The pressure on Adult Social Care
As life expectancy increases and reproduction rates fall, most of us are acutely aware that we, as a society, face a significant challenge of ensuring that quality and affordable care is accessible for all of us in the future.
For those who are less familiar with the scale of this challenge, a few statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) might put things into perspective. By 2041:
- The proportion of the population over 85 will double (reaching 3.2 million)
- 26% of the population will be over 65 (20.4 million people)
- The proportion of adults 16-64 will decrease by 4.72%
The total cost of providing care is set to increase sharply, whilst the proportion of younger people paying taxes will substantially decrease. Meanwhile, the impacts of late intervention, resulting in avoidable care escalations, is consuming a significant portion of Adult Social Care (ASC) and Healthcare budgets.
Data insight can help ASC focus their increasingly stretched resources, in order to improve the quality and personalisation of care services, and create a healthier population. This would cause a lower demand on services and make those tight budgets go further through better identification, prevention, and personalisation.
With better data insights, ASC professionals can:
- Confidently identify at risk individuals & families
- Improve prevention & early help
- Promote independence through personalisation
- Visualise a Financial Health Insight
- Streamline regulatory reporting
- Address fraud and error
- Develop Population Health Insights
- Ensure KPI performance oversight
- Better utilise technology enabled care
The challenges for ASC in data (and how they can be solved):
For most ASC teams, data remains an untapped asset. Below are the top data challenges I most commonly encounter, and how they can be resolved to better inform your decision making.
- Disconnected systems and datasets:
The complete single view of an individual is fragmented across ASC, wider council systems, and external service providers (healthcare, housing providers, care homes, charities, police). As a result, there is limited data integration to support insight.
Technology can address this issue by integrating data from across ASC, wider council and partners systems to produce a complete view of the citizen, their household and community, eliminating any disconnection between datasets. This enables better identification of those most needing support, such as troubled families or adults at risk, which has been vital during the Covid pandemic. It also helps drive on-time interventions to prevent avoidable escalations by improving support of collaborating internally & externally (e.g. MASH). A personalised view of a citizen promotes independence and can further your data insights.
- Data quality issues:
Inconsistent records, invalid entries and placeholder values can cause data quality issues, as can changes not being readily shared and records updated. By addressing these issues and putting an improved system in place, data quality issues will be a thing of the past.
- Confidence using data:
Skills, culture, and literacy all need focus so that data can be used confidently with success. By improving knowledge and confidence in data, doors to new insights can be opened – and stay open.
- Manual reporting processes and static reports:
Reporting manually is prone to human error and can be very time consuming to produce. It often produces static reports, which don’t drill down to answer ‘why’, they cannot track trends over time, and there are complexities with costing and demand forecasting.
Altering the reporting method to automated visual information can result in trusted insights which can be used for better decision making, as trends can be proactively monitored and addressed, with little room for error.
- Information sharing constrained:
There can be difficulties controlling and confidently sharing data with partners (e.g. MASH). By sharing and exchanging information with external agencies, whilst still retaining control, data insights can benefit more people.
- Limited Data Governance:
Limited data governance can often result in more cautious use of data, therefore avoiding using data to its full potential. Governing data properly will ensure it is protected and correctly used to drive better decision making.
The increasing pressure on ASC is bound to affect how resources are used, but improved data insights can transform your ASC team, resulting in better identification, prevention, and personalisation. There is a whole world of data to tap into which can be catered to your needs and goals, accelerating resources you already have to make better informed decisions.
If you’re interested in how better data insight might support your ASC team, please speak to one of our experts via livechat. We’d also be pleased to arrange a free half-day Data Strategy Workshop, designed to review your approach to data strategy and see how data is used, managed and stored within your organisation.
Tom Hughes, Business Development Manager, Simpson Associates
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