This is the third and final blog in the series, written by Caroline O’Neill. Caroline was introduced to iCareHealth by the Care Workers Charity and in celebration of UK Carers Week 2017, Caroline is sharing a series of blogs written specifically for care home and agency managers.

 

Care workers out in the field no longer need to feel isolated and on their own because they now have the ability to use a smart phone, with applications that can help them do their jobs much better. The technologies available update the care worker instantly on scheduling and with critical information about a end users care plan, the potential is endless.

In my early days we used an exercise book to record incidents or check off medication administered, bathing etc. Nowadays this can be done electronically. I can’t recall how much time I wasted going to a client who had been taken into hospital. Usually this was because the care manager had no way of contacting me when I was doing my rounds. In some cases, I was being paid to sit in my car for an hour before my next client; that shouldn’t happen with the technology in place now. On the other hand, if a carer can’t cover a call it can immediately be offered to others so there are no missed visits!

I can’t recall how much time I wasted going to a client who had been taken into hospital. Usually this was because the care manager had no way of contacting me when I was doing my rounds.

No longer do care managers need to wait for written info. Home visits can be uploaded before the assessor leaves the clients home thus allowing  a speedier response from the manager in terms of collating information from multiple agencies into a workable plan. For the home care manager, this means you can get a carer into the client much quicker and that means money in the till sooner rather than later.

Although we like to think of carers as being honest and trustworthy, I am afraid sometimes they aren’t. Sadly I have had experience of staff claiming to be at a clients (and claiming overtime) when I knew 100% they were elsewhere. Using the GPS location tools, the manager can randomly check that a carer is where they say they are. The agency isn’t wasting its money paying overtime when the carer actually isn’t staying on at a clients home visit.

Using the GPS location tools, the manager can randomly check that a carer is where they say they are. The agency isn’t wasting its money paying overtime when the carer actually isn’t staying on at a clients home visit.

From the care workers point of view, there are some locations when it’s quite scary to be working alone, especially at night. With the GPS function installed, there is a two-way benefit here; firstly the carer feels more secure that – if anything should happen – help will be on the way in an instant and the care manager knows where their staff are. This also helps with route planning and time allowances for travel between clients. How many times has a carer claimed to be late as they were stuck in traffic when they were really stuck in a cafe or late leaving home?

I am not suggesting that anyone should be “spying” on their staff, but rather they should be ensuring their safety. Technology can reduce your costs directly as staff can be tracked, calls can be verified, routes can be planned for greater efficiency, hard copy paperwork can be drastically reduced by storage on electronic devices and plans implemented quicker.

Technology can reduce your costs directly as staff can be tracked, calls can be verified, routes can be planned for greater efficiency, hard copy paperwork can be drastically reduced by storage on electronic devices and plans implemented quicker.

Technology also means you can employ one manager for larger teams of carers as the software is available to deal with routine tasks in minutes rather than the manager doing it in hours. Communication with staff can be simplified by using time-sheet and rota software that can be accessed by both sides. This in turn can be linked to your payroll team. Instead of a huge paper trail, all records are electronic requiring less office space and instead providing an extra day room or paying guest room… it’s a win-win system.

 

About the Author:  iCareHealth is delighted to introduce Caroline O’Neill, a freelance writer and guest blogger. Caroline has worked for over 32 years as a carer in home care, day care and residential environments. She has also run and managed her own home care business. With this wealth of experience, Caroline shares insights on how to run a care organisation better.

To find out more about the Care Workers Charity click here.

To learn more about how technology can enable your staff to spend more time having a ‘cuppa’ with their end users, have a look through our website or contact us on solutions@icarehealth.co.uk.

If you’d like to contact Caroline, please email solutions@icarehealth.co.uk.