Making the switch from paper to a digital care management system, or indeed from one digital to another digital provider is a difficult one for many providers, take a look at our website, https://www.careis.net/, to see what you might get in the way of feature. Many people are wedded to paper care plans, because they are safe, they understand them, and they are not subject to power cuts or the need to train staff how to use them.
Talking to managers and nominated individuals, we hear a similar list of reasons why they can’t make the change right now. Key among the reasons for choosing not to change are:
- It won’t benefit us or our service users.
- We don’t have time.
- It’s too expensive.
- The staff aren’t tech savvy.
- Visitors will think we are on phones all of the time.
Of course, while these are genuine concerns, they are sadly misplaced. For the most part these are excuses, which people use because they have not properly looked into the benefits which going digital, especially in terms of care management (including care and support planning) can bring them.
Here’s are some of the reasons and some of the key benefits to going digital:
- It saves time, several staff can access the record at once.
- They are safer, they don’t get lost and if you spill tea on it, it is still retrievable!
- You can share them with service users and families making for truly person-centred care planning.
- Managers can access records from home, or anywhere else.
- Staff who “forget” to make entries at work can, with the right permissions, amend their entries.
Going digital is quicker than you think, many services only need an hour or two of training before they are able to create useable care plans and what a lot of people fail to realise is that digital care planning saves time as care staff with a mobile device can access and update records from anywhere. Like paper plans, the best digital care planning is person-centred, so no, https://www.careis.net/ do not offer ready written care plans and never will, but we provide a template which is tried and tested and onto which you can write, with your service users and those important to them, great care and support plans.
When you take into account the time saved, not to mention the trees, digitalisation of care plans can be cost effective. We know of people who are saving on average 20-30 minutes per regular shift of carer time which over a week is a half a day of extra time for care. With not having to print so much, or not at all, one use of our system reported saving £100 a month on printing!
Most staff have some idea of how to use technology, if they can use social media and send messages or their SMART phones, then they can use digital care planning! Where staff struggle, which is rare, having digitalisation champions (staff who support other staff to use digital care planning) quickly solves this problem as they work alongside other carers helping them adapt to the technology. Many services tell us that the initial reluctance to go digital has been replaced with questions about why they did not do it before!
There are many other benefits to digitalisation, not least of which is that the CQC recommend it https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/what-good-looks-digital-records-adult-social-care, which are not discussed here, but the most important is that it creates additional time for caring and you can’t really um and ah at that!