08Mar

Understanding How TEC Can Control Adult Social Care Spending

Grace Thomson | 08 Mar, 2024 |

On February 29th, 2024, 2iC-Care hosted a webinar focused on how local authorities can leverage technology enabled care (TEC) solutions to better control rising adult social care spending. The session was moderated by Grace Thomson, Head of Partnerships and Marketing at 2iC-Care and featured an expert panel including Norman Niven (Chief Executive at The Medication Support Company), Kevin Doughty (Professor of Digital Transformation of Care at University of Cumbria), and Richard Keyse (CEO and Founder at 2iC-Care).

Medication Management and TEC

Niven emphasized the importance of proper medication adherence for older individuals, stating, "Medication is at the core of most older people's existence...What tends to happen is that people don't take the medication and therefore they don't have the outcomes."

He stressed that TEC solutions focused on safe medication management at home can reduce medication errors and costly hospitalisations. However, he cautioned that technology alone is not enough without proper assessment and service delivery.

"Technology is purely and simply a way of delivering the service more effectively and efficiently. If you don't have the service that links well to the technology, the technology itself is useless."

Digital Transformation

Doughty highlighted the need for digital transformation in care services to harness TEC solutions effectively. "We need to be able to make sure that every pound we spend, we get the best value from that," he stated.

One key barrier he identified was workforce engagement and overcoming risk aversion to adopting new technologies. "It's an education piece, and we collectively have a role to help them understand the potential," Doughty said.

Remote Monitoring and ROI

Keyse emphasized the importance of remote monitoring solutions that provide real-time data on individuals' health and well-being. This data, he argued, enables more efficient coordination of care services.

"It's really important to get information to the right people...You want the technology to help take you to actionable insights," Keyse stated.


 

Alt text: The Andi hub digital dispersed alarm unit on a table and an image of the dashboard

 

He also addressed the challenge of evidencing return on investment (ROI) for preventative care solutions. "We do too many pilots trying to prove stuff we actually know. If we can prevent falls, strokes etc., we know that saves money. But we do too many studies just for comfort rather than actually looking at the risks that we're removing.”

The panellists agreed that while TEC presents opportunities to control adult social care spending, adoption remains a major hurdle, often due to risk aversion and lack of funding for implementation.

Niven recommended potentially separating care services from local authorities, allowing a national care service to focus on integrating TEC.

Doughty stressed the need for a "compound solution" with interoperability between different TEC offerings.

Keyse advocated investing in TEC now to reap long-term savings, citing the high costs of residential care compared to remote monitoring.

Q&A Highlights

Q: Who is responsible for building the TEC strategy - adult services, corporate, or council-wide?

A: The panellists agreed it needs to be a coordinated, high-level corporate strategy sponsored by leadership, not siloed efforts.

Q: How do we ensure innovative TEC solutions aren't lost during the digital transition over the next two years?

A: Prioritise solutions with proven ROI and prevention capabilities. Consider pilot programs to test before wider rollout.

While a range of perspectives were shared, there was consensus that technology enabled care is a key part of controlling escalating adult social care costs for local authorities amidst growing demand. However, successful adoption requires strategic planning, workforce training, and potential restructuring of care delivery models.

 

The full webinar recording can be accessed here.

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