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Client data in social welfare services to become nationwide

Blog Written on 10.12.2018 All blogs

The South Karelia Social and Health Care District and the City of Vaasa are the first to deploy the client data archive for social welfare services, which is part of the Kanta Services. How is the piloting going?

The first set of client data in social welfare was introduced in Kanta this year. The client data archive for social welfare services has been piloted in cooperation with the South Karelia Social and Health Care District (Eksote), the City of Vaasa, the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, and the City of Turku. 

The piloting has been a long process, but the deployment has seen a good start. Since this summer, Eksote has recorded the client data of almost all social welfare services into Kela’s Kanta archive.

“In practice, the work started much earlier, when a totally new production environment was built at Eksote. The change process then continued with the archiving of client data in social welfare into Kanta,” says Minna Miettinen from Eksote’s adult social work in Lappeenranta. 

Of course, acting as a pilot organisation has also entailed many changes and surprises along the way. “However, we have been able to adjust matters little by little as the process was launched already a couple of years ago,” Miettinen points out.

This is concurred by Senior Social Worker Maria Lindvall and Child Welfare Social Worker Minna Burman of child and family social work in the City of Vaasa. “In the pilot, it must be taken into account that sometimes you will take a wrong turn, but you will just have to take a step back and reconsider things. However, we were able to make constant progress, and we reached the goal,” Lindvall describes.

Vaasa has been involved in the pilot with respect to child welfare documents, but old client record entries have also been transferred into the Kanta archive in addition to new client data. The start of the second wave is currently underway, with the entire social welfare of the City of Vaasa being transferred into Kanta.

A new perspective of work

According to Minna Miettinen of Eksote, joining the Kanta Services has not brought about great changes in the use of the system and, from the user’s point of view, the work has continued in much the same way as before. At the end of the year, the Kanta viewer will be deployed in the client data system so that social workers will be able to view the data entered in the Kanta archive.

“Naturally, everyone learns new things in different ways, but support is provided for the employees in the form of frequent training events on the recording process in the deployment of the archive. Many people may also have thought that the change will be more challenging than it actually turned out to be.”

At Eksote, data has already been shared within nine municipalities, but in the future it will also be possible to utilise data archived in the social welfare service throughout the country via the Kanta Services. After all, it is a question of a change in mentalities and procedures when the recording methods are harmonised and transparency towards the client increases. 

“This is part of the future change in society. It is increasingly necessary to think who you are writing for and consider ways of expressing yourself so that the client will definitely understand it. Clients will be able to view their own data recorded in social welfare services in My Kanta Pages as from autumn 2020, by which time clarity in the recording methods will be emphasised further,” Miettinen says.

Reasons for the change become apparent for employees

For Vaasa, joining the client data archive for social welfare services was a natural continuation to the Kansa-koulu project, which introduced the functionalities required by the Kanta Services in the client data system. Piloting has been deemed important although it was carried out with limited resources and the benefits of Kanta archiving will not be seen until in the future.

“It is really important to understand the significance at the point in time when an organisation joins the system. The staff will look forward and understand the scale of the benefit offered to clients and to us employees at a later date," Minna Burman says.

The client data archive for social welfare services will guarantee in the future that clients will have their social welfare documents safe and sound in one place and that the documents can be accessed securely regardless of the location. Data protection is improved considerably when documents move electronically and are not posted from one municipality to another.

“From the employee’s viewpoint, it is great that the transfer of data is not down to one person alone. The electronic archive gathers together client data that may have accumulated from several different municipalities. The structured composition of documents, on the other hand, harmonises recording practices in different municipalities and within organisations. This means a more consistent level of quality in social work throughout Finland," Burman points out.

Archiving of client data is also developed in social welfare services

Joining the client data archive for social welfare services is voluntary, but everyone will have to face it sooner or later. “The sooner you join in, the sooner you can grow into using Kanta. It is easier to learn the system when you can chew on little bits of change at a time and you are not forced to swallow the whole system in one go in a terrible rush,” Maria Lindvall says.

Both Burman and Lindvall find it important to keep up with the development, and to remember to take into account the needs of different clients.

“One of the tasks of social welfare services is to help people with weaknesses or difficulties. In the Kanta Services, you must remember to consider especially the clients who may find the digital world really challenging, for example, due to their age or cognitive impairments. We must not forget that in the development work.”

Further information
Client data archive for social welfare services