care home software

Bristol care home group first to use hand-scanner template software

biometric-handscanner-in-use-WHITE

Last month we announced the launch of our new software that distributes hand templates to scanners in different locations – and already our first client has gone live with the application.

Bristol-based Alexandra Homes is using our hand-scanners to keep a record of staff comings and goings at all three of its premises. The software upgrade means that employees’ hand templates can be instantly distributed to all three care homes, so employees can clock in or out at any site without having to create a new template – something that will be particularly useful for newcomers and staff working across the different homes.

For more information about biometric clocking devices, read our blog on choosing the most suitable device or visit our new clocking options pages. Alternatively, contact us to discuss the most appropriate system for your workforce.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, 0 comments

care-Log+, the Care Act – and your business

We have had several approaches from our care provider clients regarding the impact of the Care Act 2014 and what effect it will have on the functionality of our care-Log+ software application. In short the question our clients are asking is: Will care-Log+ cope with any new changes?

This has obviously led us to review the Care Act so that we can understand what it means for our care-Log+ clients. Overall, the Care Act represents a very large and significant change. It consolidates more than a dozen pieces of social care legislation into a single law and represents the most significant reform of adult social care in over 60 years. Most of the provisions in the Act will come into effect in April 2015, with some of the funding reform changes taking effect in April 2016.

Local authority focus

Most of the changes are targeted at the local authority as the commissioner of social care – although this, in turn, may have an impact on your business. For example, the introduction of “market shaping” – whereby the local authority has a duty to help shape the local care and support market so that it offers a range of choices and sustainability for the future – may be significant to your operation. So having a positive and pro-active relationship with your local authority will ensure that you receive advance warning of the type of care facilities that the commissioners wish to see in your area.

Clearly other elements of the Care Act may also be relevant to your business – such as the “prevention and well-being provisions” – and lead to a further push towards domiciliary-based care. However, the Act emphasises throughout that it views the provision of care as person-centred and outcomes focused and therefore mirrors the key design principles and functionality already contained in care-Log+.

care-Log+ functionality and the Act

Some of the changes to be introduced by the Care Act are covered by functionality already found in care-Log+. A new “safeguarding assessment” section was brought into the last release of 2014. Although this functionality already existed, you can now view this type of assessment in a separate function if required. Similarly, although the “duty of candour” is a new requirement, it is our belief that any of our clients who are routinely collecting care data through their daily notes evaluations will be able to respond to any incident from a position of having full evidence of their care provision.

In summary, easyLog believes that the functionality currently provided in its care-Log+ system provides a robust and fully adequate response to the Care Act.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, 0 comments

Get your teeth into Android Lollipop

If you are thinking about upgrading your existing handheld devices, or are planning to start using smartphones and tablets for the first time, there’s no need to worry about running your easyLog rota management and staff scheduling software on your new hardware. All our apps have now been tested and are working on Android 5.0 Lollipop.

And remember, if you need any help and advice on choosing equipment, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Latest news, 0 comments

Coming soon – new generation of NFC phone and tablet clocking terminals

Android-branded NFC tags and key fob

In a first for easyLog, we will soon be releasing a new generation of devices based on near field communications (NFC) technology, which will allow tablets and smartphones to be used as clocking-in terminals – and much more.

“This is a great step forward because it means we can supply an all-purpose reader built into an everyday device – a computer or phone – rather than one designed specifically for clocking in,” says easyLog’s Graham Rolando.

“It makes the technology more convenient and flexible and, at the same time, more cost-effective for our clients, which is something we think they will welcome.”

The easy-to-use and fully automated system operates on Android tablets and smartphones, turning them into fixed location clocking terminals or handheld devices carried by individual employees. It works in conjunction with special NFC-enabled tags, which come in a number of formats, including cards, key fobs and stickies.

The pack includes a master tag and user tags. Waving either type of tag near the device, or vice-versa, automatically invokes the software. A user tag will bring up a screen prompting for clock in or out. When an option has been selected, the device sends the record to the host computer. The master tag allows system administrators to configure the device and program user tags.

There are two handheld modes and one terminal mode:

  1. Software on smartphone with tag in fixed location (handheld mode 1) – suitable for domiciliary care or the cleaning industry
  2. Software on portable tablet with tag in fixed location (handheld mode 2) – suitable for night checks in care homes
  3. Software on fixed tablet with tags held by individual employees (terminal mode) – conventional staff clock-in

This product is available for order now. Tags can be configured with i-Button codes for seamless transition from the i-Button system.

Three further products based on this software will be available later this year:

  • NFC Employee Station – wave tag over device to see employee messages, rota and pay information (extension of terminal mode above)
  • NFC Care Room Checks – care records currently available via Care Logger automatically accessed in new front-end when tablet is presented to resident room tag
  • NFC Domiciliary Records – employees wave phone near service-user tag to display care requirements, visit information, care plans and risk assessments relating to the service user (extension of handheld mode 1 above)

For further information on any of our NFC products, please contact us.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 1 comment

Care-Log+ updated in response to your requests

Most easyLog clients will know that we operate a wishlist system, enabling you to feed back suggestions for new product features and improvements in existing ones. As a result of this, we have just completed a radical overhaul of our popular care-Log+ care record management and admin software.

After listening to your comments, new care-Log+ now includes:

  • More intuitive links to other areas in all sections
  • Automatic line graphs of assessments so progress can be seen at a glance
  • Revised Care Plan and Shift Handover reports and Care Report Pack, providing greater functionality and a clearer layout
  • Additional reports for health readings and resident lists
  • Additions and improvements in the training section
  • A Photo Memories tab in the Social Care/Life Story section
  • An optional audit trail, which automatically logs all actions within the system
  • Visual records of problems added to body map feature
  • Extra functionality in the care section
  • Extra functionality in the assessments section
  • Easier access to assessment and care sections from resident records

The upgrade is free to all existing care-Log+ customers on support contracts. Please contact us to arrange your upgrade or to find out more about the new features.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Latest news, 0 comments

Staff Rota-8 app now available from the Windows Store

Our Windows staff rota app has been officially launched and is now available from Microsoft’s online Windows Store. The app is called Staff Rota-8 and is published by easyLog Ltd. Go to the store to download the app  (to login, insert the username ‘user’ and leave the password space blank).

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Windows 8 to revolutionise rotas

easyLog w8 rota app

Overlaying the ideal rota over the main rota

Touchscreen technology has already revolutionised mobile phones and will soon be coming to a desktop or laptop computer near you – which is why easyLog is shortly releasing a rota management app specifically designed for Windows 8 touchscreens.

The Windows 8 app has been created with speed and ease of use in mind. There are minimal menus and pop-ups and no setting-up screens are required, because the rota is based on existing e-Log+S core user functionality defined on the main system. So, whoever is setting the rota just selects the relevant job function and shift, then taps on where they want it to go.

As well as tablet PCs, the app can be run on a traditional PC – desktop or laptop – with a touchscreen monitor. Although the computer must have the Windows 8 operating system installed, the monitor does not need to be W8 compatible – a Windows 7-combatible monitor is equally suitable.

“We wanted to take advantage of the user-friendliness of touchscreen technology to make rota creation even easier for everyone – and the new Windows 8 environment has enabled us to do that,” explains easyLog marketing manager Nicola Clark.

“We realise that few of our clients are using tablets and other touchscreen devices right now. But it is the technology of the future and we strongly believe it will transform the way people use computers in their working lives in a very short time.”

easyLog’s W8 rota app at a glance

  • Designed to Windows 8 development guidelines
  • Can be used with touchscreen or mouse on W8 operating system
  • Ideal for Windows 7 compatible touchscreen monitors as well as tablet PCs
  • Minimal menus and pop-ups
  • Easy to operate for users of all levels
  • Works in conjunction with e-Log+S staff scheduling software
  • Fast connection to server by broadband to avoid Terminal Services and Citrix type environments

Please contact easyLog for more information about the Win 8 app. You can see more images of the W8 touchscreen rota on our Facebook page.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

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

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

Special staffing needs require specialist software

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

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

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

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

How e-Log+ simplifies the payroll process

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

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

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

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

Posted by administrator in Care home management, 0 comments

Seven steps to finding the right care record management system

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

1. Understand your goals

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

2. Involve staff in the decision

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

3. Remember that implementing a system takes time

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

4. Draw up a project plan

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

5. Review your current documentation

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

6. How easily can staff access the system?

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

7. Start small and build momentum

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

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

Posted by administrator in Care home management, 0 comments