People have been talking about technology, innovation and the limiting nature of tying yourself down to paper in all areas of life – paper bank statements are becoming a thing of the past, cheques not accepted for payment, no more car tax displayed in the windscreen and when was the last time you used yellow pages or bought a local paper to find something for sale?
Why has the Care Sector been so slow in embracing the digital world? The reasons are many but have been largely based upon a ‘fear of the unknown’, or ‘because we’ve always done it that way’ or issues surrounding ‘what the regulator might say’ about not having paper evidence, and a concern that people working in services won’t cope with the changes.
As the world moves inexorably away from files of paper gathering dust in a locked manager’s office, Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) is determined to demonstrate to providers the liberating advantages of technology, how it can make lives easier, improves the provision of care and therefore increases the chance of being rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by CQC.
CQC in the latest changes to their KLOEs have put more emphasis on recognising innovation, using technology and have an increased focus on ‘outcomes’ for people through observing practice and talking to people rather than focusing on paper and documentation. So, the traditional ‘paper’ evidence is less important than it used to be, and evidence can be provided in other more expressive ways.
The fear about people working in services not coping with the innovation and technological changes is probably more of an issue with management, who tend to be older, rather than a carer issue for whom the smart phone is an extension of the hand for the majority! Most businesses today support controlled usage of mobiles and tablets, as they recognise that they can more effectively deliver important information and also, importantly, track that this information has been opened and viewed.
To help with this QCS has developed an App for both Apple and Android phones that contains all the content of the desktop site which, to me, is as much of a game changer as when I purchased my first iPod nano and couldn’t believe that all my 500 albums were on something no bigger than a matchbox! 42,000 carers with access to the QCS system can now have all the policies and procedures that they need in the palm of their hand 24/7. Instant access to all the key facts is a liberating experience and really does support staff to deliver high quality care wherever they are. It contrasts starkly with paper policies sitting on an office shelf.
The QCS App is extremely user-friendly, and you can access many of the popular features found on the online system, including Policy Centre, Reading Lists, Mock Inspection Toolkits, Custom Documents, Stakeholder Surveys, Fundamental Standards and Monthly Policy Briefing.
Other functionality within the policies themselves include the option to see what KLOE is most important to the policy, see what evidence you could have to show you are outstanding, and links to all the research that has gone into the development of each policy.
All of these developments are specifically designed to making the quality of care better for everyone by freeing up staff to do what they do best – which is care!