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It's Time to Care - guest article

Our guest article in Tomorrow's Care

· News,articles

We were really pleased to be asked to write an article for the publication Tomorrow's Care recently. You can see the article on the original digital magazine linked below - we've also included the text here.

It’s Time to Care

Jonathan Knight, Founder of Perfect Ward, explores how new technologies enable care staff to free up more time to ensure they provide a higher quality of care to their residents.

A number of factors are converging to drive the adoption of new technologies across community and acute healthcare facilities.

Growing Demand.

As an ageing population requires more healthcare services, it is essential for providers to improve productivity. Technology is a clear route to ensure that growing demand can be met affordably.

Shortages of Skilled Professionals

Technology can ensure that scarce clinician time (with the shortage of nurses and doctors) is deployed appropriately, enabling knowledge to be leveraged across other staff groups.

Evidencing Consistent Standards to Regulators

As regulators such as CQC and NHS Improvement tighten up standards, for multi-site healthcare providers it is increasingly challenging to evidence consistent quality across many sites in a timely manner.

Rise of Digital Natives

As the healthcare workforce matures, a generation of “digital immigrants”, staff who grew up using pen and paper, is retiring. The new generation of “digital natives” are far more comfortable with new technologies. Most carry a mobile device capable of hosting smart apps and are hungry and capable of using this technology for a wide range of activities.

There are a variety of trends emerging in how technology can support better care:

One such trend is that individuals in the sector should Move Data, Not People. The unnecessary movement of patients and staff is unsettling to both and results in wasted time and effort. For example hospital admissions of frail elderly patients, transported from their homes through a lack of relevant information prior to admission are completely unnecessary.

Another example of something the use of technology could avoid is the amount of time spent by clinicians Writing Up inspection reports for management, when they could be fixing issues and driving improvements in care.

Using mobile technology, data can be automatically sent from one location to another without moving the patient or staff and without requiring manual write-up. Significant resources can be saved and a better result obtained.

Another benefit of using technology within care settings is the Removal of Variation. Technology can ensure that the variation inherent in manual processes is removed. For example, that all staff work to the same audit checklist, ask the same questions of patients before admission, and use the same version of standards.  

Technology also increases the visibility that management has over operations and reduces the time it takes for areas that require attention to be flagged, allowing for Bedside to Board Transparency. Management by walking around may be possible on a single site:  it is not possible for a care home provider with 30 dispersed sites.

Technology can also play a role in Engaging Staff and Patients. A significant and growing number of staff and patients have direct access to technology devices enabling them to “participate” in the healthcare agenda by providing feedback on facilities and reporting quality issues.

This interaction can enable staff and patients to be fully engaged in driving improved services in a way that is not possible through manual forms.  

Technology offers exciting opportunities to improve the care experienced by patients and to increase the time to care for the dedicated staff working in healthcare. And that, at the end of the day, is what it is all about!

You can see the original article on page 12 of the digital magazine in the link below:

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