Reforming the care sector through digitalisation

Reforming the care sector through digitalisation

The increasing use of technology is showing multiple sectors the benefits it can bring from streamlined and automated processes, which in turn free up valuable time and resources to be deployed into more impactful actions. One such sector that can benefit from a transformative shift to using digital technology is the care sector, which if effectively digitalised, will enable care staff to take on new responsibilities and undertake tasks more efficiently to improve patient service.

Josh Mitchell, our head of sales for Risk Manager, recently attended an event on how technology can change the future of social care. The Department of Health and Social Care’s white paper on the reform of social care was a big topic of discussion – here, Josh comments.

The white paper, published by the Department of Health and Social Care in December 2021 and titled, People at the heart of care: The Adult Social Care Reform White Paper, outlined a number of key aims to improve the UK’s care sector.

What are the aims?

The white paper sets out a ten-year vision for transforming support and care in England by strengthening how care and support is delivered and giving the tools in order to achieve this. The government’s vision revolves around three objectives:

  1. People have choice, control, and support to live independent lives
  2. People can access outstanding quality and tailored care and support
  3. People find adult social care fair and accessible

The government’s starting point for the vision is embedding personalised care, recognising a person as an individual with specific needs, wishes and aims. It is the ambition of the government to make personalisation the expected standard and for high-quality personalised care to be the norm across health and care.

Included in the white paper are a range of policies, including:

The white paper is looking at accelerating the adoption of technology with the use of remote monitoring, ensuring care teams have the right information and helped services to identify those in need.

It seeks to equip the social care workforce with the digital tools, knowledge, and confidence it needs to deliver outstanding quality care to those who draw on care and support, as well as providing practical tools in the hands of those requiring care, in order to help support them with their aspirations.

At Sypro, we understand how effective technology and the use management systems can be to help reduce certain pressures in the care sector and provide better and more personalised care.

An example of an ongoing risk that can be monitored using Risk Manager software is the maintenance of the care home. It ensures that it is a safe environment for all residents to be in as the system contains customised schedules with to-do lists and notifications, flagging that a chair is broken, for example, and assigning staff members to repair the chair, helping to prevent a resident from using it. The software also keeps track of maintenance contracts around the care home and highlights when they are coming up for renewal, helping staff to keep on top of everything in an organised manner. Risk Manager also facilitates easy management of multiple sites, which is particularly useful for care homes with more than one location – ultimately helping to keep all residents safe and provide more personalised care.

Another example of pressure in the care home at the moment is ongoing management of Covid-19. Our Risk Manager software can be used by carers and care homes to manage and monitor the number of Covid-19 infections in the care home as it alerts the people that need to know. These modules and their functions can help carers to look at these rates through effective management and an automated, cloud-based approach, which in turn will reduce the pressure on operational staff within the care home and help to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

Is the care sector ready to be digitalised?

The white paper also outlined difficulties faced in the sector when it comes to the access and use of technology. It highlighted research that shows 23% of care home staff cannot access the internet consistently at work and raised concern that care staff lacked digital skills.

However, the white paper aims to provide digital tools in the homes and in the hands of those who draw on care and support and their carers, as well as equipping the social care workforce with the digital tools, knowledge and confidence they need to deliver outstanding quality care.

At Sypro, our Risk Manager system is easy to use, and we provide full onboarding to all staff to ensure that everyone can use the systems effectively to help provide quality care, in line with the aims of the white paper.

Another issue with digitalising a sector is the cyber security and risks that need to be monitored to ensure that private information is not compromised once the technology has been implemented. This is another concern that Sypro’s software is able to continue to track and assist with, again, helping to minimise pressure on carers.

Ultimately, the aims of the care white paper is to provide personalised care, with an aim of digitalising the sector. There are still questions that remain unanswered, such as there not currently being a guide on funding from the Department of Health and Social Care – but the key will be ensuring the necessary investment and guidance will be in place to ensure that personalised and digitalised care is possible.


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