Care home that haven’t digitised their management systems are heading for trouble. Tighter funding settlements are driving the need to find efficiencies; recruitment of skilled staff is getting tougher; and the demands from the CQC to accurately report every aspect of care are making automation essential.
This demand has led to a proliferation of care home management solutions that aim to meet every challenge. But choosing the right technology is a challenge in itself, which is why Care Home Professional has spoken to the leading companies to get advice on how to get it right.
In the first of a series of interviews, CHP spoke to Paul Barry, CEO of EveryLife Technologies, about how to approach a care home management implementation, and how to ensure it goes to plan.
Care Home Professional: What are the key features and functions that a care home group should look for in a modern management system?
Paul Barry: Communication, communication, communication. Good care is all about communication, and good communication is good business.
Any system your care home looks to implement needs functions and features to address and support your challenges. Quality of care is increasingly scrutinised, the complexity of care required outside of hospital settings is increasing, families are demanding up to the minute care reports and business owners are being squeezed by Local Authority budgets and employee wage in action.
The system will need to develop with your care home and have the ability to take your feedback and evolve. This is the only way for a management system to stay modern.
CHP: What are the pitfalls to avoid?
Paul Barry: Doing what you’ve done before. The market has evolved, the challenges have increased and the solutions that worked may not be the best option now.
Any system you invest in needs to fulfill a business need, whether it be cost and time saving, safeguarding and protecting or quality assurance. The PASSsystem fulfills all these needs.
Don’t over complicate things. People are often intimidated by technology but ensuring a well designed and easy to use system is adopted avoids the pitfall of lack of take up and integration.
CHP: Significant software projects are notoriously difficult to get right. What would your advice be to operators as they plan to install, switch or upgrade to a new management system?
Paul Barry: Don’t install a new version of what you have already – this rarely makes a significant difference. Target a new challenge – target substantial changes in quality, efficiency and differentiation. Teams rarely get behind projects that do not make a substantial difference.
Ensure you have the support of a dedicated Customer Care team. You need to work with a company who understand the care you deliver as well as IT processes, who work with your business not just for it.
CHP: What are the unique selling points of your solution?
Paul Barry: The PASSsystem is entirely unique in providing a comprehensive care plan to improve care, reduce risk, increase efficiency and differentiate your service.
It digitises all care planning, care notes, and medication documents. It provides relevant care plan information to the care staff when they need it. It can provide real-time feedback of care notes to care management, families, health and social care professionals and is linking to pharmacies too. It alerts when critical aspects of care are not completed and supports a workflow to resolve.
We are proud to have unparalleled industry support with many inspectors from the Care Inspectorate and CQC noting that utilising The PASSsystem gives greater quality assurance and is the difference between delivering good and outstanding care. The PASSsysem is NICE compliant and has been accredited by the NHS as a leader of positive change in care.
CHP: Do you have any examples of how operators have driven improvements to the care, and to the performance of their business by working with you?
Paul Barry: I have a background in care, having previously run six homecare agencies and I was tired of care workers not having up-to-date care plans, and not being given the relevant information when they need it. The care plans that staff work from are often out of date. And it is difficult in a 30 minute care call for the care worker to have time to read a care file and work out what is relevant to them for that particular visit.
As all of this process is manual, the results cannot be communicated effectively with all the critical people involved in someone’s care – the care office, the families, pharmacies, community nurses, GPs and social workers.
We developed The PASSsystem to fulfill my business needs. The PASSsystem solves a critical communication problem. It gets the right care information to the right staff and then provides the office and other interested stakeholders with the results of care.
We then realised this tool would help other people in care just like myself.
CHP: How do you work with operators across a project from pre-sales to implementation to continuous service and support?
Paul Barry: Each enquiry is quickly followed up; we like to gain as much information on your business as possible. Once you have realised the benefits of The PASSsystem it can take from three weeks to implement, dependent on the size of your organisation. We offer a consistent and positive approach across every project.
You get your own dedicated customer services support to help manage your implementation – from initial briefing and training, and working with you to establish a blue print for achieving your business case.
I am really proud of our training portal which has video tutorials and user guides that our customers are able to access 24/7.
CHP: What is next for your system? Are there particular features and functions that you are excited to bring to market in the coming months and years?
Paul Barry: We are starting to link with hospital discharge teams, have discussions with NHS trusts and have substantial interest in openPASS – our view of The PASSsystem system platform that links families to the care.
Having such a talented development team in-house we can respond quickly to our customers’ needs. We take feedback from our customers via account management and customer roadshows to evolve the product to make sure each product release is better than the one before.
We are the leading care planning, medication and notes system in the UK working in both residential and homecare settings and will continue to expand our system to connect all care stakeholders. I go back to my opening quip – it’s all about ‘Communication, communication, communication’.
What the industry says about PASSsystem.
“By listening carefully to the care industry, everyLIFE have developed a solution that greatly helps join up the provision of customer-centred care. They are on a mission to bring the much needed technical answers to the business challenges we are all facing.” Simon Carter, Melody Care (Farnham).
“Information and changes updated and passed to frontline staff immediately – a fantastic piece of IT.” Care Quality Commission.
“It’s easy to use and with the training provided, all staff like the system. Any office implementing it will save a substantial amount of supervisor time.” Kristina Burbridge, Bluebird Care (Worthing).
“The whole process from initial enquiry to going live was quick, efficient and easy and the support we received from the team at everyLIFE was second to none. I would recommend PASSsystem to any care company.” Mitchell Johnson, Rapid Response Medical Group (Cannock).
“I implemented The PASSsystem in three weeks and my customers are already seeing the benefits in quality of care.” Carolyn Dailey, Bluebird Care (Newmarket & Fenland).