Perhaps I’m ‘app’athetic

Posted on August 7th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I’ve got an app in my toolbox that allows me to bang-in nails – I call it a hammer. I’ve got another app, a drill, that allows me to make perfectly circular holes in wood, but I think the app I like best is the one which enables me to make mortise joints – I call it a chisel.

You can see that I’m no stranger to apps – I’ve been using them since I was a boy – so I find it hard to stifle a yawn when somebody phones me up or sends me a press release telling me all about a new app which will make elderly care so terrific that we’ll all be queuing-up to move into our nearest care home at the first sign of a headache once we’ve turned 65.

Without exception, these ‘apps’ are nothing more than mini computer programmes, or are they algorithms? which process information in a certain way and give care workers an excuse to spend more time looking at their smartphones than they do looking at their residents.

“No, no!” cry the digital opportunists. “These apps free staff from hours of manual recording and report-writing, giving them more time to spend with their residents.”

Well, I’m not convinced. Perhaps I’m just a Luddite but I see smart phones and ‘tablets’ as being simply a replacement for the clipboard as a means of appearing to be busy while actually doing nothing. When somebody comes up with an app that changes bedclothes more quickly than two people, one standing on each side of the bed, then I’ll start to take them more seriously.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

One response to “Perhaps I’m ‘app’athetic”

  1. Simon Hooper says:

    This is true of care planning software, which captures data just as the clipboard does, and does not engage with the person cared for. But its not true of Activity Based software, which is about achieving better care engagement through increased knowledge of the person and so enabling enhanced person centred care. Yes, its still just a hammer in your hand, but try knocking in that nail without one, or correspondingly trying to deliver person centred care without knowing the person is just inefficient, even ‘unfair’ on all concerned. Check out RemindMeCare, a person focused use of software that delivers activities and engagement (as well as data).

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