Momentum telemedicine service descriptions
Integrated home care of ulcers (NO)
Objectives, expected outcomes, main beneficiaries
The full name of the service is the “Electronic platform for integrated home care of long lasting and chronic ulcers”.
The overall aim of the electronic ulcer treatment platform is to facilitate good and effective cooperation in treatment of ulcers between the patient, the out-patient clinic for ulcer treatment at the hospital, the patient’s general practitioner, and home care personnel in the municipality where the patient lives. (The platform covers the treatment of leg ulcers, but also other ulcers.)
The service is expected to lead to better care, better quality of life for the patient, and more effective treatment. It is also expected that the number of hospital visits for these patients will be reduced, and result in cost-savings for the hospital. It also seems to lead to the upgrading of ulcer treatment skills among the home care personnel involved.
The main beneficiaries are: patient, healthcare provider organisation, and the regional and national health authority.
Targeted population, number of patients
Broadly, the service covers two categories of patients: people with chronic conditions (e.g., who receive long-term monitoring or coaching), and patients undergoing specific treatment. More specifically, the targeted patient group is patients with long-lasting or chronic ulcers.
Up to ten people receive the service each month.
Type of telemedicine service
This service can be called a rehabilitation service, but it can also be characterised as diagnostics, mobile access to vital information, monitoring, therapy and treatment.
The relationship between key actors in the service is primary care/secondary care, and both of these with the patient.
Set-up that was being replaced
The patients using this service would be treated locally by health personnel with limited knowledge of the treatment of chronic ulcers. In many cases these ulcers do not heal without assistance from experts at a university hospital.
Some patients were referred to the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) when local health personnel were not sure what would be the best treatment. But one visit to the university hospital was usually not sufficient. The patients would often need to visit the hospital several times for complete treatment. Considerable travel across large distances and limited capacity at the university hospital made this difficult.
Outcomes and results expected after introduction
Better treatment, better quality of life for the patients, less travelling, lower expenses and upgrading of skills among local health personnel (and patients) were all expected.
It is an electronic cooperation platform for patients, the hospital, the patient’s general practitioner, and home care personnel involved in the treatment of the patient’s ulcer(s). It is possible to register digital images of the ulcers in the service, compare images over time, ask for advice, and discuss what is the most appropriate treatment to be given. The system is a web-based electronic health record for the treatment of ulcers. It is available via the Internet and can be used from both computers and mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablets.
As a result of the introduction of this service, the local health personnel (or the patient himself or herself) can send images and questions electronically from a computer or mobile device to the hospital, receive answers and discuss different options. This reduces both the number of exhausting journeys for the patients and the work burden for the out-patient clinic at the UNN.
The service is operational and part of mainstream healthcare service.
The service portal (in Norwegian) is at www.pleie.net.