Data based route planning in home care
Since 2021, Helsingør Municipality has used a data-driven model for shift planning in home care. The man behind this model is PA's public sector expert, Tommy Wiborg. He is interviewed about it here:
How did you develop the solution?
"When we entered the municipal market, we could see that support for doing data-driven route planning did not really exist. There were super talented people with great ambitions and a lot of 'silent knowledge' held on various computers and systems, post-its and excel sheets. The problem was that all that knowledge was person-driven and person-dependent. It seemed obvious that there was a need to develop a solution for this problem.
We have now developed two solutions. One solution to support data-driven route planning and one for the actual shift planning. Both solutions help to increase productivity in general and both solutions are developed in close collaboration with the public sector participants. The exercise is very much about shedding light on any big or small challenge and working in close cooperation to solve it. We therefore worked side by side with those who owned the problem – and helped translate the many different needs into the development of concrete tools and solutions.
As a result, we now have an automatic, high-tech, nuanced solution that is an addition to existing shift planning systems on the market. The solution offers the opportunity to incorporate each employee's special needs, and at the same time customise the model with an infinite number of rules, and so deliver the optimal shift schedule."
What is the most important thing a public organisation should take into account when using your solution?
"One should not underestimate how important it is to involve the entire organisation. It's one thing to introduce some brand new systems that work – it's quite another to get all your employees to start using them correctly. It is a huge challenge to get everyone on board to 'do something completely different from tomorrow'.
The change management part is therefore the most important thing a public organisation must take into account.
Many people are not used to working with data in this way, and suddenly they acquire an enormous amount of knowledge that they have never had before – and they must therefore adapt and learn how to translate those data points into everyday practice. It is a difficult exercise. Because it's easy enough to design good processes, but harder to ask what should the perfect world look like in practical terms in your everyday and working life?"
Who is the target audience for this solution?
"Initially, the target group for 'The Good Plan' is home care, but the solutions can be used anywhere you have complex planning environments. This could, for example, be in the acute units in hospitals, nursing homes or residential homes, but also in completely different industries such as hotel chains, ships or complicated warehouse functions.
It is a general and global challenge to devise shift plans to meet variable needs – and at the same time respect employee wishes, finances and the customer's interests in the best possible way."