Health care workers are one of the pillars of society. Their work touch all our lives in various ways. Health care workers operate under great amounts of pressure every day and face high performance standards. We demand high quality and precision as well as that people work fast and with great care.
The demands are high, and one could say they are almost impossible to live up to, yet we see health care workers face the challenge every day. So it is no surprise that they are now, in the pandemic, often compared to superheroes.
With increased knowledge of technology many digital solutions have been implemented to help health care workers meet those standards. When COVID-19 hit Iceland our need for digital solutions in health care and quick implementation and development increased.
In-home nursing staff was a part of this group. They are a part of our health care workers whose patients are among the most vulnerable individuals in our society. It was important to keep the operation ongoing but limit contact between employees. Before COVID-19 hit, all the employees would gather at a local workstation for in-home nursing early in the morning, and receive printed instructions for the day, before going to the homes they serviced. At the end of the day the information was entered into a computer and saved into patients’ medical records. This method had to be changed to limit contact due to new rules implemented because of COVID-19. In-home nursing in the capital region took the first step towards digital solutions to fit the new rules.
Origo has been in the frontline of developing health care solutions and developed the Smásaga app for health care workers. That development was in the final stages when COVID-19 hit. The in-home nursing in the capital region asked us to implement the app quicker than originally scheduled so patients’ safety could be guaranteed.
By using Smásaga, in-home nursing workers can document information about clients in real time through a smart phone, and transferred the information straight into Saga, the individual’s medical records. Therefore, the in-home nursing staff could avoid gathering at a joint workstation in the mornings and go straight to assist their clients. This was essential due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Smásaga proved very useful from the beginning. The former workflow included printing out sensitive information about patients’ medical records and keeping that information in paper form. Measurements and other information from visitations were then added to the paper files and not added to the digital medical records until the end of the workday. This method increased the risk of wrongly filing information. By using Smásaga it is easier to change the in-home nursing plan. If any changes happen they are immediately added to the medical record through Smásaga.
Smásaga has greatly increased quality and safety. Smásaga has, in addition, optimized the in-home nursing system. Since computers and other electronics are no longer needed for record keeping, costs of care can be lowered. It also lessens peoples driving time, which has a positive impact on the environment.
Continuing development of health care services is very important. The benefits of rethinking how we service patients and workflow can increase the quality and safety immensely.
Smásaga is being developed for use for other health care workers, for example workers in in-house patient care and for the measuring and documenting of medicine distribution.