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Knowledge-based management supports the development of equal and effective social welfare and health care services

Publication date 30.11.2021 13.06

One of the objectives of the health and social services reform is to ensure equal and effective health and social services for all citizens. What changes will be made in the new social welfare and health care service system and how will it be ensured that the aforementioned objective is achieved?

Information plays a key role in the management, supervision, evaluation and steering of the social welfare and health care service system. Figure 1 illustrates how information is generated in social welfare and health care and how the information can be made available to health and social services counties and authorities for the secondary use of health and social data. 

 

1. A resident receives emergency medical care  and is hospitalised

In our example, Jenni needs hospital care and she receives both health care and social sector services.  Information about the patient's health, functional capacity and treatment event is already beginning to accumulate in the emergency medical care. The data recorded in social welfare and health care services is utilised in the planning of patient and client care and services (first use) and also in the service provider's knowledge-based management and in the national authorities’ supervision, evaluation, steering and statistics (secondary use). In secondary use, the data is processed anonymised, i.e. so that the person cannot be identified from the data being processed.

 

2. Social welfare and health care professionals record customer and patient data in a structured manner

Social welfare and health care professionals who care for and serve a resident record information on the resident's care and services in a structured manner in regional customer and patient information systems, in which they can be utilised by health and social services counties for the purposes of primary and secondary use in real time. The data is also stored in Kela's Kanta services. Some data, such as emergency medical care service data, are logged directly into the national social welfare and health care database.

The harmonisation of data structures makes the recorded data comparable regardless of who recorded the data. The quality of the information recorded by social welfare and health care professionals is of great importance to how well the information can be utilised in primary and secondary use.

 

3. Health and social services county leads with social welfare and health care data

The service provider makes use of the information contained in the regional customer and patient database in daily management. Based on the information, it is possible to ensure the adequate number of personnel, predict the need for services, measure the effectiveness of care and service and the functioning of the entire care and service chain. Knowledge-based management provides new opportunities for operative and strategic decision-making in the health and social services county.

The service provider also makes use of the national social welfare and health care database in knowledge-based management. Section 29 of the new Act on the Organisation of Health and Welfare obliges health and social services counties to monitor the welfare and health of the population and to make use of this information in the task of organising social welfare and health care services.

The task of the health and social services county is to prepare an annual report on the state of social and health care and the economy in the county. The task is supported by reliable, nationally comparable, and up-to-date information and knowledge-based management tools. The Decree on the Minimum Information Content to be issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will determine the minimum information that the health and social services county needs in knowledge-based management.

 

4. The national social welfare and health care database creates the preconditions for equal services

The national social welfare and health care database supports the knowledge-based management by both social welfare and health care professionals and service providers as well as the supervision, evaluation and steering of national authorities. The renewed national social welfare and health care database contains more comprehensive, nationally comparable and up-to-date information.  New areas of information production are included, such as social welfare, emergency medical care, financial, operations and personnel, clinical quality registers, personnel size of services for the elderly, minimum information content and supervision.

Making social welfare data part of Kanta services and the national social welfare and health care database makes it possible to combine them with health care data, for example. The reform will be significant and will open up new opportunities not only for the development of health and social services, but also for the development of the health and social services activities of municipalities and joint municipal authorities.

 

5. The supervisory authorities are responsible for supervising the social welfare and health care service system

Valvira and the regional management authorities utilise the national social welfare and health care database in the supervision task of the social welfare and health care service system. The aim of Valvira and Regional Management Agencies is to develop data-based supervision processes and also to produce social welfare and health care data for the needs of other authorities and health and social services counties. Data-based supervision increases the effectiveness of supervision and helps to target the focus areas of supervision on a needs-based basis.

 

6. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is responsible for the evaluation of the social welfare and health care service system and for the statistics and registration of social welfare and health care data

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare collects and produces information for the needs of research and for the statistics and registers of social welfare and health care data and draws up annual expert assessments of the social welfare and health care service system. Provisions on the task are laid down in section 30 of the Organisation Act.

The task of specialist assessments is to examine, among other things, the state of the welfare and health of the population by population group, the availability of services, equal implementation, effectiveness and costs. The aim of the review is to support the ministries and health and social services counties that guide them in reducing inequalities between population groups and in the planning of services for special groups. In its evaluations, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare uses, among other things, the supervisory data produced by Valvira and the parties.

 

7. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the strategic steering of the health and social services system

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the general steering, planning and development of Finnish social welfare and health care activities. Each year, the Ministry negotiates with each health and social services county on the implementation of the tasks that fall under the organisation responsibility. In the negotiations, the realisation of the responsibility for organising the health and social services county is supervised and evaluated, for example, by drawing on the expert assessments of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

The annual national report prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health assesses the equal implementation of social welfare and health care and the adequacy of funding.

 

8. Equal and effective social welfare and health care services are realised through high-quality information and knowledge-based management

The information recorded by social welfare and health care professionals creates the prerequisites for the knowledge-based management of health and social services counties as well as the supervisory, evaluation and steering tasks of the authorities. Nationally comparable information enables an overall picture of the effectiveness and effectiveness of the social welfare and health care service system. When health and social services counties lead with information and organise their services to meet residents’ needs, we all receive the best possible help when we need it.

 

Social welfare and health care data refers to patient and client data from public and private health and social welfare services and information on service events. Social welfare and health care data also refers to information produced and maintained by authorities and regional data controllers in regional or national registers on social welfare and health care services or activities as well as financial, operational and personnel information related to these.