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Päijät-Häme: Building the future of a wellbeing services county

The digitalization of counties requires strategy, action, and technology – a holistic partnership that helps leaders, IT, and care professionals to work and succeed together. This is what the cooperation between the Päijät-Häme wellbeing services county and Futurice is about.

Digitalization as a solution to the challenges of the wellbeing services county

Digitalization helps counties meet the health sector's challenges, including an aging population, funding, and staff shortages. Key objectives include streamlining services and operations, improving cost-effectiveness, and customer and employee experience. Technology can only be used effectively if a clear shared direction, concrete objectives, and up-to-date skills exist. Most importantly, the organization’s different functions must speak the same language and work together. Change must be managed systematically and with a coaching approach.

From strategy to results – in a controlled and collaborative way

We took action in systematic and value-driven steps – from strategic planning and strategy deployment to digital development, strengthening service design capabilities, knowledge management, and adopting new technologies. Agile and goal-driven working practices stem from a jointly formulated strategy to engage management, prioritize projects, and manage the lifecycle of systems.

The achievement of objectives is monitored in the day-to-day work of the teams as part of the operating model and through knowledge management. Long-term objectives are also set, and active collaboration with nursing professionals occurs.

Impact and outcomes

  • Cost efficiency and capability: solutions to resource challenges.

  • Better everyday work: a more engaged and satisfied staff.

  • Smoother and more accessible services: improved customer satisfaction and health.

Our partnership

From words to actions: strategy formulation and support for change management

We formulated a production management and ICT strategy using participatory working methods to enable future direction and decision-making. We involved management and employees from both service production and support functions. We combined perspectives and formulated a strategy and a concrete project roadmap. We took the lead in implementing the strategy in the product manager role – building an agile approach to help set, prioritize, and monitor objectives.

Ensuring impact: approaches for development teams and digital mentors

We designed an agile, human-centered, and strategic approach for digital teams and mentors to support focus and delivery. This included templates for management prioritization, clear and results-driven quarterly targets, and concrete methods to enhance and support development. We also created team structures to help achieve the set objectives and help give the work more meaning. For example, we focused on video reception, the SuomiSote platform, Omaolo, and generally expanding the use of digital care pathways.

Putting the professional and the customer at the center: strengthening service design capability

We helped PHHVA adopt modern service design methodologies to support the smooth introduction of digital services and the development of care pathways and processes in line with the needs of customers and professionals. We supported the digital team in adopting participatory methods, for example, in designing, implementing, and analyzing customer surveys and interviews with professionals.

Benefits of digital services: support for professional implementation and scaling up of resident use

We helped teams design implementation processes that support the work of professionals. We focused on processes that save time and improve the customer experience. At the same time, we helped teams adopt change management methods and a coaching approach to leadership. We also increased the number of users of the SuomiSote platform through targeted digital marketing or growth acquisition.

Improving operational efficiency: utilizing innovations

To enable strategic development, we helped teams structure the content and requirements of the Sustainable Growth programme and clarify the needs of development teams and projects in line with the programme’s objectives. According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health evaluation team, the plan met the program objectives, and the financial contribution aligned with expectations. The project funding enabled the evaluation and deployment of new technologies where appropriate, covering software robotics and the digital platform and management model for the Power Platform (low code).

We are renewing our culture by building an digitalization operating model that open-mindedly scales to the specifics of both health and social care. The process has proven that agile development models are suitable also for the healthcare sector. As the change happens through our employees, they need an active mindset and desire to grow professionally. In achieving these things, Futurice has been an excellent partner. We gave them a lot of freedom and responsibility, and the impact has been successful.
Rami Autio
CDO, Päijät-Häme wellbeing services county

Why it matters

The strategy work triggered goal-driven service development and contributed to the commitment to the goals. The developed approach helps manage workload and focus on the essentials, improving efficiency, project turnaround times, and employee experience.

Goal-driven and customer-centric service development enhances teamwork and transparency and improves the employee experience. Focusing on customer needs enables high-quality and fit-for-purpose service delivery. A human-centric approach to deployment will improve the efficiency of digital service take-up and strengthen ownership by involving staff in the development process. It also increases understanding of customer needs and the ability to prioritize one’s own work.

A digital mentoring approach to support skills development increased the digital literacy of professionals by 20.6%. It also reduces physical and mental workload, frees up time for meetings, and engages staff by creating a natural continuum in their career path. The digital teams’ agile approach increases customer focus and the strategic impact and efficiency of projects – from ideation to maintenance. It also facilitates communication between management and teams. These models allow adaptation to a changing environment and effective knowledge and change management.

Development is enabled by correctly applied technology, which makes work more efficient, increases customer satisfaction, and provides a modern and attractive environment for top performers. However, more than technology will be needed to solve the problems. It must be accompanied by strong change management support for professionals, customers, and management.

About Wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme

The wellbeing services county of Päijät-Häme provides social and primary healthcare services to more than 200 000 residents of the 10 municipalities in Lahti and the Päijät-Häme region, Finland. The organization is responsible for public social and health services, emergency services, and employs approximately 7,000 professionals in the field, from doctors to nurses, social workers and school psychologists.

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