The following was presented by AutumnCare Managing Director Tam Watson at the Future of Care Homes Summit and Exhibition.

Tam Watson Tech and Tea
Tam Watson and gang at Tech and Tea, an initiative teaching residents new tech skills.

Tam Watson at FCH Manchester
Tam Watson speaking on the future of technology in care at FCH Manchester
(12 May 2016).


Electronic Care Planning and Delivery

What are the benefits, barriers and pitfalls to adopting electronic care planning at your facility?

The Benefits

  • Person centred assessments and care plans drive the delivery of care 
  • Care plans can be generated automatically from completed assessments 
  • Data consistency 
    For example, care plans will match assessments as all information is transferred directly from one to the other. Double entry is eliminated which eliminates the potential risk of errors in the manually transferring information from one document to the other
  • Enhanced legibility 
    When all information is entered electronically you increase your quality control. There is a reduction is the risk of typos, and mistakes made when wrongly interpreting other peoples handwriting
  • Version control 
    Each time an update is made to a resident’s care needs, this is saved across the entire care management system. This eliminates the risk of other care staff working off of outdated information or old versions of a form or assessment
  • Information is structured and gaps in care records are eliminated. Alerts and tasks notify staff when records are incomplete, prompting completion
  • Data mining, business intelligence and decision support tools are all available to enforce the delivery of best practice care 

None of the above is possible with a paper based system.


The Barriers 

  • Insufficient internal resources
    Occurs when internal IT infrastructure is unable to support the new care management system or there are not enough internal staff driving the implementation of the new system
  • Lack of support and guidance from management 
  • Inadequate training
    This results in care staff neglecting care documentation because they lack confidence in using the new system
  • Company politics 
    If there is a lack of buy in by staff before the care management system is implemented this can lead to staff resistance 

It is rarely the technology that causes the change of care systems to fail. Usually the failure can be attributed to a lack of understanding around the importance of change management. 


The Pitfalls

Electronic systems run the risk of loss of access in extreme weather events or service outages (unless you opt for a system with complete business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities)


What’s Next for Technology in Care?

  • A generation of resident’s that are becoming more tech-savvy in order to access online services, keep in touch with family and friends, and maintain interests and hobbies
  • Family portals/more engagement with the care management system by resident’s and their families
  • ePROs (electronic patient recorded outcomes)
  • Gamification or cognitive training
  • BOTS/robotic assistants. An extension of Automated Intelligence, which supports the user in completing tasks with ease and efficiency

Technical Generation Entering Care

Residents Personal Virtual Space