Month: April 2012

Managing rotas on the move becomes a reality

A new app from easyLog for smart phones and tablet computers using the Android operating system takes working on the move a step further by allowing users to administer staff rotas quickly and effectively with only a standard wireless or GPRS (smart phone) internet connection.

The new software, developed in conjunction with Abicare, is ideally suited to coordinators who manage domiciliary care staff, work on call and have access to the internet via a home wireless connection or mobile phone with GPRS. Using this connection to link to a small portable device, such as a tablet or smart phone, is more convenient than PC-based options and means that users can easily access and amend the rota at short notice, even if they are on the move – for example, when doing home visits themselves, or during the evening or early morning when no office staff are available.

Users can update the rota system in real time, without returning to the office, and there’s no need for paper copies or follow-up administration, making it a very efficient way to deal with sickness absences and other last-minute staff changes.

“This system gives us access to service user details and enables us to reschedule staff on the move,” explains Sarah Mullins, coordinator of AbiCare’s West Wiltshire office. “This avoids us having to carry vast amounts of paperwork and means that we do not need extra administration when we eventually return to the office.”

Developing our own software means that we can update easyLog’s products in line with technological advances and changing customer needs – and it’s this forward thinking that is behind the latest version of our rota management software for portable devices.

Rotamanagement options include:

  • Spreadsheet view of selected rota periods for all required staff in 15-minute intervals
  • View of call times with client names
  • Indication of employee absence or unavailability
  • Ability to rearrange a call by changing time or member of care team
  • Ability to delete calls
  • Ability to insert calls based on unallocated contracts
  • List unallocated, or over allocated, contracts

Our domiciliary care software for tablets also features:

  • Client access/medical and home visit records
  • View and edit care plans
  • Employee, personal and training records
  • View and add call log/communication log items
  • Off-line function when not in wireless or GPRS range

We also have tablet-based products for care home administration and cleaning management administration. Please contact us to find out more.

Posted by administrator in rota software

Possible printing problems in our .NET applications

It has come to our attention that a security update recently released by Microsoft is disrupting printing in the .NET versions of e-Log, care-Log and Care Studio.

The security bulletin is MS12-025, released on 10 April 2012. Update 2656374 affects Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, while update 2656369 affects Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Windows 7 does not appear to be affected.

Currently the only fix is to roll back the update but we are seeking more information from Microsoft regarding a resolution to this issue.

You can find out more by going to Microsoft’s online support centre, article ID 2671605.  Alternatively, please e-mail easyLog support.

Posted by administrator in latest news

When does a staff scheduling problem not require a staff scheduling solution?

The natural response for care home owners and managers seeking a solution to staffing headaches is to look for staff scheduling software. Logical, but not always the right approach, because care homes present a special challenge when it comes to managing staff rotas and pay rates.

Special staffing needs require specialist software

Unlike most businesses, there are legal definitions for the number of staff required to care for residents and regular inspections by a range of statutory authorities test that these staffing ratios are adhered to.

Care home staff rotas change frequently due to sickness and holiday absenteeism and are often supplemented by part-time or casual staff who can be called upon at short notice. Full-time staff may need to work in different job functions to cover absences and be paid different rates for each role they perform. Hourly rates can be different for weekdays, weekends and public holidays, and change if the employee works over agreed contracted hours.

In addition, care home managers and staff are focused on providing care. Dedicated office staff are at a premium and often the manager or team responsible for creating the rota may find it easier to do so manually or with a general business package, such as Microsoft’s Excel or Word. All these factors point to considerable difficulties in implementing a software application that combines scheduling, timesheet management and payroll analysis.

That’s why easyLog created its e-Log+ software. We recognise that keeping a rota up to date, with the access and constant change associated with a care home, is difficult. The e-Log+ application therefore focuses on simplifying and automating the key tasks of accurate staff attendance records, absence management and producing a comprehensive payroll analysis.

How e-Log+ simplifies the payroll process

e-Log+ does this by comparing the timesheet data of each employee against a set of user definable shift times per job function. If a match is found the hours are passed automatically for payment. Any attendance that does not agree is presented in an authorisation routine that allows the manager to pay or part pay at any applicable pay rate or disallow if appropriate. Staff can be paid at different rates for working in each job they perform so that an accurate and comprehensive breakdown of paid hours can be achieved, no matter how complex the pay rate structure.

e-Log+ holds one more great feature: from the authorised hours of each employee, the software retrospectively produces an on-screen rota thereby enabling a cross-check against the externally held master rota. What’s more the user can enter any holiday, sickness, training or other absence on this rota to provide a comprehensive and complete staff and pay record.

So when does a staff scheduling problem not require a staff scheduling solution?

When the organisation is using the intelligent response provided by easyLog’s e-Log+ software, of course.

Posted by administrator in care home management

Seven steps to finding the right care record management system

As a company that supplies software solutions for the care home sector, we know how difficult selecting and implementing a computerised care record management system can be. So we have put together this seven-point plan to help care home owners and managers avoid the most common pitfalls.

1. Understand your goals

There are a lot of care record products out there – some relate to a specific need, while others offer a complete back-office solution. So decide at the start which areas of your business require greater controls and efficiencies and whether these are likely to be achieved through computerisation. You will then be able to present any potential supplier with a clear picture of what you want.

2. Involve staff in the decision

It’s always a good idea to get staff on board during the selection process. Some may feel apprehensive about the introduction of a computerised care record system, but involving the care team from the outset can help staff overcome their fears and understand the benefits. They will be able to see that the system will help them in their work and reduce the time they spend on paperwork so they can devote more time to caring.

3. Remember that implementing a system takes time

Don’t assume that you and your staff will magically find the time to implement the new computerised record system alongside your existing day-to-day work commitments. Work out who will supervise the project and give them the time to do it. You’ll also need to calculate how much time will be needed to input data to get the new system operational and assign someone to this process.

4. Draw up a project plan

It may seem obvious but planning ahead can avoid many false starts and wrong turns. Implementing a computerised care record system involves care and back-office staff with differing degrees of IT familiarity. They operate in a 24/7 environment, often punctuated with unpredictable care episodes and service-user demands. Look at the diversity of staff and care documents involved and work out how the implementation can be fitted around the care home’s routine.

5. Review your current documentation

Most care homes want to retain their current documentation, which has typically gone through many changes over time – resulting in overlapping records, duplications and lack of clarity. Computerising these documents provides the ideal opportunity to review their content and relevance – and whether the systems you are considering will accommodate your old documentation and provide an improved alternative.

6. How easily can staff access the system?

Care is rarely provided in front of a computer screen, so consider how far staff will need to walk whenever they want to review and update resident records. Investing in several PCs, a network infrastructure and extra desk space may be beyond your organisation’s means, but there are cost-effective alternatives, such as wall-mounted touch screens and wireless tablet computers.

7. Start small and build momentum

We recommend starting the changeover with the shift or daily notes recording function. This may be broken down further by residents who have a high volume recording overhead or are based in a particular area of the care home. These documents are usually simple to implement and produce very quick results, so carers see how the system can help them in their daily work. With a first success quickly under its belt, the project can move forward positively.

If you would like more advice on implementing a computerised care record system, please contact one of our team.

Posted by administrator in care home management