Published March 9, 2010

Health kiosk opens in the Trio shopping centre

The City of Lahti will open a health kiosk at the Trio shopping centre on 10 March 2010, where customers will have access to health care services provided by the city in a reliable, easy and rapid way. Lahti is the first major city in Finland to offer this type of service. The health kiosk services will be provided by three healthcare professionals: a physiotherapist, a public health nurse and a registered nurse.

The City of Lahti will open a health kiosk at the Trio shopping centre on 10 March 2010, where customers will have access to health care services provided by the city in a reliable, easy and rapid way. Lahti is the first major city in Finland to offer this type of service. The health kiosk services will be provided by three healthcare professionals: a physiotherapist, a public health nurse and a registered nurse.

The health kiosk is a two-year pilot and research project in the field of health care launched jointly by the City of Lahti and Sitra and it will provide healthcare services by nurses in a novel environment. The first health kiosk in Finland was opened in June 2009 in the Elo shopping centre in Ylöjärvi, and the good experiences gained from it will now be capitalised on in Lahti.

Service to all without an appointment

The service point, located on the first floor of the Trio shopping centre, offers a wide range of professional healthcare services without an appointment, easily, rapidly and flexibly. Using the services can easily be combined with shopping and running other errands. The low-threshold services are open to all and include, for example, health counselling, case management, and the measurement of blood pressure, blood sugar and muscular strength. In addition, various theme days, group consultations and, when necessary, vaccination campaigns can also be organised in the 56-square-metre premises of the kiosk. Information on the activities of the health kiosk will be available on the City of Lahti’s website under the social and health services section and on the Facebook site of the Lahti Health Kiosk.

“Making healthcare services available where people normally go about their daily errands is an investment in preventive health care. This lowers the threshold to ask about small matters and to get help as you don’t have to make an appointment at the healthcare centre. I’m positive that the health kiosk will also reduce the pressure under which the telephone services work under and the number of visits to healthcare centres,” says Markku Tervahauta, Director of Health and Social Services, City of Lahti.

Testing a new concept

The impact of the health kiosk on the City of Lahti’s healthcare services will be studied through an evaluation to be carried out by the University of Tampere to identify best practices that can be later utilised in other municipalities. The results provided by the evaluation will be compared against, for example, the current standard of public healthcare services and operations in Lahti and the level of the staff’s job satisfaction.

“The health kiosk project represents a new approach to healthcare provision. Part of Sitra’s Municipal Programme, the project aims at creating a feasible and cost-efficient model that helps improve the service and the job satisfaction of the staff, and ultimately contributes to the structural reform of primary health care,” says Antti Kivelä, Executive Director of Sitra’s Municipal Programme.

Sitra’s objective is to promote and develop health care in Finland by supporting the piloting and development of new, innovative operating models. Part of this work involves the application of operating models that have been found to be good in other countries. The health kiosk model has been taken from the popular Retail Clinic concept in the United States, where similar kiosks with a ‘low threshold’ have been set up in shopping centres, providing rapid and inexpensive health services by nursing staff using a number queuing system.

The health kiosk at the Trio shopping centre is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m.to 6 p.m.

For further information, please contact:

Markku Tervahauta, Director of Health and Social Services, City of Lahti Tel. (03) 818 1001, 040 838 2200

Antti Kivelä, Executive Director, Sitra, tel. + 358 40 482 7435

Professor Jarmo Vakkuri, University of Tampere, tel. +358 3 355 16774

Professor Jari Stevall, University of Tampere, tel. +358 40 8284 350

City of Lahti Social and Health Services
The objective of the Social and Health Services of the City of Lahti is to promote the health and well-being of the residents of Lahti by preventing health-related and social problems and reducing their adverse effects. The objective is also to support Lahti residents to independently maintain their own well-being and the well-being of their community. The core task of the department is to provide high-quality social and health services as determined by the local authority.

Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund
Finland’s competitiveness and the well-being of its people depend on deep, broad-ranging changes. Sitra engages in foresight activities and advances these changes in cooperation with other actors. Through programmes and strategic processes, Sitra grasps the challenges that are most crucial for Finland. Sitra is an independent public foundation with a mission to build a successful Finland for tomorrow.

University of Tampere
The University of Tampere embraces many fields of science and its research profile is extensive and multidisciplinary. Research into society, health and well-being constitute its strongest research fields. The university provides education in nine fields, and it is the biggest provider of higher education in Finland in social sciences and related administrative sciences.