care home systems

Six steps to CQC-proofing your staff rota

 

smiling female carer with a resident

Setting the rota can be one of the most stressful and time-consuming managerial tasks, not least because ensuring a care home has adequate carers in place at all times is something that CQC inspectors will be looking at closely.

Suitable staff scheduling software can take a lot of the strain when it comes to creating a rota. Here are some of the many ways specialist solutions can help.

1. Ensuring cover is always available

One of the time-saving features of our scheduling software that customers depend on most is the ability to store employees’ regular hours on a rolling rota. There is no need to keep re-inputting data, the rota can be prepared as many weeks in advance as required and managers can see at a glance where shifts need to be filled. At the same time, staff can be confident of getting the shifts they want. When absences inevitably occur, the software can be used to find suitable cover quickly and easily, even at short notice. Employees can be filtered via criteria that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority, so you can be sure of always having staffing levels that meet regulatory requirements without burning your budget.

When it comes to managing leave, easylog rota software can automatically check that the required cover is still available for a proposed period of absence.

2. Giving staff plenty of warning about their shifts

A reliable and timely method of informing staff about their shifts is essential for smooth continuity of care. By using our employee smartphone apps,  shift details can be sent from the main rota software direct to carers’ phones at the touch of a button as soon as the rota is set. Your carers can confirm the shift immediately, saving time and reducing the possibility of errors as shifts will always be available to view on the phone. Staff can also use the app for other routine tasks, such as managing leave and expenses and checking clockings against shifts, making associated admin faster and more efficient.

3. Comparing clockings with shifts

An integrated clocking system makes calculating pay simpler and more accurate and, more importantly from the CQC’s point of view, allows managers to show that no periods have been left uncovered. Our software can be used with any of our attendance options, from mobile phones and iPads to biometric handscanners, fingerprint readers and facial recognition devices.  We even have specialist electronic devices for monitoring night checks so you have a reliable record that routine but essential care tasks have been recorded.  To find the best match for your care home, just contact one of our team.

4. Providing adequate records

A further benefit of using specialist scheduling software is that a full record of the rota is available for CQC to inspect and can be retained for the statutory period without keeping multiple paper files. As well as saving space, this means records can be searched quickly and easily and electronic reports  generated as required.

5. Being able to show clients are receiving the right staff allocation

Supported living providers can prove care has been provided by allocating staff on the rota to individual or multiple service users. They can also show the local authority that the care it is paying for has been delivered through easily-generated reports and invoice clients directly from the software.

6. Using reports to improve service provision

The opportunity to produce reports is one of the key management benefits of a software-based rota. For example, shift and absence records can be used as an accurate input to staff supervisions and any problems can be pinpointed and acted upon – something that CQC inspectors like to see as evidence that fit and proper management is in place.

To find out more about our rota software and clocking options, or any other products, please request a call-back or contact us.

Posted by administrator in care home management, CQC Inspections, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, nursing home management, rota software, scheduling software, time and attendance, timesheets, 2 comments

5 hidden extras you get with care-Log+

A resident's life story record in a care home

A good care home management system covers all the essentials as standard – person-centred care plans, rota management, staff records and training, customisable reports and so on. But only the best comes with a range of special features that you didn’t know you needed – until you and your staff find yourselves depending on them every day.

easyLog’s care-Log+ software has been specially designed with input from care professionals to include little extras that help you get the job done easily and efficiently. Here are five of our favourites.

1 Life story – Our person-centred care records contain a Life Story section for storing family details, personal photos and other information, such as key life events, that can be used to form connections with your clients. It’s proved particularly useful in dementia care – especially when used by staff as a reminiscing aid on a tablet PC.

2 Risk-assessment scorecards – All assessment scorecards can be fully customised to accommodate your home’s way of working and changes over time, from modifying an individual question, response or score to adding completely new sections. Responses are colour coded using the traffic light system for clarity. And, of course, standard scoring tools are provided too.

3 Resident cash account – Financial record-keeping for your clients’ own funds, enabling you to keep track of their personal income and outgoings day-to-day.

4 Third-party document attachments – Save time on re-typing supporting information by simply attaching the original documents to your client’s record. All major formats supported, including Word and pdf. And you can do the same on your staff records with details such as CVs, disciplinary letters and so on.

5 Safeguarding section – Prove you’re consistently monitoring the wellbeing of those in your care with an auditable and automatically prompted review of the measures you have in place. The easy-to-use report generator allows you to present any data required in answering a CQC inspector’s question, from food consumed in the last week to activities undertaken since the start of the year. All queries can be answered quickly and simply, demonstrating the quality of care you provide.

To find out more about our care-Log+ care home system and how it can help your business, request a callback from one of our team or contact us by phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, care record management, care recording, CQC Inspections, nursing home management

Five ways to stop fraudsters getting hold of your data

hooded hacker to indicate internet security

Technology is not just good for legitimate businesses – it’s also constantly providing criminals with new ways to commit fraud. One of the latest is ransomware, whereby hackers use malware to encrypt files stored on servers and then demand payment to restore the data – usually in the form of untraceable Bitcoins.

Sorting out the resulting mess takes a lot of time and effort and can be extremely stressful. These five simple steps will help you to keep your servers secure.

1 Be password savvy

Hackers target the weakest point of a server’s security, which is often the password. So choose only strong passwords – ideally containing a mix of upper and lower-case letters and numbers – that are not easily discovered and that you don’t use elsewhere. Change them regularly and remember to disable unwanted user accounts, for example when an employee leaves.

2 Back up regularly

We know it can be a chore but it’s essential to back up all your data securely and at regular intervals. Set up automated back-ups to run daily, sending data to a different physical location.

3 Don’t neglect your upgrades

However busy you are, make sure you find time to install all the recommended upgrades and patches for your server so the security is always up to date.

4 Switch off when you’re done

Always switch off remote desktop access (RDP). If you need this type of access set your firewall to allow only users from specific IP addresses.

5 Protect your dashboard

Have a separate password for your server dashboard and keep it extra safe. The server dashboard allows complete access to your server so you need to be extra careful.

For further advice on server security, please contact the easyLog team.

Posted by administrator in business support, latest news

Reduce the impact of Brexit on your care home

Workflow with new technologies

The Prime Minister has said that Brexit means Brexit – but we are still a long way from knowing how leaving the EU will play out. For businesses in the care sector, such as individual care homes and groups, there are particular areas of concern. These are a few of the challenges the industry is set to face.

Falling house prices

UK property prices have fallen by almost one per cent – or £2,467 – in the month since the referendum, according to Rightmove. And this is normally the most buoyant time of year. It may not sound much but with uncertainty over what Brexit will actually mean likely to continue for at least a couple of years, there is going to be less money available to clients who fund care by selling their home.

Recruitment issues

It seems inevitable that some kind of restriction is going to be imposed on the movement of workers from Europe – and beyond, if an Australian-style points system is adopted. Such a system “is unlikely to be favourable to relatively low-skilled workers in the care sector,” according to former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (now Lord Lansley), who has urged the industry to make sure its voice is heard in the coming negotiations.

Higher staff turnover

Changing attitudes to immigration may mean that many care workers either choose or are required to leave their jobs in the UK. This will exacerbate an already difficult human resources issue for care providers struggling to maintain a low turnover of staff.

Prospect of recession

We know that the initial stage of Britain’s exit from the EU will take at least two years – the time limit for enacting Article 50. Although we will learn more about the implications over time, uncertainty over the details and economic impact will cause many businesses to put their growth plans on hold – temporarily at least – potentially triggering recession.

What can care homes do to prepare?

There are no easy answers but clearly it is a time to ensure your resources are managed as effectively as possible. This means making the best use of all the features of your care home management system, from staff scheduling and rota management to efficient record keeping and payroll analysis.

For individual advice on getting the most out of your easyLog system, please contact one of our team – we will be happy to help.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, nursing home management, rota software, scheduling software

Are you and your staff ready for Brexit?

brexit-logo

If there’s one thing we can be sure about following the Brexit vote, it is uncertainty. None of us knows for sure what the coming months and years will bring, despite all the claims and counter claims. But when it comes to the European working time directive, it seems fair to say there will be no change soon because the UK already has an opt-out of the 48-hour week.

While this means there is no urgent need to rethink your staff scheduling system, it’s a good time to make sure you are prepared for any changes when they do come.

Having the right staff management system in place will help you ensure you have the optimum number of staff on your rota to keep your business running smoothly while controlling contracted hours, so you can keep costs down and service levels up.

Add to that the benefit of detailed budgeting, invoicing and payroll reports that can be tailored to your needs and you have all you need to keep a check on your staffing expenditure.

With an easyLog system, you also get a range of extra management tools that help streamline virtually all aspects of staffing, from training to HR and personal record keeping.

Visit our website to find out more.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, cleaning management, domiciliary care and supported living, flexible working, invoicing staff time, latest news, nursing home management, payroll analysis, rota software, scheduling software, timesheets

Cloud options for every hosting scenario and budget

clouds on tablet PC to represent cloud server option

At easyLog, one of our defining principles is to help our customers benefit from the latest technology, whatever their size and way of working. As a result of a number of industry developments, including a significant reduction in the price of cloud server options and an increase in broadband speeds nationally, we are now pleased to be able to offer an expanded range of cloud-based facilities.

This means we have options to suit every type of hosting and server set-up and can provide high quality cloud services for almost every budget – in keeping with our principles.

Broadly, there are three main hosting models:

  • We can install easyLog software on your self- or externally-managed cloud server
  • We can manage your easyLog software and related functions on your cloud server
  • We can provide a full hosting and management service through our own servers

To discuss the different options and their relative benefits to your organisation, please contact one of our team or request a callback.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, care record management, cleaning management, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, flexible working, latest news, mobile worker tracking, nursing home management, rota software, scheduling software

Make your care home more efficient without compromising on care

carer using bodymap function on a tablet

With rising costs and an ever increasing administrative burden, it’s no wonder that the number of care homes going into administration has been rocketing.

Over the past three years, care home insolvencies have jumped by more than a third, according to Moore Stephens, with the number rising by nearly a fifth (18 per cent) in the year to September 2015. And the accountants suggest that the situation is likely to get worse as a result of financial pressures such as the introduction of the Living Wage, the cost of meeting increasing regulations and local authority spending cuts – the Local Government Association estimates that there will be a £2.9 billion annual funding gap in social care by the end of the decade.

Research by BBC Radio Four supports this view, indicating that a quarter of British care homes will go out of business within three years because they are not making enough profit.

Of course there is no quick and easy way to reduce running costs while maintaining high standards of care – but there are things you can do to make your working practices more efficient.

Choose the right technology for your care home

If you haven’t already invested in an electronic record system, do it now. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and will soon pay its way in terms of time savings and greater accuracy and detail. Many suppliers, including easyLog, offer low cost monthly payments for software and services so there is no big capital outlay to strain already tight budgets.

A carefully-chosen solution tailored to your care home’s needs can transform the way you manage your business and how carers go about their daily tasks. Using tablet PCs to work on the move, for instance, helps carers spend more time caring and less time on admin by allowing them to record and view care records and shift notes as they go.

Be ready for a CQC inspection

This not only makes for a more efficient way of working but also ensures you always have a full audit trail and detailed care record reporting to hand, enabling you to answer quickly any information requests in a CQC inspection.

At the same time you can build and sustain a reputation for the quality of care in your area through the proactive management of care issues that your easyLog software highlights.

Use your rota to control costs

Implementing suitable staff scheduling software designed for care homes will make setting your rota quicker and easier. More importantly, it will help you control your staffing budget – so there are no unexpected staff costs through unnecessary headcount or overtime payments, for example.

Specialist software such as our care-Log+ package will also give you the option to streamline other staff management functions, such as training and HR records, through a simple but detailed personnel module.

To find out more about finding the most effective care record management system for your business, take a look at the care home section of our website or contact one of our team.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, care record management, care recording, CQC Inspections, rota software

Five ways to build a better relationship with your care staff

happy care worker in a care home

Being a carer is a tough job – which means that being an employer or supervisor of care staff can be tough too. But making sure your carers feel valued and supported isn’t difficult and will repay you many times over in terms of productivity, loyalty and overall performance.

Here are five simple tips for using your care management system to improve your relationship with your care staff – and make your care home a happier, more efficient place to live and work.

  1. Keep up to date with training

Regular training makes for confident, effective staff – so think of it as a necessity not a luxury. Use your care software to set reminders for training renewal dates, keep a record of training sessions and accommodate training in the staff rota. Find out more about managing training and your rota with care-Log+ here.

  1. Make use of time-saving technology

Tablet computers have transformed the way many of our care home clients manage their records. Staff like them because they make updating records and adding notes easier, while owners and managers like them because carers can make highly detailed records quickly, wherever they happen to be in the care home. Read more about our specially-designed care software for tablets.

  1. Give your staff the shifts they want

Allocating shifts at the last minute and failing to give timely information about the staff schedule are sure ways to create disgruntled carers. But if you use a suitable electronic rota system, giving staff the shifts they want and keeping them informed of any changes is simple. Find out more about how you can optimise your rota management techniques here.

  1. Run a mistake-free payroll

Sorting out errors in pay is irritating for your staff and wastes valuable time. And it’s often totally unnecessary. If you use a combined clocking and rota system you will have fewer mistakes – and much happier staff as a consequence. Read more about our wide range of staff clocking options for care homes and the benefits of integrating care-Log+ with your payroll software.

  1. Show staff you care

Little things like remembering birthdays and enabling staff to take the leave they want can make a big difference to morale. So make sure you keep the HR section of your care home software up to date – it’s a useful source of information for providing a personal touch.

Posted by administrator in care home management

Record-keeping tailored to the needs of autistic service users – and their carers

 

autism logo image

Every person receiving care is unique, with individual needs and characteristics – and this is particularly true of those on the autism spectrum. That’s why it is essential that daily record-keeping is as flexible and detailed as possible, yet quick and easy for care staff to manage.

A good record-keeping system has many benefits for care staff, autistic service users and their relatives. It’s not simply about recording routine events, such as meals, toilet visits and scheduled activities – but an opportunity to collect and monitor important data that can be used to improve an individual’s daily care and quality of life.

Clear, regular and thorough records of a service user’s day-to-day activities are particularly useful in helping carers to:

  • Identify causes of current behavioural issues or new ones as they develop
  • Track progress of a particular behaviour and how it is being managed
  • Monitor the development of a skill or regular event

easyLog’s care-Log+ electronic record management system has been specially designed to be flexible and convenient. What this means in practice is that all the evaluation, assessment and care note functions are fully customisable so they can be tailored to meet each care home’s – or even client’s – requirements exactly. So whatever data you want to collect can be easily incorporated into the system.

What’s more, our software is ideal for use with tablet computers. So care staff can quickly and easily update records wherever and whenever is most convenient, making keeping full, accurate and timely records even more simple.

For more information about record-keeping with care-Log+, take a look at our website or contact one of our team via e-mail or phone.

 

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording

Set your rota for the new living wage

staff scheduling with the easyLog rota app

It’s not long until April and the introduction of the National Living Wage, when virtually all employees aged 25 and over will be entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. For employers working to a tight budget, that means either gritting your teeth and upping the wages bill or juggling your rotas to keep staffing costs down.

Whichever you choose, controlling wage costs by selecting the right staff for the most appropriate job function has never been more important – and neither has having flexible and efficient rota management software.

easyLog’s scheduling system can take the hard work out of organising your rota with a helpful budgeting facility. This enables you to set your rota quickly and easily by filtering workers via factors that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority.

You can read more about setting a rota to a budget with our staff scheduling software in our flexible working hours case study.

The government recommends taking these four steps to ensure you are ready for the National Living Wage:

  1. Know who is eligible in your organisation
  2. Make the appropriate payroll adjustments
  3. Let staff know about their new pay rate as soon as possible
  4. Check that staff under 25 are earning right minimum wage

Find out more about preparing for the National Living Wage at Livingwage.gov.uk.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, domiciliary care and supported living, flexible working, nursing home management, rota software, scheduling software