Jonathan Papworth, co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, on how care providers can go about implementing joined up care.
A care provider has many elements to their business, such as care planning, medication management, rotas, finance, and call bells/acoustic monitoring.
Many care providers look to solve each of these needs individually, but there are many benefits to having a joined up care system. Joined up care systems reduce duplication, minimise errors and improve transparency. As the world becomes more digital, joined up systems become more important, so how does a care provider go about implementing them?
Any product that a care provider implements is likely to have a lifespan. Things change. Sometimes a product doesn’t keep pace with technology or with current practice. Sometimes the structure of care changes, maybe moving from residential to nursing, or assisted living to domiciliary care. In all these cases it might be necessary to change one element of the joined up system, but if that element is tightly bound to other products then the choice becomes very hard – do you start again with everything, or continue with products that aren’t aligned with your business needs?
The solution to all these problems exists. There are a growing number of products on the market that are designed to work with many other products, a bit like Lego bricks. Seeking products that integrate with many other companies’ products allows care providers to build a portfolio of solutions that meet their current needs, with the assurance that if their needs change or if one product doesn’t deliver, then switching is at least possible.
By creating an agile ecosystem of care where one care system can partner with other best-in-breed systems from their respective fields of care, the provider not only benefits from the very best solutions on the market, but also gets the luxury of having a choice. They don’t get presented with the finished model of building blocks, but instead get to create it themselves, tailoring it to their needs.