With the introduction of the National Living Wage and increasing pressures from the regulators, Care Homes are required to work more efficiently than ever to ensure a long and prosperous future. Streamlining processes as well as increasing the quality of care can be a huge challenge, therefore the key to success is incremental changes to provide us with sustainable development.

When looking at leading nations of care provision such as Australia and The United States we can get a taste of what the future may look like for the United Kingdom. Both countries have brought in legislation which requires care providers to use a digital care record.

This is to ensure there is an auditable trail of all care provision for monitoring purposes. Not only does this make inspections more thorough, it also gives care providers the peace of mind. A care home could be providing the best possible care to their residents, however without a way of accurately evidencing this it can be difficult to receive the credit you deserve from inspectors.

Relying on paper based systems can be a challenge to even the most thorough care organisation. Working in such a fast paced environment means errors are inevitable. With the looming GDPR deadline on the horizon, security of data is stepping into the limelight.

Care homes now need to ensure that they not only have all the paperwork in order, but that it is also securely stored. For example, when a resident has to go to hospital and you hand the relevant documentation to the paramedic or driver, do you ever receive that information back? It is areas like this that we now need to be focussed on.

By using electronic systems in a care home such an eMAR and Care Planning systems not only ensures you are compliant with the Key Lines of Enquiry set out by the CQC, but also promotes transparency across a care home or entire organisation. Having information available at the click of a button ensures all information is available as it is entered into the system, ultimately increasing the quality of care.

When looking at the shift towards a digital future in Australia and the U.S it makes us wonder if the United Kingdom will follow in their footsteps. It is unclear whether it will be made a legal requirement, however we can observe in the CQC’s latest revision of the KLOEs that technology is taking a more proactive role in the provision of care. For example technology is seen to increase patient safety and responsiveness of staff.

With all this in mind, now is as good of a time as ever to start thinking about moving outdated processes to a software solution. However, this change cannot happen overnight and we need to ensure we are not making changes for the sake of change. Our efforts need to be adding value to the way your business grows and develops over time.

As a care organisation you need to ensure that you are focussing your efforts on digitising the correct processes. For example, consider the time care staff spend each week filling out paperwork, then consider the impact a solution which allows you to capture this information at the bedside would have.

Digitising your care organisation can be challenging, however we have a dedicated team who are here to help. Give us a call on 01440 766400 or email solutions@icarehealth.co.uk and we will be more than happy to discuss your business needs.