How do you choose the right system for your digital social care records?

Where to start

Choosing a system for digital social care records will be an essential part of your digital transformation journey, as it will become the key tool for your day-to-day care management.  

Replacing traditional paper records can be daunting, so it's best to try and break down the process of switching to a new digital system into steps.

It's important to get your staff involved in deciding which digital social care record system to buy, as they will be using it. The focus should be on selecting a supplier who understands your organisation. The main aim will be to build a partnership with the company that provides the digital care system.

The best thing is to do some research on the most popular system for digital social care records - look at what other care providers are using and make sure they are on the Assured Supplier list.


Below, our in-house experts have left their best advice on how to begin researching and finding the right digital social care records system for you.

How do you research to find the best digital social care record system?

  1. Speak to other care providers- If you're looking for a digital system to manage social care records, speaking with other care organisations to gather information on their experiences can be helpful. Start by contacting care organisations you trust or similar in size to yours. Ask them about the digital social care record system they use and request a detailed breakdown of its advantages and disadvantages. This information can help you decide which system best suits your organisation's needs. 

  2. Read case studies -When looking for a reliable care software provider, it's always a good idea to check if they have a variety of case studies available. Reading case studies can give you a detailed breakdown of how the software has been implemented in real-life scenarios and how it has helped other organisations improve their care services. These case studies can be a valuable resource for you to assess if the software is the right fit for your organisation's needs. 

  3. Book a demo -It is highly recommended that you book a demo of the digital social care record system before making a purchase. The demo will give you a detailed overview of the system's functionalities and provide a better understanding of how it can improve daily operations and the quality of care provided. You can see the system in action during the demo, explore its features, and ask questions. You will also be able to assess whether the system is user-friendly and meets your organisation's specific needs. Booking a demo is crucial to making an informed decision when investing in a digital social care record system. 

  4. Involve other staff members - When selecting a digital system for your care organisation, it is essential to involve other staff members, such as care managers, senior care workers, nurses, and care workers. The involvement of all staff members ensures that their needs and requirements are taken into consideration during the selection process, which improves the chances of adopting the right system. By involving staff members in the selection process, you can gather valuable feedback and insights from those who will be using the system on a daily basis. This feedback can help identify any potential issues with the system and highlight any particularly important or valuable features for staff members. 

  5. Commercial vetting before buying -Make sure that the terms and conditions of your care software provider align with your needs. Consider areas such as: 
  • Contract terms: Signing contracts that bind you for extended periods might disadvantage you as a business. These agreements could limit your flexibility and leave you stuck for an extended period.  
  • Is the supplier contractually bound to act as a Data Processor? If so, they are responsible for fulfilling their responsibilities under GDPR and helping you perform your obligations as a Data Controller. 
  • Understand the data ownership and retention periods the supplier is committed to providing. Check your insurance contracts, as these usually demand more extended retention periods than those set by NICE guidelines. 
  • If you wish to change suppliers, it's important to understand the offboarding processes, including the terms and procedures involved. 
  • The system may be bundled with a physical service, paid for by a third party: understand who will be training and supporting the system now and in the long term.

What are the key considerations for a care provider when selecting a digital social care record system?

A good digital social care record system should be able to fulfil the processes required to manage a care service effectively – improving the quality of care provided.


In addition, a good system should be capable of replacing your existing paper process, allowing you to create digital care plans and document care-related activities. Other common features:  


At its basic level, interoperability is about getting systems to talk to one another. Interoperability in healthcare enables various healthcare information technology (HIT) to communicate and exchange information.

For example, GP Connect, an NHS Digital managed service, uses standards that enable interoperability between different clinical systems, enabling the secure sharing of patient records across primary care. Person Centred Software has a GP Connect integration, which allows care providers to review the GP records and medical notes of those being supported in real-time. 

Below are a few examples of the type of information made available through GP Connect: 

  • Encounters – e.g. hospital visits 
  • Active problems and issues – e.g. diagnosis 
  • Allergies and adverse reactions 
  • Acute and repeat medication 
  • Referrals 
  • Observations – e.g. pulse, oxygen saturation 
  • Immunisations 

Integration with eMAR 

It's a good idea to look for a digital social care record system that can integrate health and care services across multiple settings. Another good example of interoperability is eMAR, an electronic medication administration record system that care providers can use to record medication administration in their organisation. Person Centred Software's eMAR system (ATLAS eMAR) has been integrated to give care homes greater flexibility and the freedom to work with their preferred pharmacies. PCS ATLAS eMAR - padding

ATLAS eMAR improves the medication process's safety, accountability, and efficiency. Care homes using the system will have complete visibility of the eMAR within their daily records and care plans. Combining the platforms ensures critical information is available when needed, helps care home staff understand prescribing and issuing patterns, and minimises errors. The shared platform also strengthens the partnerships between care homes and pharmacies, allowing for better integration and collaboration. 

Security and compliance  

Care providers' common concerns about their organisation using a digital social care record system are the risk of losing care records and the security of the data hosted by the system.  


A good system will store real-time data in multiple data sets using geo-replication. Geo-replication is a type of data storage replication in which the same data is stored on servers in multiple distant physical locations. So, in case of a large-scale outage or regional disaster, the system can recover the databases quickly. With Person Centred Software's customers storing millions of care records per day, Person Centred Software ensures to deliver a high standard of data security to ensure personal records and sensitive information are kept secure and protected on a robust platform - data security and information governance are taken very seriously, using a number of measures to keep everything secure. 

Data analysis  

With the right digital social care record system, the information you input into the system can transform how you care for the people in your organisation. You need to look for a system which can analyse collected data, provide your organisation with reports, and flag concerns and risks to help you make informed decisions for your residents. 

For example, Person Centred Software, through reporting tools, enables care providers to: 

  • Extract and analyse incidents 
  • Trace what actions led up to them 
  • Prevent future incidents from occurring 
  • Analyse trends and measure business critical KPIs for a single home or comparatively across a group. 


What is the NHS Transformation Directorate's Assured Supplier List?


NHS England has worked with adult social care providers and digital social care record system suppliers to create an Assured Supplier List. This list of software suppliers has passed a rigorous selection criterion to ensure their digital care record systems can deliver against national specifications, that their solution meets core capabilities, and that their financial position is stable.   

If you purchase a system from this list, you can be confident that it has been assured at the highest level. NHS England has accredited Person Centred Software to be on the assured supplier list.  

View the Assured Supplier List


Going beyond the core requirements

Person Centred Software uses the Assured Supplier list as the minimum entry-level requirements, not the ultimate goal. It is important that suppliers of digital care records aim to go above and beyond the core capabilities and focus on person-centred care. With Person Centred Software's product management process and roadmap, this is something they deliver on.

How was the Assured Supplier list created, and what did Person Centred Software have to do to get on it?

The NHS Transformation Directoratecreated the assured supplier list in conjunction with CASPA (the Care Software Providers Association), which audits the key functionality needed for a digital social care record system.

The Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) has been designed to support care providers making the switch to digitising social care records quickly and easily by giving them access to a list of quality-assured, accredited suppliers. Adopting digital social care records will play an essential role in supplying truly integrated services by joining up service users' care across social care and the NHS, with real-time information being shared across commissioners and regulators.


The accredited supplier list presents a marketplace where social care providers can be reassured that their preferred digital solution has met both functional requirements and standards. This helps to remove a lot of the stress from purchasing a digital social care record system. The NHS ensures that Person Centred software's digital social care record systemis a good piece of software for care providers.


Find out how we got on the assured suppliers list 


Please note:Out of all the digital social care record systems that provide social care and clinical software, only a few are assured by the NHS. When choosing a digital social care record system, choose a supplier listed on the Assured Supplier List. 

The care sector's most widely used digital care
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