The UK care sector is facing extreme staffing challenges right now as a result of the pandemic and many experts are suggesting this could lead to a surge in technology adoption, because staff shortages are making it harder for people to do their day-to-day jobs. Reportedly, around 20,000 workers across UK care homes have increased their rostered hours by 230% year on year between Feb 20 and Feb 21, and shift work has become more erratic. Staff simply don’t have the mental capacity, the time or the resources to juggle multiple admin tasks on top of their everyday roles. To make matters worse, staff rotas have become more unpredictable as a result of the shortages, so care homes really need all the help they can get right now.
Lack of sleep and overworked staff can lead to reduced concentration, and this in turn can be a dangerous cocktail. The likelihood of making costly admin errors is vastly increased, so anything that saves the care industry valuable admin time and resource will be much needed in the coming months. If you think about it, most organisations place the level of care they provide to their residents as a top priority, but when you are dealing with a multitude of different issues across the business at any given point, this can be hugely disruptive to the delivery of that care, especially if staff are caught up with manually managing admin tasks. This can be a huge drain on time and does little to improve the lives of those receiving the care.
In today’s digitally driven world, could technology hold the key to unlocking more time, streamlining processes and saving money for the industry? One thing is true, more and more care homes are wising up to the difference that fit-for-purpose technology can make to their operational efficiency. As a result, many are turning to eProcurement technology to take the pain out of managing day to day tasks such as inventory and stock control, budgeting, purchasing, managing spend and avoiding wastage. Advances in tech mean much of these processes can be automated and linked up with central finance systems to ensure budgets are maintained and overspend is avoided, freeing up more time for staff to spend with residents.
Adoption of technology like this will also help as part of the wider mission to restore confidence in care in the aftermath of the pandemic. If staff are able to devote more time to the delivery of care and less time to time-intensive admin tasks, while saving money, that has to be an obvious step in the right direction?