The new occupational healthcare steering model makes services more seamless

News 9/20/2023

In autumn 2023, all Terveystalo's occupational health clients will be able to use the CE-marked medical device Symptom Assessment (Oirearvio) tool, which will significantly streamline occupational health visits in the event of illness. Oirearvio will guide the customer to the right specialist, at the right time and through the right channel. It will also support the work of professionals by taking on some of the routine tasks for them, allowing them to spend more time with the customer.

Technology alone does not solve anything: what matters is how it is integrated into everyday life. Terveystalo's new solution is designed to make life easier for both professionals and customers. When a customer needs to contact occupational health, Terveystalo's digital channels ask them to describe their symptoms, which the Oirearvio tool analyses and directs them to the right specialist, at the right time, in the right channel, based on urgency. 

The steering model removes the need for the customer to know which professional is the right one to treat their condition and through which channel, as they are correctly guided based on the answers to the symptom assessment. For example, the best help for musculoskeletal problems may be found in direct consultation with a physiotherapist rather than a doctor. Similarly, some conditions can easily be treated remotely, while others clearly require an appointment, says Tuomo Oikarainen, Cheif Medical Officer, Terveystalo Digital Health.

New steering model helps alleviate doctors' labour shortage and improve quality of care

Access to care will be streamlined by referring customers to either a local or remote clinic, depending on their condition, and to a wide range of occupational health professionals.

– Reforms in the healthcare system are needed to alleviate the labour shortage of doctors in Finland. With the new steering model, we will ensure that previously unnecessary appointments are freed up for those with the most acute medical needs. Of course, the choice is still in the hands of the customer. However, our experience is that our customers are satisfied with the clarity of the recommendations and appreciate the treatment guidance, says Jukka Pitkänen, Cheif Medical Officer, Terveystalo Occupational Health. 

The customer's answers are forwarded to the receiving specialist, which speeds up and improves the care the customer receives from the specialist.

Digital solutions will not replace the care of a professional even in the future, as there will always be situations that require human reasoning, empathy and a caring encounter. However, as technology takes over some of the routine work, the professional can use the time saved to care for customers. As a result, accessibility of services, quality of care and customer experience will improve.  According to feedback from professionals, the experience of meaningful work is also enhanced, says Pitkänen.

Steering model to be phased in over autumn 

The new Oirearvio tool and steering model will be rolled out to the occupational health digital channels in the following months in phases for each corporate customer. The phased rollout will ensure that the service recommendation provided by the steering model is the most medically appropriate and takes into account the service package provided under the occupational health contract. The customer can therefore always be assured that the recommended service is included in their own occupational health contract. 

We recommend that you use the attached material to inform your personnel of the forthcoming changes in early autumn, before the new steering model is introduced. Once the new steering model is in place, online and remote occupational health appointments will be able to use the Oirearvio tool for every illness-related appointment and chat. 

View the material

Customer experience as a driver for development 

Initial customer feedback has given the Oirearvio tool an overall rating of 4 out of 5 for ease of use. During the autumn, further experience of the new steering model will be systematically collected from occasional users of the tool. This means that after the launch, we will invite some users to participate in a feedback survey or to take part in an interview survey about their experiences. 

Participation is entirely voluntary, and no information about participants' interactions or the subject matter of their interactions will be shared with the interviewer. The feedback is used to develop the service and a common summary is produced for all our corporate customers. The feedback is not analysed at an organisational level. 

When you announce the launch of the new steering model, you can also mention that feedback will be collected, even if invitations to the survey are sent randomly to only a subset of those who have used the symptom assessment.