Home care is among the fastest-growing sectors within the UK, as people live longer, healthier lives and prioritise their wish to remain safe, comfortable and independent in their own homes.
For home care agencies – both well-established businesses and new start-ups – the technology they use to manage their workloads, liaise with care recipients and adhere to regulatory requirements, is key.
In this guide from the home care software experts at CareLineLive, we discover why software has such an impact on the performance of a home care provider and why the right home care management software can assist with securing outstanding quality ratings and client feedback.
Understanding the Importance of Home Care Management Software
Almost every aspect of home care is increasingly digitised, ensuring home care service providers adhere to evolving regulations, meet governmental targets, and manage their overheads to increase capacity without cutting into margins.
However, home care software is about much more than meeting expectations and making processes most cost-effective. It is a fundamental aspect of success, where care recipients and their families feel well supported and can adapt their care at any point.
The biggest challenges within the home care space relate to cost management, staff retention and client communications – we’ll work through each aspect to clarify how home care management software adds value, contributing to greater client satisfaction and excellent regulatory inspection outcomes.
Using Home Care Software to Improve Caregiver Rostering
Matching a caregiver to a client, couple, or family is hugely important. Great home care agencies put a great deal of planning into this process, ensuring that a client has a carer they trust and can develop a positive relationship with. Every carer must also have the appropriate skills, training, knowledge and compassion to meet the individual's needs.
Many home care agencies manage complex workforces, with carers offering varying qualifications, specialities, working hours and shifts – which is where software can step in and make it faster and easier to hand-select a carer who is the right fit for the client.
Individuals who receive home care assistance from carers they know, enjoy spending time with, and rely on to care for their emotional, physical and medical welfare perceive home care as a positive, supportive experience. They are also considerably more likely to feel comfortable and happy and to continue using the same agency over the long term.
Home care staff management software can offer a number of features to assist with rostering and ensuring each allocated carer can meet the client's needs, such as:
- Filtering through rotas and staff databases to check which caregivers have the skills or time availability to cover a visit or add an additional client to their routine.
- Identifying periods of absence or holiday to ensure another carer has been assigned and there is no potential for a scheduled care visit to be missed.
- Notifying care managers when registrations or certifications require refreshing or are due to expire.
- Keeping up-to-date logs of training completed so that when a client requires specialist care, an appropriate carer can be found quickly.
Home care agencies also utilise patient portals – ours is called the Care Circle Portal – which facilitates information sharing in real-time. Families, partners, and individuals can share updates and information, contribute to care plans, and provide feedback to ensure any concerns are dealt with promptly.
Ensuring Home Care Documentation is Up-to-date and Compliant
Our next area to consider is record-keeping – something every home care agency needs to focus on to comply with care regulations.
Advanced home care management software incorporates the latest data protection safeguards, augmenting client confidentiality while enabling authorised users to access information or find a client record on demand.
Carers working within a client's home can, for instance:
- Tick off tasks completed in real-time, such as administering medications or providing a freshly cooked meal.
- Receive notifications when any part of their schedule needs to change, such as adjusting the time of a care visit to accommodate a medical appointment or illness.
- Extract notices and messages from care coordinators and managers, such as a request from the client or their family or a revision to their medication or routine.
Home care providers use digitised care plans and client records to ensure the details available before each care visit are completely up to date, noting the individuals’s preferences, requirements, likes and dislikes so that care is always tailored to them.
Agencies also use these record-keeping systems to log any incidents or issues and can, therefore, provide all of the records required during an inspection, ensuring full accountability.
The Link Between Home Care Software and Staff Retention
It is no secret that highly skilled, dedicated carers can be difficult to recruit in the numbers often needed to keep pace with demand – making it essential that home care agencies retain experienced staff. Introducing features that make an agency a great place to work, with clear communications, well-managed schedules and easy ways to log visits completed or mileage travelled, all feed into greater staff satisfaction.
Integrated software can ensure payroll is accurate and on time, rosters match the availability of each carer, and carers can contact supervisors or support colleagues to raise a query, request support or report a problem.
Home carers can access their agency's software through any device to:
- Check for their shifts and allocated care visits in advance and on each day.
- Verify the location of each care assignment and the tasks they need to complete.
- Note instructions such as mealtimes or updates to the client’s care plan.
- Log actions taken using templates without manually writing handover notes or trying to understand notes left by a previous carer.
Even the simplicity of a digital checklist makes a carer's work more streamlined. Carers don't find themselves needing to spend more time at one visit filling in updates or forms – meaning more time focused on the care recipient and less time allocated to admin.
Choosing a Great Home Care Software Solution for Your Agency
Here at CareLineLive, our software suite is specifically designed for home care businesses, with a huge array of features and functionalities, from client invoicing and payroll functions to data transfer systems and flexible rostering tools.
Keeping client records that are accurate and comprehensive, ensuring medication management policies are clear and enforced, and introducing reporting features all help agencies to demonstrate best practice standards while making their businesses easier to manage.
Read more about CareLineLive - Home Care Management Software Company, CareLineLive, Announces Star Carer of the Year
CareLineLive is an award-winning, all-in-one home care management software system for domiciliary care agencies. The company was set up by Josh Hough after being frustrated at the lack of access to his grandfather's care. Working closely with a number of home care agencies, CareLineLive has used the latest technology to develop for agency owners and managers an innovative, easy to use, cloud-based homecare management system. Its award-winning platform leads to increased efficiency, capacity and compliance through digitising workflows, automating procedures, increasing revenue opportunities and decreasing overheads. CareLineLive completes the ‘circle of care’ and gives agencies and carers ‘more time to care’ and is operating throughout the UK, Ireland, Jersey and now Australia.
Source Company: https://carelinelive.com/