Person Centred Software founder and director, Jonathan Papworth, asks if it’s time for a new push towards digital adoption?
Digital care systems have been spoken about for many years, and my understanding is that about 30% of care providers have adopted digital systems for frontline care. Digital Social Care, an organisation that works in conjunction with NHS Digital, recently undertook a study on the understanding of digital care systems in order to help identify the barriers to universal adoption of the technology.
One interesting result was that people who had not yet adopted digital systems claimed that the biggest obstacle to doing so was the lack of time to use technology. This is despite the organisations that have already made the change experiencing a consistent benefit of time saving – highlighting that people are making decisions based on perception, when the reality is the opposite.
Fear of new technology is nothing new, and helping people manage the change is an important part of implementing new systems. Social care has been slower than many other industries in incorporating digital technology into core business activities, but the reason for not making the change now is pretty much invalid.
The benefits of digital care systems are vast, and during the current pandemic it is vitally important that people’s unfounded perceptions do not cause a lack of information that will help to win the battle against COVID-19. We need to get to 100% of care providers using digital technology, and it is highly likely that government and CQC pressure will demand this within the foreseeable future.
The current 30% is simply unacceptable because the quantity of data that can help fight COVID-19 is limited. Technology has been proven to save time and improve the quality of care; and it also helps to collate information in one central location – essential during a pandemic. If you are still reliant on paper for care information, then I urge you to reach out to care providers who have made the change to understand how much better it is on the other side.