People. Process. Systems.

Sarah Gunston
28th April 2024

Digital Care Recording artilce Header Image
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a seismic shift towards digitalisation across various sectors, including not-for-profit, health, and social care organisations. While we may be past “the new normal” and operating somewhat digitally, adapting, and optimising digital solutions emerges as a crucial priority for continued development. Beyond mere compliance, effective digital-care recording, and management, holds the potential to revolutionise service delivery, enhance transparency and operational efficiency. Strengthening not-for-profit’s offering and impact to their service users and stakeholders.

In this article we outline what digital care recording is and delve into some of the key opportunities for optimisation – from our wealth of experience in supporting organisations do just that.


The Importance of Digital Care Recording

Digital care recording refers to the systematic documentation and tracking of service user interactions, interventions, outcomes, and other pertinent information using digital tools and platforms. Traditionally, health and social care organisations relied on manual record-keeping methods, which often proved cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to errors. Digital care recording offers a more efficient, accurate, and secure alternative, enabling organisations to streamline data collection, analysis, and reporting processes.


Embracing Digital Transformation

The pandemic forced many not-for-profits to rapidly adopt digital solutions to ensure continuity of services amidst social distancing measures and lockdowns. While this shift was initially driven by necessity, it has underscored the transformative power of digital technologies in delivering care and support services. The challenge for many organisations now is, where do we go from here? How do we build on and improve our processes and how we use these systems? How do we ensure we’re getting value for money from these systems?


Forget Duplication

We know firsthand that many health and social care organisations had to “lift and shift” their paper care records directly into their new digital care recording solutions. Whether it was due to time or resource constraints during implementation, unfortunately many care recording systems are often set up unintentionally inefficient. With end users still having to duplicate information in a variety of places or use paper-based solutions alongside the digital care recording, due to missing information or data capture inefficiencies.

Optimising your care recording by overhauling the documentation and information flow, having a “master record” of data, utilising “activities” and harnessing automation means you could say goodbye to writing the same information in 3 different places, and have a single point of data entry. Reducing time and effort of initial data entry enables more effective and efficient resource utilisation.


Leveraging Data

In this digital era, data has emerged as a powerful tool for driving better service delivery and process improvement. Organisations can analyse trends, identify gaps in service provision, and measure the effectiveness of interventions. However, the format in which information is captured plays a huge part in how we can effectively harness this wealth of data to make better, more informed decision.

Utilising “activities” or standardising mandatory care recording notes for daily write ups can enable more effective management information. Pulling on the innovate solutions built into many care recording systems to collect quantitative data quickly and easily, along-side daily notes and forms, can provide quick and easy insights across the service delivery. In addition, developing smart management information reports directly from a care recording solution, supports providers with real-time information to consistently develop and improve service delivery and efficiencies.


Beyond Compliance

While compliance with regulatory requirements, like The Care Quality Commission (CQC) remains important, the benefits of optimising digital care recording extend beyond just adherence to standards. In another article, Meeting Care Recording Needs One Outcome at a Time, we explored the role of digitalised care recording systems and how they can excel at meeting the needs for person centred, outcome based, care and support. Digital care recording can be optimised to align supporting documentation with specific outcomes and use simple drop-down menus and activities to add and track a variety of outputs to easily evidence positive progress for a person.

Similarly, alternative ways to capture care recording, such as – text to speech functionality, video uploads or pictures, can support a more efficient service delivery and encourages service users to lead in their support journey.


Enhancing Accountability and Transparency

Transparency and accountability is paramount to maintain trust and credibility with all stakeholders. Digital care recording facilitates greater transparency by providing a comprehensive audit trail of service user interactions and interventions. Many solutions offer the ability to share restricted access to rotas and care records, making it quick and easy to evidence support.

This transparency not only instils confidence among users and stakeholders, but it reduces the manual transfer of information and reduces the risk of outdated information being shared. It also empowers service users to actively participate in their care journey and advocate for their requirements.


Overcoming Challenges

While the benefits of optimising digital care recording are undeniable, health and social care organisations may encounter challenges in the change process. These challenges may include resource constraints, staff training needs, data privacy concerns, system configuration skills gaps and interoperability issues with existing systems.

However, by leveraging partnerships, capacity-building initiatives, and tailoring processes to fit the new world, organisations can overcome these obstacles and unlock the full potential of their digital solutions.


Looking Ahead

With a wealth of experience across different types of not-for-profit and health and social care organisations, we can offer unparalleled expertise to guide you through every phase of your change journey – including optimising your existing digital care recording solutions. Get in touch with us today to discuss your consultancy needs.

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