At Tech for Care, we regularly get providers contacting us asking ‘what technology should I get for my business’ or asking for product recommendation. The response – Why do you need technology? Is it to improve your rostering system? Do you want to do away with the paper care plans and go digital? Are you looking for technology that can stimulate and engage your clients? etc
Once you have answers to your ‘Why’ for wanting technology in your business, then you can begin the search for the right product for you.
What is a Care Management Software
One of the challenges facing the care tech sector is the lack of standards of what constitutes care management software. Care Management, on the other hand, can be a combination of activities that aid the provision of care. These are activities such as needs assessments, care planning, record keeping, staff management etc. Therefore, a care management software can be classified as a digital tool for managing a care service.
A care management software should have the capacity to fulfil those tasks required to effectively manage a care service, improving the quality of care being provided. Care management software should have the core capability to enable a service to digitise its existing paper process. An ideal care management software should enable you to create digital care plans, and document activities related to care, such as daily/contact record, accident and incident form and Medication/clinical record charts.
Other functionalities that a care service should expect from a care management software is the rostering features, task allocation and management and service report. Furthermore, care management software that could manage a service regulatory compliance and HR duties should be considered when seeking software.
It is important to point out that very rarely do you find a software platform that has all the functionality you required to manage your care service. However, you should go for the one that has the key functionalities that are important to you as a service. In some situation, a software platform may have the majority of the features you required for your care business, but lack some other features you required, in which case you may need to seek additional software to meet your remaining requirements. It is not uncommon for care services to utilise more than one software to meet their service needs. What you need to ensure is that this software has the capability to integrate seamlessly with each other.
Security and Compliance
A common but legitimate concern that care providers have about technology is the risk of losing their records or how secure is the data hosted by the software company. A good software platform will have multiple backup servers for data storage and will routinely back up data being uploaded to their server via a protected gateway and encrypted. Is the company registered with the Information Commission Office (ICO)? How often do they back up data? Will the software platform allow you to fulfil your own GDPR obligation as a care provider? At the front line, restriction of access level should be a must as this will guarantee the integrity of your data, ensuring that users only have access to information relevant to them. Thereby eliminating the risk if record manipulation.
Make sure you ask these core questions when seeking software for your business.
With the right software platform, the data you collect on to the system has the potential to transform the way you care for the people in your service. A software platform with the ability to analyse the collected data, providing your service with regular reports, flagging up concerns and risk that will expedite your own decision-making process and enabling you to take pre-emptive decision to improve the wellbeing of those in your care.
A care management software is only as good as what you required for your business. Technology can enhance the quality of the service you currently delivered; hence it is essential that you choose the right software for your care business. The Tech for Care website provides information on the different software and other technology option available to the care sector such as assistive technology. We are also organising a series of regional workshop to showcase how technology can enhance quality care, visit our website to find out more.