Staff shortages are one of the biggest challenges adult social care providers face in 2022. Recent figures put care worker turnover at 29% in the UK. This creates huge pressure for providers and care workers alike.
With such a significant problem, can technology help ease this pressure?
While no piece of social care software can or should replace carers, there are plenty of applications in Microsoft 365 that can make life easier for you and your care team. These tools can help you improve communication, share information, and reclaim your time for the work that really matters.
Let’s look at the ways the social care sector is trying to overcome staff shortages using Microsoft technology.
How do social care providers use technology to solve staffing problems?
Eighty-six per cent of care providers use video calling software, such as Microsoft Teams. During the pandemic, this digital technology was a lifeline – safely connecting patients to medical care.
Since then, this technology has continued to allow care home residents to receive medical support from the comfort of their homes. It has also reduced the amount of time care workers need to accompany residents to in-person appointments.
In Cumbria, the Kendal Care Home took this technology one step further. They began working with Microsoft HoloLens, a hands-free device worn by carers to create a secure video link between care home residents and their GP.
This game changing technology provided better quality images for remote diagnosis. It also removed the pressure on care workers to troubleshoot tablets, hold up a smartphone, and juggle the camera, equipment, and notes during video consultations. For residents, they were able to hear their GP, speak to them in real time, and interact seamlessly throughout their appointment.
But not all social care technology looks like something straight from science fiction. Don’t underestimate the power of simple productivity tools built into Microsoft 365. In Singapore, the National Council of Social Service is currently rolling out these productivity solutions across the industry to help care providers manage their operational processes and staff resources better.
Social care software: Microsoft 365 enables better ways of working
Microsoft 365 comes with built-in tools to help you and your team communicate effectively and work more efficiently.
The way your team communicates often has a direct impact on staff satisfaction and – crucially – retention.
Take a minute to think about the biggest recurring problems in your organisation. Communication mix-ups, people working from different versions of a rota, and information getting buried in an email chain. Or perhaps complicated processes for mileage claims and data spread over different systems. These frustrating issues create friction and pull attention from the work that matters most.
With the right training and implementation, the smart connections and simple, powerful tools included in Microsoft 365 can help solve these common problems.
With Microsoft 365, you can collaborate on documents in real time, automatically see the latest version of a file, and get your messages on the go. You can spend less time on emails, share information securely, and find everything you need with a simple search. You can even streamline your recruitment process, set work-life boundaries, and automate your most time-consuming tasks.
With Microsoft 365, you can optimise the way your team works, and free up more time to spend with your patients.
What do social care workers think about digital transformation in the industry?
Anxiety around new technology is an issue that all successful teams need to address.
But research showed that the adult social care workforce felt motivated to develop their digital skills. According to the 2021 Digital Skills Review, 76% of adult social care staff say digital learning is an essential part of their career progression, and 61% wanted to develop their skills in this area.
Staff development is an important factor in retention. It’s in everyone’s best interest to explore digital training opportunities.
The appetite for change is there. The key to success is to make sure your team understands the power of Microsoft 365 through bespoke training. With the right support, your staff can learn to use Microsoft 365 tools to their full potential. And you’ll see the benefits every day.
Get started with Microsoft 365 for your social care organisation
Interested in finding out more about how Microsoft 365 could help ease the pressure on your team? Get in touch today for a free 30-minute consultation with a Microsoft specialist.