Extended life expectancy, an increasing older population and spiralling healthcare costs have triggered analysis on potential areas for cost savings while delivering better patient outcomes. The recent Sláintecare Government initiative for healthcare reform recognises the need for an integrated care system to enable our older population to remain at home for longer. Timely, secure and accurate communication of patient information ensures that a complete care programme involving community teams, primary care, acute hospital and carers (including family) is enabled through technology.

The Solution from CareFolk
CareFolk is an Irish company that has developed an integrated care platform (web and mobile) designed to inject seamless fluidity into case/care plan assessment, management and review. CareFolk joins up health and social care and enables secure communication and the co-ordination of care provision among professional and community/social care providers. CareFolk is designed to remove barriers to integrated care and to make the work of the care team easier and simpler, ultimately resulting in better care for the patient. It accommodates case managers, clinicians, health & social care professionals, primary, community and social care services, as well as the care receiver and their families.

This HIHI project was delivered in collaboration with the HSE Integrated Care Programme for Older Persons (ICPOP) Team. ‘CareFolk Integrated’ was installed at integrated care pilot sites in Cork and Waterford. The case managers and care team used CareFolk for the management, review and co-ordination of care for the enrolled patients. Survey responses included ‘in my estimation as a clinician, CareFolk reduces my admin time by up to 50%’ and ‘the CareFolk system saves 10-15 hours per week multiplied by 4 team members over the previous 12 months’. The overall conclusion of the CareFolk pilot is that this is a platform that facilitates sharing of patient information between care team members. It facilitates the delivery of integrated care in the community/ home. It saves time through efficiencies delivered to the care team, in sharing notes and accessing data ‘on the go’. Care team members feel more in control and can manage their care plans more efficiently. Following the completion of the pilot participants recommended further features such as system to be connected to healthlink to get blood results, to healthmail to send and receive emails, electronic forms and assessments integrated into system.