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Social care e-services leap into action during Covid-19 pandemic

The coronavirus is impacting everyday life in social care. In many municipalities, digital solutions are providing critical solutions for dealing with the challenges of the epidemic.

Carita Hirvonen / May 07, 2020

The coronavirus is impacting everyday life in social care. As regulated by national authorities, the management of the pandemic, as well as the necessary social and health care services, need to be guaranteed. In exceptional circumstances, access to basic services must be secured and special attention must be paid to those vulnerable individuals who need specific support.

In many municipalities, digital solutions are providing critical solutions for dealing with the challenges of the epidemic. Across social care, organizations are asking: How can we serve individuals customers without physical appointments? How can digital services help improve efficiencies in service processes? Specific attention has been paid to prepare for anticipated pressures on key social areas including income support and child protection needs.

Digital citizen services already available

The need to avoid physical contact is directly increasing the need for, and use of, e-services.  Many municipalities already use digital citizen services. TietoEVRY’s social care citizen services have been developed to be integrated directly with the Lifecare system. This removes the need for the professional to enter citizen data into the system separately. While the social care worker handles the assignment, the system integration speeds up the service chain.

Digitalization is at the heart of social care development, bringing efficiencies across the entire service chain; from the electronic application for social care service or notification of the need to application processing, to decision notification and implementation. The process is also transparent, with the individual able to follow at various stages.

Digital services not only reduce the need for physical appointments but minimize the need to resource phone contacts. While digital services play a key role, there will always be needs and situations where physical service is necessary, or the individual does not have the access or capability to implement or use digital transactions. However, when looking at the big picture, digitalization enhances the efficiency of social care services and frees up resources to focus on where they can deliver the most benefit.

Does pandemic contribute to a digital leap?

Digital services are an additional channel for accessing and delivering social care services. But one size does not fit all, every organization must adapt them to their own operations and processes, and even within the same social care organization, needs and practices may vary between different services.

For some municipalities, the Coronavirus crisis has already pushed for many stages of the social care service chain to be managed remotely. E-services are now being used in some areas to deliver decision notifications, reducing the need for physical posting.

These exceptional circumstances may see a huge digital leap in the area of social care. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for us to further develop solutions and functionalities - together with our customers.

 

Read more about our Lifecare solutions for social care

 

Carita Hirvonen
Head of Welfare Finland

Author

Carita Hirvonen

Head of Welfare Finland

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