Augmenting the Coordination of Cooperative Home Care Work
Objectives The present study aims to augment the network of home care around elderly. We investigate the nature of cooperative work between relatives and home care workers around elderly persons; present the CareCoor system developed to support that work; and report experiences from two pilot tests of CareCoor. Methods We employed ethnographic fieldwork methods and conducted participatory design workshops to throw light on the nature of cooperative home care work, and to elicit implications for the design of an IT system that would support the work of relatives and home care workers around elderly persons. The design implications led to the development of a prototype, called CareCoor, which is accessible via a tablet PC and on the Internet. CareCoor was subsequently evaluated in two pilot tests. The first lasted a week and included three elderly, their next of kin and the affiliated home care workers, while the second test lasted for six weeks and involved five elderly people, their next of kin and relevant home care workers. Results In the paper we make three major points, namely, (1) home care work is highly cooperative in nature and involves substantial coordinative efforts on the part of the actors involved, (2) the network of care around elderly can be augmented with new technology that allows all members of the network to follow, influence and be a part of the cooperative care of the elderly, and (3) CareCoor, the prototype introduced in this study, shows promise as it was well received during test and evaluation. Conclusion Home care work is increasingly important due to the ageing populations of Europe, the USA and large parts of Asia. Home care work between relatives and home care workers is inherently a cooperative effort, and can be facilitated and augmented by new information technology such as CareCoor. The pilot tests of CareCoor revealed promising results and will be further developed and evaluated in a larger test.
International Journal of Medical Informatics, 2013, Vol 82, Issue 5
Sundheds It; Hjemmeservice; computer supported cooperative work; Koordinations-arbejde; pårørende; ældre; health care; home care work; IT design