Social care organisations have been urged to utilise Covid testing tech to focus resources on providing crucial care.
The managing director of Optimo Care Group, Richard Walker said while the introduction of weekly coronavirus testing for social care providers is a positive step forward, it has also created a ‘number of significant challenges’.
Issues such as monitoring testing kit supplies, reminding staff to take their tests, submit the results, recording test results both positive and negative and distributing kits to dispersed workforces, and measuring compliance are adding to the pressures already faced by the sector in order to continue providing crucial care.
‘As a social care provider, we have been evolving the ways we deal with the administration involved in tracking and monitoring high numbers of tests throughout the pandemic and we turned to tech to help,’ said Mr Walker.
‘We believe that, while providing the best care possible in the safest and most responsible way is a hurdle that has been dealt with to some extent, the paperwork and tracking element of mass testing is a challenge that could catch some providers out.
‘At a time when staff and resources are stretched to capacity, we have focused on ensuring our data and monitoring around testing is handled in an efficient and effective manner through the use of technology.
‘We have seen strong results so far with regards to compliance and had positive feedback from staff regarding their safety as they do their job.’
The Optimo Care Group has utilised the Smrtlinks:Monitor system, which enables providers to track staff Covid-19 test results through a secure web based portal, with staff able to submit tests and results through a bespoke mobile app.
The group, which has more than 700 social care staff working across the Northwest and Yorkshire, was an early adopter of the Smrtlinks system as they sought to keep on top of ever-growing staff testing data during the pandemic.
Mark Hales, managing director of Smrtlinks, based in Birmingham, said: ‘The social care industry has responded positively to challenges it has faced so far, with vital care still being delivered where it is needed most.
‘It is clear that there is a huge focus right now on getting staff tested regularly, but there needs to be heightened consideration for the vast amounts of associated administration work that goes alongside this.’
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