My Health, My Care, My Home - healthcare framework for adults living in care homes: summary

Framework providing a series of recommendations that aims to transform the healthcare for people living in care homes.

8. Data, Digital and Technology

The current digital landscape across care homes in Scotland is diverse. Many care homes use digital care planning systems and electronic medication management, and provide Wi-Fi access throughout the home for use by people living in the care home and any families or visitors. Other homes lack both accessible devices and connectivity, with significant implications for all.

Care homes are data-rich environments, collecting and collating detailed records of people's needs, plans and activities. They also provide data to inform the requirements of their regulator, contract monitoring with Partnerships, and intelligence to support national statistics on care home services. However some of the data can be unreliable and challenges limit our ability to use national data to understand the needs of those living in care homes. Improving care home data in Scotland has the potential both to better understand the needs of those living in care homes and the staff who support them, but also to evaluate the implementation of this framework and generate evidence from practice around the most effective models of support.

There is an opportunity to use digital technology when assessing healthcare needs, for consultations and for communicating information between healthcare providers. However, digital technology is not solely for the purpose of evaluating physical needs; it can also support spiritual and emotional needs.

The uptake and use of digital technology across the care home sector is a source of significant variation. Reducing this variation and ensuring people living in care homes can benefit from digital technologies to facilitate and support healthcare is key. This will not be without challenges - it requires investment of resource, addressing governance issues, providing clear established data sharing pathways and supporting the development of a digitally-skilled workforce.

Digital initiatives that support learning, such as Project Echo should be explored. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an internationally recognised collaborative model of health education and care management that empowers health and social care professionals everywhere to provide better care to more people where they live and enhance their skills, confidence and build relationships with other professionals.


8.1 Undertake a review of the existing care home data landscape to ensure it is used to benefit those living in care homes.

8.2 Data standards should be introduced, so that data entries from different organisations are understood to mean the same thing.

8.3 The Information Sharing Toolkit should be used to help organisations sharing or handling NHS Scotland's data to take the necessary steps to confidently share and use health data

8.4 People living in care homes should have opportunities and support to use technology to connect with the world outside the care home, including access to good Wi-Fi and broadband connections.

8.5 There should be access and support for people living in care homes to use NHS Near Me for video-consultations with healthcare professionals.

8.6 There must be appropriate technology within every care home to support virtual MDT meetings.

8.7 The actions listed within Connecting People Connecting Services should be implemented.

8.8 All care home staff should have access to resources that build and strengthen their digital skills, such as those developed by Technology Enabled Care.

8.9 Digital initiatives that support learning, such as Project Echo should be explored.



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