Cliniconex UK: Is technology the answer to the social care staffing shortage?

social care staff shortages

Social care home staff have had to be vaccinated since mid-November to be able to continue working. Since the mandate went into effect, the industry lost roughly 50 000 employees, with some staff leaving for work in other sectors like hospitality. While reasons for leaving may vary, the loss highlights the deepening crisis of workplace burnout.

At the moment, the staff shortage is so severe, some CQC registered homes are being forced to return their registrations due to a lack of staff.

One possible upside? The eligibility of foreign social care workers for 12-month Health and Care Visas could see thousands of additional care workers fill the current gap. Should recruited care workers wish to remain in the UK, they will be offered a pathway to settlement along with their partners and children. 

With low job satisfaction numbers, poor recruitment results, and no end in sight to the pandemic; what are care home administrators to do? What tools and processes can better help current staff focus on those in their care? 

Use EHR integrated software   

The most up-to-date and accurate information in a care home is housed in one central location – the EHR. So why not leverage that data (and its easy accessibility) by using tools which make it even more powerful? Meet interoperability. This refers to a system that can easily be integrated with another system to share important information. But how do EHR integrated tools help save staff time? Staff shortages mean fewer people to do more work, and training and onboarding when implementing new tools and processes can take time care staff don’t have. 

Improve staff productivity by automating outreach

Think of all the data and information staff need to gather and share with others. Dates, times, events, instructions, specific health information relating to one resident, contact information: from emergencies to the everyday, they are constantly communicating. And then logging those communications. So why not ease the entire information dissemination process? 

Automated outreach:

  • Increases proactive communication so your community stays informed.
  • Reduces errors and omissions. 
  • Creates automatic, auditable logs of all communications and their outcomes.
  • Can save precious time in an emergency by updating an entire community of an ongoing situation in minutes.

Outreach at a glance: comparing modalities

This simplified graph shows how various communication methods rate in terms of:

Acknowledgement: Assurance that a message has been received and understood.

Efficiency: Time spent coordinating outreach and for the message to be delivered to the recipient.

Accessability: Accommodating a recipients’ individual preferences and needs.

Record Keeping: How well communication is logged internally and recorded for regulatory audits.

Graph explaining the pros and cons of different communication methods
All modalities

While so much has been out of our control over the course of the pandemic, what is controllable is how we react to the ever-changing challenges being presented. Technology can ensure that the limited staff available are free to focus on important tasks at hand, decreasing overtime and the need to hire agency staff. Book a demo to see how Automated Care Messaging can help your team.

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