The role of technology in improving working conditions and care

As the world emerges from lockdown, it is important to find innovative ways to deliver care services while putting staff and customer safety front of mind. An article by Chris Proctor, CEO of Oneserve

Attracting and retaining staff remains an issue for care homes and the adult social care sector.

The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England report published in 2019, estimated there were around 122,000 vacant positions and a turnover rate of more than 30%. These figures illustrate fragility that must be addressed to ensure the sector’s sustainability.

Chris Proctor

Technology has the power to address some of the key issues the sector is facing.

Care England’s 2019 Manifesto noted the need for increased technology adoption and the pandemic has only amplified this requirement. 

Modern technology approaches not only provide care teams with the tools to improve services to patients, but it can improve carers’ working conditions while driving collaboration and increasing workforce confidence.

Healthcare workers can benefit from technology that automates time consuming procedures, removes the need for paperwork and enhances communication. Continuing social distancing measures which limit face to face interactions make mobile care provision and home visits more challenging than ever, but technology offers innovative ways to meet patient needs by improving overall communication.

In the community care setting, technology solutions such as job management software are particularly helpful. The software offers easy access to detailed information relating to daily  appointments in real time via a mobile device. Care teams can better connect with colleagues; maximising efficiencies by ensuring the most qualified carers attend relevant appointments and allocating staff from the closest geographical location to reduce travel time. Automatic audit trails of  appointments carried out can reduce the need for repeat visits while ensuring seamless record keeping.

By its very nature, the care sector is people centric with carers providing a vital lifeline for some of the most vulnerable members of society. By incorporating innovative technologies that ease carer workload, more time is available for personalised patient care.

Despite lockdown easing, the threat from Covid-19 remains very real, particularly for vulnerable people within the care system. Social connection is crucial in helping care teams and patients feel safe and connected; technology makes it possible. It is imperative care organisations embrace supportive technologies and accelerate digitisation strategies that can easily adapt to changing working environments to improve patient and worker care for the future.

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