Home Opinion What’s stopping care businesses from going digital?

What’s stopping care businesses from going digital?

by Kirsty Kirsty

Jon Wilson, Senior Vice President, Deputy

Jon Wilson, Senior Vice President at Deputy, a scheduling software platform, outlines the barriers preventing care businesses from embracing digital transformation and the strategies to overcome them.

This time last year, the government updated its policy paper on the next steps to put ‘People at the Heart of Care’. A key aspect of the 10-year vision is to drive digitalisation.

The care sector, under constant demands for efficiency and transparency, stands to benefit significantly from the opportunities that digital technology can provide. But while automating admin areas such as records and rostering can free up time for valuable personal interaction, only 30-40% of care providers are fully digitised. So what’s stopping care businesses from going digital?

Often, it’s the fear of embarking on costly and time-consuming projects that may not deliver the promised outcomes. Today, cloud technology is removing this barrier, by making easy-to-use digital tools readily available across all laptops, mobile and tablets. This frees up care providers to focus on the human factor, so transformation becomes about people, not tech.

Unquestionably, the most important thing in any care home is the staff. I recently spoke to one of our customers who told me that removing any impediment to their happiness is the key to retaining the best people. The little things can make all the difference between a member of staff staying with you or leaving, and if you can focus on those small things, it’s more likely they’ll stay.

A successful digital transformation strategy encompasses five key elements:

Numbers as per previous designs

  1. Build a business case and secure buy-in: Avoid the temptation to overhaul everything at once. Break down the transformation into manageable phases and prioritise initiatives based on their impact. Engage stakeholders early on and demonstrate tangible benefits to gain support and funding.
  1. People-centred procurement: Prioritise user needs and involve them in the decision-making process. Look beyond upfront costs and consider the total cost of ownership. Choose vendors aligned with your organisation’s values and long-term goals.

We know from our customers that when you’re ‘all hands on deck’ and dealing with different issues across the business, it’s very disruptive to be tied up doing admin tasks like timesheets and schedules the old-fashioned way.

  1. Effective implementation: Focus on achieving value incrementally and involve vendors as partners rather than mere suppliers. Set clear goals and commitments and create feedback loops to incorporate learnings into the solution. Ensure adequate resources and strong governance throughout the implementation process.
  1. Go live and learn: Treat the go-live phase as a starting point rather than an endpoint. Conduct a soft launch to address any issues before full deployment. Celebrate achievements and reflect on lessons learned to inform future iterations.
  1. Success and advocacy: Continuously assess progress towards strategic objectives and seek support from internal advocates and vendor partners. Align success metrics with overarching goals and foster a culture of ongoing improvement and innovation.

In the journey towards digital transformation, technology serves as a facilitator rather than the sole driver of change. Cloud technology has made digital transformation more accessible, but success ultimately hinges on the people and processes behind the technology. Care providers don’t need to be IT experts to embark on this journey; they need to leverage their existing skills and partner with the right stakeholders to ensure a successful digital transformation.

By prioritising people and process, care services can unlock the full potential of digital technology to deliver better outcomes for both those giving care and receiving care.

Download a free digital transformation guide for care providers at www.deputy.com/gb/insights/digital-transformation-toolkit



Image depicts Jon Wilson, Senior Vice President, Deputy

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