From Episodes to Continuity of Care: a Study of a Call Center for Supporting Independent Living
Call centers are a central coordination hub for remote health services and telemedicine. Recently, also telecare providers use call centers to support the remote care of seniors living independently. Although we know that the quality of the interaction between caregiver and senior care recipient is important, there is a gap in our knowledge as to how ICT solutions can support this interaction through a call center model. In this paper, we describe a case study of a modern call center designed to provide services for independent living, primarily for seniors. The case study gives us new insight into how service providers envision ICT support for independent living in the future. We discuss our findings from interviews, observations and design workshops in light of relevant literature about independent living and call centers. We conclude with a set of directions for future ICT for call centers to support independent living of seniors. These tools should: 1) support continuity of care instead of episodes of care, 2) support caregiving activities in addition to medical triage activities, 3) support “technical caregiving” i.e. remote use, testing and maintenance of technology at home, and 4) support call center operators in leading ad hoc and emergent coordination in distributed teams.