Digital technology is here and it is improving lives across the country. It is making simple, repetitive tasks easier and saving money for all. There are very few walks of life in which technology has not made some form of an impact. From booking a taxi by the simple click of a button to ordering that last minute Valentine’s present online, the digital generation is here. The possibilities are endless and can help to enhance the level of care that we provide to the most vulnerable.
The benefits that digital can provide to Social Care is endless and exciting. This could indeed be the start of a new golden era of technological development within the industry. Of course there will be challenges but the gauntlet has been set and we are ready to develop the appropriate remedies. From looking at the problems associated with Delayed Transfers of Care and moving the bed booking process online to creating cloud based solutions that dramatically reduce administration and improve efficiency.
Digital Scotland: The guiding light in digital transformation
2020 is where we are heading. It is the key date at the forefront of all local authorities across the UK, to make all of their services digital by default.
Scotland is aiming to be a digital leader in this respect. Their aim is to complete a digital transformation that others look to, not just within health and Social Care but as a whole. They want to transform the way in which the country operates and conducts business to realise the full efficiencies and savings possible.
To aid providers in this noble quest, the Scottish Government has recently published a paper, outlining their Health and Care strategy and bid to be one of the top nation’s utilising digital for the betterment of its people.
'Digital Technology has the potential to change the face of health and social care delivery.’
- Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee report on technology and innovation in health and Social Care
It is an admirable goal and one that we all share. We all hear about how cash strapped public services are, in particular Social Care and the huge understaffing problems that every authority is attempting to deal with. What we don’t hear about is the success stories, where an authority has embraced digital technology to make a difference.
Scotland are aiming for similar success but on a grander scale.
How are Scotland doing?
Much like in England they are making strides and moving towards Digital 2020 with purpose. The report issued recently highlighted six areas that are required for national co-operation to lead the country into the future. The report also highlighted the development of a spine. The development of a national spine of information that will feed into every NHS and Social Care system, thus preventing the duplication of information that is rampant within care. This as you can imagine will have huge benefits not only in terms of time and cost savings but also from a Service User’s point of view.
‘Digital technology is key to transforming the health and social care services so that care can become more person-centred.’
Scottish Government, Health and Social Care Delivery Plan
To integrate with the spine, all local authorities need a digital ready system and ideally one that is Cloud based and built on a platform with open APIs. The future is here and authorities from across the UK need to adapt. No longer are clunky legacy systems appropriate for the task at hand.
Person-centred care stretches beyond the traditional care paradigm of focusing on the physical care, it needs to look at the overall journey. With weeks of backlogs for Social Care assistance across the country and some vulnerable citizens being left for weeks to fend for themselves, the journey needs to be changed. Technology can ensure that assessments are undertaken quicker and more efficiently. They can speed up processes and save money, as well as time, ensuring that people are seen as quickly as possible, with data about them saved and shared securely.
The report highlighted some of the progress that Scotland has made with the introduction of NHS Inform and other projects but more needs to be done. We admire Scotland for their bold vision and are here to support with the development of technologies that fall into this category. We will continue to work with authorities across Scotland and the wider UK market, investing in technology infrastructure that will light the way for the future.