Kaksi sote-ammattilaista tietokoneiden äärellä

The nature of work in health and social services has changed substantially and will continue to do so in the coming years. Integration of services, combining of services under one provider and the transfer to a multiple-provider model with the introduction of the freedom of choice place considerable demands on achieving changes in operating practices and management. The goal is to achieve fundamental changes in the services and service chains offered to customers, improving the availability, quality and efficiency of services while making them more customer-oriented.

Reorganisation is not enough; operating practices must also be overhauled. New operating practices may require new expertise and possibly wholly new occupations. The purpose of this subproject is to explore firstly what the key changes in work in the healthcare and social welfare sector are; some of these have been identified in advance. This involves both exploring changes at the general level and identifying best practices in local solutions. The second aim is to establish how these changes affect expertise needs, meaning both changes to the competence needs of current professionals and the competence needs of professionals now in training.

Substantial changes identified so far include the following:

  • service integration
  • digitalisation
  • customers’ freedom of choice and competition for customers
  • increasing number of private service providers
  • increased importance of customer guidance
  • changes in division of duties between professional groups

The study focuses on local solutions in three areas in a situation involving a transfer from municipally provided services to services provided by larger entities.

Research materials and methods

This subproject analyses changes at various stages of progress in municipalities and regions. Eksote and Siun sote are projects already launched or being launched, while the Hyvinkää hospital area project is being planned. The private service provider’s perspective is also considered.

The study draws on statistical data to explore changes in occupational structures, documents and planning material from the participating organisations, and focus group and individual interviews with decision-makers, managers and employees. Data are also collected through a questionnaire circulated among healthcare and social welfare professionals (COPE questionnaire).

Principal investigator of the subproject:
Timo Sinervo
Research Manager

Researchers of the subproject:
Timo Sinervo, Kim Josefsson and Laura Hietapakka
e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@thl.fi

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