With ED+, we ensure continuous focus on citizens


ED+ in Fredensborg municipality

The municipality of Fredensborg has been using ED+ for over a year. Among the improvements are a more systematic workflow in the Home Care Department, greater precision when sharing information between co-workers and a higher level of professionalism and interdisciplinarity. Group leader Lis Rutkjær tells us about a more adequate workflow, a higher level of professionalism and improved consistency in the registration of changes in the citizens’ habitual state.

No observations are being forgotten now

Fredensborg municipality began working with early detection in 2013. In those early days they used a paper version of the Change Chart. But it was not until Symmetrics digital version was implemented in the Nivå Group that the department’s work processes were changed in a significant way. The platform has now been implemented in all Home Care groups in the municipality.

We began using ED+ in the Home Care Department in Fredensborg in november 2014. One of the major changes is that we can now be certain that all observations made in the patient’s home are registered and shared with the rest of the group. Previously, observations might well have been forgotten in the time lapse between visiting the patient and the subsequent meeting. It gave us a stronger focus on changes, including the apparently insignificant changes, which nevertheless can be crucial to assessing developments in the patient’s health state. They were rarely reported before. As our focus on changes has increased, so has our level of professionalism and we can initiate an appropriate plan of action at an early stage. That is a significant change.

Constant focus on all citizens receiving care

The ED+ boards serve as a means of communication and visualization for the municipality’s Home Care, facilitating their work with early detection. The boards ensure that information i shared in real time among different teams and professional groups.

The ED+ boards provide a great overview and ensure round-the-clock focus on all the citizens who are receiving care. The boards are switched on 24/7, and all our teams have unrestricted access to view status for the citizens whom they are scheduled to visit. The evening and night shifts can prioritize their schedule based on the information available on the boards. During our triage meetings, we draft plans for the citizens based on the information visualized on the boards.

The right tool for the task at hand

The ED+ app consists of eight tools, all of which are recommended by Denmark’s National Board of Health. The various professional groups use the tools to support their specific tasks.

The many tools for early detection, all assembled in one app, were a significant reason why we chose Symmetrics platform. The set-up is extremely user-friendly. The Change Chart is used each and every day by our care workers and provides the basis for triage. Dieticians use the Nutrition Evaluation tool. The Chair Test and Walking Test tool is used in the care center, when new residents move in and again a few months later. We use the Pain Assessment Scale in Home Care as well as in our Care Centers – the tool is very easy to use and provides accurate registrations.

Higher level of professionalism and cooperation

The more systematic work flow, which was a result of of ED+, came with a bonus in the form of a higher professional level and improved cooperation between the various professions involved in home care.

The implementation of ED+ has given us a big professional boost. We keep getting better to react to even the smallest changes. They are registered and discussed in an entirely new and more systematic way. Let me give an example. Previously, if one of our elderly citizens stopped watering her flowers, we watered them for her – we didn’t stop to think about why. Now we are aware that it might be a sign of deterioration in her overall health state. We register the change, we discuss it and, if deemed necessary, we act upon it. We hold joint meetings and make triage decisions together. Drawing an action plan is mandatory and ensures follow-up on the registered changes. This has resulted in a much better cooperation between the various professional groups in our Home Care Department.

Digitalization doesn’t need to be a burden

Implementation a new IT system or new digital tools at a workplace might cause insecurity or even resistance among the staff. However, Symmetrics implementation strategy, which warrants deep user involvement, customization and swift feedback, has managed to create confidence in the process, challenges notwithstanding.

We were from the onset enthusiastic about our collaboration with Symmetric, because we could see how it was going to systematize our work. Some of our staff were naturally more reticent – not everyone is keen on learning new IT systems. But we made an effort to demonstrate the platform’s various functionalities and user-friendly design, showing how smart and accessible it is. All in all it went great. The staff learned the system quickly and came to realize in the process that IT isn’t necessarily a burden. That was an unforeseen and very positive side effect, which counteracted a lot of the IT skepticism, some of our staff entertained.

Cooperation with Symmetric worked really smoothly, both during implementation and when we subsequently needed support. We write to their support department, we get a case number right away and  quick feedback. It gives us a great sense of security.