Book News: July 3rd, 2007

This report from the Department for Health presents the findings of a national survey of Electronic Social Care Records to find out how councils are developing their electronic systems and the barriers that are limiting progress.The report reveals that while 94% of councils have implemented ESCR, limited use is being made of the systems. Overall 16% of respondents have fewer than 10 users. The document management element of the systems is being used even less with only 13% of respondents having implemented scanning of external documents. Only 4% of authorities are holding audio and video recordings electronically, but 45% plan to do so.

Although 62% of systems support mobile devices only 34% have actually implemented such devices and the proportion of staff using them is relatively low. Some 57% have only 1 – 2% of staff using them and only 7 have over 80%. The main devices currently in use are laptops and tablets, with a few authorities using digital pens.

The barriers limiting implementation progress include social care staff resistance to moving from paper to electronic records, shortages of staff and funding to take development further, other corporate developments taking priority, difficulty with suppliers, a lack of a coherent national strategy and compliance regime and information sharing with other systems.

The report is available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_075529