CHP asks everyLIFE Technologies’ leadership team how far the sector is from achieving the nirvana of a paperless system.
Creator of The PASSsystem digital care management platform, everyLIFE, was launched with the vision of improving the quality of care across all care sectors. Having established itself as one of the leading players in the domiciliary sector, the tech business is now increasingly targeting growth in the residential care home market.
“We started in the domiciliary care business so the vast majority of our current revenue comes from that area,” everyLIFE’s CEO Bruce Hiscock told CHP. “The current split between our domiciliary and residential business is probably around 90:10.”
The residential care home market is providing a much greater share of new business, however, as digital care planning systems become increasingly accepted as key enhancers of providing Outstanding care.
“Our new business is split roughly 50:50 between domiciliary and residential care,” Bruce added. “After the success of The PASSsystem in the domiciliary market, we took our product into the residential space and we quickly learnt some lessons along the way. We relaunched our residential product in October last year with a lot of additional features, which made it far more applicable and better suited to the residential marketplace. It’s now the product that our customers want it to be and is being well-received.”
everyLIFE’s openPass digital care planning sharing system for the families of those in care was initially launched for the domiciliary care market too but has now been made fully compatible with the residential space.
Chief Product Officer David Raine said: “It’s the only product on the market that has the full compliance loop incorporated. We manage the relationship between the client and the client’s data as part of the process. There’s a sign-up procedure for the client to provide third party access to the data.”
Third parties can include family members or complimentary care providers. Greater sharing of personal care data is a potentially sensitive area for care home providers but given the potential risks involved, has everyLIFE encountered any resistance to adoption of the product?
“No, our clients are keen to use it as a competitive differentiator, particularly the larger or more luxury homes who can offer it as a chargeable extra,” said Nick Spratt, Chief Revenue Officer at everyLIFE.
“And the businesses who are using it are proud of the fact that they are so transparent,” Bruce added.
Chief Information Officer and Compliance Officer Taffy Gatawa said: “It has been highlighted as an exemplar of how people are starting to embrace the whole GDF (Global Drug Facility) calendar regulations and what people are doing in terms of pushing that forward and increasing transparency of the care they are giving.”
everyLIFE is currently conducting pilots of its pillPASS medical administration records (MAR) system in the domiciliary market and is planning to further roll out the system in the residential space.
Head of Product, Andrew McBride, said: “Medication processes are more controlled in the residential market so we expect it will be less of a problem to roll out here. The challenges are different but some of the value we have in the business is that we recognise this and we are further down the line in sorting them out than anybody else is.”
According to Andrew, the nature of the business is the prime determinant when assessing everyLIFE’s natural customer base. He said there would always be early adopters wanting to embrace what’s new and what would give them an advantage.
“It’s the small to medium groups that are really embracing this technology and actively seeking it as opposed to us going out and saying: ‘We’ve got an idea, what do you think about it?’” added Nick.
Nick said larger providers were also now willing to talk about the technology.
“We are in dialogue with most of the large providers now,” he said. “There’s a massive difference in the scale of the project between a five and a 105-home business. We need to employ our programme management and change management expertise.”
everyLIFE has strong links with third party change management consultants.
“We recommend that organisations employ a third party programme manager because they can chase both parties equally,” said Nick.
One of the main focuses of everyLIFE’s improvements in its services over the past six months has been improving implementation.
“Our focus on implementation and managing the programme of the roll out once we have won the business has changed out of all recognition,” Bruce noted, also adding that everyLIFE’s greater experience in the market differentiated it from its competitors. “We have been doing it longer than everybody else,” he said.
“The other guys have got to learn lots of stuff that we have already taken on board, Head of Product Andrew McBride added. “We can point to a pretty extensive customer base that has been using our product for up to three years.”
“When we first started out there was a degree of concern from other software providers about how they would integrate with us,” said Bruce. “Some of the benefits that could be delivered from technology across the business from various systems working together were probably harder to get to. Now we are able to demonstrate that we understand the market, we have a product that delivers exactly what is required and software providers are seeing the benefit of being alongside us in the marketplace.
“Our focus has always been on what our clients are looking for: service excellence, business efficiency and avoiding being sued,” David added. “Business efficiency and the compliance streams drive service excellence almost as a by-product so you can’t separate the three things. We approached the design of the product from that perspective.”
However, changing mindsets rather than physical implementation remains the biggest barrier to take-up of digital care planning.
“People find it difficult to accept they don’t need paper anymore,” Andrew said. “We have a document management system so you can print anything you like if you need to. It’s that leap of faith where they have to trust the technology to help them do what they do now better.”
Deployment of the system is surprisingly short, taking just six weeks on average on a home by home basis. everyLIFE currently has 68 care home clients with a number in the process of delivery across the country.
“There’s no regional split,” Nick said. “It tends to be more segmented by the size of the business.”
The software specialist is enjoying a strong rate of growth, signing up to around 15 extra residential providers a month, ranging from smaller independents to larger multi-site homes.
In terms of care type, everyLIFE has an 80:20 split of residential and nursing homes clients. Andrew said introducing the system was more complicated in the case of nursing homes, meaning longer decision processes.
David added: “We probably have just as many live opportunities among nursing homes, it’s just that the lead time is longer.” It takes just 21 days on average to implement The PASSsystem in care homes from enquiry to order.
Looking to the future, Nick said the convergence of clinical and social care will happen and everyLIFE would be ahead of the curve when that takes place. Changing mindsets, rather than implementation, was again identified by the team as the prime obstacle to progress. everyLIFE is talking to various NHS partners about improving hospital discharge processes to improve continuity of care.
“There are a number of interests who need to subscribe to systems integration,” Nick commented. “This could have been happening four or five years ago. Our technology is uniquely converging between the domiciliary and residential sectors. Our plan is to have a shared care plan and shared observances between the residential and domiciliary settings. We want to help create a single journey for someone who is in a domiciliary environment who has a short spell in hospital and goes into a residential setting for respite care and goes back home again.”
So how far is the sector from the universal acceptance of digital care planning systems? Is some further trigger required to reach the tipping point?
“People increasingly realise that with funding pressures to achieve greater efficiencies and still deliver quality, they do need to adopt the technology,” said Taffy.
David felt strongly that the introduction of GDPR would help the process but all the pieces were already in place for adoption.
But it was left to Bruce to deliver the final note of qualified optimism about the future of digital care planning. “Personally,” he said, “I think we have hit that critical mass. I think acceptance is already there and we at everyLIFE are at the point of delivery.”
For more information contact everyLIFE 0800 689 3068