Insufficient funding is the biggest issue facing the care home industry today, with cost as the main barrier to switching to digital medicine management methods, according to new research* conducted by Well Careplus.
A survey commissioned by Well Careplus revealed that 65% of care home professionals agree that ‘not enough funding’ is the biggest issue impacting the industry. This is perhaps not surprising considering recent media attention about the ‘care home crisis’ with insolvencies among care home operators at a record high. 43% of participants agree that increased regulation is a key issue, followed by damaged reputation in the media (28%), and not enough staff (27%).
A quarter of those surveyed identified increased demand due to an ageing population, and poor collaboration between healthcare professionals as challenges facing the industry – issues that can be improved using digital technology. However, the vast majority (89%) of care home staff surveyed revealed that they still use traditional paper-based methods for medicine management. 29% said that they were not involved in the decision process for this, but of those that did have an influence, 40% revealed that cost was the main barrier to switching to digital.
Despite cost being reported as the most common reason for not using digital methods, cost actually ranked as the least important factor when thinking about medicine management. 80% of those surveyed ranked patient safety as the most important factor.
David Hamilton, Commercial Director for the Well Group, commented: “Digital systems have been proven to increase patient safety** and 63% of people surveyed agreed that technology is the future of medicine management. The seemingly contradictory findings of the research suggest that a cost-benefit analysis of switching to digital technology needs to be better communicated to the care home industry”.
The findings of this research are particularly relevant with Carers Week coming up on 12th June, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges the caring community face.
For more information on Well Careplus, please email Careplus@well.co.uk or visit www.well.co.uk/WellCareplus/
*Research conducted May-June 2017 by Well Careplus with n=202 responses from employees in the care home industry who have a role in medicine management.
**Cardiff University study (2016) pilot scheme to assess the benefits of the Proactive Care System, the operating system that powers the Well Pad.