The value of going digital
I was delighted to hear recently about how innovative digitalisation is making a difference to care home residents today.
The cost of care is one of the biggest challenges the health system is facing. With demand and pressures growing within Health and the Social Care sector to drive forward efficiencies on a faster scale than ever, this digital way of working is taking care homes by storm.
Work processes can be enhanced in a number of ways. Cloud-based communications can enable real-time dynamic scheduling systems, allowing practitioners to organise home visits more efficiently, using travel conditions and locations information. At the same time, medical staff can have omni-channel access to patient files, often leading to more accurate and faster decisions.
I recently met Eric Kihlstrom, co founder of KareInn a care innovation company focused on improving the quality of life for the elderly. He told me more about the KareInn app - a platform for capturing and recording care actions. Thousands of care homes are buying into new technology, as it creates a real opportunity to increase the quality of care through new insights as well as providing a commercial platform for industry leadership.
"The App captures specific data around the care plan, daily activities, vital signs and serious incidents, allowing management to collect more data than ever before and be informed of important events in real time. Data that in the past was slowly and inaccurately recorded on paper, can be quickly pinpointed in real time, as well as demonstrate to the CQC the compliance and effectiveness of their actions. The alerts function means important activities don’t get missed and some serious incidents could even be avoided. With a mobile care plan, carers are able to be more proactive, as data-led insights allow them to make informed changes to care plans quickly and easily."
Care is ultimately about people helping people. Digitalisation of the patient records and other paperwork provides the staff with more time to spend on direct resident care. As well as the savings in cost and time, it can also help care homes ensure they are compliant with regulations as immediate access to the data and automated alerts help them stay on track and identify issues proactively.
It goes without saying that many organisations and bodies are now looking to ‘go digital’ and adopt technologies, such as KareInn, to improve the speed and accuracy of elderly patient care.
With other UK sectors – banking, manufacturing – leading the way in digital transformation, there’s no reason why healthcare should not follow suit. As always, I would love to hear your views. What has been your experience of introducing digital technologies into the care sector? What challenges can we anticipate?
Denise Raw is Principal - Public Sector