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Kanta data will promote health in wellbeing services counties

Publication date 28.11.2022 15.57 | Published in English on 5.12.2022 at 16.27
Press release

The Patient Data Repository and the Client Data Archive for Social Welfare Services in the Kanta services are among the nationally most important repositories of social welfare and healthcare data in our country. The data in the Kanta services are constantly developed so that they can be used more diversely in the development of the social welfare and healthcare services. The wellbeing services counties can for their part ensure that the data recorded in the Kanta services can be used in improving the quality of care, for example.

The data recorded in the services has for a long time been used for primary purposes, in other words, in connection with the services provided to clients and the care of patients. The data stored in Kanta are the data that have been recorded in health care, and partly also in social care and emergency care.

The data accumulating in the Kanta services plays an important role in the development of the health and social services today. For the data to be reliably available for knowledge-based management, uniform data structures, recording practices and well-functioning interfaces for transferring the data are needed between different operators.

Currently, not all of the data collected from the Kanta services can be fully utilised in the secondary use of the data, such as knowledge-based management or research. This is because the data has not been recorded in accordance with the information structures nationally determined by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) or the form of the data becomes non-structured when the service provider’s information system records it in Kanta.

Wellbeing services counties must ensure that social welfare and healthcare personnel can record data in structured form

The wellbeing services county must ensure that the social welfare and health care personnel can record entries in accordance with the national definitions and instructions. Errors and inaccuracies in recording weaken the usability of the data.

“The social welfare and healthcare personnel play a key role in ensuring that the data collected from the different counties are nationally available and mutually comparable. It is therefore important to train and support the personnel in succeeding in its recording,” says Mika Keinänen, Project Manager at THL.

In addition, the wellbeing services counties must ensure that the information systems in use will support structured recording and saving of the data to the Kanta services in the correct form. Some of the statutory data collected for secondary use from the wellbeing services counties are received directly from the Kanta services. The wellbeing services counties should take this into account when planning and developing their information systems.

Äänekoski as an example in the development diabetes treatment

Secondary use of the extensive data repositories of the Kanta services is developed, for example, in the Valtava project, which is part of the Toivo Programme. Laboratory data of diabetes patients in the Patient Data Repository have for the first time been transferred to THL. The laboratory data are used in the national diabetes quality register, and it has already been possible to use them in the development of diabetes treatment.

At the beginning of 2021, the peer development days of the national diabetes quality register revealed that one in two people with type 2 diabetes in the municipality of Äänekoski had worse LDL cholesterol values than recommended and that the monitoring of the values was insufficient. After the problem had been detected, Äänekoski made a decision to systematically improve the cholesterol values of people with diabetes.

As a result of improving the treatment, a significant improvement was indeed seen in the cholesterol values of people with diabetes.  In August 2021, only one in three people with diabetes in the region had cholesterol values higher than recommended.

The treatment of people with diabetes and the development of the results will be monitored in Äänekoski also in future. The aim is to be able to use the laboratory results related to the treatment of diabetes at the national level. 

“The power and benefit of the Kanta services lie in the fact that the data on them will be obtained nationally. Instead of the data being used, for example, in only three municipalities, the comparison data on diabetes can be produced for all Finnish municipalities and, in future, for all the wellbeing services counties. Improving the comprehensiveness and quality of information can be achieved through commitment and good cooperation between all actors," Keinänen says.

The production of Kanta data is developed in national cooperation

The production of Kanta data is developed in the Valtava project of the Toivo Programme in cooperation between THL, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and the National Supervisory Authority for Health and Welfare (Valvira). The Valtava Project will reform national knowledge production in the field of social welfare and health care in order to meet the monitoring, evaluation, supervision, and oversight duties of Finnish authorities.

Kela constantly develops data from Kanta for THL, which uses them to produce national comparison data.

“We process and structure the data in Kanta so that they can be utilised as well as possible,” says Anni Taanila, Project Manager at Kela. 

“With cooperation and shared practices, it is possible to make significant development steps in the secondary use of the data. This has already been achieved in the treatment of diabetes,” Taanila notes.

Further information:

Mika Keinänen
Project Manager
[email protected] 

Anni Taanila
Project Manager
[email protected]

Diabetes Register paving the way for the utilisation of Kanta data in research and knowledge-based management