Report shows care sector’s reluctance to adopt new technology is the biggest barrier to profitability
Published by Angela Mycock for Advanced Computer Software Group in Care and Support and also in Central Government
A new report commissioned by Advanced Health & Care and partner division, Advanced Business Solutions, has revealed a reluctance to embrace new technology in the care sector. This stems from a variety of factors including lack of awareness of the benefits IT can offer. Research suggests this reluctance is affecting profits and hindering growth, with 62% of care organisations seeing profits decline or stagnate last year.
The *report, ‘Can’t compete on size? Consider technology’, polled more than a hundred senior care sector representatives, working in the residential and domiciliary care sector, about what they thought the barriers were to profitable growth. Employees were also asked specifically about technology and its effect on profitability.
69% of respondents agreed that failing to use technology to make work processes more efficient was a barrier, with 15% classifying the issue as a ‘major’ barrier. Failing to use technology was the single biggest obstacle to profit identified by the survey. Inefficient processes (68%) was the second highest, the motivation of front line staff (62%) third, and lack of skills and experience of employees (56%) fourth.
The report also identified ‘resistance from front line workers’ as the main barrier stopping care sector businesses adopting new technology, with 69% of respondents agreeing this was the case. Lack of money to invest was second (58%), and lack of awareness of the benefits of technology was third (55%).
Jim Chase, Managing Director of Advanced Health & Care, comments: “Although many managers are aware of the benefits dedicated care technology can unlock, particularly in terms of increased profitability, it’s clear that many frontline staff have yet to be convinced of the potential gains. The importance of their buy-in cannot be overstated and we need to work harder to prove to them that technology is an enabler and not an obstacle in care delivery.”
“We are committed to working with managers and front-line care staff in order to demonstrate how technology can help everyone within an organisation. With 55% of managers of the view that the true benefits of technology are not yet properly understood, it is clear that there is a pressing need to prove that technology makes a positive difference.”
The research also highlighted inefficient processes which are impacting on profits – 68% expressed this view. A further 53% said their business was being held back by a lack of investment.
Chase added: “If a business’s profits are suffering due to inefficient working practices, those practices have to change and looking to invest in technology to improve processes should be seen as a positive step forward. With certain technologies offering fast return on investment the cost issue may not be the big barrier to progress many think. Certainly doing nothing is not a viable strategic option.”
Advanced Health & Care and Advanced Business Solutions are both part of Advanced Computer Software Group plc. The group offers a wide variety of solutions, specifically for the care sector, which unlock efficiencies and help organisations to maximise profits.