Massive preparations are underway across Finland as the country’s public healthcare and social welfare system is finally being reformed at a fast pace. Both the needs for reform and the productivity expectations culminate in data systems, their integration and other technological solutions.
Media coverage on the health and social services mainly focuses on the shortage of nurses and the nurse-to-patient ratios, salary needs and the congested services. Why should tech professionals be interested in what goes on beyond the healthcare headlines?
The new wellbeing services counties will decide on major issues in terms of the economic and social carrying capacity of Finland. Well-timed, effective and easily accessible services depend on patient-centered processes and functioning technologies, innovations.
Our example comes from North Ostrobothnia, a wellbeing services county of 30 municipalities. The county now faces the integration of the data systems for the core operations and the administrative and support services in a total of 19 healthcare and social welfare organizations and two rescue departments and the systems of their ICT infrastructure and services.
The Government has earmarked roughly 400 million euros to cover the costs of the ICT changes, but counties estimate they will need up to double this amount.
The Ministry of Finance granted special funding to some counties in June and in August, and the next round of applications for funding will open in September. Now is the time to influence the way this money is spent and the benefits it will bring.
The article has previously been published in TEK Magazine 4/2022.