Kevin Alderson

Tunstall’s Kevin Alderson reflects on the recent ADASS innovations Better Care Technology workshop and shares tips for successful telecare implementation.

I was involved in an ADASS innovations workshop at this year’s National Children and Adult Services Conference (#NCASC14) conference. It was called Better Care Technology and involved presentations by Linda Sanders, ADASS Telecare Lead, Peter Hay, Strategic Director for Adults and Communities, Birmingham City Council and Joy Hollister, Director of Children, Adults and Housing, London Borough of Havering. The slides from their presentations (along with my own contribution) can be found below and here on the ADASS website.

The aim of this workshop was to show the benefits of telecare and share lessons for successful telecare implementation. Now I am not sure what I expected but it turned out to be a packed event, standing room only, and the feedback was very positive. The audience listened intently to Peter and Joy speaking about their experiences with two of the UK’s most successful technology enabled care services, Birmingham and Havering. And the session concluded with Linda sharing the results of the ADASS Better Care Technology survey for members, which can be seen here.

The session can perhaps be best summed by a member of the audience who said it was “the only workshop at the entire event that was talking about reducing costs and improving outcomes”…

My own takeaways from the workshop and from talking to people before and after the session reinforced what I wrote in my previous blog, 3 steps to better telehealthcare implementation.

The main points in terms of delivering better care services through technology are as follows:

  • It is likely that most attendees at the workshop came to find out about technology, but technology is not what telehealthcare is really about
  • In relation to the above, my own presentation amounted to just 10% of the total workshop presentation time, because I’d say that technology itself is only 10% of the actual service
  • We always seem to focus on the technology, but telehealthcare is a service not just a technology – and it is the complete service and how all the different elements of this service work together that matters most
  • My advice is to focus your efforts on getting your ‘end-to-end’ service right. If you do this then the technology will look after itself. (In fact, get the right provider and they will look after the technology for you!)
  • It is also very important to focus on the overall impact or change that you want to make. For example, to improve personal outcomes and also make efficiencies. You can then design and build a complete service that will deliver this
  • Success is about aligning and integrating people, processes and technology
  • Do not assume that you will be inundated with customers just because you have built a good service
  • Without education most people will not know what your service is. It doesn’t  matter how good your service is if it is not actually being used
  • This means you always need to remember the importance of education and getting referrals, because without referrals your service will not deliver

In summary, focus your effort in the right places and build a complete service and you will improve outcomes and make safe savings – just like Birmingham, just like Havering, just like a number of our other clients!

Kevin Alderson is Tunstall’s UK Sales and Marketing Director

Connect with Kevin  @KevinJAlderson