Even though digital technology has much to offer in adult social care, it is still far from reaching its full potential. Some care providers have already gone digital, using electronic care records to manage care delivery and monitor residents; however, other care providers are still primarily run using paper-based management systems.
In general, there are three types of care providers:
- Digital innovators - care providers who are pioneers in their digital transformation journey; always looking to find innovative products, predictive analytics, AI etc.
- Digitally mature – care providers who are beginning to go digital, having products in place to assist with administration
- Digitally immature - care providers who are still on paper and have a fear of going digital
The digital landscape in care is fragmented; some want to embrace going digital, and others are just beginning their journey. Each care provider is at different levels of digital maturity, meaning there will be many challenges ahead to achieving integrated care with digital. Health and adult social care providers who already use a digital care system must reach a minimum level of digital maturity, ensuring they are connected to a shared care record. Historically the sector has lacked consistent implementation standards limiting the chance of information being shared between social and healthcare services. But with social care becoming a priority, the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) is helping to change this by producing a set of standards, such as The Core Information Standard.
The Core Information Standard is shaping how we display data and how people access that data. By having access to shared care records, professionals will have crucial information at their fingertips, and people won't have to repeat their stories to every professional they encounter.
On the flip side, the social care sector provides an opportunity to embrace an expanding range of technologies, to support better outcomes for those living and working within care. For example, with technology, we can now capture observation-led data through trusted monitoring solutions. This helps better support more responsive decisions, combining this data with other passive monitoring solutions and smart technologies to provide a complete picture and rich data set. Additionally, significant efforts are being made towards a fully connected health and social care service. GP Connect, an NHS Digital managed service, is a prime example; it uses standards that enable interoperability between different clinical systems, enabling the secure sharing of patient records across primary care.
Person Centred Software, a provider of the UK's most widely used digital care system, have a GP Connect integration, allowing care providers to review the GP records and medical notes of those being supported in real-time.
Social care is pushing the boundaries because we now have agile solutions to create an ecosystem of care and share information; organisations can collaborate and integrate products. For example, Person Centred Software has built an ecosystem of care through its products, working with several best-of-breed partners that integrate with its Digital Care System and eMAR system. This enables the organisation to provide customers with the best solution across all areas. For example, with its Digital Care System, which offers a full suite of essential functionality, care providers can choose the best products from their partners to create the perfect solution for their needs.
Person Centred Software is currently working on some exciting new projects. The digital technology pioneer is launching AI in the new year, collaborating with The Data Analysis Bureau (T-DAB) to build a predictive model that enables care providers to measure and compare quality and performance indicators. Furthermore, they are also building solutions for wider social care settings, ensuring that everybody is included in the digital transformation and nobody is left behind. In addition, Person Centred Software is developing and improving its tools whilst working on sharing practices and connecting Australian healthcare professionals to social care practices. Person Centred Software and the National Care Forum (NCF) recently hosted an evening of international exchange with the Australian SAGE Tour delegation. For the event, participants discussed and shared best practice strategies in Adult Social Care in the UK and Residential Aged Care in Australia, which can be shared, tailored, or adopted as appropriate.