Twinning between PASYKAF

Within the framework of the GATEKEEPER Project, a twinning between PASYKAF, the Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends, visited 4 organizations in Slovenia to inform them about the GATEKEEPER Project and the importance of using digital devices in healthcare facilities. The aim of the twinning program was to transfer knowledge between organizations in Europe regarding the benefits and uses of applying these platforms and devices into their everyday workflow where both Healthcare professionals and patients can benefit. Specifically, the Cyprus pilot was used to explain and familiarized the participants with all the procedures and protocols being used for the effective use of the platforms.

As part of the Gatekeeper TWINNING Project representatives of our organization PASYKAF, visited Maribor, Slovenia for a 2-day conference regarding Gatekeeper.  This conference was held at Murska Sobota Hospital in Maribor where representatives of the hospital and from Alma Mater Europaea, Murska Sobota Hospital, Šentjur Home for Elderly, and Posavje Social Work Centre, were also present and attended the conference.  

The purpose of this conference was to present the GATEKEEPER Project, the platforms being used, as well as its uses and benefits. This was completed throughout the 2-day conference through different presentations and training sessions with the teams from each organization. We managed to have a successful 2-day conference and presented the GATEKEEPER Project by presenting the Cyprus pilot and how it is currently running.

During the first day:

We had a short introduction of all the representatives from the organizations introducing themselves so everyone would feel more comfortable and get an idea of who is attending and is involved in the conference.

Following the initial introductions we continued with the presentations each of the twinning originations prepared to introduce and explain their work, what they do, how they help patients, and their future goals.

At the end of the first day we as PASYKAF made a presentation of our organization (presented by Mr. Antonis Tryfonos- Patient Support Services Director) and proceeded with the GATEKEEPER Project introduction (presented by Annita Poupazi- EU Project Officer). It was important for all the organizations to give us an inside as at what services they provide to patients so we could then adjust the use of GATEKEEPER to their needs.

Next came the presentation of the GATEKEEPR platform (presented by Annita Poupazi- EU Project Officer).  We went through the uses of the platform, the initial registration of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients, the options that the HCPs have in accessing the patient’s information through the platform, and the tools allowing them to add information, plan appointments, add medication to the patient’s list, send questionnaires for the patients to answer and even add a caregiver if one was available and link them to the patients account.

Moreover, we introduced the GARMIN platform where is where they can view live all the data collected from the patient wearing the GARMIN watch. Once the platforms were introduced, we proceeded with the device installation. Four different groups were created and 1 representative from PASYKAF was guiding each team through the installation procedure. We went through how the accounts are created for the patient and then how they can be connected to the tablet device so the patient can have access and monitor their data and then how the tablet device with the account is then connected and synchronized with the smartwatch that they wear throughout the day and collects all the data.

During the second day:

Constantina Palala (counselling psychologist) from the PASYKAF’s team, an HCP, expressed her point of view on using GATEKEEPER how easy it was to get to patients and having fast and efficient interventions from being able to access the patient data collected by the smartwatch. Patient experiences were presented through videos prepared by the HCPs team with real-time patients who were part of the GATEKEEPER Project.

Afterwards, different difficulties the HCPs faced as well as the staff monitoring and working with the platforms, and how these originations might face them. We showed them any difficulties they can expect and how they could deal with them, whether that involves the platform, devices, or even communication with the patients. To conclude the conference we gave an email, a tablet device, and a smartwatch to each of the originations to use with our guidance and to keep to further practice and see for themselves the benefits of using the platforms and having an efficient and intermediate interaction with the patients.

Once the conference was completed, Annita Poupazi EU Project Officer of the Research and Development department, followed up with all the organizations to thank them for the great collaboration, send them all the protocols and guidelines PASYKAF has come up with for the Cypriot pilot and answer any questions or difficulties they might have.  Furthermore, the organizations followed different actions to disseminate GATEKEEPER within their organization. The actions included informing the management and employees of the Šentjur Elderly Home, the Murska Sobota General Hospital, and the Center for Social Work Posavje about the potential offered by technological support to people, to improve the quality of their lives. Alma Mater Europaea University is also the coordinator of Site Eastern Slovenia-EMC, which is a unique ecosystem for testing technologies and devices in three different care facilities. On this basis, they are monitoring GATEKEEPER in being applied in-home care, hospital settings, and instructional care. Acquaintance of the palliative care teams within the organization, regarding monitoring the usability of technology and implementing it in the segment of other integrated digital services. Preparation of a strategic plan for testing technology in the environment of the Šentjur Elderly Home. Organization and implementation of round tables with an emphasis on the review of tests and the mutual exchange of knowledge and support regarding the use of technology within the organization.Intermediate evaluations and implementation of supervision with the patients involved in the testing, holistic planning of palliative care for the residents of the care homes, with an emphasis on data collected during testing. The Center for Social Work of Posavje also did an Overview of other digital services in the field of palliative care in Slovenia – comparative and as well as a presentation of the holistic approach of palliative care in Cyprus to homecare workers.