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Handsale Care Homes: care planning and monitoring software

Handsale Care Homes: care planning and monitoring software

Handsale Care Homes were looking for a digital care system that would help them reduce paperwork, improve efficiency, and give relatives peace of mind.

 

Background

Handsale Care Homes operates eight care homes in England, Scotland and Wales. Due to the geographical spread and the company’s growth, the team were finding it difficult to centralise its governance. Using paper records made it difficult to get an overview of how each home was performing and was time consuming.

Rishi Sodha, Care Director at Handsale, explains:

“We needed an analytical approach and realised the way to do it would be through technology. We needed to invest to move us forward, embed efficiencies and improve outcomes.”

Handsale Care Homes started looking for a digital solution which would help them with documentation and keeping track of compliance. Another requirement was to give staff more time to care for residents.

It took two years to find the right software developer and Person Centre Software was chosen. Rishi says:

“We looked at lots of different software, but Person Centre Software’s felt very intuitive and closely aligned to our care home needs.”

Handsale invested in two pieces of technology; a mobile digital care system, called Mobile Care Monitoring, to help support administration and record care interactions, and then a Relatives Gateway which is an online portal that enable relatives to stay informed about the care of loved ones.

 

Giving staff more time to care

The Mobile Care Monitoring system automates the reporting process. Once staff have delivered care to the resident, they use the care app on the handheld devices to record what they’ve done whilst on the go.

Rishi explains:

“It’s as simple as clicking a few icons. It prepopulates all the charts and instantly records for them and they can go into more detail if they wish. Some people use the voice recording ability instead of having to type things out.”

Handsale believe that this type of contemporaneous record keeping is much more accurate and saves each carer around an hour a day compared to completing paper forms. Managers also save time because dashboards can give them all the data and records they need.

Whilst Rishi admits that some staff were originally reticent about a new system, with adequate training he says they soon embraced it and could see how beneficial it would be to their work.

 

Providing meaningful data

Rishi highlights that paper records tend to recall what care has been done, but not what you’ve tried to deliver. He says:

“For example, if we offered a resident a cup of tea and they declined, a paper chart would never record that. Whereas if we come back and ask you again, that’s best practice, and the system records you trying.”

The data allows Handsale to drill down into the detail of a resident’s care and provides instant access to audit and compliance information.

Rishi says:

“Because we can pull through the pre-admission data into the risk assessment and tie that to the care plan, they are meaningfully informing each other. Also, the system’s early alert system will flag up if someone’s at high risk or someone’s needs change, which is particularly important for end of life care.”

 

Peace of mind for relatives

The Residents Gateway is a secure online portal that keeps family informed about the care of their relative. With easy online access to records and charts, families can see what care their relative has received.

Carers can also share photos and messages on the portal, so relatives can see what meals their loved one has enjoyed and what activities they’ve been doing.

Rishi explains:

“Giving relatives access to information reassures them and they can see their loved one is being looked after. As well as giving them peace of mind, relatives give us vital nuggets of information too. If a relative says that their grandad likes reading The Sunday Times with his breakfast, that personal information is extremely important to us.”

The portal also has the functionality to have video calls between residents and their family and friends, which has become particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Lessons learnt

  • Every staff team is unique. Some will need more support than others, so adapt your implementation speed and support as needed.
  • Make sure you go and see a digital care system in action if you can.
  • Technology isn’t a magic fix – if you use it properly it will show you where your challenges might be, but you’ll need to think about how you fix those.
  • There may be some short-term pain whilst you move to a digital system, but there is a long-term gain that outweighs it.

 

Return on Investment

When asked about return on investment, Rishi said:

“We’ve found the return on investment to be quite huge and spread over multiple facets of the business. From an evidence and regulatory basis, achieving higher regulatory ratings consistently means our homes are always top of the list for prospective residents.

“The relatives gateway provides loved ones with peace of mind they don’t get at most other homes, making you stand out more. Plus, the time saved by front-line and operations staff who audit the information provides cost savings and efficiencies. Lastly, investing in the technology is an investment in your staff team. It’s helped staff retention and because of Person Centred Software’s helpfulness, staff members don’t want to move to a service where they have to do without.”

 

Further information

For more information about Handsale Care Homes visit www.handsale.co.uk.

To find out more about Mobile Care Monitoring, or request a demo, visit www.personcentredsoftware.com

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