Integrated Rehabilitation Journeys
In Denmark, municipalities have responsibility for rehabilitation services for citizens in their area. Municipalities identified the need for a more flexible approach to rehabilitation while still maintaining high quality training programs. Rehab|DK offers high quality, easy and flexible training programs for all citizens.
During a post-op rehabilitation process in the patient’s own home, patients are in contact with several different healthcare professionals across primary and secondary care. Each therapist’s rehabilitation support is different, which leads to fragmented rehabilitation processes that are challenging and negatively affect the quality of the rehabilitation.
Rehab|DK is a user-friendly digital rehabilitation solution with +700 video-based training exercises, which supports citizens in their at-home rehabilitation and enables an integrated rehabilitation process from the immediate post-op rehab at the hospital to the municipal rehabilitation services. Shared information strengthens the cohesion, dialogue and ultimately the quality of the integrated rehabilitation process, while also providing a platform for exchange of knowledge and best practice.
The solution also includes PROM (patient reported outcome measures) data entered directly into the app by the patients, which gives the healthcare professionals access to information about which exercises the patient has done, whether they are following the plan and data about pain development and potential new issues and challenges. For the patient, having all data and information accessible in the same app also increases the cohesiveness of their patient journey.
We aim to empower patients through data transparency and by providing the possibility to pro- and regress their training levels continuously based on the therapists’ prepared recommendations. Rehab|DK enables tailored rehabilitation programmes and personalisation options.
A Flexible Solution with Widespread Potential
The first patients to use Rehab|DK were orthopaedic surgery patients (in- and outpatients), followed by lung-disorders and latest OB-GYN patients. The app is also targeted older citizens and their relatives, reminding and helping them with their exercises. The stakeholders are physio- and occupational therapists at hospitals and municipalities. The solution is a flexible tool in which new videos and functionalities are added in connection with gradual roll out to other patient groups and healthcare actors.
Co-Creation and Strategic Prioritisation
We consider the development of the actual digital solution the easy part, while establishing the cross-sector integration and adjusting the therapists’ processes is what really sets Rehab|DK apart. Our rule of thumb is that implementing new technology into the healthcare sector is 20 % technology and 80 % implementation into daily processes. Rehab|DK is developed through a participatory design approach, which takes a needs-based point of departure and involves the relevant users and stakeholders in co-creating a solution.
Rehab|DK started in 2012. In 2016-2017 a research project investigated the app’s potential in regards to quality and involvement across sectors. From 2018 and onwards the focus is on expanding the partnership. In 2019 Rehab|DK achieved strategic prioritization through the Regional Digitalisation Strategy, ensuring integration to the ‘My Hospital’ app and planning implementation in all regional hospitals in 2021.
The implementation of Rehab|DK results in:
- Increased quality and improved support for citizens’ at-home rehabilitation
- Increased flexibility in the rehabilitation journey, for both healthcare professionals and patients
- Improved collaboration across sectors
- Accessibility of data and person-centred integrated care journeys
- Patient empowerment through individualized pro- and regression and data transparency
During the COVID-19 lock downs, Rehab|DK has been an important tool to enable at-home rehabilitation support. Rehab|DK is now implemented in 12 municipalities. In 2020 more than 7.700 active digital training sessions were registered and the app was used actively by 1.500 therapists. Patients indicate that the app helps them learn how to do the exercises.
Rehab|DK was highlighted in the ICIC21 conference as a strong example of a digital solution for person-centred integrated care. Rehab|DK has shown a strong potential to support integrated rehabilitation processes and improve the rehabilitation, to the benefit of both patients and the healthcare sector.
Project period: From 2012 and ongoing.