Care providers must embrace technology to secure their long-term future

Integrated software is key to survival, according to white paper

7 July 2016 – In an era of major regulatory reform, reduced budgets and greater scrutiny, care providers should turn to integrated technology to not only protect themselves but grow and flourish in the face of such demands. This is the finding of a new white paper from Advanced, exploring how growing pressures in the sector can be relieved.

The research presented shows the extent of the strain on the care industry, with a 24-fold increase in insolvencies since 2010. In 2015, an average of six care homes went out of business every month and there are currently 5,000 care homes at risk of closure.

The cause of this is a cocktail of radical reform in the way social care is delivered and paid for, slashed budgets and the introduction of the Living Wage.

Devolution of care has increased home care options, and patients now have greater control and choice, but this has complicated administration for providers. Budgets continue to be reduced by an average of 20% each year, despite rising life expectancy and increasingly complex health conditions. Staffing costs have also risen, and staff turnover at private providers is as high as 18%.

This paints a bleak picture for those within the care sector, but there are positive measures that can be taken to combat these issues. Many forward-thinking organisations are already reviewing priorities and employing new approaches to maximise flexibility and cost-efficiency. Integrated technology is at the heart of their strategies.

George Thaw, Managing Director – Health & Care, Advanced, comments, “We understand the many issues care providers are facing on a daily basis, as they deliver their vital services. By incorporating the right technology solutions into their strategies they can gain flexibility, improve productivity and protect their future. Disjointed systems create inefficiency, so a holistic approach with a modern, connected infrastructure is key to success.”

By integrating core back-office systems with each other and with traditional care management solutions, care providers can increase responsiveness, reduce duplication and provide real-time data for effective decision-making. Joining up systems, for example linking customer billing with payroll or budgeting with HR recruitment, creates an efficient and productive organisation.

Care providers are also seeing benefits from technology such as cloud hosting and document management systems. Key documents are scanned and archived so that they can be retrieved at a moment’s notice. CRM systems are proving invaluable in managing the increasing network of relationships that those in the care sector now need to maintain.

Thaw adds, “Modern care providers cannot afford to ignore the benefits of hosting their software in the cloud, to free up time from managing infrastructure, and embracing mobile technology, backed up by systems that talk to each other. With remote access to the most up-to-date information, care staff will be able to spend more time caring for patients. Demonstrating compliance is now simpler than ever.

“In an increasingly complex landscape, an integrated approach simplifies day-to-day care provision while addressing the challenges and ensuring organisations are prepared for future changes.”

To read the white paper, ‘Relieving Growing Pressure in the Care Sector’, click here.

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