How digital technology is transforming social care

Digital resources are widely used in the sector, challenging the notion that social care and technology don’t mix

Skills For Care

Skills For Care

This article by Sara Dunn is taken from the Guardian Social Care Network today about the use of digital technology in social care. 

"It’s not so long since “I didn’t come into social care to work with computers” was a common response to digital technology in the care sector. How things have changed.".

Whilst we do still hear this said, it's often in the context of smaller voluntary sector care providers talking about the overwhelming range of large computer based care systems, databases and website systems they see. 

As identified by Skills For Care we are also finding these smaller organisations are starting using the technology that is already out there ... the technology such as Facebook and Google Drive that they are familiar at home, away from the office environment. Maybe the gap between how digitally skilled managers see their staff and how digitally skilled staff view themselves from the earlier Skills For Care research, is something that adopting the simplest technology available for the job could bridge.

For example, we've seen a small care provider switch all their office systems from a physical server to Google Drive, field staff have tablets rather than files of paper and remote staff can access the latest rotas from wherever they are in the community.

"Our research suggests that focus should be on supporting learning and development for staff in a range of ways, including peer support in the workplace via digital champions, and options for improving access to shared resources, knowledge and experience. Skills for Care is working with partners to develop ways to implement these recommendations, so that the care sector can continue to develop to the best of its potential. “The whole world is going digital,” says one care assistant, “and we need to do the same.”

Identifying a member of staff who could be a digital champion for the organisation, having a laptop or tablet PC available for staff to try out in break times or facilitating a digital peer support network with other care providers / care homes in a geographical area are all great ways to help care organisations embrace ways of digital working.

You can read the full article by Sara Dunn here.

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