Why COVID-19 Is Accelerating Digital Technology in Health and Social Care

Covid-19 placed new demands on health and social care. Hopefully, one positive outcome of this will be positive steps towards greater integration of services, underpinned by digital information sharing.

Crises often accelerate the pace of change. Health and social care have been moving in the direction of closer integration for some time. Out of necessity, Covid-19 prompted many parts of the health and care ecosystem to increase levels of collaboration. Even something as simple as having a coherent and consistent picture of everyone in a community who is shielding generates a significant data-sharing need. Keeping detailed data like this updated on a daily basis isn’t something that can be achieved easily or quickly through a manual process.

Digital in Action

One example of digital collaboration came from Sussex Health and Care ICS. They built a web-based system that updated daily with a list of people who were shielding. This could be filtered by specific needs through integrated datasets.

They could discover if people isolating were already known to a support organisation or statutory agency and decide which organisation should maintain contact and offer support. This fairly simple case indicates the number of agencies and data points potentially involved in a fully integrated service. It shows why cloud-based digital applications are essential to bring everything together.

In the world of care training, face-to-face learning wasn’t possible during the lockdown and is still difficult in some areas. This isn’t just down to social distancing – the pandemic placed enormous pressure on staff time. But training couldn’t stop. So more organisations have introduced digital learning into their training mix to keep staff skills updated and maintain compliance in an efficient way.

Having seen the benefits of digital technology for collaboration and efficiency it’s inconceivable that the clock will be turned back when the pandemic is over. The future of health and care services will be increasingly digital.

If you would like some guidance on what your options are when it comes to digital training, and competency testing, then contact Redcrier who will happily discuss your requirements, specific situation. Contact us on 01884 33 22 00 for more information.

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