How Supported Housing Providers Can Meet the 2024 Digital Care Records Deadline

The 2024 digital care records deadline set by the UK Department of Health & Social Care for the health and social care sector marks a critical milestone and it’s one that supported housing providers can’t afford to ignore this March (2024).

The initiative requires at least 80% of care providers (including supported housing services) to digitise all management systems, marking a distinct digital shift that aims to enhance the sustainability of health and social care services and improve service delivery by streamlining operations and improving care coordination​​.

It might seem like a no-brainer, but given the more hands-on nature of many providers, you’d be surprised to learn how many have either refused or neglected to go digital, or at least go “all-in” with a digital solution.

Meeting this deadline is essential for two very important reasons: –

Enhanced Service Delivery

Digital platforms allow providers to track and manage residents’ needs, incidents, and care plans more efficiently. The holistic nature of the software allows for a more organised and effective approach to managing the complex needs of those in supported housing by capturing information more easily, giving staff the ability to respond faster to individual needs and sharing important information safely and securely​​. It’s important to understand that this transition is not just a regulatory requirement but an opportunity to improve service delivery and outcomes for the individuals in supported housing.

Regulatory Compliance and Quality Ratings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) supports the transition to digital records, recognising the role of digital transformation in improving overall service quality and efficiency. For supported housing providers, adopting digital records will help them meet regulatory standards and achieve better CQC ratings, as digital social care records are increasingly seen as a benchmark for quality care​​.

Important Digital Steps for Supported Housing Providers to Take

If they hope to get ahead of the deadline and avoid any potential financial or logistical setbacks, providers should be prepared to do the following at a bare minimum: –

Assess Infrastructure Needs

Evaluate existing IT infrastructure to ensure it can adequately support digital tools and services. This includes checking internet connectivity, hardware, and software requirements. It’s crucial to ensure that all devices can run digital care record systems effectively​​ and this might mean upgrading legacy systems.

Prioritise Data Security

Implement robust security measures to protect sensitive resident information. This includes using encryption, firewalls, and secure data backup solutions. Data security is paramount, especially when dealing with vulnerable people.

Staff Training and Support

Ensure staff are adequately trained and supported in using the new digital systems. This includes providing comprehensive training on the chosen digital platform and ongoing support to address any issues that arise. Staff confidence in using digital tools is essential for a smooth transition​​.

The ECCO Solution

Of course, the most practical and immediate course of action would be to invest in a complete software management solution that ticks all the above boxes. Incorporating ECCO Solutions’ software into your organisational practices can significantly enhance time management and scheduling efficiency, allowing staff to focus more on client interaction and service quality improvement.