During the pandemic we have all learned that working online is more than just moving the existing processes online.  How we work and even what we do needs to be designed for the medium.  We recently supported a design workshop with a number of authorities and the consensus was very clear that design methods have come on leaps and bounds in placing the customer at the centre, some are less effective at determining whether we have built the future we need.

A truly customer centred design for handling information about users in ‘care systems’ has this challenge in spades.  Not only is the technology used changing, from sensors in the home and on the person to apps used by care users, but what we recognize as the care system is changing.  A truly human centred approach, seeing the user as person with strengths and recognizing the opportunities in the community.

Existing case management systems (CMS) were designed for a world with paper-based files in cabinets, with the records themselves being of little value to care users and a mountain of paperwork hampering social workers. Too often we see a tiny pool of suppliers ensuring high licence & maintenance costs, slow response times to customers, lack of integration with new technology and grudging innovation, if any.

A new human-centred approach is needed to unleash the potential for better workflows in our new cloud-based world, and to meet the needs of today to integrate information from a range of sources, from smart sensors in homes to intuitive apps used by customers, to systems that activate community capacity for self-support.

A user group is being formed, including not only councils, health services and providers of the latest systems and technology, but also more importantly both adult and childcare users.  Working together as a sector we anticipate cloud native live system, tested in councils and with care users, being released in March 2022.

If you would like to be a part of the user group and help with the testing, then please contact sherif.attia@iese.org.uk.

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