Implementing tele-mentoring and tele-consultation in South Ostrobothnia, Finland

03 December 2013

Among the PrimCareIT pilots, tele-consultation and tele-mentoring have been implemented and proven successful in the region of South Ostrobothnia in Western Finland.

South Ostrobothnia Health Care District hosted a pilot between hygiene nurses from Seinäjoki and Kauhava. The nurses met on a monthly basis for virtual lectures and discussions during spring 2013. Heli Orava, hygiene nurse from Seinäjoki Central Hospital, was pleased with the pilot which answered her needs on finding an easy and interactive communication method to the nurses in more remote health centres. Virtual communication between hygiene nurses continues now on a regular basis through videoconferencing - called "hygiene days".

Another pilot was carried out at the Kauhava Health Care District. The doctors have adapted their regular biweekly doctors' morning meetings as an addition to the tele-mentoring and consultation activities. The concept: short virtual morning meeting with district's chief doctor and GPs to discuss the ongoing issues, problems and decisions together.
Wednesday morning: Thirteen doctors from five different health centres are connected via screens. District Medical Officer Raimo Rintala chairs the discussion. For one hour the experts review case by case. There are some minor ones while others require a special treatment. At the end Raimo Rintala is satisfied: "These meetings are very useful. It's easier to see where the real problems are and to discuss potential solutions together." Otherwise the doctors had to drive 60 km one way in order to meet their colleagues. The virtual meetings save three hours of working time, not to mention the loss of money for travel expenses.

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