A recent study from Local Government Denmark (KL) concludes that the use of welfare technology has saved the municipalities over 500 million DKK from 2014 to 2016. A survey in the study also shows that the nursing staff’s work environment has improved as well as patients’ sense of security and quality.
The budgetary cuts and expectations of higher efficiency has put pressure on the health care sector in the last years. The population is living longer and having fewer kids, which means the age average is rising and therefore we have more elderly people to look after. The innovative welfare technologies enables the nursing staff to care for more patients with the same amount of ‘hands’.
Professor in Public Health, Henning Langberg is happy with the results so far: “You often see that the use of welfare technology is perceived as a cutback strategy”. This ‘scary’ image can hold back decision makers from making investments that will actually improve the overall quality for the citizen because they fear the ‘wrath’ of the media and their constituents.
The survey shows that 63 % of the employees, who work with elderly and disabled citizens say that the new technology improves their work environment.
Read the full article from Fyens Stiftstidende here (In Danish).
Odense and the health cluster
Odense is a brilliant example of how welfare technology can ease the burden of the nursing staff and make the patients feel more safe. Both the OUH and the many nursing homes around the municipality utilize much of the new available technology and the companies that develop those technologies are often situated in Odense. This makes it easier to work with the people, who actually use the technology, and therefore further improve their products to suit the needs of the nursing staff and most importantly, the citizens.
The work that is being done in the health cluster – the collaboration between the municipality, the companies and the end users (hospitals, nursing homes etc.) – helps the digital development on its way, one step at a time. It is quite a unique set-up – one of which we are very proud.
The bigger picture
These results are a part of a bigger transition in the public healthcare system that has been going for the last couple of years. A transition from a budget/production/efficiency-centered sector to a more value based sector. Value based healthcare (VBHC) is a fairly new concept, which has maximizing value for patients at its core: that is, achieving the best outcomes at the lowest cost. Moving away from a supply-driven health care system organized around what physicians do and toward a patient-centered system organized around what patients need.
All of the challenges we will face with an ageing population, even tighter budgets and new demands from citizens to their healthcare system, will be discussed in all sorts of different way at this year’s WHINN. Some of the conferences where the challenges of the future and VBHC will be the main topic, are:
- Valuebased Healthcare – How, Why and for Whom?
- New Nordic Welfare
- Big Data/Open Data – What is it and how can we use it?
- Hospital + Innovation
- WHINN Exhibition and WHINN Guided Tours
Get more information on WHINN and the conferences here.