Whatever your feelings about technology, there is no escaping that it has become a vital part of our working lives. Nic Paton explores how the software available to the OH profession can help make the day just that bit easier.
Investing in or upgrading your software is always going to be a big decision. Increasingly, these days, the functionality, versatility, robustness and "reach" of the system you choose - and the provider behind it - can be the difference between an OH consultancy or unit staying ahead of the curve in challenging budgetary times or finding itself coming under an uncomfortable spotlight.
That is why it is all the more surprising to find, more often than not, that among OH software providers there is a consensus that it can be the user of the system - in other words, the individual practitioners - rather than the technology itself that is the weak link in an OH practice or unit.
After something of a slow start, OH practitioners have moved swiftly to embrace innovation in OH technology and software. However, it is often still the case that, perhaps for reasons of lack of time, training or willingness, practitioners can buy in a new system or an upgrade and then, while they still probably find it useful and an improvement, fail to go that extra mile to ensure they are really making full use of everything the technology can offer.
Probably the biggest issues with OH and safety software are people not realising its full value, choosing a cheap option or not having comprehensive training."
Jo Henderson-Tchertoff, Medgate
As Mike Barton, director at provider Warwick International Computing Systems, says: "The vast majority of OH users do not use software to its full capability - but that also does not necessarily mean they should be. If how they are using it ticks the boxes, then maybe that is fine. But it may also be a question of simply not knowing what a system does."
Jo Henderson-Tchertoff, sales manager at provider Medgate, agrees: "Probably the biggest issues with OH and safety software are people not realising its full value, choosing a ch