According to the Care Quality Commission the use of technology in health and care services is growing in importance. It is claimed that digitally-enabled care can offer significant benefits to people who use services and those who manage and deliver them. One of the strategic priorities of the CQC is to encourage innovation, because there is evidence that it can drive improvements in the quality of care within the social care sector.
An overview of the media shows that there are an increasing number of companies who have entered the health and social care market offering a raft of technological solutions ranging from staff rotas, and care planning to medication. Some of the innovation will be of benefit to providers, but as this blog will show technology has also benefited people who use services.
Bettal Quality Consultancy technical innovation (On line Cared 4 Quality Management System)
Bettal Quality Consultancy recognised the importance of technology more than 20 years ago, being one of the first companies to offer the health and social care sector an on-line quality management system (Cared 4). The system enables staff to see documents about the operation of their service, follow policies and procedures, and amend them to achieve continuous improvement.
Auditing Tool & Compliance Tool
Technology can be of benefit in supporting managers to run their service. At Bettal we have worked in conjunction with Qual systems (International Document Management Company) on the development of an auditing and compliance tool. The tool enables managers to:
Measure the performance of their service against the Key Lines of Enquiry and the Fundamental Standards.
Identify where there is a non-compliance.
Create an action plan to achieve compliance.
Monitor and audit to ensure actions have been carried out.
Management Task Flow
This system is based upon the upon the key tasks carried out by managers and is designed to save managers time and improve task efficiency. The system includes:
A number of flowcharts which provide step by step guidance on carrying out a task.
All the documentation you need to do the task, eg appointing a new member of staff is located in one folder for the user’s convenience.
Technological benefits for people who use services
I have in the course of my blogs discussed a number of technological benefits for people who use social care services, these have included:
Tablets that all people to monitor the services provided for them and to give them more control of their lives.
On line systems that enable families to check services provided for their loved ones on a day to day bases.
Digital care plans that enable service users and their families to take part in reviews.
Amazon Alexa that has the potential to improve the quality of life for people with dementia.
Developed in Japan and modelled on the features of a baby harp seal, PARO is the most common therapeutic pet-type robot used in studies with people with dementia. It is designed to bring physical comfort to those who live in care homes.
In addition, there is a raft of apps that can be of interest to people who use services.
Care Quality Commission
The CQC says it is determined that regulation should not stand in the way of digital developments. But they emphasise that using technology and innovation must never come at the expense of high-quality, person-centred care.
There is little doubt that providers and people who use services can benefit from innovation and new technology. Bettal Quality Consultancy customers provide strong evidence there is a willingness to embrace new technology as our customer base continues to grow. So it seems that the demand for technological innovation is set to continue.
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Albert Cook Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy