Budgeting for Better Care: Identifying TEC Data Needs

Alex Fulcher | 12 Apr, 2024 |

As the population of older adults in the UK continues to grow, local authorities are under increasing pressure to optimise their adult social care budgets. However, in a recent article published in Open Access Government magazine by 2iC-Care founder and CEO, Richard Keyse discussed how many care leaders believe that technology enabled care (TEC) solutions hold the key to controlling and reducing care spending. By leveraging data-driven insights, TEC can help local authorities identify b udeget optimising opportunities to reallocate funds, scale services personalise care plans, move toward preventative care and improve overall operational efficiency.

In this first article and step one of the Budgeting for Better Care three step action plan, we'll explore the crucial first step in implementing a successful TEC strategy: pinpointing your spending inefficiencies and understanding how data can drive personalised, cost-effective care.

Pinpointing Your Spending Inefficiencies

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of your adult social care budget is the first step towards implementing an effective TEC solution. By analysing your current spending patterns, you can identify areas of inefficiency and pinpoint the specific cost-saving opportunities that data providing technology can help you address.

Analyse Your Adult Social Care Budget

Start by closely examining your adult social care budget to understand where your money is being spent. Look for trends, outliers, and areas where costs seem to be spiralling out of control. This deep dive into your financial data will provide you with a clear picture of your current expenditure, setting the stage for identifying opportunities for optimisation.

Uncover Areas of overspend

Once you have a solid grasp of your overall spending, turn your attention to common sources of budget overspend. Some of the main examples of budget overspend in Adult Social Care are:

  • Over prescription of care including technologies or face to face domiciliary care hours.
  • False alarms and false response team call out from ARCs. For example Vayyar Care conducted a survey of social care leaders with 63% agreeing that over a quarter of callouts are unnecessary.
  • Overreliance on residential care.
  • Lack of data coordination between teams, staff as well as between social and health care.
  • Workforce shortages then having to rely on more expensive agency staff.
  • Inadequate technology and data presentation.
  • The focus of reactive care when if monitored correctly service users could avoid hospital admissions which is linked to declining health and need more expensive care packages after discharge.

By pinpointing the relevant overspend in your budget , you can determine the specific data you need to collect and analyse to drive meaningful cost-saving insights in one area to allow for reallocation.

Prioritise Cost Reallocation Opportunities

Based on your budget analysis, prioritise the areas where TEC can have the most significant impact on optimising your adult social care operations. Create some realistic and achievable goals to reallocate resources based on those areas of overspend This will help you focus your efforts and ensure that your TEC investment delivers tangible, measurable results, such as reducing response team callouts to false alarms by 5-10% or more.

Data for Personalised Care

Effective TEC solutions go beyond simply cutting costs - they also empower you to provide more personalised, individual-centric care. By identifying those areas of overspending and objectives for reducing and reallocating funds, you may see where collecting data could solve those problems. For example, have there been avoidable hospital admissions due to kidney infectors caused by UTIs? If so, then you may want to look at monitoring toilet visits of service users. Or are there users who have been assigned 24/7 or waking nights care when a movement sensor could alert staff when there are issues instead? By collecting and analysing data on the specific needs, routines and preferences of your service users, you can tailor your care plans and interventions to better meet their unique requirements.

Understanding Individual Needs

Leverage technology to gain a deeper understanding of your service users' individual needs, preferences, and challenges. This data-driven approach allows you to move beyond a one-size-fits-all care model, enabling you to deliver more tailored, proactive, and effective support.

Empowering Carers with Actionable Insights

Equipping your care teams with meaningful, actionable data empowers them to make more informed decisions and deliver more efficient, responsive care. TEC solutions that provide real-time insights into an individual's health and wellbeing can help carers anticipate and address issues proactively, preventing costly health declines or unnecessary hospital admissions.

Involving Service Users in the Process

Engage your service users and their families in the telecare and telehealth implementation process, ensuring that their voices are heard and their needs are prioritised. By fostering a collaborative, person-centered approach, you can build trust and encourage buy-in, ultimately leading to better care outcomes.

In the first step towards implementing an effective technology enabled care strategy, it's crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of your adult social care budget and identify the specific areas where TEC can help you control, reduce or reallocate spending. By pinpointing your spending inefficiencies and leveraging data to deliver more personalised care, you can lay the foundation for a successful TEC implementation that not only cuts costs but also improves the overall quality of care for your service users.

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