Care providers and commissioners have outlined the greatest challenges in implementing technology for quality care, and proposed practical solutions to going digital.
Representatives from home care businesses and local authorities fleshed out their issues and ideas on the topic during a breakout seminar at the Tech for Care conference in Manchester on Tuesday.
They said the main challenges they face in implementing technology are cost and dealing with resistance to change amongst the workforce.
The choice of technologies can also be overwhelming, some providers and commissioners added, explaining that there are different types of service users who require different types of technology, and several issues that require different types of solutions.
The time it takes to train the workforce to use digital care systems was also an issue for some providers and commissioners, who explained that some staff members are computer illiterate.
Then there’s the issue of regulation creating a barrier for innovation, with some inspectors insisting on viewing paper records, delegates said.
Alongside the challenges they face, providers and commissioners were asked to discuss what practical things can be done to support the introduction of technology across social care and how they can ensure that the use of technology is person-centred.
Some care professionals suggested that providers and commissioners should start with the person and not the technology – carrying out a strong personal assessment on what the service user’s needs are in order to discover what technologies they need to improve their care.
Others said they would like to see the provision of financial support to start pilot projects, while some professionals suggested that they required extra training to facilitate culture change and increase the appetite for technology among the workforce.
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