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C. Gjellebæk1, A. Svensson2, C. Bjørkquist3

1Ostfold University College (NORWAY)
2University West (SWEDEN)
3Østfold University College (NORWAY)
In the years to come the majority of the countries will face vast challenges making compliance between people in need of health care and resources available to meet those needs. Despite that telehealth and telecare interventions are considered a solution to the current challenges, the use of assistive technology is not very well developed and the potential is far from exploited. Furthermore, demands on healthcare services will transform working life and workplace practice and thus the occupational requirements related to providing those services. The aim of this study is to explore the need for competence development among managers and professionals in municipal healthcare services in Norway and Sweden when applying new technology. The research question is how managers and professionals can meet the demand for changed competence requirements when applying new technology and developing new ways of providing services.

This study forms part of an “Interreg Sweden-Norway”-project. Four group interviews were conducted, two in Norway and two in Sweden. Each group consisted of six to ten participants. In each country, there was one group consisting of managers within healthcare services, and one group of assistant nurses, nurses and physical and occupational therapists working close to the patients. Moreover, one interview was conducted with two participants from an IT-department. The interviews were transcribed and data were analyzed using content analysis.

The different municipalities in Sweden and Norway have some experiences with telehealth and telecare interventions as part of the healthcare service. The majority have tried out different kinds of technology in small scale-projects. However, the introduction of technology in healthcare services implies that professionals and managers need to develop their competences. Work processes also need to change in order to support the use of technology. Routines have been developed to a certain degree but there is still room for increasing knowledge and competence in order to enhance the implementation of technology. Both managers and professionals expressed uncertainty related to who owns the patient's data, consent, use of camera surveillance among other things.

Work-integrated learning is suggested, where academics from both informatics and health science support the practice of creating new work processes, and using technology in healthcare services. Professionals and managers consider knowledge and competence on what telehealth and telecare solutions are available and how they work, as an important condition to succeed in implementing technology.

[1] Blix, 2013; Chidzambwa, 2013; Hofmann, 2013; Nilsen, Dugstad, Eide, Gullslett & Eide, 2016
[2] Marasinghe, 2016; Lindberg, Lindberg & Söderberg, 2017
[3] Hoen & Tangen, 2011; Modig, 2012
[4] Billett, 2015