The aim of collaborative care planning is management of information transfer and planning of a patients’ future care after admission from inpatient facilities. Already in the late 1990s, the first projects with video conference supported care planning were executed in Västerbotten County. Since then, this work model is routine practice in the entire county and has been further developed both as part of the ordinary care and within externally funded projects.
Typically, care planning engages nurses from the inpatient care unit, and when needed other staff categories, such as physiotherapist, dietician, therapists and physicians joins the conference. Municipal health and social care is represented by assistance officers and occasionally district nurses and rehabilitation staff, whereas primary care is represented by GPs or other staff categories when delegated this task. The patient typically participates in the care planning together with staff from the discharging clinic. Relatives sometimes join these meetings by visiting either of the participating units, or remotely by phone or video conference. Units that work routinely with care planning using virtual technology has their own videoconferencing equipment whereas municipal or primary care staff use equipment at the healthcare centre. It is also becoming more and more common for the municipalities to acquire their own videoconferencing equipment.
Managing the care planning via video conference prevents unnecessary travels, mainly for staff from the municipality and primary care who usually have had to travel to the hospitals to participate in care planning using traditional methods. Hence, main benefits is time saved through reduction in travel and that more professional categories can join the meetings. Hence, all co-workers have the opportunity to share information that can be of major importance for the quality of care provided after discharge. Moreover, this work model reduces the administrative load, as fewer stakeholders have to be informed afterwards.
This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.