A few weeks ago I wrote about a pretty awesome technology in care presentation from CQC Inspector Steve Rust. This week I thought I'd go into a little bit more detail and share some of the statistics and interesting things that he talked about in his presentation, particularly in regards to how can the innovative use of technology in care services help get Outstanding?
Now I don't necessarily agree with the practicalities around all of these points as people's care services run very differently from one another, with people also having a complete range of different abilities and capabilities to engage with technology, however, some of the ideas he posed to the audience did have some merit. So without further ado, here we go.
One in five care homes does not offer Wi-Fi
This really didn't surprise me, we know that some care providers really struggle with their Wi-Fi and because of various factors like the buildings they are in, lack of dedicated network infrastructure to support large levels of connections.
Technology could be used for what we use it for
This might seem a bit cryptic at first glance, but what Steve was getting at, was that he was looking to see care providers try to provide technology to people in their care, that is the same as what people who aren't in care use it for. For example that could be access to a simple mobile telephone so people could call their families and friends.
Engage staff and people together in doing the things we like
Well, if your staff like playing on their smartphones and tablets, then why couldn't they share the experience with one of the residences and play a game together? The games don't have to be complicated or involve intricate movements but could be quiz type activities, which make the use of technology such as Lumosity and even something simple like Angry Birds are feasible.
He went on to challenge the care providers that were present to imagine a care home where the residents can be shown how to:
- Use Facebook to see keep up with the day to day 'goings-on' in their family
- Make calls using FaceTime so they can actually see and connect with their family and friends every single day
Skype with friends who live too far away to drop in and visit
- Receive emails from their loved ones and arrange visits
- Watch videos of activities/interests they used to do before they moved into the home
- Watch TV on catch up channels streamed to their tablet
- Read the news and keep up with current affairs
- Pass the time using apps and games
- Download books to read and discuss with their carers and other residents
All of these ideas sound great on face value, however as I said previously the reality of these in their practical application need to be weighed up with the capacity and abilities of those people in your care. Having just bought my own 85-year-old Grandmother-in-law an iPad and regularly being called on FaceTime I can attest first hand to the joy that technology can bring by connecting people.
Importantly though I think that what Steve was trying to explore was the idea that by using technology in a normal day-to-day fashion inside a care service could be considered innovative enough to help justify an Inspector rating a care service as Outstanding. That in itself is pretty special.
How could our care home software help in your care service?
As a care home software provider we are aware of our position as a potential gateway for users of our free care planning system to adopt more technology to help support their care service. Over time we'll be looking for the best and brightest technology companies that will be sure to help care providers deliver better care and improve people's lives. We'll be sharing this information with our community and hopefully, we'll be able to help get a few discounts too. So watch this space!
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