Nursing 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

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

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

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

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

CQC Inspections: It’s all in the recording…

Feedback from our care clients suggests that CQC Inspectors have focused on auditing the detail of residents’ nutrition and fluid intakes. And it appears that really does mean the detail with homes asked to present information for any requested period on the quantity of food and volume of drink consumed at each meal and break time.

For users of our care-Log+ care record management software that presents little problem. care-Log+ has definable shift notes that present a prompt to the carer and then offer multiple dropdown options for them to select from – together with the facility to add additional text if required. So a home might provide a morning shift note that includes options for a carer to record information about the morning drink such as ‘Fully Taken’, ‘Half Taken’, ‘Few Sips/Minimal’ and ‘Declined’.

Carers record this on a tablet PC which can be carried with them or placed conveniently around the home. In this example they would touch the ‘Morning Drink’ prompt and then touch the relevant dropdown option to record the care outcome. It takes seconds and provides instantly auditable records on the care the establishment is providing as every entry is time and date stamped and with the name of the person that made the recording.

Likewise at meal times carers can easily be prompted to record the details of the options selected and the quantity of portion consumed. Again this volume of recording is simply achieved, accurate and timely. Reports can then be run for any time period, any resident and for any option or combination of options (Morning Drink, Evening Drink, etc) across all shift notes. This functionality makes for a powerful tool in the face of an Inspection audit and records are generated with a simplicity of use that carers will take to instantly.

If you would like to know more about how our care-Log+ system can help you achieve accurate auditable care records for a CQC Inspection then please contact one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Care home management, CQC Inspections, Nursing home management, 0 comments

Care plans are not a standalone document

When a CQC Inspector is auditing your care records one of the main things they’ll be looking for is to see that the recordings made in one are reflected in any other related documentation. So, for example, notes made on a carer’s shift that record a resident has been not eating to their usual pattern over the last couple of days or so, should be matched by evidence of a recent review of the ‘Eating and Drinking’ care plan. In this way written observations are closely linked to a reassessment of the required care interventions to ensure that the desired care outcomes remain achievable.

This of course describes basic good care and nursing practice but with the volume of care recording undertaken can it be guaranteed that this systematic review happens on every occasion?

A care plan is the central document that defines a service user’s care. Its on-going relationship is therefore not only linked to shift notes but with health assessments, risk assessments but prior to that with pre-assessments and social care (or life story) background information.

It is therefore pleasing to hear from our care-Log customers how the definable flexibility in the software is being used to ensure that each home’s unique and diverse documentation sets are being updated and reviewed as a complete entity. As Lesley Plumb from The Chestnuts care home in Meopham near Gravesend, Kent says,  At a CQC inspection, we were able to demonstrate how all the care we provided was both personalised and “in the round” – in other words, any problems raised were answered and explanations given, leaving no loose ends in relation to a resident’s care.

And of course that’s a very reassuring position to be in before any CQC Inspection.

For more information about the functionality in care-Log and how it can be harnessed to benefit your care home or supported living care facility please contact us.

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

NFC tags making care home management easier than ever

We have written before about how technology is changing the working landscape, particularly mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. And, as the use of tablets increases for care home evaluations and assessments, one of the trends we are seeing is more staff logging in to their devices with near field communication, or NFC, tags rather than conventional passwords.

Advantages of logging in with an NFC tag include:

  • Instant access without typing
  • Users cannot log in with another person’s password
  • Tablets can also be used to record attendance information, such as shift clock-in/out and breaks
  • Tags are available in many forms, including keyfob, adhesive label and wristbands

Using a tablet and NFC tag is also quicker and more convenient than having to remember and type in a password every time the employee needs to log in. Tags are particularly beneficial when the tablet software has timed out for security reasons because the user can easily log back in without having to re-enter a password, reducing timeouts to an absolute minimum.

For more information about using tablets and NFC tags to update care records and other client data on the move, please contact us.

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

How many hours do you pay when the clocks go forward or backward?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially starts this Sunday at 2am with the clock jumping forward by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour less for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay an extra hour when the clocks go back in October and British Summertime comes to an end?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime begins will also be working on the night shift when Summertime ends 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 0845 225 3011. 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 with one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Dementia Care Mapping software now a standard assessment tool in care-Log+

Dementia Care Mapping graph observations

DCM graph showing assessments over a period of time

easyLog’s market leading care-Log+ care home and supported living management software now includes the University of Bradford’s Dementia Care Mapping as one of its standard assessment tools. And, implemented on tablet PCs, it becomes a very powerful, convenient and easy to use platform for recording the results of Dementia Care Mapping observations.

Dementia Mapping seeks to record what everyday life is like for a person with dementia. It was developed by the University of Bradford’s School of Dementia Studies in the early 1990s. easyLog’s implementation of Bradford Dementia Mapping software on tablet PCs means that carers (or Mappers as they are known during observation sessions) have a simple and portable touch-screen platform on which to record their observations.

Our Dementia Care Mapping software presents the carer with a list of service users from which they select the residents they are about to observe and the length of time of the assessment. The tablet PC then displays a timeline for each service user broken down by defined period – for example five or ten minute blocks. Dementia Mapping then occurs by the carer selecting a Behaviour Category and the ME (Mood/Engagement value) score occurring at that moment. Several observations can be recorded at any point as different behaviours occur with the option to also add relevant comments.

The Dementia Care Mapping observations are automatically collated and presented in both numerical and graphical form across a range of dates or for a specific day. The Dementia Care Mapping software graphs can be displayed in line graph and bar chart format with optional selection of specific Behaviour Categories and ME values.

Dementia care is an increasing element of many of easyLog clients’ care services. And, according to statistics published in The Lancet in December 2014 (Global Burden of Disease Study 2013), the need for dementia care is only set to rise. The report is an in-depth look at changing patterns of 240 separate causes of death worldwide in 188 countries during the 23 years between 1990 and 2013 and highlights dementia as now being the third largest cause of death (source: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61682-2/abstract).

graph showing DCM care assessment

Observations recorded on a graph using DCM

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

Care plans that fit your service users and your staff

Anyone working in the care sector knows how vitally important a comprehensive and clear care plan is to the ongoing quality of care and well-being of the service user. A care plan is a document that must be understandable to the service user and their relatives as well as to the care team responsible for the delivery of its content. What’s more, under scrutiny from CQC, it is an auditable document on which an inspector will base his or her assessment of the quality of care provided and outcomes achieved.

Key to creating effective care plans is ensuring that they give relevant clinical detail together with the practical lifestyle and personal information required by the care staff – the definition of a good person centred care plan. So, when care providers consider computerising their care plans, do they seriously consider how service users’ care plans may change over time – or indeed changes in the type of care service that their organisation may in future provide?

Watch our video to see different care plan styles

Flexibility is crucial to achieve this. Our care-Log+ care home management software has always been designed around this principle but in the area of care plans – and in the hands of our users – it continues to deliver multiple styles of care plan across ever evolving types of care delivery. Take a look at the video from this link to see some of the variety of care plan styles that our care home clients use.

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