Smila and the City of Jyväskylä: "Medicine dispensers make independent home care easier”

9.5.2022 13:08

The home care service in Jyväskylä has just expanded the use of Tamro’s Smila home care system in addition to the two automated medicine dispersers already in use. This follows a successful pilot phase, when the systems received positive feedback from both care staff and those living independently at home. For the carers, automated medicine dispensing leaves them with more time for interacting with the persons living at home.

Around 18 per cent of Jyväskylä’s population of nearly 145,000 is over the age of 65, and that proportion is growing fast. In line with the ageing of the population, the number of persons receiving home care services from the City of Jyväskylä is growing at the same pace, and currently around 1,600 people receive home care. The problem to be solved is the same as everywhere else in Finland: the need for home care is increasing, while the workload for the carers is increasing at the same time.

Smila medicine dispenser machines have been purchased for the Jyväskylä area to make life easier for home carers and to further improve the services for those they care for. Before that, home care services in Jyväskylä ran a pilot project to test the Smila home care system.

– The automated medicine dispensers enable us to more effectively help people in need of care to live good, independent lives at home, says Johanna Lehosmaa, who acts as the services supervisor of the remote care unit at the City of Jyväskylä.

What kind of feedback have you received?

 – The feedback from clients during the pilot phase was very positive – the medicine dispensers were well received. Feedback from carers has also been very good

How has the introduction of the devices changed care work?

– In home care, the first hours of the working day are busy, helping the person with their morning activities and giving them their medicines. Among their other benefits, the medicine dispensers have eased these peaks, freeing up nurses’ time for other important tasks.

How will carers use the time saved?

– Home care providers always have their hands full. The increased use of automated medicine dispensers will free up more time for caregivers to spend with those they care for. The medicine dispensers are not intended to replace workers, but instead to change the nature of work so that carers can use their time more meaningfully.

Why did you choose Smila as one of the solutions for home care in Jyväskylä?

– We chose automated medicine dispensers based on the service needs of persons living at home and ability to accommodate robotics. We’ve received excellent support in adopting Smila – Tamro has been very active.

Significant changes in home care visits in Jyväskylä

Tea Mills, Sales Manager, Smila:

"In Jyväskylä, the use of the Smila system has made it possible for carers to make their morning visits a bit later, which helps to ease the morning rush.

It has also been possible to significantly reduce the overall number of physical visits. For example, during one month of the pilot project, the 26 Smila devices used in the Jyväskylä region enabled a total of 507 fewer house visits to be made. Some of these visits were changed to remote visits, and some were dropped altogether.

During remote visits, the carer can contact the person living at home by video link. Various matters can be dealt with this way, such as checking the person’s general wellbeing, reminding them to eat, and helping them to measure their blood glucose levels and interpret the results."

Learning from the pilot project to develop Smila

Tea Mills, Sales Manager, Smila:

"The Smila care service was launched in August 2021, and so far Tamro has provided it to 10 municipalities.

We’re delighted that the City of Jyväskylä was one of the municipalities participating in the Smila pilot project.

We learned a lot from Jyväskylä during the pilot, which helps us to further improve the service. Smila has brought significant benefits to home care in Jyväskylä, for example by smoothing out rush periods. We were also very gladdened to hear that some Smila users have described it as a good friend – reliable and close."