Stockholm uses city-wide mobile phone system to document elderly care

By Armin Scheuer
11:33 AM

For nearly 2,000 care workers in Stockholm, a smart phone has become the most important tool in their daily operations. The goal is to make life easier for care workers and care providers and to give relatives access to various eServices that are provided via the city's website. City officials presented the solution in a World of Health IT session during the pan-European eHealth Week 2012 in Denmark.

"The idea to use a mobile documentation solution for both public and private providers of care for the elderly was mooted years ago," said Stefan Carlson, Head of Technical Development and Administration at the city of Stockholm's IT department. After a public procurement process, an agreement was reached with Finnish IT-provider Tieto in 2007 to provide a Stockholm-wide mobile communication service. "Today there are nearly 2,000 smart phones out there that are being used on a daily basis."

With all relevant information being digitized right away, the City of Stockholm can offer eServices to the elderly or their relatives. The care documentation can be accessed via a secure web connection, so that relatives, for example, can see exactly what care was provided and when.

"The quality of documentation has improved. It is much more efficient to take care of the documentation directly at the customer's home", said Carina Lindquist, Application Manager, Social Care, for the City of Stockholm. Unnecessary driving is reduced. Every care worker can access the day's schedule immediately, without having to drive to the office first.

Expansion to medical care on the horizon

Carlson and Lindquist said that mobile documentation in elderly care has been "a big success".
"We are now planning to offer this (solution) in medical care as well. And we are planning to add new features like the eKey, a solution that uses the mobile phone as an electronic key to open the doors of homecare customers' homes without having to carry a key chain all the time", Carlson said.

Currently, all care workers are using a Windows 6.5-based Motorola smart phone to access the service. Stockholm plans to develop an app-like solution for both - the iOS and Android platforms that can be downloaded on whatever smart phone is chosen. This will in turn give more flexibility and save money for the city.

Homecare services for the elderly in the city of Stockholm are provided by around 5,000 care workers who are employed by either one of 30 public care units or by one of the around 100 private care providers.

Together, the public and the private sector share responsibility for around 30,000 elderly customers who are visited on a daily basis by the homecare service. 

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