“The use of technology is certainly changing the way people provide care”
The use of technology is certainly changing the way people provide care. The past 15 months has certainly challenged everyone to be more aware of how they use technology.
The benefits can be huge, not just for the people who use services but also their families, the people who deliver the care and the providers. But it’s critical that technology and innovation never come at the expense of high-quality, person-centred care.
We are all very aware that the individual’s safety, dignity and consent must always be at the centre of decisions about their care. This is also true when it comes to decisions about the use of new technology and being clear about people’s rights, privacy and choice must always come first.
Here are some benefits of the use of technology in care:
- It can give people more control over their health, safety, and wellbeing.
- It takes away the feeling of isolation and makes them more independent.
- Keeps people connected to the relevant services.
- Raises the level of care offered.
- Increases the communication options with families, staff, and associated professionals.
- It helps the care staff to know where to focus their priorities with the people who need it the most.
- Manage good practice by capturing and sharing data.
Maybe 4 or 5 years ago the uptake in the use of any system was slow. The systems themselves weren’t great, they didn’t all link together. You had different systems for the care planning, another one for medications a third one for rotas and possibly another one for training. This created an administrative nightmare for providers and managers; and then there was the challenge of getting the data on to the systems. There were even cases where providers were running new and old systems side by side, due to a lack of trust of the new system, and therefore doubling the workload.
Staff and training
Then there was the staff and the training involved. Pretty much every provider I spoke with had the same experience. 50% of the staff were fully on board and couldn’t wait to get an electronic system and were full bought in. 30% were not fussed either way and could take or leave it. And 20% were completely against the change and had always done it a certain way and would always continue to do it that way. But once the training had been given it was the 20% non-believers who became the biggest champions and embraced it the most.
Whenever I am working with a new client to help them search for a high quality manager for their care service I take a very detailed brief on the service and the company so that I can paint a really clear picture to potential candidates.
“This has made the life of the provider and the registered manager significantly easier but most importantly it has resulted in the provision of care being significantly improved”
One of the questions I ask is about electronic systems and which ones are in use in the home or by the group. Their has been a 65% increase in the past 18 months in homes who are now fully integrated. Most of those are using one system which covers everything from care plans, medication, rota’s, training, payroll, auditing and mock inspections. This has made the life of the provider and the registered manager significantly easier but most importantly it has resulted in the provision of care being significantly improved.
The CQC rating of any service is critical to its overall success. They are offering advice in all of the five key questions that are covered during any inspection and all of the outstanding reports I have read have technology mentioned in all the 5 areas.
Electronic medication management (eMar) and electronic care planning ensure that medicines are recorded, mistakes are minimised and records are complete. Care plan records are completed and shared in real time and highlight key information such as allergies
Digital records are shared more easily with staff and family members and telemonitoring devices can spot early changes to peoples conditions.
Technology supports staff to be more efficient and have more time to care as less time is spent administratively.
Something as simple as audio sensors in bedrooms mean that staff are alerted to someone’s discomfort and reduces the need to disturb them unnecessarily.
There are a huge range of tablet-based apps that can be tailored to individual needs, preference and activities; and most include voice recognition as well. This is the area where most innovation is happening.
The benefit to the manager is huge with everything in one place.
- Care plans
- Employment records
The information above is far from exhaustive. If you are using systems already, then you will completely understand the benefits. If you are currently debating whether to invest; one provider told me they have saved £25,000 in the 3 years since they have got their system! Their staff team is more stable, and they have received one area of outstanding in their latest report.
Do your research. Speak to other providers and managers and all the good systems can be tailor made to your own needs.
Speak to John
If you would like to speak to John more about recruiting to your care service, contact him today here.
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