Dorset Council has claimed significant progress in the implementation of digital social care records (DCSRs) by care homes and domiciliary care agencies in its area.
It said that six out of 10 are now using the DCSRs in response to the nationwide Digitising Social Care initiative – led by the NHS England Transformation Directorate – to replace paper based care systems.
It is planning to encourage further take-up with an event on Thursday of this week in support of the initiative.
The council’s portfolio lead for adult social care, Cllr Jane Somper, said: “Embracing digital social care records will enable care homes and domiciliary care agencies to harness the benefits of efficiency, communication, data security and evidence based decision making. I hope more providers will be using electronic records soon.”
The council said the record provides a number of benefits, including improvements in efficiency, real time access by multiple users, improving the continuity of care and making it possible for users to make informed decisions, monitor outcomes and identify trends.
It has cited comments by care home directors supporting the use of the records.
Care South at Home director, Martin Ross, said: “Care South at Home introduced digital care planning into its services in late 2022.
“Operationally it has fundamentally improved the experience and oversight of care delivery for clients, stakeholders, staff, and management teams. The assessment, care planning, task management, and medication administration processes are comprehensive. It offers real time oversight of care delivery, alerts to signal non-compliance, reporting to monitor activity, compliance and trends and a portal for stakeholders to access care delivery records.”
Rachel Bedford, managing director RHB Care Services, which provides domiciliary care across Dorset and the New Forest, said: “It is great to be able to access records 24/7 and ensure the clients are receiving the care they deserve. We are monitoring compliance daily so we can pick up on any concerns at the time and feel this is a much safer way to protect people’s security/data protection.
“We have seen a reduction in administrative cost, as we are now using less paper and files. Feedback from staff has been amazing: they feel they have more time to spend with the clients, can handover important things at that time, and communicate more effectively with the rest of the team to ensure the best outcome for the client.”
Dorset has had a county-wide integrated record for health and social care since 2017, before the creation of Dorset Council in a merger of the county and four district councils.