Dig Develo Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, discusses why we

need to address the growing digital skills gap in the care industry and offers some practical solutions for how it can be tackled.

Currently, the UK is struggling to meet the care demands of our ageing population. In fact, the Office of National Statistics reports that, for every 1,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64, 285 of those are over 65 years old. To address the needs of these people, it’s important that the care industry’s workforce is robust and that the sector is adapting to changing trends. Technology is a huge part of this.

However, our research found that nearly two thirds (63.9%) of care professionals are concerned about the digital skills gap in the industry. This suggests that, while tools are being put in place to improve quality of care, employees are actually unaware of the benefits, or even how to use them. It’s time for employers to take action to combat this.

The good news is that the majority (89.2%) of care professionals say that they’re interested in receiving digital skills training.

EXPLAINING THE BENEFITS As a care organisation, the first step you need to take is to educate your employees on the benefits of adapting to new technologies and boosting their digital skills. These processes can take time and are not as simple for those who are not familiar with computers or other digital platforms. However, if you can give employees the confidence to learn these skills, their daily workload will become that little bit easier. Here are just some of the many benefits:

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More time Ideally, switching to digital platforms should mean less admin work for carers, which will enable professionals to spend more time with patients. Paperwork can be time consuming and certain technologies can make this process quicker. For example, table tools and spell checkers could help your employees write notes more efficiently.

Improved engagement Investing in certain technologies not only helps your employees, it can also increase the quality of life for patients. For example, in some cases carers are able to set up Skype conversations to enable patients to talk to family members who are unable to come and visit. Patients can use other tools such as iPads at their leisure: whether it’s checking out the news, playing a game or even referring to bus service times. What’s more, we’re constantly seeing new technologies emerging such as Amazon’s digital voice assistant, Alexa, which could be used to help immobile patients to communicate with members of staff when they are in separate rooms.

Safeguarding While there absolutely must be consent from patients and their families, some vulnerable patients may benefit from having cameras or listening devices installed in their rooms.

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