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Developing a guide on video contact between hospitals and municipalities

Grete Kvernland-Berg, public sector and healthcare expert, discusses the need for a "quick guide" to video communication between primary and specialist health services. This is a priority as a result of the Covid-19 situation.

Both municipalities and the health authorities have requested guidance on a practical approach to using video. Many have come up with good solutions, but are unsure of how to use them in practice, for example which treatment areas it can be used for, Grete explains to Dagens Medisin.

The article explains that Grete is the responsible partner at PA Consulting, which in March won the contract for the operation of InnoMed, a national competence network for need-driven service innovation in the health sector, for the next four years. The network is a collaboration between the regional health authorities and KS, under the leadership of Health Central Norway.

The article goes on to say that based on a survey of all the country's municipalities and input from the regional health authorities, the network will now prepare a "quick guide" to video communication between primary and specialist health services. This is being prioritised as a result of the Covid-19 situation. Grete explains: “We see a great desire to rethink in the light of the corona situation. There has been a major upheaval in the municipalities where there is much more use of video, for example by GPs”.

Grete goes on to explain that the new guide will, among other things, indicate what types of cases are suitable for evaluation on video. “There is also a desire for clarification about privacy and security. There are important issues to take into account, and we want to get legal expertise and work with the Norm Secretariat in the Directorate for e-Health, in order to be able to give specific advice on this,” she says.

She continues: “In the municipalities, they are particularly concerned about creating good patient processes with clear roles and responsibilities. We are going to set this down at a concrete level so that it will be implemented in both hospitals and municipalities.”

She goes on to state that they have no record of who is using these solutions today: “We do not have an overview of who has established contact between the municipality and hospital on video, but I know, for example, that there is very good contact between municipalities and hospitals in Helse Nord. In Bodø, the municipality and the hospital are collaborating on group therapy for gambling addiction. In Health West, for example, there is collaboration between home nursing and skin specialists in hospitals about the treatment of wounds.”

The article goes on to look at the many different systems in use in hospitals and municipalities and how we should make such contact available throughout the country. On this Grete explains: “I think the biggest challenge is that there must be equality within the health communities. The municipalities largely have Microsoft products. They do not have specialist health care options. We must assume that municipalities and hospitals are working individually on digital collaboration tools.”

Grete comments on whether a guide help if different systems are used: “Our task is not to recommend a system, but we will advise on how they can proceed in choosing a common system. The corona situation is putting pressure on us and this is needed now, so the plan is for the guide to be launched in May."

Read the full article in Dagens Medisin

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