Toivo Programme looks to develop knowledge management in health and social services counties and national authorities

A functioning and efficient social welfare and health care service system requires cooperation between regional and national actors, a high-quality knowledge base, and evidence-based decision-making. Knowledge-orientated leadership is one of the basic prerequisites for successful social welfare and health care reform.

 

Comprehensive social welfare and health care knowledge as a basis for regional and national decision-making

In order for authorities to manage, steer, and oversee social welfare and health care service systems, they must have access to comparable information on matters such as regional finances, administration, and service needs, as well as self-monitoring data. The utilisation of knowledge generated in the social welfare and health care sector has become easier since the entry into force of the Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data (Laki sosiaali- ja terveystietojen toissijaisesta käytöstä, 552/2019) 

Secondary use of health and social data

Ran by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Toivo Programme (implementation programme for knowledge-orientated leadership, steering, and supervision in social welfare and health care) seeks to plan and develop the knowledge management capacity of the health and social services counties to be established, overhaul the knowledge production and knowledge base of national authorities, and create nationwide knowledge management solutions.

The Toivo Programme is being implemented via the Virta and Valtava projects.

 

The Toivo Programme’s benefits and impacts

The Toivo Programme will create the conditions for informed decision-making by health and social services counties and authorities. The aim is to create a unified and comprehensive knowledge base that will help health and social services counties to efficiently organise appropriate and adequate social welfare and health care services. The same knowledge base will also serve as a foundation for the monitoring, evaluation, steering, and oversight duties of Finnish authorities.

The benefits of the Toivo Programme include:

  • Social welfare and health care knowledge will be harmonised at the national level and information will only need to be recorded once

  • The need for separate data collection will be reduced

  • The social welfare and health care knowledge base will be broad enough in scope and data usability will be improved

  • Improved data security and more cost-effective knowledge management

  • Social welfare and health care knowledge will be utilised via common user interfaces, improving the timeliness and accessibility of information

 

Knowledge-orientated leadership of health and social services counties to be developed by the Virta Project

Municipalities, joint municipal authorities, and the health and social services counties to be established need up-to-date and reliable information for the organisation, management, and supervision of social and health care services.  Common operational models, tools, and knowledge management solutions are also needed.

The pre-conditions for the implementation of knowledge-orientated leadership in municipalities, joint municipal authorities, and health and social services counties are being developed by the Virta Project, which is coordinated by DigiFinland. The Virta Project aims to:

  1. Enable the management of municipalities, joint municipal authorities, and health and social service counties through reliable and up-to-date knowledge based on uniform, nationally defined information models  

  2. Develop expertise in knowledge-orientated leadership at the organisational level

  3. Promote coherence in the content of knowledge-orientated leadership and national monitoring

 

Valtava Project seeks to reform the national social welfare and health care knowledge base

The Valtava Project will reform national knowledge production in the field of social welfare and health care in order to meet the knowledge management needs of health and social services counties and the monitoring, evaluation, supervision, and oversight duties of Finnish authorities.

As a result of the reform, the authorities and the health and social services counties to be established will have access to comprehensive, up-to-date, and high-quality knowledge from both the health care and social welfare sectors. The harmonisation of knowledge in these sectors will lead to information being uniform and comparable at the national level.

The Valtava Project seeks to modernise existing knowledge production channels and establish new ones, such as those used to generate data on the staffing ratios and operational capacity of services for older people, as well as financial, operational, and personnel data. New production channels such as these enable more accurate evaluation and supervision of the service system.

A national IT infrastructure will also be developed through the project and this will enable automated knowledge management and the utilisation of social welfare and health care knowledge through a single interface.

The Valtava Project is the result of cooperation between the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira).

 

Common knowledge base set to improve comparability between the health and social services counties to be established

The aim of the Toivo Programme is to ensure that the health and social services counties to be established use the same national knowledge base as the authorities in their monitoring, evaluation, steering, and supervision duties. Ideally, the Toivo Programme would result in an even greater proportion of this knowledge base being obtained directly from customer and patient record systems.

A uniform and national knowledge base increases the comparability of health and social services counties and the opportunities residents in these counties have to access comparable and high-quality social welfare and health care services.

The Toivo Programme will also positively impact on the duties of authorities in the following ways:

  • An up-to-date, high-quality, and equitable social welfare and health care knowledge base makes evidence-based monitoring, evaluation, steering, and supervision possible at the national level.

  • The quality of the information reported by the health and social services counties to the authorities will improve, and this will consequently improve the quality of the indicators on which the evaluation of the counties is based, as well as the quality of the evaluations themselves.

  • A comprehensive social welfare and health care knowledge base enables comparisons between service providers and increases equality. The necessary development measures can be identified in time.

  • Cooperation between municipalities, joint municipal authorities, and national authorities increases, which improves transparency and uniformity at both the regional and national levels.

 

Further information:

Juhana Valo, Project Manager, Toivo Programme, Ministry for Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 (0)295 163 523, email: [email protected]

Elina Välikangas, Project Manager, Virta Project, DigiFinland, tel. +358 (0)50 517 4417, email: [email protected]

Maarit Rötsä, Project Manager, Valtava Project, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. +358 (0)295 247 276, email: [email protected]

Leena Piponius, Head of Communications, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. +358 (0)29 524 7890, email: [email protected]