Care home management

Clocking in with a QR code: cheaper than chips!

 

The business world emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be very different from the one that entered the crisis. It will be even more cost-conscious, given the additional overheads of making and keeping premises safe for employees and visitors, and staff will have a heightened awareness of hygiene, with frequently touched surfaces and equipment requiring regular and scheduled cleaning. Work is also likely to be more flexible in terms of where and when it is conducted, with split shifts and staggered start times – and, as a result, monitoring staff hours and calculating pay will be more complex and require greater input and control.

Smartphone attendance apps for the new normal

In line with our reputation for supplying low cost, robust and practical employee time management solutions, easyLog has ensured that its range of QR code-based attendance recording apps meet all the requirements of hard-pressed employers coming to terms with the new normal.

From just £20 per month plus VAT for a system covering up to 15 employees, staff can record attendance at a single or multiple sites using their own (or company-issued) smartphone and easyLog’s Location Clock App.

Simple to download from the major stores and install, the app automatically scans and recognises a QR Code that is defined per location. It converts this into an instant employee attendance record and sends this to the e-Log web browser-based software application supplied as part of the solution. This produces detailed or summarised timesheets across any period per employee and location, can deduct unpaid break periods and export any report into Excel for further analysis.

QR codes – the low-cost solution that covers all the bases

  • Low cost – just over £1 per month per employee for the cloud-based solution. easyLog provides software support as required, online training and daily backup. No up-front, one-off set up and training costs – everything you need is included in the monthly amount. The minimum contract length is 12 months with one-month cancellation. Simple, clear and straightforward.
  • QR codes are free to generate and download from many websites. Your only cost is the paper and ink for printing.
  • Hygienic – employees use a smartphone which is always under their control, so there are no health concerns about multiple staff touching an attendance recording device and how clean and safe that unit remains.

For more information about attendance recording with QR codes, you can read this case study.

Find out more

easyLog offers a wide range of apps, attendance recording technologies and software. Talk to one of our team today on 01892 834406, request a callback using the form on the right or email us your enquiry.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Two-for-one app records visitor as well as employee attendance

 

Knowing which employees and visitors are in your building at any time is important, even in normal circumstances. In the present pandemic, however, this information – and the possible need for it to be available to health authorities in the event of local Covid-19 cases – has become a heightened issue for many more workplaces, including those with smaller numbers of staff.

easyLog, the innovative provider of low-cost attendance management and staff scheduling systems, has delivered yet again with a value for money, tablet-based attendance solution that records both staff and visitor arrival and departure data.

The system works with standard Android tablets, such as those made by Samsung and Asus, and a local wireless connection – or a SIM card if used on a remote site, for example in the building industry. The app enables both employees and visitors to record their attendance by presenting a tab for each: reducing investment in hardware and software while also simplifying implementation and operation.

Simple and accurate two-in-one attendance logging

Employees select their name from a dropdown list and are asked to enter a PIN as confirmation. They then indicate by clear buttons if they are starting or leaving work. The app confirms the name of the staff member and the date and time of attendance. Importantly, if the employee has made a mistake – for example, by recording another ‘in’ clocking when they are about to leave the building – the app will question their action and ask them to confirm if their attendance record is correct. A simple step that helps reduce management involvement and produces comprehensive timesheet reports accurately and swiftly.

Visitor details are entered prior to their visit through the e-Log timesheet software, together with the name of the person they are due to meet. As e-Log is a web browser-based software application this can be done on any device – PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone – with a connection to an internet browser. This enables easy access and last-minute adjustments to be made by busy managers who may have infrequent access to office administration systems.

On arrival, the visitor is presented with a dropdown list of visitors for that day from which they select their name to confirm their arrival and again on departure. Should the visitor not have been pre-registered, they can enter their name and who they are seeing using the on-screen keypad on the tablet. Visitor details are held in the software for future use thereby simplifying the process of arranging further meetings.

Low-cost solution includes our browser-based software

Prices start from just £20 plus VAT per month for an organisation employing up to 15 staff. This includes the app, e-Log timesheet and visitor software, supply of a managed cloud platform with daily backup (meaning you don’t need to worry about implementing the software on your own PCs or network) and installation. We even provide an on-line training session to show you round the software and help you get operational as quickly and smoothly as possible. And that monthly cost includes telephone access to our help desk in case you have any questions or technical issues in the future.

Innovative, simple, low-cost and easy to use. Why not call or email us for further information?

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Time and attendance, 0 comments

Keeping staff safe by maintaining attendance device hygiene

 

One of the side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic is that we have all become much more aware of hygiene procedures, with government advice on hand washing and disinfecting surfaces with increased regularity becoming embedded in the routine of our daily lives.

This has caused our clients to consider the most effective way of cleaning their attendance recording hardware and so address employee concerns about the frequency with which this equipment is touched by multiple people.

Regular hand-washing is more important than ever

Like any hard surface – whether it be a door handle, desk or computer keyboard – germs can survive for a varying period of up to 72 hours after contact (source: www.gov.uk). We therefore recommend cleaning your clocking equipment more frequently using the usual recommended method while also encouraging employees to follow the government’s advice on washing their hands more often and for a minimum period of 20 seconds.

How technology can make staff clocking more hygienic

Before the current pandemic, a quick visual check or once weekly clean would have satisfied most staff that the contact they had with items in their work environment was perfectly safe. Understandably that view has changed and may well continue even after the threat from Covid-19 has been seen to pass.

In the belief that attitudes may fundamentally change on hygiene in the workplace, we have been asked by clients if options exist for equipment that requires no contact by the employee.

In short, there is no attendance hardware used by multiple staff that enables zero contact from the user. As a minimum, the employee will need to enter the in or out direction of their record. A face recognition terminal provides the facility to stand away from the hardware and thereby minimise contact with it while also offering the advantage of unique biometric recognition. A tablet running one of easyLog’s attendance apps will still require an employee to touch it but provides a flat surface that makes the cleaning process simple and efficient.

Our smartphone app means users do not have to share equipment

If staff members each possess a smartphone, easyLog offers options with easily downloadable apps that allow reliable and accurate attendance recording without recourse to equipment used by others. Of course, the practicality of this will depend on the workforce, the numbers involved and layout of the entrance area and specific clocking location.

These are all options that easyLog is happy to discuss now or in the post-pandemic, and probably more hygiene-conscious, world into which businesses will emerge. Until that time, please stay safe.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, 0 comments

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, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 2 comments

Manage holiday cover without losing your cool this summer

For most of us, summer is about sunshine, days out and getting away from it all for a week or two. But for employers it means more gaps in the rota to be filled and fewer staff willing and able to cover, plus additional complications when it comes to calculating pay. This is especially true of smaller employers and those in seasonal trades, who often find the holiday season the most stressful and exhausting time of the year.

Of course, scheduling software cannot take all the pressure out of summer staffing issues but chosen and used appropriately it can make life much simpler.

Dealing with the staff rota

The most pressing matter at holiday time has got to be ensuring you have enough people available at all times to keep your operation running smoothly. This is particularly challenging if your staffing requirements are variable at the best of times. But suitable rota software can really help – not only by alerting managers to potential gaps in the rota and providing suggestions for filling them but also allowing adjustments to be made quickly and easy, until the last minute if required.

easyLog rota software has in-built and optional features that take a lot of the stress out of managing holiday absences, no matter how complex your staffing levels. These include automatically checking that the necessary cover is available to meet your pre-defined staffing profile as soon as a leave request is submitted. Employees can also check their leave status and submit holiday requests directly to the software via their smartphones, freeing up admin time spent handling enquiries.

Calculating holiday pay

It is not just the rota that gets complicated in the holiday season – working out correct pay rates can cause a bit of a headache too. Among the issues you may need to take into account when calculating holiday pay are:

  • Staff who work variable roles, rates and/or shifts
  • Adjustments for overnights
  • Bank Holiday rates
  • Regular overtime – compulsory and voluntary
  • Routine out of hours work and on call shifts

easylog software can manage multiple pay rates, so calculating the correct rate of pay is simple. A Shift Analysis report, for example, automatically calculates an employee’s average pay per hour across any period. This can be used to determine the average hourly rate of the hours worked by casual and bank staff, for instance, and so the applicable pay rate for when they are on leave.

Managing leave requests

At this time of year, leave requests tend to come in thick and fast, often at short notice. And so time spent dealing with them also increases.

easylog rota software has a detailed holiday report that shows at a glance how much leave staff have already taken and what they have remaining. This is displayed in simple percentage terms, with a large negative percentage indicating they have a lot of holiday entitlement still to take and vice versa.

Employees can also use our rota app to check their holiday entitlement and book time off direct from their phones. The request goes directly to the main easylog rota software so admins can see at a glance if there will be cover available.

For more information on our rota and payroll reporting software and smartphone apps, please contact us or request a callback.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Timesheets, 0 comments

Sleep-in shifts: Still not put to bed?

female carer sleeping on shift

Since 2014 the payment of sleep-in shifts at an hourly rate rather than in a single agreed payment has been an ongoing and unresolved issue despite the ruling of an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in that year. The tribunal found in favour of at least National Minimum Wage hourly payments by deeming that the care worker was required to be at a place of work at certain hours and was at the disposal of the employer during that period. Furthermore the employee would be subject to disciplinary action if they failed to arrive on time for their shift.

How do you calculate hours when a carer sleeps on shift?

In 2015 it seemed further clarity was provided through guidelines issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. These stated that “A worker who is found to be working, even though they are asleep, is entitled to the national minimum or NLW [National Living Wage] for the entire time they are at work.” But this apparent confirmation must be contrasted with National Minimum Wage legislation published in the same year, which said a worker can only be considered to be “available” when “awake for the purposes of working”.

In another tribunal as recently as this May, involving a carer working for the charity Mencap, the EAT decided in favour of hourly payments for an employee on a sleep-in shift caring for two vulnerable adults. However, ambiguity was given a further lifeline by the judge, who declined to provide a general rule but instead emphasised that each case should be determined on its own facts and considered in relation to different workers’ circumstances.

Care software that handles every sleep-in payment option

Sleep-in shifts are most commonly worked by staff in the learning difficulties care sector and, as a supplier of market leading employee scheduling, attendance recording and care management software, easyLog has many clients operating in this area. Irrespective of the cost implications of any definitive future sleep-in shifts ruling, easyLog clients know that they have at their disposal a functionally-rich solution that enables them to pay their staff efficiently and accurately at both single and hourly payment rates even within a single overnight shift.

What’s more the software can embrace pay schemes where carers are paid at different rates for working with more behaviourally-challenged service users and be paid at higher rates for working in more remote locations. All instantly calculated, clearly presented and exportable into a wide range of third party payroll software products such as Sage and Northgate.

Please contact us if you’d like more information on how easyLog’s software can future-proof your business.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Minimum wage, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Developing the most App-ropriate software tools for your business

Whatever industry you are in or service your provide, you are probably finding that smartphones and tablets are increasingly finding their way into your working life – and are becoming just as indispensable as they are for social and leisure activities. The numbers speak for themselves.

Back in 2010, just a fifth of UK mobile phone users had a smartphone, according to eMarketer. Today, that figure is around 80 per cent. The trajectory of tablets has been even more rapid, with more than half of the adult population using one regularly by 2015 – up from a third in two years.

Harnessing the popularity of smartphones and tablets

Although it’s impossible to predict the future of emerging technology trends, we could see early on that mobile devices were going to have a major impact on the management of everyday tasks – and so easyLog began developing convenient app versions of key products from the start.

Initially we focused on apps for Android devices to keep costs down for customers. But as more people began using Apple and Windows devices, we have been able to offer more apps for iOS and Windows Mobile – such as our highly successful multi-location geolocation and QR code staff clocking app, Locate and Clock.

The popularity of these time-saving and simple-to-use apps has inspired easyLog developers to create smartphone and/or tablet versions of several of our other flagship products and increase the functionality available of apps already in the marketplace.

Expanding our app functionality and product range

The Care Logger smartphone app, for example, which is designed for domiciliary care staff, will soon be released with the option for carers to view their rotas, clock-in and view call information. Meanwhile, managers will be able to use the same app to schedule and reschedule calls.

We also have a remote clocking app in the pipeline that is appropriate for a wide range of business sectors. As always we are guided by making routine and complex tasks as quick and easy to perform for everyone involved, saving employers time and money. The move to mobile has really been something of a revolution for us and our customers and we don’t see any sign of it slowing down yet.

For more information on easyLog’s extensive range of products and latest apps, check our website or speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Meeting the demands of multiple charge rates

keyboard and coffee mug denoting office work

With cash-strapped councils scrutinising ways to save money, care contract negotiations have become an even greater battleground where, among other things, service providers are being pushed to be more flexible in their charge structures. That means implementing multiple charging bands, which in turn means increasingly complex invoice calculations for managers – and more headaches.

To meet the financial demands of the care commissioners, evidence suggests care providers are being asked to accept a number of different charge rates for bands of hours in the day or group of days during the week over which they are providing care services. This means they can find themselves applying multiple rates for morning, afternoon and night care provision and, in some cases, additional rates for Saturday and Sunday.

The result is an administrative nightmare, with potential for miscalculations, loss of revenue and delayed payments affecting cash flow – unless you have suitable software in place.

Multiple charge rates are dealt with in seconds

For less than the cost of a tank of petrol a month, easyLog’s Home Care Studio software takes the hard labour out of your service’s admin and record keeping. Multiple charge rates can be defined and applied in seconds, along with multiple pay rates per employee if required. So you can be confident that funder invoices together with payroll are calculated accurately and efficiently.

And with other functionality including care planning and risk assessments records, personnel management incorporating comprehensive training and supervisions facilities and a variety of electronic visit recording options, there’s never been a more relevant time to explore what easyLog could offer your business.

To find out more about our specialist software for community care providers, visit our dedicated domiciliary care website or request a callback from one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Invoicing staff time, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Clocks going back – will your software pay your night staff correctly?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially ends this Sunday at 2am with the clocks going back by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour more for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay one less hour when the clocks go forward in March and British Summertime starts?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime ends will also be working on the night shift when Summertime starts and therefore a natural order and balance to these things exists. But that is rather wishful thinking to my mind. Across those two days within any year an employee could be on a different shift, be off sick, have left or be on holiday. And if they’re on holiday and you pay that by the hour then what calculation do you use then to ensure the correct remuneration?

Surprisingly I find some organisations blissfully unaware of the point I am making; and when I bring it to their attention there seems to be an immediate fallback position of the ‘natural balance’ rule I mentioned earlier!

Aware of this conundrum or not, it really doesn’t matter if you are an easyLog customer using our staff scheduling software  as you can resolve the issue either way. A simple tick box parameter allows you to specify if you wish to pay to the exact hours worked or to the normal scheduled shift. And that will take care of any holiday hours calculations and payments as well.

If you are a current customer that would like some help with implementing this feature please call our support desk on 0333 343 1004. If you don’t currently use our scheduling software but this article has got you interested in exploring what other clever and efficient things it could do for your organisation then call us on 01892 834406 and speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Invoicing staff time, Minimum wage, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 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, 0 comments

Reduce the impact of Brexit on your care home

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, 0 comments

Are you and your staff ready for Brexit?

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, 0 comments

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, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

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, 0 comments

Five ways to build a better relationship with your care staff

smiling 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, 0 comments

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, 0 comments

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 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, 0 comments

Are your older care home residents getting the nourishment they need?

breakfast

It’s National Breakfast Week, which is a timely reminder of the need for care home residents to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet – not only when they get up in the morning but throughout the day.

This is particularly important for older people, according to an expert on nutrition and catering for a leading care provider.

“During the night your glucose levels have plummeted. The brain needs glucose to function and low levels affect our cognitive abilities: in other words you’re not at your sharpest, which can lead to falls and mistakes,” he explains.

He also makes the point that many older people suffer from loss of appetite, so eating sufficient calories to keep healthy and well-nourished can be difficult. People with dementia are especially at risk, as they often have little interest in food and may end up losing weight.

Make sure your care home record-keeping cuts the mustard

easyLog care monitoring software can be used to highlight meal preferences and log food consumed as part of the standard nutritional care plan. Records can be accessed from standard computers or on the move with a tablet or laptop, so carers can check a client’s nutritional requirements whenever they want at the touch of a button or screen, helping to ensure no detail gets overlooked.

For more information on how our care monitoring software can improve your record keeping and deliver person-centred care, visit our care home management pages.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Care record management, Care recording, Nursing home management, 0 comments

Is recruiting more men the answer to the care time-bomb?

male carer attending elderly resident

Britain’s growing demand for carers has been called a workforce time-bomb – and industry experts have suggested that one of the best ways of diffusing it is to recruit more men.

Currently more than 80 per cent of carers – four in every five – are women and just 16 per cent are men. This figure has remained static since 2012, despite an increasing number of men needing care into old age.

“When it comes to personal care in particular, some men prefer this to be done by a male rather than female,” says Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England.

But men are often prevented from becoming professional carers by entrenched perceptions, he adds.

“The problem is people always see caring roles as being female roles. We need to make society understand that everyone has the potential to be carer.”

A recent report by the International Longevity Centre UK and care charity Anchor predicts that one million new care roles will be needed by 2025 to meet rising demand and currently unmet need. Over the same period, the number of people of working age is expected to rise by just 2.5 million.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Opinion, 0 comments

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, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, 0 comments

New care record software online 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, 0 comments

Look to the cloud if you want to share care and rota management software across different locations

white clouds to symbolise cloud computing

Employers looking for simple but versatile rota or care management software that can be used across multiple locations should consider easyLog’s latest range of cloud server-based options.

Designed to let users make connections to other sites via the internet more easily without the investment of a big IT infrastructure, these options use Windows Remote Desktop Services to distribute our care-Log+ care home system, Home Care Studio supported living solution and e-Log rota management software as remote applications.

Active Directory integration is also available for customers wanting to run easyLog products on existing Windows cloud hosting packages.

Benefits of switching to cloud-based systems include:

  • Small IT infrastructure required
  • Easy to share data and applications across several sites
  • Suits people working in different locations

Our cloud server-based options are available alongside web browser based applications and handheld apps to give a comprehensive range of solutions for people who need to work on the move.

Demonstrations and prices for all these options are available on request.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Care record management, Care recording, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Rota software, 0 comments

Care Recording: Be practical and clear for your care staff

One of the key benefits our care sector clients describe about their implementation of our care record management software is the facility to define their own recording phraseology for their care staff. On a practical level this feature means that the carer can be presented with recording options that are meaningful to them. This may be because the software is replacing previous manual documentation that has been used for many years or simply that the implementation has allowed the senior staff to present simplified expressions of more medical terms.

And practicality is key to the success our clients have seen in implementing care-Log+ especially in conjunction with the use of tablet PCs and the simplicity of the Carer App. This approach allows a care provider to capture the volume of recording that CQC Inspections now require. And because of the simple adaptation of technology that volume is achieved by the care staff as part of their usual care or shift notes regime.

As I mentioned earlier, the definition of the words that carers select is key. So a fluids chart could be defined in terms of millilitres or by ‘drunk whole cup’, ‘drunk half cup’, etc. Likewise a nutrition record can be phrased to include the option selected at any meal and the amount of food then consumed, such as ‘fully eaten’, ‘half eaten’, etc.

These recordings could be arranged in a single ‘nutrition’ or ‘fluid chart’ document (or evaluation record as it’s called in the software) or split across several documents organised by shift time. So for example, a carer could record the breakfast, mid-morning snack/drink and lunchtime intake in a shift note designed to record all activities from 8am to 2pm. The reporting options in care-Log+ enable a manager to collate all nutrition and/or fluid entries for any service user from any number of care recording documents into a single report. This becomes a vital tool during a CQC audit but also shows the practicality that was highlighted at the outset of this Blog. The main care recording documents can be organised to suit the needs of the service users and the care staff and do not have to be designed to second guess what questions a CQC Inspector may ask; if the recording has been done then the care-Log+ software can present the care records in any way required for audit purposes.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Care record management, Care recording, CQC Inspections, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, 0 comments

Recording care with objectivity, legibility and speed!

It goes without saying that in a CQC audit the Inspector will look for written proof of the care that has been provided. After all that is what an audit is about; select a small number of residents as sample cases and analyse their records. If any anomalies come to light then drill down further and possibly widen the audit to include other resident records.

But that means the care provider has to ensure their care staff are recording their shift notes in the quantity and quality required to provide the depth of record sets that an Inspector requests. Which brings to mind a number of obstacles. Handwritten notes can be subjective and may contain what could be regarded as inappropriate phraseology. Text such as ‘enjoyed a good day’ may be deemed meaningless as a record of the mood or care provision of the resident.  Additionally, recent years have seen an influx of overseas staff into the care sector. A percentage of these will have English as their second language which could present problems with the meaning and accuracy of the words used in care records. Beyond these concerns legibility would always be an issue from the mix of handwriting styles that carers bring with them and also, how contemporaneous the notes are without authoritative electronic means of time stamping.

Our care-Log+ care record management software addresses these areas by a two pronged approach. First, carers are presented with shift note documents that have multiple prompts each with a selectable option menu for them to record what happened across care needs such as continence, drinks taken, quantity of food consumed, etc. Additional text can be entered as well if a greater description is required. Second, care-Log+ presents these shift note documents on tablet PCs. With touch screen ease of use combined with placement in accessible  locations around the home, all recordings are automatically time and date stamped together with the user ID and then wirelessly added to the central database automatically.

The end result is that the required volume of records is achieved with objectivity and speed yet with reliability and accuracy that is fully auditable. In short, the balance between giving care and recording care is firmly restored in favour of what carers are actually employed to do.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

 

 

Posted by administrator in Care home management, CQC Inspections, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, 0 comments

Care recording in volume for a CQC Inspection audit; exception reporting for practical care intervention

This series of blogs focuses on the particular aspects of our care-Log+ care record management software that assist care providers to prove the care they have delivered in structured record sets. Above all we want to describe how the functionality of the software helps you deliver an auditable trail for inspection by any regulatory body.

In our previous blog (blog on recording for a CQC Inspection) we wrote about the detail and volume of information that it appears a care home may be audited on in a CQC Inspection. Nutrition and fluid records seem to be a particular focus as inspectors try to ascertain that the care home is providing correct input of both – and evidencing this by their records.

We remarked how users of our care-Log+ care record management system were able to satisfy the volume of their record keeping needs, whilst not losing focus on the fact that their care staff are employed to care rather than be administration clerks, in two ways: First, through the facilities care-Log+ offers to define the care records that the management team want the care staff to record. So fluid intake could be defined in terms of millilitre bandings (‘less than 20ml’, ’20ml – 40 ml’, ‘more than 40 ml’ for example) or by description such as in the example of an evening drink with ‘few sips’, ‘half taken’, ‘all taken’, ‘declined’. Secondly, the care staff can quickly record these notes not at a PC (although of course the option exists to do this) but on a wirelessly connected tablet PC that is either carried by the carer or wall-mounted in convenient locations around the home such as in the dining room or lounge.

However, by giving carers an easy and accessible method of recording their shift notes, haven’t we just created another mountain of records to look through only in electronic form rather than paper-based? Well yes we have but there is an extra aspect of the recording functionality (that works with the defining of the prompts and dropdown options that the carer sees on the tablet) that makes care-Log+ a very pro-active care management tool that allows a focus on the exceptions.

That additional facility is the option to mark specific responses, if selected by the carer, as flagging alerts. So in the examples given earlier, the selection of ‘less than 20ml’ for fluid intake could be designated as an alarm and thus alert the management team that the resident has consumed an insufficient volume. A warning is immediately placed on their desktop and will also appear in the Shift Handover report. The software presents the alert in an alarm list. Clicking on a line will then take the senior or matron reviewing the alert flags to the shift note record and present options to enter additional comments, review associated care plans and/or health and risk assessments, add a care task that notifies the care staff on the tablet PC to be aware of a particular care need (such as ‘prompt to drink’ in this case) over a period of time (for example every day for the next week) and, if relevant, access the resident’s body map image.

In this way care-Log+ provides an exception-based environment in which records are gathered very easily and in the volume required through use of the tablet PCs, and then automatically filtered by the software between the few that require immediate review and the majority which are held for reporting as and when required in the future.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Care home management, CQC Inspections, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, 0 comments