care home systems

The new mobile-friendly easyLog website is now live

 

Previous visitors to the easyLog website may have noticed that over the past few months things have started to change. We have given our sites a bright, modern new look and made them more accessible – particularly on mobile devices. The last section, the core home pages, have now gone live.

We have kept all the key product sections – staff scheduling and web-based software, clocking and staff attendance, cleaning management, care home software and domiciliary care – but have added a new section for supported living providers. These have all been given their own sub-domains so they are distinct from each other but still integrated into the main site network. We also have pages showcasing videos and case studies and, of course, information about the company and how to contact us.

Please take a look around and feel free to get in touch by email or phone if you would like to know more about any of our products.

 

Posted by administrator in Latest news, 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

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

Five ways to stop fraudsters getting hold of your data

hooded hacker to indicate internet security

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

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

1 Be password savvy

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

2 Back up regularly

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

3 Don’t neglect your upgrades

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

4 Switch off when you’re done

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

5 Protect your dashboard

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

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

Posted by administrator in Business support, Latest news, 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

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

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

Prove your night care checks are being done

using handheld device displaying a care record during a night check

aR-Log calls up a client’s care record on a night check

easyLog has always recognised that night checks in the residential care setting are very important to prove that care is provided to the same high standard throughout the whole day. That’s why we introduced our simple a-Log solution some ten years ago to give a user friendly, built-for-purpose solution to confirm that night time room checks had actually taken place.

Ten years on and the care sector has changed dramatically – as has technology and easyLog. We have now released our aR-Log solution for night time checking – it’s suitable for monitoring community care visits as well – based on our NFC-Log handheld. This unit is about the size of a smartphone and has a similar screen. It connects by wi-fi to the software or by SIM if you are using the system in the community.

The NFC-Log handheld uses NFC proximity technology to identify the location and, like our a-Log handheld, records the time and date automatically when touched against an appropriate location tag. But our aR-Log solution can also do a lot more. Carers can be prompted to complete a simple on-screen document, which is user definable – did they turn the resident? Check the incontinence pad? Provide assistance? All of this can be completed in seconds using the touch screen. It can be a generic document, individual to a group, or specific to each service user – however you like to work.

From the recordings made, any issues noted that need follow-up by further action are automatically flagged in the software and by optional e-mail, bringing peace of mind and proving that your carers are providing the care you know they do 24/7.

You will find further information about our aR-Log night checks solution, along with sample screen images, in the care home management section of our website.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, 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

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