Adult and children’s social care have great potential to improve services and reduce risk by linking data silos and automating processes, says Matthew Cooper, Public Sector Leader for Salesforce Industries.
“Technology across central and local government has evolved in a series of data silos, and adult and children’s social care is no different. These data silos introduce risk, gaps in process, and rely on the human element to traverse those gaps,” he says.
This creates barriers to interagency working and leads to inconsistencies in the way social care is provided: “Our social care workers face an ever-increasing workload, and we need to provide tools to help them make the most appropriate decisions when determining eligibility for care services provisioning. There are lots of areas where data silos introduce room for error and where processes should be linked to help our care workers make informed decisions.”
One of the biggest areas where automation can make a difference is risk management. Matthew says: “At the moment it is fairly subjective, so if you have quite a new social worker versus a highly experienced one, do they look at risk in the same way? Is there consistency in the approach?”
“If we use technology to score risk based on a set of criteria, then some of that subjectivity is removed by giving indicators to the social worker, while not taking away from their own judgment.”
If the social worker then reaches a different conclusion, it can trigger “an automated escalation process, so that checks and balances can take place”.
“If you don’t have that and you are relying entirely on the social worker’s judgment – they might have a heavy caseload, they might be under pressure and they might miss something. Automation improves the service and both lowers and mitigates the risk of harm.”
Matthew believes there is still major potential for more use of mobile technology in social care, ensuring social workers have information from a variety of agencies before visiting a client’s home or another setting.
“It’s back to your data silos. If you can take those silos and present information on their mobile on a single screen they can see if a person is in receipt of particular benefits, have visited a hospital recently, or if there have been notifications to the police. If they have a more rounded picture, they can be more effective in their care.”
Automation can be introduced alongside legacy systems, rather than having to do a “big bang application replacement”, Matthew says.
“Nowadays we can introduce replacements process by process while interfacing with the legacy technology and data. So, We can introduce new technology and new practices in a very low-risk way.”
Roundtable: The Role of Technology in Reducing Risk for Vulnerable People
If you’re a senior leader of Social Care or Children’s Services, don’t miss our upcoming roundtable discussing ‘The Role of Technology in Reducing Risk for Vulnerable People’.
To find out more and to Register Your Interest, please click here.
There are only a last few remaining places, so don’t delay in reserving your place.
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