Mobile Health Around the Globe: Sweden Cares For the Elderly With Paraga
In Sweden, the government has the responsibility for elderly care. Those elderly that have an order to be followed at home can be patients that have been released from the hospital or those that need home monitoring services. The caregivers are either government employees coming from public organizations or privately employed individuals.
In 2006, the government tightened the law on documentation and the City of Stockholm implemented a documentation system called ParaSoL. Paraplysystem is the master system for all the social systems and ParaSoL is the provider's system for the documentation of elderly care Stockholm has about 16,000 users of the Paraplysystem in general and all staff had to be educated including about 5000 individuals working directly with the elderly. The young people involved took to the system easily, however, some of the older caregivers had no familiarity with computers and smartphones and so had a much tougher time getting used to the system. There were also some language difficulties. There are many immigrants working in elderly care and it is easier for them in general to speak a second language than to write it. Documentation is difficult as they have to take notes and enter them into a mobile system every time they visit a client.
Today, there are about 1800 smartphones distributed in all the units. Paraga works as follows:
- The caregiver gets the schedule of clients to see. He logs in when he gets to the client's house and logs out when he leaves.
- The exact time for log in and log out will be reported directly to the documentation system, ParaSoL.
- The caregiver can check the client's contact details and find the address with a map.
- The caregiver then reports the status that will be sent directly to ParaSoL (the documentation system) including any abnormality or incident. Caregivers can also read earlier notes from another user. One of the main goals of online reports is to make the documentation available in the Care Diary (an e-service) to the clients themselves or their family members. The clients (patients) have to authorize publication in the Care Diary and have to give permission to anyone who wants to have access.
We have found Paraga to be an easy, simple and more secure way of documenting the status of elderly clients The Caregiver staff can get information about the clients quickly and get updates from other users which make care giving much easier and more efficient.
Also, the documentation is more secure and more exact when it is done on site. This creates a dialogue between client and staff and elicits more participation by the client in their own health.
And all documentation is there for providers as well which is extremely efficient when client information is needed. Reports can be created and schedules planned, making elderly care consistent and effective. The patient benefits by receiving excellent care which is patient-centric and available at any time.
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