Published in Care Home Professional
By Rishi Sodha, Care Director at Handsale Care Homes
Amidst the challenges of the previous 20 months, we’re constantly learning new and innovative ways to adapt to improve the social care sector as a whole. This means creating better person-centred cultures in our care homes, but for these to be truly effective, we must first be person-centred with each other as leaders and teams.
With it being International Leadership Week (22nd – 26th November), it is an opportune time to reflect on leadership and how technology can be utilised to empower those in leadership positions to improve outcomes in social care.
With that in mind, we must start by determining how exactly to measure the quality of care. Firstly, we can go down the route of championing technology, which enables care providers to implement and integrate software that empowers staff to provide a more responsive and personalised quality of care. The level of data you get from technology is invaluable, too. However, what also makes a big difference in social care is time - and what your organisation can do to create more of it.
For too long, recent technological advancements have not been utilised to their full potential. Using data for statistical analysis and benchmarking, for example, will provide caregivers with insights into their operations that are not immediately available. Furthermore, data enables care providers to tailor services to meet the needs of each person in their care.
In all of our 8 care homes within the Handsale Care Homes group, we use Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring to seamlessly plan, record and monitor the care of residents digitally in real-time. This approach systematically reduces the time it would usually take to transcribe care notes as staff can record information at the point of care, while also mitigating the risk of errors through innovative icon-driven tools. In addition, the risk of losing information is also eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal, which can be viewed anytime by anyone with access.
It is clear to see the benefits of using technology in social care, and care providers are increasingly learning how its flexibility can improve the management of care delivery in real-time to help free up more meaningful time for staff to spend with residents, whilst ensuring medical notes and care records are always up to date.
Ultimately, the innovations we need to see implemented to empower leaders in social care must go hand-in-hand with technology. By embracing the innovative tools at our disposal, we will create a more meaningful experience for the resident. The same goes for staff too. By placing time at the forefront of a specific care plan, carers and nurses can go home feeling valued, listened to, and empowered.
Unfortunately, many people hold an oversimplified idea about what leadership means. Some think it is just a matter of guiding others to complete a task. Others confuse it with motivation. In truth, leadership is a complex blend of competencies and capabilities. It means communicating and empathising, directing and modelling, teaching and mentoring—and, above all, trusting and serving. The beauty is digital care technology can help with all that.
Leadership also means being real. Making yourself relatable and surrounding yourself with people who truly have your best intentions at heart. It is understanding that mistakes are normal and part of the journey, so let’s not punish ourselves and instead use them as learning opportunities to strive for a better and brighter future.
Finally, if we’re going to be a care sector, let’s be a care sector. This is where a staff first culture is so important. It takes a real leader to understand that without those whose job it is to take care of others, our sector would be reduced to nothing.