Analyse the skills required by health and social care workers to use and manage information and communication technology.

Authors Avatar by aoibheannwalshgmailcom (student)

There are numerous technologies that are used on day to day bases in the health and social care sector. It ranges from homecare technologies where you may not need as much skill such as thermometers; to secondary care technologies such as MRI scans where there are more specialized skills are used.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) is used for numerous different reasons in the health and social care sector but in order for these technologies to be efficiently used the service providers must have the skill and knowledge to use them. Often there have been cases where a service provider may not of had the knowledge to access data and this has cost someone’s life, for example, Baby Ps paediatrician could not access any of his records so could not see that he was a vulnerable child. This meant that she could not see that the bruises on Baby P should have raised alarm (Mail Online, 2010).  Some technologies are easier to use so that care in the community can be achieved. Without care in the community hospitals would be overrun so it is essential that these technologies require less skill such as a glucometer. Service users being able to use such technology saves them the time of going in and out to the doctor and that they can collect data on themselves ensuring they keep their blood sugar regulated.

The range of ICT skills required are listed below.

1. To collect and input data

2. To access data

3. To find data (research)

4. To retrieve saved data (often quickly)

5. To save data

6. To protect data

7. To store data

8. To share data

9. To present data

I am going to explore the reasoning behind the need of the skills in bold.  

Data sharing is important as this data may in the future allow scientists to cure this disease or to know more about it. This means that they could possibly save lives and this would not be possible without sharing data. It is crucial that the service providers know how to share data properly without breaking the law. Sharing data allows the data not become lost, research shows that 80% of data that has not been shared becomes unavailable after 20 years (Gibney, 2013). This means if new research came up about cancer that some data in the previous years that may be of use will no longer be available. The Caldicott Committee Report (Report on the Review of Patient-Identifiable Information 2012) state that the information that is shared must not have any information that may allow other people to figure out who that person is such as address, age, date of birth, name. The purpose of sharing the information must be justified and have a valid purpose. This is to protect the service users as some information may cause them to be harassed, stalked and because of this they may become depressed and suicidal. The Human Rights Act 1998 states that we are all entitled to a private family life so if the information was released with identifiable information this would be in breach of our rights as a human (The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC 2015) Data Protection Act 1998, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality also ensures the confidentiality of your personal information. There have been numerous cases where the data shared was not filtered to ensure that no sensitive information was on it. The Trust’s website was fined £174,000 for publishing sensitive information of 1,000 service users (Hooper,2012).

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Accessing data is vital in all areas of the health and social care sector. Some service users may come to a different hospital with a recurrent illness and this needs to be seen by the service provider as this may suggest a long term illness such as a service user complaining about a pain in their abdomen. This may be colon cancer or other chronic illnesses (MSD Manual Professional Edition, 2015) and because the data was easy to access by a member of staff this was noted and a further investigation can start to take place. The service provider must ...

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