Digital data is growing at a rapid rate, with more and more sectors moving over from paper-based records to digital management software and systems. The health and social care sector is actively being encouraged to do so, with funding available from local ICSs (integrated care systems) ring-fenced to help organisation seeking to make the move. In fact, NHS Transformation Directorate has promised £25 million towards helping care organisations go digital to improve care-based tasks and safeguard their residents’ and patients’ data. There is an approved list of suppliers available to help organisations find a reputable provider. Care Vision is proud to be on this list and available for care homes that have secured ICS funding to purchase.
How does digital data ensure better care services?
A switch to digital care management software does not do away with the need to collect, store and analyse residents’ data. In fact the digital tools are designed specifically to support this vital area of social and healthcare services. Data becomes more valuable once it has been digitised for a number of reasons. These include easier access and quicker updating to accurate reporting and increased security. It is for compelling reasons like these that care homes and organisations are realising the enormous benefit of harnessing and collecting data via remote patient monitoring apps, devices and software tools.
On a practical level, digital functions such as fluid intake monitoring, weight management and emotion, mood and behaviour analysis all help care homes collect meaningful, accurate data on their residents’ wellbeing at any time. This gets channelled into the digital management system and stored under the individual resident’s name to directly inform their ongoing treatment plans and help predict their health and social wellbeing outcomes.
Additionally, using digital care management tools to support staff in carrying out their jobs helps ensure that any data collected around carers, admin staff and managers is also correct and up-to-date. Staff rotas, for example, are made easier to plan when the manager can access people’s availability, contracted hours and training records via a single system. Housekeeping teams can access procurement and planning data on food and drink requirements, cleaning supplies, maintenance and repairs and more. Externally, digital tools help medical specialists, doctors, pharmacists, therapists, surgeons and others to access key data to enable them to plan medication changes, organise therapies, write prescriptions and order tests.
Why ICS funding is a crucial part of the plan
As is evident from the above, more and more care homes and organisations are waking up to the multiple benefits of switching from paper records to digital care management software. However, funding for the move is not always readily available. That is where ICS funding can come into the picture. It can help a care home bear the installation costs of a brand-new system, as well as support training needs while the system beds in. Care providers normally starts to see a return on the investment very quickly in terms of improved operational efficacy and data quality.
Alternatively, care homes can apply for ICS funding to help them upgrade to a more advanced system, or change to another one if their current provider is not meeting all of their data collection and analysis needs. The beauty of digital care management software is in its flexibility and bespoke nature. Clients can build the system to meet their exact needs and customise the dashboard, app and other tools for their preferred layouts and design.
Are you ready to apply? The advice is to get on with it soon. While there is no final deadline for applying for funding, the money will only last for so long before it runs out. Applicants must be a CQC registered, adult social care provider and applications should be directed to their local ICS – contact details and terms and conditions for the application will be available online. As data is increasingly being linked to digital collection, storage and analysis tools, now is the perfect time to make the move to a software-based care management system. For more information about how Care Vision can help you digitise your data, run your care home more effectively and apply for an ICS grant to help you fund it, get in touch with one of our team today.