How to enhance digital support for cross-organisational health care teams? A user-based explorative study
Health care service provision of individualised treatment to an ageing population prone to chronic conditions and multimorbidities is threatened. There is a need for digitally supported care, that is, (1) person-centred, (2) integrated, and (3) proactive. The research project 3P, Patients and Professionals in Productive Teams, aimed to validate and verify the prerequisites for health care systems run with patient-centred service models. This paper presents an explorative study of the digital support of a cross-organisational health care team in Norway, providing services to elderly frail people with multimorbidities in hospital discharge transition. Qualitative research methods were employed, with interviews and observations to map and evaluate the information flow and the digital support of collaborative work across organisations. The evaluation showed a lacking interoperability between the digital systems and a limited support for cross-organisational teamwork, causing raised manual efforts to maintain the information flow. Tools for coordination and planning across organisations were lacking. To enhance the situation, principles for a cloud-based health portal are proposed with a shared workspace, teamwork functionality for cross-organisational health care teams, and automatic back-end synchronisation of stored information. The main implications of this paper lie in the proposed principles which are transferable to a multitude of clinical contexts, where ad-hoc based access to shared medical information is of importance for decision-making and life-saving treatment.