Exploring cooperation through a binder: A context for IT tools in elderly care at home
This paper examines the empirical findings of a study of the work and cooperation taking place within and between the home help service and home health care in a Swedish county. The aim is to explore the current context for the design and development of IT tools that may facilitate cooperation and coordination in elderly care at home. The focus of the study is the use of a tool, a binder, which collects material considered as important to sustain cooperation between and within the two services. The paper illustrates concrete aspects of how different types of material is utilised and how the actual use of the binder reveals both advantages and disadvantages. Through focusing on the binder, aspects that are crucial to consider also when designing IT tools are made visible. These aspects include the need to support the integration of home care information and the importance of assisting asynchronous communication through the facilitation of informal information. It is also necessary to consider the mobile nature of the home care work, and the importance of a patient-centric view that promotes information sharing between the heterogeneous network of actors involved in the home care process, including the care receiver and relatives.