By Marties Allen, Managing Director of Wonderkin (UK) – www.wonderkin.co.uk
If chronic care management encompasses a full overview of health conditions to achieve an on-going, more reasonable quality of life then what could be more efficient and give more efficacy than looking towards digital solutions? Clearly, with our experiences, with the Covid pandemic, we have learned that time may not be on our side, and that the ‘here and now’ is what matters most when it comes to residential and nursing care. When it comes to residential and nursing care, we also have to consider that there are other comorbidities, hence, it adds to carers’ duty of care. Ensuring a better quality of life, for all, as we age is key, as we need to think about this in the present, as it is our not so distant future that we are talking and thinking about.
Care-giving, in real-time, has to be more effective, especially post-Covid, as there now has to be more pre-cautions and procedures taken in facilities to ensure the safety of patients and those who work there. Furthermore, there is also the issue of time, and the lack of resources, or disproportionate high quality of care that can be given at all times.
Take for instance tasks such as body rotation and diaper change, whereby these seemingly simple tasks, take more time then meets the eye. However, if workflow, task management, and pad stock management were digitised this would not only reduce paperwork, but keep carers informed of patients in real-time.
Consider also, that by going digital on such tasks, costs are significantly cut down through diaper consumption- from an average of 6 pieces to 3-4 pieces per day. By minimising the use of disposable wastes, and improving the quality of sleep for the patients, this also reduces the number of times changes to diapers need to be made in the night.
It is not just the variant of reducing diaper wastes, and hence, for facilities to save financially on diaper costs that make digital implementation to chronic care management that makes good sense. The improvement in behaviour issues of the elderly are also apparent- with a better quality night’s sleep.
Another issue is the communication between the family members of a patient and the care home. If personalised health insights, powered by data, could be easily provided, there would be a better transparency between the two of the quality of care that is being provided. Care- giving and chronic care management is not different to any other industry and it seems post-Covid the need for digitalisation is greater than ever, but, it goes beyond trivial monitoring such as diaper wetness monitoring, or posture trends and analysis, and even how it helps the management of a care facility. There is also the issue of data protection, and how medical history and bio information is stored and utilised. Whether we realise it or not, like any other industry, there is a gradual pull towards digitising ‘care’ and with it, must come careful planning, and consideration for both the elderly and facilities.