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Seven Pitfalls of Carrying on With Paper-Based Care Home Records

The technological revolution has changed the working practices of care homes up and down the country. Moving resident records, staffing functions, housekeeping tools and budget planning onto a digital platform has sped up admin, increased data security and brought about several other advantages for busy care home managers.

However, not every care facility has made the move yet. While the switch over can involve some initial financial outlay and time to get used to doing things differently, the benefits far outweigh any temporary disruption. Here are seven reasons why paper-based records are – or should be – rapidly becoming old news in the health and social care sector.


While small amounts of paper records can be straightforward to manage and file, larger quantities can quickly present problems. You will need bulky filing cabinets and a lot of folders, files and stationery to manage the filing system. Papers also need to be kept in suitable conditions, away from damp and protected from fire and accidental damage. All of this can be made easier by converting paper-based records into digital storage systems. Much less space required and no longer any risk of essential pieces of paper getting lost or damaged.

Data protection

Care homes must handle a lot of sensitive and confidential data. From personal details to banking account numbers; staff records to budget forecasts. All of this data must be securely stored backed up and protected from theft, corruption or loss. This is simple to do on a reliable cloud-based digital management system, such as Care Vision. Passwords, encryption and secure storage solutions combine to offer reassuring data protection and cyber security protocols.

Access and sharing

When it comes to medical records, psychological reports and other documents relating to residents’ health care and wellbeing, information often needs to be shared with carers, external medical professionals, family members etc. This usually needs to be done quickly, while retaining confidentiality and privacy for all concerned. Digital records can be accessed and securely shared 24/7 from anywhere with connectivity. There is no need for multiple copies of records, medical notes etc. to be made, reducing the risk of data falling into the wrong hands or outdated versions of records being shared by mistake.


Talking of mistakes, when an error is inputted into a paper-based record, it can be hard to correct it – or even spot it in amongst the reams of paperwork produced on any given day. Other issues around accuracy can include missing data, issues around foreign languages and translation or illegible handwriting. Digital alternatives can spot and highlight anomalies, prompt carers to provide timely updates and automatically translate carers’ notes into the required language. They also eliminate issues around messy handwriting altogether.


We are all trying to do our bit to reduce the impact of operational processes on the environment, cutting down our use of fossil fuels, recycling and reusing as many resources as possible and more. Reducing paper is a great way to work towards this laudable goal. Getting rid of paper-based records not only stops the onslaught of paper required for this onerous admin task, but not having to heat (or light) rooms full of filing cabinets to keep out the damp will help your care home work more sustainably too.

Time-consuming tasks

Care managers are only too aware of how precious their staff members’ time is, especially when it comes to sitting with residents and giving them the care and attention they deserve. When cumbersome admin tasks take up too much of that time, the balance between staying on top of record-keeping and physically and emotionally supporting residents becomes skewed in the wrong direction. Switching to digital record-keeping helps staff get their reports done far quicker. It allows people to quickly look up other resources and records that they need without having to trawl through endless folders and files.

Long-term planning

Finally, paper records can degrade over time and ink from pens, printers and typewriters can fade. Using a robust, future-proofed digital care management system like Care Vision will keep records in perfect condition for the longer-term. The records kept will also act as an accurate, comprehensive digital data trail. This can be used with confidence for audits, inspections and reviews to ensure data integrity and full co-operation with the authorities whenever – and however often – this is needed.

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