Homecare providers have increasingly been adopting technology for years – particularly tech which can be used to help with operational challenges around having a remote and mobile workforce. Research in the last couple of years has shown that homecare workers are more likely to be using technology to communicate with their colleagues for their job than people who work in care homes.
Homecare workers are also more likely than care home staff to use their own mobile phones for work purposes. This can create some unique challenges for organisations and staff in terms of data protection and cyber security – it is important that any organisation who expects staff to use their own phones has a robust Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) policy. It can also cause issues for staff, particularly if staff are expected to use their own mobile data to access care plans or systems. In the current cost of living crisis, it will be important for care providers to consider how they will support staff with the cost of data if they have to use it for work purposes.
Homecare workers also are often around consumer technology, which is bought by the people they support, their friends and family or which is provided by social services. This means that they can see a wide variety of technology in their day-to-day work which might not be familiar to them and it’s likely that this will continue in the next few years.
In November, Digital Social Care and the Homecare Association, will be hosting the ‘Digital Technology and Transformation in Homecare’ one day conference. We will cover a wide variety of topics at this event as well as speaking to homecare providers who are far into their digital journey. I look forward to hearing about the innovation which has been happening there.