How can a home care company harness technology to maximise efficiency?
Needless to say that carers and clients are of the prime importance to any care company. Keeping them satisfied without a great care management platform could be an enormous task! In fact, those without a care management software will be left behind and considered irrelevant in near future. But does this mean that we should deploy any care management platform? And would a great care management platform really move you forward the way you wish?
Before making Careberry available to other home care providers we had delivered over 50000 hours of care through it via Care & Carers. Our carers and clients have used it daily and we made it our prime focus to collect feedback and improve it. So over past 12 months we have added one feature to our platform every two to three weeks on average. These are 6 tips to ensure the deployment of a care management system accelerate your growth and development rather than hindering it:
1. Two groups of people would use your care management platform most: carers and your back-office team. No matter how great a care management platform is if these two groups of people do not use it properly the introduction of the technology would make things more complex. You need to help them see how crucial their role would be in going forward. We suggest identifying a few technology champions right from beginning and incentivise them to support others. We understand the importance of staff’s involvement. Therefore, we provide extensive support to our customers to make sure these two groups can use the software properly. More importantly, given our experience in care we can demonstrate how to prepare a comprehensive care plan via the system and make it available to carers in real time.
2. What your clients and their families need to get from the system is pretty simple. They want to know who visits them, when the visits are, when the carers are coming, what are the updates when a carer visits (notes), the cost of their care and how they can inform you if the service is not what they expect. The main aspect of what a client or their family wants from the system is communication. Get this right and you have won your clients. We have made winning the heart of your clients simple and straightforward. The moment a visit is completed the family receives an alert containing all the tasks that have been completed and gives them a chance to rate the service!
3. At Induction new carers learn about your values, your policies and receive mandatory trainings. We believe the use of care management platform should be an integral part of your induction plan. With Careberry by the time your potential carers come for interview they get a chance to experience the platform by filling their application form. The same account will stay with them if their application is successful. So, include the platform in the induction plan. Ask them to download the app and log in using the same log in detail that they have created to fill their application. Also, all their shadowing visits will be planned in the platform. So, by the time they complete their induction they learn about the system and can use it competently.
4. Create friendly competition among your carers – identify the person who writes the best report, those who depart and start on time and those who use features such as incident reporting and praise them for their contributions. Make it clear that these features not only improve the care that is provided to the client but also help you with your compliance.
5. Ask your clients and their families for their help by using simple features such as rate your carers. At Care & Carers, we have clients who use this feature for every single visit that they have. They use it as a channel to communicate. If they give feedback. Make sure they know that you value their feedback and get back to them if they have raised an issue. Also make sure positive feedback is shared within the team. You can do all of these within the system. Just make sure your back-office team is aware of this feature.
6. Audit: If you are deploying a care management platform your aim should be to go completely paperless. Set a target to be prepared in a way that if Care Quality Commission (CQC) comes for an inspection you would only rely on your care management software. Your recruitment process/documents, your care plans, medication, policies/procedures, notes/reports, incidents and risk assessments all should be in one place and up to date. It is crucial for your registered manager and care managers to use the platform continuously, audit the quality of the data that are gathered and improve on it. You can also develop an objective data-driven performance management model. Platforms such as Careberry allows you to read your carers’ notes/report in real time, check MARS chart as and when they are updated, monitor the visits in real time and easily establish how organised your staff are.