Seven Danish municipalities will find a new model to handle alarms and calls from citizens

Collaboration is key when seven municipalities need to find the best models for organizing and running a response centre. The focus is on emergency calls, scheduled calls, and nightly supervision. Before long, the project will begin to identify the needs of the seven municipalities, and later this year the suppliers will be invited.

There are 98 Danish municipalities – but there is no need for 98 different solutions.

This is the reason why seven municipalities are currently collaborating to create increased security for senior citizens in their own homes and more time among employees in home care.

The seven municipalities have a total population of 317.108 people, where more than 73.000 (23%) are above the age of 66 years.

The municipalities are part of the scaling process ‘Together for new technology and centralized response’. The goal of the collaboration is to develop a new organization of functions that will handle alarms and inquiries from citizens.

Focus on both technologies and organization

Favrskov Municipality is part of the process, and Ulrik Johansen, Director of Social and Health, looks forward to the collaboration across the municipalities.

– We see it as a great value to join forces with other municipalities and map the needs we have so that together we can future-proof our elderly area in the best possible way. The collaboration must not only work on finding the best technologies but it must also be mapped out what it requires of the organization to be able to handle the tasks that come with these types of technologies. We know that technologies such as emergency calls require a lot – both in terms of the right technology and organization, says Ulrik Johansen.

The next step is a broad identification of the needs of the seven municipalities, which will be implemented by external consultants before the summer holidays. In the autumn, the industry will be involved in dialogue about existing solutions and the potential for new solutions.

More municipalities provide broader knowledge about the needs

It was Aabenraa Municipality, together with the Centre for Public-Private Innovation (CO-PI), that launched the collaboration last year. Danish Life Science Cluster is a scaling partner in the collaboration. After dialogue with other municipalities, six came on board. This applies to the municipalities of Tønder, Sønderborg, Ærø, Ringkøbing-Skjern, Favrskov and Vesthimmerland.

– The very fact that we were able to bring together seven municipalities with a common goal in such a relatively short time testifies to the need for these municipal collaborations across the country. The width of the process will be an advantage for identifying needs – partly because each municipality does not have to pull the load alone and partly because we get a lot of input that can result in a common pattern of needs, says Anne Marie Berg, senior project manager, CO-PI.

The learning process for everyone

The initiative follows a scaling process developed by CO-PI. In the process, several public organizations gather around a common challenge, and by entering into a joint dialogue with the market, the public organizations create a greater scale in demand. In this way, private companies can quickly see a business in developing the new solutions that are needed, says CO-PI

The process will be instructive for all of us, says Anne Marie Berg.

– It’s interesting to work with seven municipalities that have very different experiences with innovation and collaboration with the private sector. Their organization also differs, and it is not the aim that they should be standardized. But our experience is that when you involve parties across disciplines and together build a knowledge base with ongoing dialogue, you get a common starting point. This should result in some useful scenarios for the response system of the future, says Anne Marie Berg.

Background: 50 percent of emergency calls are errors or can be answered

In 2022, Aabenraa Municipality alone received 24,920 emergency calls. Studies show that up to 50 percent of emergency calls are either a mistake or can be answered by phone calls from an emergency response center.

At the same time, the country’s municipalities are finding it difficult to recruit the number of healthcare professionals needed.

This is the challenge to which the scaling process must find new solutions, through a new organization of tasks, use of technology, and centralization of response functions.