Technology in the care sector
Health + Care finished last week and we are slowly picking up on some of the notes that we made regarding digitisation of care - with a special focus on how technologies help pave the way for a better and more effective care sector.
During his panel presentation, titled Revolution or Evolution – Technology in the care sector, Co-Founder Eric Kihlstrom of KareInn urged providers to act on 3 focus points when assessing their many tech opportunities:
1) Be curious and stop firefighting
2) Be collaborative and partner up
3) Have trust (in suppliers?)
It was an interesting debate, and although chair of the event Sharon Blackburn did her absolute best to point questions the right way, none were asked to the only supplier in the panel. A potential question being what role and responsibility all suppliers have in KarenInn's eyes - to help social care out of its' imminent crisis? However, the debate's timeslot was limited and time ran out before there was a chance to asked the question.
Director of Innovation and Delivery, Ed Russell of WCS Care, (scoring their sixth "Outstanding" this week) explained how WCS use tech in many aspects of care; the most interesting being that of Acoustic monitoring reducing night checks and falls, eventually providing the residents with less disturbance and a better sleep.
Dr Jane Townson of Somerset Care really hit the nail on the head with her statement: "Gadgets - so what?". In her - and what seemed to be the predominant panel view - tech is a great enabler, but people and culture come first. Real needs are at the bottom of any tech implementation at Somerset care homes, where structure assists driving the benefit of going digital up.
Dr Townson's unwavering focus on "it's what we do with the output that matters" serves as a great perspective for the whole debate around the use of technology in the care sector. By turning the focus from the single device onto big data and knowing where to focus future effort. By simply overlooking a dashboard showing management where to start working, managers and staff alike can start to leverage the possibilities technology into improved care for the residents.