35% of Brits "too frightened” to put parents into care homes
New research has found that 35% of British people are too afraid to place their parents in a care home, citing concerns such as the transmission of COVID-19, loneliness, and fears of them falling over and sustaining an injury.
The research was commissioned by Kepler Vision Technologies, a company that creates AI solutions for care homes. The survey asked 1,000 UK adults with a parent aged 75 or over how they felt about care homes. It follows the crisis in care homes where tens of thousands of people died of COVID-19, prompting scrutiny of the way residents are treated.
Despite these concerns, when questioned about the perception of public sector care homes, 60% of people with parents in care said they believe that the quality is improving, compared to 35% of people who don’t have a parent in care, demonstrating a deep divide between those who have experience of the care sector and those who don’t.
Other findings include:
* Over 40% of survey respondents said they would choose to live with their parents instead of placing them in a care home
* 60% of people with parents in care said they believe that the quality is improving
* 49% of people with parents in a private care home said quality is improving
* 50% said reasons for improvements were better care staff
* 49% said improvements were due to better monitoring systems
Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “Skilled carers remain the single most important element of the care home industry, but the last year and the ongoing staffing crisis have put them under enormous pressure. No-one should have to worry that their parents are getting anything but the very best care, and it is encouraging to see people recognising the importance of monitoring systems in ensuring that.
"The best way to make sure that both staff and residents are looked after properly is to seek out tech solutions that minimise the bureaucratic strain on staff and maximise the amount of face-time that they can have with residents.”
Kepler Vision’s Night Nurse solution alerts staff or carers when someone has a fall or is in distress. Via a camera, it captures images and uses AI technology to identify an event that might trigger an alarm.
Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare
As healthcare continues to recognise the value of data and digital transformation, many organisations are relying on the cloud to make their future-forward and data-centric thinking a reality. In fact, the global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at approximately $18 billion and is expected to generate around $61 billion USD by 2025.
At the forefront of these changes is the rapid adoption of cloud-based, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), applications. These apps can be used to handle patient interactions, track prescriptions, care, billing and more, and the insights derived from this important data can vastly improve operations, procurement and courses of treatment. However, before healthcare organisations can begin to dream about a true data-driven future, they have to deal with a data-driven dilemma: compliance.
Meeting regulation requirements
It’s no secret that healthcare is a highly regulated industry when it comes to data and privacy – and rightfully so. Patient records contain extremely sensitive data that, if changed or erased, could cost someone their life. This is why healthcare systems rely on legacy technologies, like Cerner and Epic EHRs, to manage patient information – the industry knows the vendors put an emphasis on making them as secure as possible.
Yet when SaaS applications are introduced and data starts being moved into them, compliance gets complicated. For example, every time a new application is introduced into an organisation, that organisation must have the vendor complete a BAA (Business Associate Agreement). This agreement essentially puts the responsibility for the safety of patients’ information — maintaining appropriate safeguards and complying with regulations — on the vendor.
However, even with these agreements in place, healthcare systems still are at risk of failing to meet compliance requirements. To comply with HIPAA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 11 and other regulations that stipulate the need to exercise best practices to keep electronic patient data safe, healthcare organisations must maintain comprehensive audit trails – something that gets increasingly difficult when data sits in an application that resides in the vendor’s infrastructure.
Additionally, data often does not stay in the applications – instead healthcare users download, save and copy it into other business intelligence tools, creating data sprawl across the organisation and exposing patient privacy to greater risk.
With so many of these tools that are meant to spur growth and more effective care creating compliance challenges, it begs the question: how can healthcare organisations take advantage of the data they have without risking non-compliance?
Yes, healthcare organisations can adhere to regulations while also getting valuable insights from the wealth of data they have available. However, to help do this, organisations must own their data. This means data must be backed up and stored in an environment that they have control over, rather than in the SaaS vendors’ applications.
Backing up historical SaaS application data directly from an app into an organisation’s own secure cloud infrastructure, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, makes it easier, and less costly, to maintain a digital chain of custody – or a trail of the different touchpoints of data. This not only increases the visibility and auditability of that data, but organisations can then set appropriate controls around who can access the data.
Likewise, having data from these apps located in one central, easily accessible location can decrease the number of copies floating around an organisation, reducing the surface area of exposure while also making it easier for organisations to securely pull data into business intelligence tools.
When healthcare providers have unfettered access to all their historical data, the possibilities for growth and insights are endless. For example, having ownership and ready access to authorised data can help organisations further implement and support outcome-based care. Insights enabled by this data will help inform diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plans and more, which benefits not only the patient, but the healthcare ecosystem as a whole.
To keep optimising and improving care, healthcare systems must take advantage of new tools like SaaS applications. By backing up and owning their historical SaaS application data, they can do so while minimising the risk to patient privacy or compliance requirements. Having this ownership and access can propel healthcare organisations to be more data-driven – creating better outcomes for everyone.