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Social care's digital future: the journey has begun

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Care and support, Information sharing, Innovation, Social care reform, Workforce



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"For many care providers, the first step to digital transformation is the move from paper-based care planning to using digital care records." [Image created by]

Demystifying digital

Moving from paper-based systems to digital systems can be daunting. With so much information out there it’s hard to know where to start and, if you describe yourself as a technophobe, it might all feel pretty overwhelming. Breaking it down into manageable stages is definitely the best approach; it’s a marathon, not a sprint after all.

When considering new technology for your service it’s best to ask yourself some fundamental questions: are our current systems fit for purpose, both now and looking to the future? What positive changes can technology help us achieve? How will we know that it’s been successful?

For many care providers the first step to digital transformation is the move from paper-based care planning to using digital care records. But there are some other elements to consider before getting to that point. How good is your Wi-Fi? Have you thought about data security and cyber protection? Is everyone on your team on board with the proposed change?

Decent internet connectivity is essential for any business these days and that applies to care businesses too. There’s guidance to help you get set up and the good news is things like digital care record systems can still work well even if you don’t have superfast internet connectivity.

cyber security icon
"The Data Security and Protection Toolkit will help you to evaluate and improve your data and cybersecurity." [Image created by]

Better security, better care

Making sure you’re managing confidential information properly is important for any business. The Better Security, Better Care programme is there to help care providers store and share information safely and this applies to both paper and digital records.

Completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit will help you to evaluate and improve your data and cybersecurity and ensure you have met the standards needed to handle data safely and transition from paper to digital.

And last, but definitely not least, digital transformation needs to start from the ground up. It’s vital that everyone in your team is onboard with the change. Do they understand the benefits of digital working and the role they play in making it happen? Most importantly, everyone needs the skills and confidence to use the technology effectively. The good news is there’s lots of free training to support you and your team in gaining and developing those digital skills.

Once you’ve got these fundamentals in place then it’s time to think about moving away from paper to digital care planning.

We can help you with all of this. We manage a list of companies that have passed our rigorous assurance processes for provision of digital care plan solutions. There’s even an online tool to help you select the right system for your needs.

piggy bank
"When it comes to paying for it all it’s important that you set your budget and understand both the upfront and ongoing costs." [Image created by]

The fiscal and the digital

There’s matched funding available to help you get up and running with going digital and make that initial investment.

What if you’ve already got a digital care plan in place? Now you’ve made that leap there’s lots of other ways you can continue to digitalise. There is funding to support you to make further investments in technologies that improve the quality, safety and personalisation of care, such as sensors to ensure staff are alerted if someone falls.

There’s lots of help and support, wherever you are on your digital journey. With funding support, help to develop your team’s digital skills and resources and opportunities to learn from other providers there’s never been a better time to take that first step into digital care.

For more info, click here.

You’ll also find lots of information about funding, training as well as useful resources including our list of assured suppliers by visiting Digital Social Care – Run by social care providers for social care providers.

This article was first published in the March issue of Caring Times.

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