Northstar Principles: Digital Systems For The Care Sector

A Northstar for digital transformation

By David Lynes, CEO & Founder of Unique IQ

Starting the year as we mean to go on, I was pleased to see the release this month of a ‘Northstar for Digital Transformation’.

Developed collaboratively by Digital Social Care and the Care Software Providers Association (CASPA), the ‘Northstar’ is a set of guiding principles for digital transformation within the social care sector.

Against a backdrop of very rapid digital transformation, it can be deceptively easy to fall into the trap of technology for technology’s sake. Like our fellow CASPA members, it is our stance that technology should focus on care, not the other way around, and should always make a carer’s life easier. But with the complexities of care, and the commissioning structures around it, going digital can create more work for already pressed care teams if not well managed.

The five principles to prioritise adopting technology

And so, the five principles prioritise adopting technology that has a positive impact on care staff and the people receiving care.

To be in alignment with the Northstar principles, digital systems that are being rolled out to care providers must be:

  1. Focussed on each person receiving care – new technology should form part of wider efforts to make good person-centred decisions
  2. Intuitively integrated into the operational workflow – good digital systems take existing working practices into account, rather than turning a care team’s day on its head
  3. A time saver and not lead to duplication of effort – it is straightforward to re-use data and avoids having to manually re-input information lots of times
  4. Able to share information and report appropriately – the right information reaches the right care teams when it is needed; connectivity is key
  5. Inclusive of social care providers and people receiving care in decision-making processes – in short, involving people who will rely on the new technology at an early stage, so that it doesn’t meet with resistance or miss the mark

Following the launch of this new ‘Northstar’, both Digital Social Care and CASPA will be working with stakeholders across the social care sector to secure the widespread endorsement of the 5 principles. We for one are right behind them.

How our Homecare Software honours these principals

Unique IQ has always prioritised developing home care software that suits the needs of the care recipient above all else. Each client has unique needs, each career has unique skills and experiences and each care agency has a unique way of operating. By making our software configurable to your needs, we enable care agencies to easily manage care staff and clients, so that they can deliver outstanding care.

Here is how our software works in alignment with the 5 Northstar principles:

Focussed on each person receiving care: We enable you to input a great variety of details about your clients and can even add bespoke fields to capture unique details. IQ:caremanager will also recommend the most suitable carers!

Intuitively integrated into the operational workflow: We take your existing operations and processes into account. During the onboarding and implementation process, we work with you to configure the system so it works how you work and streamlines your activities. 

A time saver and does not lead to duplication of effort: Our home care software saves you time and you’ll never need to do anything twice! Although IQ:caremanager and IQ:timecard are 2 systems, they work seamlessly together and will become one system in early 2024.

Able to share information and report appropriately: IQ:caremanager contains an extensive suite of reports that allow you to visualise and analyse data. Information can be shared easily either through exporting reports and data or adding users with report-only access.

Inclusive of social care providers and people receiving care in decision-making processes: Users can see everything through our client & family portal! They have access to historic activity, planned visits and tasks and can add notes to inform all parties of anything they would like them to know.

Book a demo today to learn more about how to supercharge your agency with IQ:caremanager.

As an aside – if you could use some additional support with finding new software as part of your care business’ digital transformation process, you might find our workbook on implementing the right care management technology helpful.

Want to read more articles from David? Head over to our thought leadership hub.