Can digital transformation go further in helping address the challenges faced by adult social care providers? - BrightCloud Technologies
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Can digital transformation go further in helping address the challenges faced by adult social care providers?

January 24th, 2020 by Keith Bird

Stethoscope and LaptopAccording to The state of health care and adult social care 2018/19 report by the Care Quality Commission, the general perception of care staff is that the sector has faced challenges in its adoption of technology.

They attribute this to five key barriers:

Technology is changing the way people provide care and treatment. The benefits can be huge – for people who use services, their families, carers and care providers. But it is important that technology and innovation never come at the expense of high-quality, person-centred care.

The Benefits of Technology in Care

Technology can:

To use technology well, the interests of the person using the service must be at its heart. People’s safety, dignity and consent must be at the centre of decisions about their care. This applies to decisions about the use of new technology. Being clear about people’s rights, privacy and choice must always come first.

These questions can help you prepare if you’re thinking about using technology to deliver care.

What are the 5 Key Aspects to improvement?

Safe

Helping ensure key information is accurate and easy to share with caring professionals in real time

Electronic medication management (eMar) systems can:

Staff can access digital care plans and records more easily. They can record information in real time. This can be quickly and accurately shared to help keep people safe, and highlight key information, such as up to date medical and allergy information.

Effective

Supporting effective communication and more efficient use of resources, including finances

Staff, family and other providers can share digital records more easily and quickly. Staff can use handheld devices to record support given as it happens. This avoids having to complete paper records after the event.

Telemonitoring devices can help a person to manage their own health condition. Their care provider can use the information recorded to spot early signs of changes in their condition.

Caring

Supporting person-centred care and helping staff to spend more time on the things that really matter

Technology can support staff to make their processes more efficient. This means that their time isn’t taken up by administrative work.

Digital care records can make information easier to access and quicker to share. This reduces the number of times people who use services have to give information or repeat themselves.

Audio sensors in a bedroom can pick up sounds that suggest someone is in discomfort or distress during the night. The system is flexible, so can meet a person’s needs and choices, and can be switched on and off as required. Rather than carrying out routine checks, staff are alerted if they need to respond. This means they do not need to disturb people unnecessarily, but they can detect developing risks between checks.

Responsive to people’s needs

Supporting providers to be more proactive and responsive to changing needs by helping to identify developing risks or needs more quickly

Communication aids (such as tablet based apps) can be tailored to an individual’s needs, preferences and activities. For example, they can be regularly updated with words and expressions that are important to the person using them. Voice recognition software can help to make adjustments for sensory disabilities. Or a computer based app can be also used to deliver tailor made treatment/recovery plans for people e.g. some exercises that a patient can do at home to help rehabilitation.

Movement sensors show changes in a person’s activity during the day or night. They alert providers to the early signs of changes in need. They can mean a better balance between support and intrusion for people. People know the help is there if they need it, rather than by set routines.

Well-led

Supporting more effective quality assurance through more effective communication, information sharing and improved data analysis

People who use services and their families can use online platforms to access and contribute to the information that is important to them. They can also communicate with those involved in their care and treatment.

Anonymised data collected can be shared, compared and analysed to identify risks and themes, providing a bigger picture.

medical-equipment

Types of Technology Used in Care

These are examples of technology that are widely used in health and social care:

Concerns about ethical or data protection implications in adopting technologies that use personal information, or GPS and surveillance techniques are high. However, perceptions are changing after automated triage technology, digital records, and tele-monitoring have proved successful in providing better outcomes for patients.

The current pace of change is exciting, and the ways we communicate with doctors, access services, get diagnosed, and look after ourselves are all being enhanced by technology. Faster (and cheaper) processing, smarter AI and deepening science (particularly our understanding of genetics) have the potential to revolutionise care in ways we probably can’t yet quite imagine.

We all know these are challenging times for health care and adult social care – increasing pressure on budgets and resources have pushed care providers to do more with less. However, necessity is the mother of invention and those embracing technology in a patient focused way are providing new answers to challenging issues.

Could Digital Transformation help your organisation?

Whist there is no one-size-fits-all digital transformation strategy for healthcare providers, there are common foundations required to underpin digital excellence. These include robust and reliable network infrastructure, communication links, and security. Without these basic building blocks any ambitious plans will likely flounder.

So before starting your digital transformation journey remember to go back to basics first and check the health of the platform that you are going to build upon to improve care outcomes.

If you would like further information about how BrightCloud can help you on your journey, please do not hesitate to contact us to book a free consultation.

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