supported living

Can employees fool an app to falsify their attendance records?

In the second of our series of blogs about asking employees to record their attendance using an app on their smartphone, we consider what security features to look for to prevent the possibility of staff dishonestly covering up lateness.

It’s an interesting observation that employers implement time and attendance systems principally to deliver two results: first, administrative time savings through automated calculation of timesheets and pay analysis and second, to improve the accuracy of recording their employee’s attendance.

On that latter point, the ultimate guarantee to prevent an employee fraudulently falsifying their hours is to use a biometric reader that recognises an individual by a unique part of their body, such as fingerprint, face or hand. However, many of our clients have small numbers of staff working irregularly at a number of sites where it would be uneconomic to justify the capital cost of such equipment at each location. In these situations, the low-cost alternative is to ask the employees to use their own or company-issued smartphone to record their attendance at each site. But without biometric safeguards, how can you be certain that the time clocking was generated by the registered user of the phone? That’s where easyLog has consulted with its growing number of users and delivered a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person.

So how does our app prevent clocking fraud?

Firstly, the app is used with QR codes, the latest generation of barcode representation. Generated from free-to-use websites, they can be printed and assigned to each location to uniquely identify the specific site. When the app is used it accesses the camera of the smartphone and the employee simply moves their phone over the code until an image is captured to record the date, time and location. The app also records the GPS reference at the point the attendance record was made. This is significant if an employee should have thoughts that they could photocopy the QR code – and then record their attendance from the comfort of their bed for example – as it will automatically be brought to the attention of their employer!

Within the easyLog software, each location is defined with a unique reference (used by the QR code) and also has their GPS latitude and longitude coordinates entered against it. So if the QR code is scanned from somewhere different to its defined location, the easyLog software will know and flag accordingly with a link to Google Maps to identify the actual location of the errant clocking.

Software that can’t be fooled

Secondly, the app records the date and time that the attendance record is sent to the back-office timesheet management software application. This may not seem immediately significant but if the employee has changed the time on their smartphone – moving it backwards to avoid being flagged as late or forwards to falsely claim overtime – then this will be detected by the easyLog software.

Thirdly, when downloaded the app automatically creates a unique ID reference for the individual smartphone. Again, in an online world familiar with website cookies, this may seem like normal practice. However, it provides another preventive measure against the dishonest employee who may be tempted to help a colleague who is running late.

As mentioned earlier, each employee is given a unique number to identify that it is them using the app each time – and they enter this in the app when they first use it. So what if they change that number to use their smartphone to clock in on behalf of a colleague? The software automatically identifies the phone used for each attendance record from the unique ID reference so if it finds clockings from two different employees but with the same ID then it will be raised with their manager to take appropriate action.

Peace of mind for employers

We hope the anti-fraud measures that we’ve included in the app won’t actually require use but unfortunately rogue staff do exist. Most importantly perhaps, easyLog can give the employer the peace of mind that their workforce is recording their attendance accurately, easily and with certainty – and at a price that is economic for any size of organisation.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or email us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, business support, cleaning management, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, flexible working, invoicing staff time, mobile worker tracking, payroll analysis, rota software, scheduling software, smart phone App, time and attendance, timesheets, 0 comments

10 ways Home Care Studio can make work – and life – simpler

female carer visits elderly client

When you’re choosing a home care system, the chances are you’ll have a long list of boxes that need to be ticked. But we know from talking to our customers that often it’s the less obvious features that prove most valuable in terms of saving time and making delivering quality care that little bit easier.

The following functions of our Home Care Studio software may not be top of your checklist – but we think that once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

  1. Reviewing care plans on the move – on a phone

Our Care-Logger app enables carers to carry out evaluations and assessments as well as view care plans and tasks associated with client visits wherever they are via their smartphone – even when there is no internet connection. It can also be used to view and manage rotas and as a clocking device for ultimate flexibility and convenience.

  1. Set an ideal rota

We know most providers like to send a familiar carer face to their service users – and that most carers want some certainty over their rota. So that’s where the ideal rota comes in. A powerful and flexible function that allows you to define carers’ regular visit routes and then use this as the basis for the weekly rota.

  1. Log client visits by mobile phone

When time is money, an accurate and cost-effective visit tracking system is essential. One that is proving particularly popular with our home care customers is visit logging by smartphone. Using QR codes (smart barcodes), NFC tags or GPS global positioning technology, all are simple to use, highly efficient and surprisingly inexpensive.

  1. Update records on the go

With our specially-designed care-Logger app, carers can make visit notes directly into client records using their phones – no uploading or transcribing required. And to save even more time and bother, you can easily set up existing assessments in Home Care Studio.

  1. It’s not just about home care…

Our Home Care Studio software has flexibility built in – which means it’s equally suitable for supported living and agency care providers. This is particularly useful for customers who have multi-faceted care businesses.

  1. Personalise your invoices

You can customise your company invoicing by adding your own logo and adjusting the layout, creating a consistent, professional look and feel across your paperwork.

  1. Easy access to policies and procedures

Our policies and procedures section means staff can quickly and easily find important information when they need it, saving time and helping to ensure best practice is adhered to at all times.

  1. CM2000 interface

Because we know that, in the real world, larger care organisations especially use a variety of management tools, we have made our software compatible with other leading providers, such as Care Management 2000 for smooth transitions between systems.

  1. Client contributions made easy

Our invoicing section takes into account different payment structures, including client contributions, saving time and reducing billing-related headaches.

  1. Reports with everything

Whatever kind of report you want and however you want it presented, you’ve got it. You can even access a mileage report from Google Maps if you want.

If you want to know more about our domiciliary care and supported living system or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us by phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in business support, care record management, care recording, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, mobile worker tracking, payroll analysis, rota software, scheduling software

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

How to keep your home care staff happy by giving them the shifts they want – and you need

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

If you run a care agency, planning the rota is probably one of your least favourite jobs – it’s complicated, time consuming and often impossible to please every member of staff, no matter how hard you try. But creating an efficient and cost-effective staff rota does not have to be a headache-inducing chore.

easyLog’s home care software has been designed specially to help you plan a rota with your staff in mind. Our advanced rota facilities can ensure that staff are given adequate hours while guaranteeing that work is allocated in employee-friendly blocks. You can use the software to make sure that carers are not called back for a short evening shift after a long morning session, for instance, or even choose to avoid split shifts altogether.

And if you need to make last minute changes to the rota or schedule extra shifts for those that want them, that’s not a problem either. Our smartphone-based care and rota software provides up-to-date information ensuring all the information you need is always to hand, wherever and whenever you need it. Plus it has the advantage of keeping paperwork to a minimum.

Find out more about our specialist care home software here.

Posted by administrator in business support, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, flexible working, rota software, scheduling software

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

Get ready for the new 30 minute home care visit

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

With new guidelines recommending that home care visits to the elderly should last a minimum of 30 minutes, it’s more important than ever to have a simple and dependable staff clocking system and effective rota management software.

The guidance, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), does allow for shorter visits but only if they are not the main visit of the day – for example, a follow up to check if a client has taken medicine. It also includes taking steps to ensure that clients know their carers by trying to use the same ones whenever possible and letting clients know in advance if their carers are likely to be late or not turn up.

To find out more about our wide range of attendance monitoring and staff scheduling systems and how they can help you meet the demands of this new gold standard for home care, visit our domiciliary care and supported living pages.

Posted by administrator in domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, mobile worker tracking, rota software, scheduling software

View and save our care and attendance products on Pinterest

easyLog is now on Pinterest, so you can browse a selection of our care management products and time and attendance devices then pin your favourites to your own boards and share them with colleagues. You can also follow us so you will be the first to see new additions to our boards.

We currently have three boards:

To find out more, click on the links above or visit our Pinterest home page: www.pinterest.com/easylogltd/

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, latest news, mobile worker tracking, nursing home management

New Care Record Software on-line Training Videos announced

Responding to client requests, easyLog will be introducing a comprehensive range of on-line training videos on its care record management software during this Summer. These videos are designed to help care staff quickly get to grips with the main functionality of the product such as creating care plans and evaluating them, completing risk and health assessments and handling other care-related information about a service user like activities calendars, body maps and recording drug administration.

The idea behind the videos is to provide a comprehensive training resource that is independent of the senior system administrator staff that have been responsible for configuring and implementing the software initially. In this way care staff can review and learn functionality quickly without needing to interrupt or book time with the small number of managerial staff that possess the overall system knowledge and detail of its day-to-day functionality. As such this creates a win-win for the overall care team with both carers and their managers able to focus time on the specific training that they will need to operate the system from their own perspective.

The first on-line videos are set to appear later this month with a full set in place by the close of August.

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management