New technologies which are changing the way we all live are increasingly being used in social care to improve efficiency, cut costs and, most importantly, improve outcomes for service users.
Examples of the way new technologies are being adopted by the care sector include:
- Centralised electronic systems in care homes which reduce paperwork and enable staff to deliver more efficient and effective care.
- Electronic medication administration records which help care and nursing staff to more effectively coordinate, monitor and administer medications and improve safety.
- Cloud-based communications which enable real-time dynamic scheduling systems and facilitate care staff to more efficiently organise home visits and plot the most effective routes to users based on travel conditions.
- Electronic patient records which improve the speed and flow of information between hospitals, GPs, pharmacies, specialists and other care professionals enabling greater integration of health and social care.
- Internet access for people in care homes or those being supported in their own homes by home care services, which help people to feel connected and more easily able to connect with their friends, family, community and carers.
- Telecare, smart monitors and sensors connected via the Internet which facilitate independent living and support people in need of care to live longer at home. These connected devices, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated, are set to revolutionise home care as they become the eyes and ears for those in need of care.
Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England says: “The challenge for care providers today is how to work smarter and still deliver the best possible outcomes for those that they support. Most care workers at all levels and of all ages will now have a smartphone, PC or tablet, so it’s no longer just the younger generation who are comfortable using today’s technology.
“Providers can now harness this familiarity with IT to more easily introduce streamlined admin systems which will reduce the burdens on staff and provide an audit trail in case of problems. However, that’s only half the story as modern software can also deliver the market intelligence and actionable data that lead to better, faster decision making for the benefit of providers and service users alike”.
The innovative and exciting new ways that new technologies are being used in social care will be discussed by leading experts at the Health+Care conference 27-28 June, Excel, London.