshop. The participants shared their work routines, challenges and their patients’ needs. Focused workshops are designed for each participating municipality throughout the duration of the project. In the second joint workshop, the stakeholders discussed their desired improvements and their experiences. Finally, in autumn 2021, another joint workshop will be organized. The participants will share their efforts and describe the improvements they have made and for the future.
“During the workshops, it has become evident that the primary care professionals often face the same kind of challenges in their work and are benefiting from the cooperation and knowledge exchange during this project,” notes Anne Kivimäki.
Each group has been able to evaluate their options and explore the tools and methodologies that fit them best. Additionally, they are able to share their ideas with companies who, for example, provide digital solutions for health care environments.
This project is coming to an end but the team’s goal is to encourage the communities to continue with the work they have started and continually improve social and health care.
Supporting community needs
In the workshops, the social and health care professionals and patients explored digital tools and new possibilities of improving communication during the treatment period. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, the nurses are not always able to effectively provide the care that can best suit each patient. Additionally, primary care professionals rarely have the power to make the decision of changing the work methods.
“Patients often have different needs in terms of treatment, communication or accessibility. Making services more flexible and approachable for patients is the key in successfully helping the community,” exclaims Anne Kivimäki.
As the project name states, “Making Impact Together” is crucial. The cooperation between nurses and social workers, patients and their relatives, and companies gives the power to all stakeholders to improve services and continue cooperation.
“The challenges expressed by the primary care professionals during the workshops are very important. We hope that thanks to this project, these issues will be recognized, and actions will be taken to provide solutions,” concludes Arja Halkoaho, TAMK Principle Lecturer in Health care and diabetes care path lead in this project.
Read more about the project here (in Finnish).
TAMK Senior Lecturer in Health care
Images: pixabay, Anne Kivimäki