The appeal of digitisation is higher than ever before and the care sector is no different. We witness an increasing interest in the care sector for various digital devices and services. With the high demographic pressure and the spending cutbacks, we experience an increased demand for efficiency. Here the digitisation process is considered by many as a part of the answer to the social initiatives of the future.
But do you have difficulties understanding what Care home technology and digitisation as a whole means and maybe think, that the focus on efficiency, improvements, and cutbacks removes focus from what matters the most?
Digitisation and technology only makes sense if it helps people. To help with care, so for instance people with disabilities can become more self-reliant and gain a better quality of life. Technology can also assist care home staff to provide a professional effort that everyone can be proud off.
Solves problems in our daily lives
Technology is helping solve problems in our daily lives, which can be solved differently with new ways of working and tools. Together it makes a difference resulting in more efficient quality care, that allows care givers to address the demographic challenge with fewer hands and more residents in the care homes
As superordinate concept technology spans broadly and consist of different types of solutions for the care sector. For instance the tech can consist of specially designed technologies for one specific target group such as people suffering from dementia or more traditional devices in new generations with improvements. Furthermore technology covers the kind of tools, which aim to minimize the time, that is not creating value for anybody and instead increase the time that does.
This can be done in many ways and by using different technologies that, for instance, take care of the administrative tasks and acts as a management tool in the daily planning of the work structure.
3 prevalent concerns about digitisation in the care sector
Many of us fear the so-called digitisation and do not understand why everything suddenly has to be optimised and happen online. The same applies to digitisation of work processes and there are many pros and cons. Here we have listed 3 concerns/myths about Care home technology that can actually be addressed:
Concern 1. “It is to difficult to learn and use”
When you hear the word digitisation, do you think: Not for me. Mostly because you are not the biggest technology–expert and because you fear, that it would put you or one of your colleagues in a difficult situation, where you can’t keep up?
That is not necessary. Technologies today are born in an age, where the users demands are in focus. They need to be easy to use and must not require multiple years of education or training. An example is the many kids, that “just” pick up smartphones and tablets today with ease. The design is user-friendly and often self-explanatory. The same applies to good technologies in the care home industry. It does not demand an expert, but just a human being with a pair of hands.
Additionally, implementation is a keyword. Because the important thing is not the technology itself, but what allows the user to do. It is tough work for an organisation to implement a new way of working which is why a good implementation plan is also based on change management.
Read more here: 8 steps to bear in mind when going paperless
Concern 2. “What if you lose valuable data?”
Do you see system failure and data security as a theme, which impedes new technologies? Then don’t fear. Many feel the same way. It is important to remember, that most new technologies are born into an age, where for instance cloud computing helps to create a different and improved process for the customers and users; also in regards to data security.
You could start by asking yourself, if a shift to digital technologies would be a step up? From having all your papers in the filing cabinet in your office or on your own servers in the basement, you obtain a totally different flexibility and economy in regards to storage of data. And when it comes to security the big players on the market, who are controlling the largest data-centres (for instance Microsoft), are so much ahead of the local solutions with a strong interest in keeping trespassers and viruses out with requirements of redundancy and back-up services.
Concern 3. “It doesn’t pay off”
Thirdly, do you fear the costs of going digital in addition to the technology does not meet your expectations and deliver the promised effect? In the beginning when technology and the digitisation process first gained acceptance as a concept, it was with large accolades and savings in mind. These accolades have now been under scrutiny, because some projects have resulted in less than profitable cases. It is clear, that there are more perspectives to take in. What is for instance the purpose of the specific technology? Which results do you desire to achieve? And what does previous results in your area of business indicate?
When you address some of these aspects, it becomes clear, that new technologies require strong management and crystal clear premises. When that part is in place, you can more easily measure the quality and gains.
The fact that one certain way to handle a problem or challenge not necessarily saves money, increases efficiency or secures information in the best way possible is seen in all sectors – and with most types of solutions.
Technology and digitisation in the care sector covers all types of technologies that support the users and the organisation with their work in relation to provide better care. We believe that the focus of the care sector is to secure better resource exploitation and one of the solutions to that is by utilising new technologies and aids.
Click here to see how 3 Danish care homes were able to successfully improve their work processes using digitisation.