article

Hospital resources for rational use in Uoma

By August 19, 2020December 6th, 2020 No Comments

How do hospitals benefit from Uoma?

  • Time and errors spent on transfers are reduced when manual work is replaced by a digital solution

  • Transfer delayes are reduced and patients can access follow-up treatment more quickly when places are available on a decentralised basis

  • Work comfort increases and nursing interruptions disappear when communication is done on a chat channel instead of a phone

  • Communication is harmonised when transfer-related patient data is transferred by checklist

  • Transfer statistics make patient transfer data visible, which enables the development of the unit's operations and data management

Uoma is a system that guarantees that the patient and the information related to the patient's follow-up treatment are in the right place at the right time. 

Digitalisation has made different systems a permanent part of our lives. Healthcare is no exception: in the last twenty years, paper medical records have been replaced by electronic systems and many routine tasks have been achieved through automation – digital solutions are today! Technology has created opportunities for service development and knowledge management. 

Uoma, developed to organise patient transfers and streamline the flow of information, is a unique system in its field. The staff's time is no longer spent on telephone enquiries, as Uoma provides real-time information on the reservation status and availability of treatment facilities in health centres and hospitals. Patient data relevant to safe transfer is transmitted directly to the person treating patient transfers without interruption or fear of the loss of details of the transfer.

The phone is not irreplaceable 

In patient transfers between hospitals and health centres, the search for a place for further treatment is behind complex processes. A typical problem is often that there is no up-to-date information on free follow-up places. Medical staff must be able to call the right place at the right time, and many times if necessary. 

Transferring a patient within a hospital may also require multiple calls from one ward to another, because even if the ward has a place for a patient, there may not be a place for a patient being transferred right now. Spatial data obtained through patient information systems are not combined with the availability of places: it is not known which treatment places take into account different specific needs and certain conditions of treatment.

Laborious hunting of places of care is not the only downside to telephony. The storage of patient data exchanged by telephone is uncertain due to the lack of uniform reporting methods. Requests for additional information may interrupt patient work and the possibility of errors increases when data has to be manually copied from one location to another. 

Uoma is the answer to the problems of the heavy patient transfer process. The receiving unit receives an information package on the patient made with a specific structure, and further questions can be asked on the chat channel that opens in connection with the transfer. This means that the system automatically directs the patient to a suitable location and the user checklist ensures that the relevant information is passed on and stored.

Taavi Saviauk, Ceo of Unitary Healthcare, says that the harmonisation of information and time-independent communication play a key role in organising safe and smooth patient transfers:

"Uniform practices are important for patient safety and the quality of follow-up care. With Uoma, we want to facilitate the communication of professionals, while at the same time ensuring that everyone takes a stand on the same issues relevant to patient transfer. You no longer have to rely on a phone or worry about interruptions in patient work when the information passes through Uoma. "

In addition to information, Uoma improves the discovery of suitable follow-up treatment places for the patient. The health centre is able to update its spatial data to Uoma regardless of other systems, and the view shared by everyone tells us where there are also vacancies across municipal boundaries.

Uoma deepens regional cooperation

In recent years, for example, patients in Pirkanmaa have increasingly been able to be placed in health centres outside their municipality of residence, which makes it possible to utilise the further care capacity of primary health care more widely. 

Eija Tómas, Chief Administrative Officer of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, who is responsible for cooperation between municipalities in the field of patient care, says that smooth ordering of follow-up care is an essential part of good cooperation.

"From Uoma, we receive information about the free inpatient places in health centres in the municipalities of the hospital district. If there is no free follow-up care place in the inpatient ward of the patient's municipality of dod, he or she can flexibly move to the inpatient ward of the neighbouring municipality."

Cooperation between municipalities will help to balance the capacity of health centres and units. Uoma is going one step further in enabling regional cooperation. 

Taavi Saviauk, CEO of Unitary Healthcare, says that simply sharing follow-up care facilities is not an end in itself, but the ideal is to provide the patient with the best possible follow-up care:

"Our long-term vision is to make follow-up care facilities special. It would always be a good idea to provide the patient with the best place for further treatment, taking into account different variables, from location to ability to follow up on the disease in question. Now, in Finland, the place of follow-up care is traditionally determined only by the place of residence. "

Through the utilisation of expertise, units can specialise and provide better services for patients in addition to high-quality care. When patient transfers are understood as a common entity in the area, we are moving ever closer to centralised resource management.

Towards centralized resource management

Uoma has made a huge leap towards centralised resource management, as the sharing of follow-up care facilities has been made possible. Employee resources can be taken into account in determining follow-up care places, and transfer statistics from the system help with process control. 

Seeing patient flows takes knowledge management to a new level: Uoma makes resource allocation and utilisation easier and work planning more strategic when patient transfer data is available. 

Eija Tómas, Chief Administrative Officer for Digitalisation and Information Management of the Hospital District, is also a member of the PSHP's JtoGroup at the level of group administration:

"Uoma's reports provide factual information on the number of patient transfers and possible transfer requests to support the development and management of one's own operations. In health care, you no longer have to run the operations with a mutu feel or with guesses shaken from the sleeve."

The digitalisation of the service is, at best, a reform and streamlining of operations based on a comprehensive analysis of old working methods. Sensible resource management is financially viable, takes care of work comfort and makes patient transfers smoother for everyone. Huge cost savings will also be made by getting rid of unnecessary transfers and extra time spent in hospital. After the introduction of the uoma, there is no need to spend extra resources on patient transfers.

Unnecessary patient transfers to history

Before Uoma, the optimal place for treatment was not always found, as the telephone tour did not necessarily have the opportunity or time to map all suitable treatment places. The patient could travel extra distances between health centres and the hospital, although the free place could only be a short drive away. At worst, the patient had to spend time on busy wards on call when the free places of treatment could not be known effectively.

"The county may have sent a patient to a joint emergency department with escorts that we should find a place for further treatment when the wards of their own health centre are full. Patients in need of inpatient care at the health centre are transported 50 kilometres by ambulance to the joint emergency department. As this is not an acute condition, the patient may wait for hours for someone to take control of the situation, find a place and still have to spend the night in the emergency room observation ward. In the end, the transfer will be made to a health centre in a neighbouring municipality."

Taavi Saviauk, CEO of Unitary Healthcare, says she has come across many similar cases in her medical work. According to him, such a situation cannot be born in Uoma: 

" Whenthe health centre's urgent appointment states that the cottage is full, the system automatically provides patients to the neighbouring municipality, in which case the patient is transferred directly to the ward of theneighbouring municipality and does not have to travel extra distances or spend time in buzzing environments when sick. "