Advancements in technology are impacting on all manner of industries and sectors, with healthcare and social care being no different. There will always need to be a human side to care, but if technology can help to drive efficiencies and streamline processes then it has to be good for both patients and practitioners alike. If technology can help to reduce safety risks and enhance the quality of care available, it’s worth its weight in gold. So, what examples are there of ways that technology can help in a care environment?
- Helping staff to do what they do best – Care staff are being utilised best when they are face to face with patients and, in some areas, technology allows them to do more of this. Technology can automate processes which lead to less time on administrative tasks and more time spent on focusing on personally delivered care and assistance.
- Improvements in communication – The communication possibilities brought about in recent years through technological advancements almost beggar belief. The scope that exists these days for staff, patients and families presents many great options. As we all become more technologically advanced the patients of the future will be far more aware of how the technology can be used. But, even now the opportunities for families to keep in touch makes communication far easier. Whether it be for carers to ensure that family members are kept abreast of any changes in condition or requirements, or for loved ones being able to reassure others that a good level of care is being received, the communication gap is far more easily bridged these days. This form of technology will only rise in importance to all associated with the care experience in the future.
- Boosting engagement and morale – As technology allows staff to do more of the things that are important, so stress levels and morale should improve. There is already a wealth of information available at the press of a button, making finding options on how to deal with a specific problem easier and allowing for reference points to be found if further advice is needed. Having such options to hand should make life less frustrating and make solutions more readily available for all. As more practitioners embrace the technology it will facilitate information sharing and debate amongst those who respect each other’s work and a challenge to reach even greater heights.
- A commitment to the profession – Although generally a practical profession, embracing technology to make roles more effective displays a commitment to providing the best level of care possible. Such an investment into the level of care provided by the business, also shows a commitment to the staff employed too. This is particularly enhanced if the staff are offered training to ensure they reap the full benefits from the advanced technology. Workers become more skilled and confident in the ambitions of the business, with the knock on effect that they are more likely to readily embrace suggested changes for the better in the future.
- A better flow through the organisation – Most systems now will attempt to integrate all areas of the operation. Embracing technology should make work flows easier and improve productivity. It may also subsequently help staff to look at their role from a new perspective, promoting ideas and suggestions on how to make things even better.
The onset of improvements in technology are definitely to be welcomed rather than feared. The potential benefits available to the care sector are enormous, ultimately empowering care workers with the tools and support to do the job to new levels.
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