Volvat Medical Centre in Oslo was the first private medical centre to get a hospital licence in Norway. Since starting up in 1985, Volvat has expanded beyond the capital city, and the Volvat group now has medical centres in Bergen, Hamar and Fredrikstad.
After considering several commercial records systems, Volvat decided that DIPS was the best solution, and started using DIPS in September 2009. Chief physician and managing director Christian Loennecken says to d:mag 2009: ‘Our activities mean that the choice of a records system must be compatible with our hospital function and that our needs as a medical centre must be met. DIPS meets both these needs and has a user interface that we are now very pleased with’.
The preliminary work on DIPS was completed in 2008, and the main project itself was initiated at the beginning of 2009. The main challenge was the use of internal resources in the project. When employees are removed from their day-to-day duties, staffing can often become a problem. It was decided to tackle this by using a ‘Big Bang’ strategy, whereby all the medical centres and the hospital would start using the new systems at the same time. Volvat enjoyed a great deal of understanding on the part of both the management and the supplier, which is a requirement when implementing such a large project. The advantage of a common solution is that it is now easier for Volvat to exchange information across organisational boundaries. ‘This is expedient, since our patients travel around and use our services at several different centres,’ says Dr Loennecken (d:mag 2009).
In parallel with this, the private clinic has been part of a pilot study for making appointments online. ‘It was important to Volvat to have an online appointments system in place, and this was something DIPS was also very concerned with. Volvat has therefore been part of the pilot study to develop a web-based appointments system across our centres. So far, it has worked very well,’ says Dr Loennecken (d:mag 2010).
The doctors and specialists at Volvat are now posting available appointment times online, and patients can make appointments from home, or appointments can be made internally at Volvat. The principle of ‘first-come, first-served’ applies in relation to booking available appointments. ‘Since we started using this system, the number of appointments made in the appointments book has increased by 50%, but we expect this number to increase much more in the long term. The user interface is very simple, and feedback from both employees and customers is positive,’ says webmaster Hanne Huseby Aune (d:mag 2010).
In addition to the portal solution for making appointments and contacting patients, Volvat uses EPR/PAS, lab system, operation system, workflow and digital dictation from DIPS.
Different way of thinking
Jon Ørn of DIPS ASA was the solution architect during the implementation at Volvat. The project has been concluded, though some adjustments remain. He believes that both Volvat and DIPS had to work in a new and challenging way in connection with this introduction project. ‘Volvat’s way of thinking and working is a bit different from that in the public health system, and that means that DIPS also had to work in a different way than usual,’ says Mr Ørn to d:mag 2010. ‘Private clinics are an interesting and relevant market, and we will now optimise our services in relation to these customers as well,’ says Mr Ørn. He is a trained nurse himself, and has had a number of different roles in different departments in Norwegian hospitals.
A background from health care is very important when working on an introduction project such as the one we have carried out at Volvat. ‘We are familiar with the field and can contribute extensive professional know-how to projects, which means that we understand the needs signalled by the customer,’ Mr Ørn believes (d:mag 2010).