Digital Care Pathways Respond to the Patient’s Thirst for Information

Digital care pathways make life smoother for both patients and staff at the unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics at HUS Helsinki University Hospital. When it comes to your own wellbeing or your baby’s, who just cried for the first time after birth, the need for information is massive. Researched and factual information can be hard to find, and many people start looking for answers in the depths of the internet.

The Health Village’s digital care pathways respond to the patient’s thirst for information. They have been developed not only to act as factual databases, but also as channels of communication between patients and nursing staff. The digital care pathways require a doctor's referral.

"In general, the purpose is to complement the patient's treatment. It is not a substitute, but an added value," says Virve Hietala, service designer at the unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

The digital pathway family continues to grow

The unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics currently has seven digital care pathways. The first to be introduced were pathways for IVF (in vitro fertilisation), ovulation induction, gestational diabetes and egg donation. Last year saw the introduction of the pathway for preparation for childbirth and the pathway for hormone therapy for young people with gender dysphoria. The latest addition is the Baby Journey pathway, which provides information and support on pregnancy, childbirth and baby care. The care pathway takes a coaching approach. The digital care pathways for Baby Journey and gestational diabetes can be accessed also via My Path mobile app.

"Hospital stays are short, so families need information in advance. My hope is that the pathway will complement the need for guidance in hospital," says Hietala.

Designed primarily for the patient

The advantage of digital care pathways is that patients can access the material at their convenience. The digital care pathway for gestational diabetes allows patients to submit their blood sugar levels conveniently through the pathway. Previously this was done by email, so this change is also significant from the standpoint of data security.

New pathways are constantly being designed and developed. The next ones to see the light of day will be the digital care pathways for endometriosis and endometrial cancer.

According to Hietala, the criteria for the pathway that will be focused on next does not necessarily depend on the number of clients. What matters most is the benefit to the patient.

This news was translated from an article published in Husari 2/2022,
author Suvi Pärnänen