Social care suppliers are increasingly working together towards the Holy Grail of universal digital software adoption in a sector with the unenviable reputation of being a laggard when it comes to technology.
With four fifths of care home providers still wedded to paper care plans, digital suppliers are finding common cause in coming together to promote greater digital take-up.
Launched in March this year by three digital care plan providers – everyLIFE Technologies, Person Centred Software and Nourish Care – the Care Software Providers Association (CASPA) is a notable example of the tech sector coming together to advance digital technology in social care. Word of the benefits of digital suppliers coming together as a group is spreading fast, with more than 40 digital social care software suppliers signed up.
CASPA, which is a not for profit organisation, will present members’ views when making representations to government and other agencies, when reviewing policy or legislation and when seeking the wider views of the business community, with its members benefiting from having a central point of contact on issues facing the industry.
CASPA has been founded on four key objectives:
- The promotion and continued growth of the use of digital technologies in the social care sector to improve the quality of care delivered;
- Promoting advances in the digital information flow across social care to provide openness and transparency of care being provided;
- Lobbying parties outside social care to improve the digital information flow between social care and others, in particular the NHS;
- Creating standards, such as those for electronic information transfer, where such standards do not currently exist.
A key theme of the four objectives is encouraging interoperability between systems within the social care sector and between health and social care.
Providing greater interoperability will ensure a smoother, faster and more efficient transfer of residents’ digital care notes between care homes even if they are operating different digital care planning systems so that care operators are fully up to date with service user’s medical histories and care needs.
A common tech platform and standards will ensure that digital data is better able to flow between care homes, domiciliary care providers and the NHS, enabling a smooth transfer of care and dramatically accelerating progress towards health and social care integration.
Interoperability will also ensure the flow of data between different software systems providers so that care home operators can purchase care planning, nurse call, eMeds, dementia care and activities systems, for example, without having to worry about whether they will talk to each other.
It’s a win-win solution for commissioners, regulators, the NHS, social care providers and service users alike.
CASPA has been established in the UK as an independent, member-driven association. Membership is available to companies involved in the provision of software to the care sector.
If you would like to add you voice to the call for a digital future for social care and want to find out more about CASPA and its activities, please contact Robin Wells via firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.caspa.care.
By Andrew Mason