GHP Complete Care is a project that is run with Skandia, a Swedish bank- and insurance corporate group, since two years. Eva Jacobsson, Managing Director for the project, explains that GHP Complete Care’s mission is to keep the healthcare journey coherent. They deliver care that is tailored to each patient and is efficient in the sense that every patient gets the right care from the beginning, with a follow-up and a team of medical professionals. This team can consist of a physiotherapist and a doctor that can discuss directly with each other. This gives Skandia a better cost- and quality control than before. In one year, GHP Complete Care has around 15’000 visits.
The follow-up of the patient is important for the medical professionals in the program as well as the patients. It helps the medical professionals learn in a natural way, something that Eva thinks is often neglected in healthcare today. Seeing the patient in a context is good for both competence and motivation, and the complete image plays an important part in learning to evaluate one’s own effort and understand how patients respond to a treatment. For the patients’ part, the quality of the care is increased.
-For us, complete care means to make the whole patient journey coherent. We feel that Joint Academy fits our view well, since follow-up and feedback is so important, Eva Jacobsson, Managing Director at GHP Complete Care, tells us.
Since this spring (2017), GHP has offered Joint Academy to their patients with osteoarthritis, and approximately 200 patients are currently in or have finished the treatment. This means that they have been able to provide a new opportunity to their patients that are still working full time. All patients get several options and Joint Academy is one of them. Since the patients with full-time jobs have less flexible schedules, the availability of Joint Academy suits them well.
-Joint Academy frees a lot of time from the physiotherapists that can be used for following up and giving feedback, but it also results in more free times that can be offered to other patients, Eva says.
The big differences for the patients that choose Joint Academy is that they don’t have to be at a certain place at a certain time and that their physiotherapist is always available to answer questions. Before, there hasn’t been a possibility to ask questions as they arise but the patients had to wait until their appointment with their physiotherapist - and oftentimes, they were forgotten due to this. If the patients performed their physical activities in a group, this also led to patients not raising their questions.
-Joint Academy is more adapted to each patient. It’s not fun to be in a group with big differences in age and activity level, Eva explains.
For many of GHP’s patients that get the diagnosis osteoarthritis it is a hard blow, which is why it’s important to make it clear that they don’t have to stop being active, but that they might have to adapt their training or train in a different way. A service such as Joint Academy makes the patients feel that there are others like them, that they’re not alone.
Since the project started, Eva can see a decrease in surgeries with approximately a third. She explains that prosthetic surgery isn’t a simple thing and that the first step should be rehabilitating training. However, this decrease in surgeries is something that she wants to follow up for a longer time in order to see if it’s about postponing surgery or if it’s simply no longer needed at all. Either way, it is both a saving of costs for the insurance companies and a good thing for the patients.
Since GHP Complete Care gets in touch with patients that have issues with other joints than knee and hip, Eva would be happy to see an expansion of Joint Academy that includes more joints. She also tells us that it’s easier for the patient to get the information about osteoarthritis through the educational films that are a part of Joint Academy, since a long lecture in person can be a lot to take in at once. Just getting the diagnosis osteoarthritis can be a shock and then the patient isn’t able to take in all the information. That this can be given - and repeated - at home instead, Eva thinks is great.
-I think Joint Academy is excellent. The key is that it’s anchored in clinical research. It has a scientific foundation and that is the key to success. That is important to remember, Eva concludes.