Digital technology in social care: myths vs. reality

Digital technology in social care: myths vs. reality

This blog was originally posted on the Skills for Care website

In this blog, Katie Thorn, Project Lead at Digital Care Hub, busts some of the common myths about digital technology in social care.

With an increasing focus on digitisation across Adult Social Care, supported with national funding from the Digitising Social Care programme, it’s no surprise that more care services than ever before are looking towards technology to help them deliver care.

In today’s digital world, misconceptions about how technology affects social care are everywhere. To clear the air, let’s explore the reality of technology’s role in social care. We’ll bust some common myths and uncover how digital technology is changing the landscape for the better.

Myth: “Digital technology will replace human carers.”

The research to date on digital technology widely suggests that it complements carers by automating administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on more personalised and meaningful interactions with the people receiving care.

It isn’t a secret that the care workforce are stretched. In their most recent State of Care report, the CQC revealed that many carers reported feelings of being overworked, exhausted and stressed. If digital technology can relieve some of that, then it’s a step in the right direction.

Myth: “Our staff team won’t engage with technology.”

Some people aren’t always eager to make a change, that’s just human nature. What matters more is how you communicate with your team and what effort you make to bring them along on the journey.

Training your staff on how to use the digital tools you’re implementing will be fundamental to its success, and showing your team how it’ll make their jobs easier is a bonus.

Myth: “Digital technology is too expensive for social care.”

While there are costs associated with implementing digital technology, it’s worth thinking about what long-term savings can be achieved. Staff efficiency’s can be increased, paperwork can be reduced, and errors can be minimised. At Digital Care Hub, we’ve spoken to many care providers who have reported a return on investment as a result of implementing digital technology.

Myth: “Digital technology can compromise privacy and security.”

We’d always recommend implementing strong security measures alongside digital technology, but you don’t need to be a tech whizz to do it. In fact, done correctly and you’ll probably find that your systems prioritise data security and privacy.

Better Security, Better Care are experts when it comes to protecting your digital systems and offer lots of free support to care services on how to do this. Another useful framework to use is the Data Security & Protection Toolkit. It’ll take a birds-eye view of your business and help you to check and improve your data and cyber security arrangements.

Myth: “Technology in social care is only for large organisations.”

Digital tools are scalable and can benefit both small and large care providers. You can implement technology that suits your organisation’s needs to make it cost-effective and manageable.

There’s a lot of technology out there to choose from and a good place to start your search is the assured solutions list. This list has been assured by NHS England and funding is currently available to support care services implement technology.

Further information

Photo by julien Tromeur on Unsplash

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