Anita Astle, Managing Director of Wren Hall, is passionate about the use of technology to drive outstanding care.
Despite benefitting from technology for around 30 years, Anita is keen to continue to benefit from the latest innovations in technology. Based in Nottinghamshire, the care home supports 54 older people with complex needs and dementia and is rated Outstanding by CQC.
Ascom Myco 3 handheld devices
When adopting technology, Anita believes that the hardware staff use is as important as the software being used on it. The 148 members of staff at Wren Hall initially used Samsung mobile phones to evidence care using Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring digital care planning system.
In June 2019, Wren Hall replaced its Samsung devices with Ascom’s Myco 3 devices to access multiple apps and software to add and monitor data at the point of care.
Anita explains the decision to move to Ascom devices, “We had 37 Samsung devices to cover both our largest and second largest shift, whereas we only need 29 Ascom devices. It was frustrating that at all times there were several Samsung devices on a charging point that were totally unusable.
“I’m pleased that the Ascom batteries are charged separately so the devices can be in constant use throughout the day and night so we are always connected.”
“If a Samsung device lost charge, the staff member lost the information that they were entering. Ascom’s Myco 3 devices are very easy to slot a freshly charged battery into and the screen stays on while the batteries are swapped so no work is lost,” adds Anita.
Ascom’s Myco 3 devices give Wren Hall the ability to add other apps as well as Mobile Care Monitoring. Anita explains that Wren Hall is now using an asset management tool to eliminate paperwork from other areas of the care home business, “If there is a break down in equipment, staff can report it and it’s automatically sent to the maintenance team. This is another way we are getting away from paperwork.”
“We can use Ascom’s devices for staff messaging as well as for wander management to reduce falls. The software that Ascom provide for this is intelligent, so it will learn and can anticipate things in advance.”
The transition from Samsung devices to Ascom devices was smooth. Anita says, “The Ascom Myco 3 devices arrived with Mobile Care Monitoring’s app already installed. We just had to educate staff on how to use the new devices and the beauty of the detachable battery.
“We provided some training for staff to know how to attach the batteries. None of our staff have given any negative feedback, and the relatives already know that we use handheld devices for evidencing care, so there’s been no change there.”
Ascom and Person Centred Software partnership
Wren Hall was the first care home to use both Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system and Ascom’s Myco 3 devices.
Anita says, “The partnership between Person Centred Software and Ascom is working really well. Both organisations have really positive, can-do approaches and are very supportive.
“When we wanted to use Ascom’s Myco 3 devices, the internet we had was not strong enough. Person Centred Software really go out of their way to support us and they suggested moving to Adaptive IT. It provides an integrated IT system to care homes and has replaced our previous internet provider so we can use Ascom’s Myco 3 devices.”
“I have worked in the care sector for 30 years and I have never seen the willingness of two software providers to work together like Person Centred Software and Ascom have done before.”
“Usually, as a single home, we are on our own when moving forward with technology and we make mistakes along the way. Ascom and Person Centred Software support small care homes to confidently move to evidencing care electronically.
“In many small care homes, having just one computer could be normal. Yet evidencing care electronically would save small care homes an immense amount of time on paperwork. The move to using both Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system and Ascom’s Myco 3 handheld devices is transformational.”
Mobile Care Monitoring reduces paperwork and gives carers more time with residents
In 2017, Wren Hall replaced its previous care planning software with Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system. Anita says, “Our administration team were spending too much time analysing records to extract meaningful data. The previous system required staff to enter lots of text, which was only able to be done at the end of their shift.
“Now staff can record care when it is happening with Mobile Care Monitoring, as the recording side of the system is icon-driven. It automatically feeds into all the management reports and charts that we need, and we have access to so much data that we didn’t have previously. I’d hate to go back to what we had before – there’s not enough time in the day!”
“Person Centred Software has done a lot of work to support care providers so we can complete all the policies and procedures needed for GDPR.”
The volume and quality of live data that Wren Hall record’s, means that team leaders can measure team performance and the quality of care. Anita says, “This enables our team leaders to be more effective within their roles as they can recognise poor practice and address any issues promptly.”
The move to Mobile Care Monitoring has supported Anita’s aim to reduce staff time spent on paperwork, “On paper, staff would spend three hours a shift writing reports such as ‘care given’. Using Person Centred Software’s system, we record detailed, person-centred care records that are of better quality. This takes us about a third of the time.” The time that staff save on paperwork and administration is instead spent with residents.
As a single care home, Anita is acutely aware that Wren Hall doesn’t have the resources of larger care home groups. For a small provider, using an electronic care planning system can be a data protection issue. However, Anita says, “Person Centred Software has done a lot of work to support care providers so we can complete all the policies and procedures needed for GDPR. We have everything we need in place to use Mobile Care Monitoring.”
Anita believes the design of the system supports smaller care homes, “Person Centred Software has made its Mobile Care Monitoring app for evidencing care really user-friendly. Person Centred Software provide on-site training to support the move to electronic care planning, and 85% of care homes go live the next day. It is really easy for every member of staff to learn to use the system, even our catering staff use the handheld devices to contribute to records.”