Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital (LDH) is Norway’s largest private hospital and a local hospital for around 176,000 people living in central Oslo. The hospital has around 1,300 full-time equivalent employees, and reports annual turnover of NOK 1.8 billion.
Digitalization is having a big impact on the healthcare sector. The hospital, which has been in operation since 1868, has decided to respond to this proactively and has worked with Itera to take its first steps towards digitising its activities.
The hospital’s old telephone system made some internal procedures awkward, and the user experience for external users was also less than optimal:
- The telephone solution was not properly integrated with the hospital’s system for managing employee absence and its employees’ calendars, which meant that neither the central switchboard nor employees had an overview of who was at work and who was not. Because of this, up to half of all calls were returned to the switchboard.
- Up to 40% of the hospital’s patients and their relatives had to wait on hold for long periods when trying to contact the hospital’s polyclinics by phone. After 20 minutes, the calls were automatically cut off, with the callers having to call back.
- Valuable capacity was used for unnecessary work: the old telephone system offered weak support for finding colleagues’ telephone numbers, so many employees were making calls via the central switchboard. This meant that lines were often engaged, with no-one able to get through before a call was completed. The same problem applied to the emergency department, which could be potentially challenging for patient safety.
- There is reason to think that some appointment no-shows at the hospital were due to patients having problems getting through to the hospital by telephone. This may have impacted the hospital’s efficiency.
Introducing new technology often involves new ways of working, and so it should be seen as a change project and not exclusively as a technology project. Itera led the hospital through introducing the new telephony system in close collaboration with the management team and the rest of the hospital. With the help of a lean approach, frequent releases, testing, continuous training and methodology inspired by service design, the hospital now has a modern telephony system. This is a strong platform for making internal collaboration as well as external contact with patients and their relatives simpler, and it also provides secure solutions in the event of any coverage problems or downtime.
All employees with personal phones now have a smart phone on which they can view their email and calendar. Useful apps are available for looking up things in the Norwegian Pharmaceutical Compendium (Felleskatalogen) or for correctly calculating drug dosages. Call queues are now much shorter or have disappeared entirely, and no-one is cut off or has to wait on hold for a long time.
Itera is proud to have contributed to this important step in Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital’s digitisation journey. The hospital’s ambitions and the results it has achieved have been noticed in the healthcare sector, which is one of the areas of society that will undergo the largest changes in the years ahead. Itera aims to contribute to this with its expertise. After all, our vision is to make a difference.