We use technology to make life easier and free us from menial tasks. Technology can be liberating, it can provide instant access to knowledge and improve communication, and it can even save you tens of thousands of pounds.
One thing is for sure; technology is a massive enabler, something The Access Group knows only too well as it revolutionises the way care organisations deliver care.
James Taylor, marketing executive at the Access Group says: “Before you glaze over at the thought of discussing the benefits of software in your business, consider this; 70 page hand written care plans that must be routinely updated, three thousand time sheets to be printed and completed then inputted into a computer, 30 hours and more wasted on administrative tasks, and that’s just in a week! It’s exhausting not to mention frustrating, but equally concerning, these are real tasks happening now in the care sector.”
These were actual problems presented to The Access Group by a selection of clients. Sadly not unique and very much an overriding issue within the health and care sector that leaves managers and owners spinning plates whilst looking for solutions to manage the cycle of care, compliance, and administration.
“Social care can often be so hectic that tasks inevitably get dropped, with no real way of knowing if something has been missed until someone notices, or something bad happens as a result! But it doesn’t have to be like that.”
One company who changed the cycle is Island Healthcare. They started working with Access because they were looking for an efficient way to take their business forward and release time for care staff to be closer to the people they support.
Margaret Bennett, managing director at Island Healthcare says: “People don’t come into care because they want to fill in forms, they come into care because they want to be with people.”
Moving away from their time consuming paper system was something they craved, staff literally didn’t have the space to work on the paper folders.
Margaret continues “To have all our resident care plans in your hand is literally unbelievable. The transition for us was very smooth, now all staff have tablets with a care plan app providing access to all the information they need.”
“When you’re asked what mum has done today we can pull it up on the tablet instantly and answer the question – it has certainly developed a deeper trust between us and the families of our residents.”
Investing in technology amidst a care-funding squeeze can be a real struggle. But the figures really speak for themselves. Bay Care Domiciliary Care commissioned Access to tackle head-on a transition to a paperless system and now reports annual savings of £111,000.
Katrina Green, Director at Bay Care Domiciliary Care Ltd says: “We provide care for over 300 clients and employ 100 members of staff, it’s a very busy business and not just due to the care services we provide, the administration in our business was extremely time consuming.”
Bay Care were printing three thousand time sheets weekly, creating up to 30 new risk assessments each day, care plans were taking four hours each to complete. Essential tasks but onerous, management were finding it hard to monitor completion of risk assessments, documentation would frequently go missing, leaving the company behind with compliance.
Katrina adds: “The reliance upon human intervention was compromising our goal of increased compliance and tying up the time of both carers and back office staff. The system we had in place didn’t provide us with the ability to monitor care quality or financial and business performance. This meant we were unable to identify areas where we could improve both care and business operations, I knew we could do better.”
Using a paperless system where all elements are integrated has eradicated unnecessary admin. This has enabled Bay Care to streamline their back office, saving £75,000 annually, with an additional £3000 saved each month on postage and stationery costs. Overall the compliance of the company has increased from 60% to 95%, financial processes are more efficient and less error prone and no duties are ever forgotten during visits, reducing phone calls from clients by at least 60%. Bay Care is now in control of the future of their business with business intelligence to allow successful growth and have subsequently achieved an Outstanding CQC rating.
James Taylor says: “While technology cannot solve all your problems, the key takeaway here is that care providers now have a single piece of software with the potential to bring about those fundamental improvements they have long aspired to.”
Having worked with the care industry since 2006, the Access Group can boast many successes in the sector. Today over 2,300 care homes and 3,500 home care branches trust Access and use our software to manage over 20% of social care hours in the UK. That’s over 46 million hours of care per year.
Interested to learn more about how Access is giving care companies the freedom to do more? Catch up with them at the Health Plus Care 2019 show on the 27th of June where the Access Group will discuss Care in Numbers with UKHCA at the Home Care Theatre 10.20am and Using Technology to Achieve Excellence in Care; a case study at the Residential and Nursing Care Theatre 2.15pm.