How Can Technology Help Health and Social Care Professionals Provide Truly Person-Centred Care to the People They Support?

By Annick Guirate, Trainer Consultant, Leecare Solutions Ltd UK (

Regardless of geographical location, health and social care fields across the world are governed by care standards which dictate that residents must receive person-centred care and be involved in every aspect of the care they receive.

With the needs of residents in the health and social care setting being so diverse and complex, organisations supporting people with specific needs, cannot aspire to achieve this best practice by applying a one size fits all rule when it comes to the technology they need to use, to manage both the care and operational sides of their business. There is a substantial amount of published literature depicting how different types of technologies can positively assist organisations in the health and social care industry to enhance independence and quality of life for residents, clients, and patients. Equally, few articles in the information technology rubric balances these views by focusing on evidencing the drawbacks of using certain information communication technologies in this field.

In her article: “Ethical Issues and the Electronic Health Records (EHR)”, published in The Health Care Manager magazine in December 2020, Layman Elizabeth PHD student, highlights the inconsistency of positive evidence about the use of EHR for disadvantaged persons in the care setting. According to Layman (2020) if not used appropriately, this type of technology can also come with some disadvantage which includes residents or clients, not knowing who their information will be shared with; in some cases, the accuracy of the information recorded about a service user is found to be incorrect. Service users do not seem be able to have access to their electronic records.

Over the past decade the issue around the use of technology in the health and social care industry has also been the centre of interest for Government and health care regulatory agencies. Indeed, (Jennifer Martin,2019) the ex-Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Inspector Director, in her quest to review the strength and weaknesses of the EHR systems used in the health and social care field, provided us with a very insightful blog published on the website on the 23rd July 2019. Her work on the evaluation and review of a number of EHR technologies assisted decision makers to see that the majority of available electronic health recording systems did not have adequate functionalities. For example, a major issue related to the lack of ability to give access to specific information to relevant audiences without breaching data. There is also very limited evidence of EHR systems enabling residents and their families to access electronic files without the input of a staff member. Despite some of the drawbacks highlighted in the digital literature, it has been widely acknowledged that achieving effective sharing of information and capturing all essential aspects of an individual’s needs without using technological tools proves very challenging. Hence the Government and health regulatory agencies and such as CQC, NHS and Nice, are supporting and will be ultimately requiring the implementation of EHR technology in health care settings.

A recent review of such systems (Jennifer Martin, 2019), demonstrated that there has been some improvement regarding the sharing of information using EHR systems over the past few years. Professional 3rd parties involved in the care of residents or patients are able to access electronic files. However, the risk of data breach for these systems appeared high, as not all systems could enable the professionals to see only what they needed. The review of the literature on the use of technology in health and social care highlights the importance for leaders making decisions about the tools to be used to achieve best practice and person-centred care; to make themselves familiar with systems and functionalities that will enable them to have the service users at the centre of their care. Interestingly, most literature and recommendations for best practice on this topic point to systems being able to share information effectively. (Kharrazi et al, 2018).

Leecare’s senior leadership team is passionate about continually improving program functionality to ensure service users remain at the centre of the care they receive. The team has continually kept abreast of latest technologies and Government requirements and what is required to ensure best practice, worldwide.

With this in mind, Leecare’s Platinum6 software, has been especially designed to make information sharing easy, with an emphasis on the connection between the care of the resident, staff and the organisation. Particular care has been taken in developing P5MyCarePlan – our resident centred app. By directly enabling service users to inform service providers, the information in assessments and care plans is not solely related to the clinical observations of nursing staff but also reflects more accurately the preferences, views and feedback of the person receiving the care and support.

P5MyCarePlan App also enables residents to review their care plan and what staff have written about them, as well as add information that populates directly into their care plan, in their own time.

If the resident wishes for a family member to also have access to their information, a login can be created for them so that they can contribute to providing feedback regarding the care of their loved one or just be updated about new events.

Having this tool made available to residents, facilitates a truly person-centred care approach as it promotes adaptability and flexibility, giving room to the resident to request changes as and when their needs change, and communicate this to staff members in real time.

Ensuring that residents and service users are able to easily communicate their needs is also paramount to providing person-centred care.

Therefore choosing a technological tool that is not just user friendly but adaptable and accessible is essential if staff are to fully capture all of their resident’s different needs.

Leecare P5MyCarePlan can not only be used on different type of devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, but service users can also use touch screens to write their feedback or utilise voice recognition if they are unable to write. Staff are then able to receive the information and take immediate and effective action. Dr Caroline Lee, CEO and founder of Leecare Solutions stated in her article entitled: “Keeping residents and families connected-supporting Self Determination” which was published on the 5th July in Hello Care Magazine: “Caring requires us to be vigilant – to know every wish and need, watch out for cues for change, and to know what we need to know. But obtaining the information directly from the person the care impacts, using technology, a system linked App, ensures our care is not only about the Standards, or public demands, or legal responsibilities but is real and can be followed through onto the ground where it is needed most”

Kharrazi, H; , Anzaldi BS, Hernandez, L Davison A; Boyd C,M; Leff B; Kimura J; J,P Weiner(2018) The Value of Unstructured Electronic Health Record Data in Geriatric Syndrome Case Identification. V66, Issue 8, Pages 1499-1507, Journal of American Geriatric Society.
Layman, E. J. PhD, (2020), Ethical Issues and the Electronic Health Record. Health care Magazine.
Dr Lee, C (2021), Keeping residents and families connected – Supporting Self Determination, Hello Care Magazine.
Martin, J (2019) Electronic Health Record (MHRA) inspectorate.

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