Paula Howlett, care home manager at Abbeyfield (Somerset) Society is pleased with the quality and ease of Person Centred Software’s remote training during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Move to using Mobile Care Monitoring
Paula used Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system at a previous organisation. She led the implementation of the digital care planning system at Abbeyfield (Somerset) Society in April 2020. The purpose-built residential care home in Taunton, Somerset, cares for 44 residents.
Paula says, “I joined the care home in July 2019. I had already used Person Centred Software’s system and wanted to introduce it here. I love the system, especially the Care App as it’s so inclusive. Carers who have severe dyslexia are well supported because the app is intuitive and easy to navigate.
“Unfortunately, when I joined, the care home had already moved to a different digital care planning system. The new system was from a provider that had supplied the care home’s paper recording system before. The care home hadn’t done much research on other digital care planning software.
“Yet, using the other system only highlighted the benefits of Mobile Care Monitoring to me. The care home took a financial hit to move to Person Centred Software’s solution, but it was worth it.”
Remote training during Covid-19
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Person Centred Software was unable to deliver on-site implementation training to care homes. The company switched overnight to providing remote training.
Paula says, “Person Centred Software’s training team responded to the challenge of Covid-19 impeccably.
“The remote training made our implementation easier than on-site training. There were real benefits from remote training. Having experienced both face-to-face and remote training from Person Centred Software, I’d recommend remote training over face-to-face training.
“At Abbeyfield (Somerset) Society, we often have a lot of face-to face training. Since having remote e-Learning training, I’ve observed that staff retain more information than from on-site training. Discovering this was a Eureka moment! It helped me to feel confident in the success of remote training for our Mobile Care Monitoring implementation.
“We’d had such a bad experience using the previous digital care planning system that everyone bought into Mobile Care Monitoring as soon as they’d had a demonstration of the system. I included as many people as possible in the initial demonstration of the product. This helped to reassure our staff that Mobile Care Monitoring would support staff to save time.”
Training champions is key to remote training success
Abbeyfield (Somerset) Society employs an experienced staff team and is proud that a quarter of them have worked at the care home for over ten years.
“With remote training, the trainer was introducing the system to smaller groups,” explains Paula. “This was useful for ensuring good quality training. The people who received the remote training were our handpicked champions who then rolled out the training to the rest of the team.
“Remote training was a positive experience based on staff feedback. Our champions came out of the training feeling excited, which was lovely for me to see as the care home manager. Staff said that they felt that they had had a close relationship with the trainer, Bruce. They gave me great feedback about the sessions. This enthusiasm spread through the staff team. Night staff took a little longer, so I’d advise other care homes to set aside more time for training night staff.”
“Person Centred Software’s training team responded to the challenge of Covid-19 impeccably.”
Paula explains that remote training rolled out by champions had real benefits for older members of staff.
She says, “Some older members of staff had a small amount of anxiety about using the handheld device. This was the only minor barrier to our seamless implementation. However, we were sensitive to their anxiety, gave gentle encouragement and explained that they’d be hard pressed to break it. Champions reassured older members of staff that using the device was the same as using their smartphone.
“Our champions could deliver highly personalised and non-threatening training to rollout the system. They gave one on one training when required. Training went at the individual’s pace and meant that people didn’t feel stupid. In a group, sometimes people don’t ask questions for fear of judgement. Once champions had dispelled myths about the difficulty of using a handheld device, older members of staff took to the handsets with no problems.”
Reassuring older members of staff
“The remote training went smoothly and there were no blockages to implementation. Our trainer, Bruce, was astonished by how much information staff had already inputted during our training phase. The fact that staff were on side and using it from the start is a testament to how easy to use Mobile Care Monitoring is.
“The follow-up support is amazing and efficient too. It shows what a professional company Person Centred Software is. The training and support teams are fully deserving of praise during such a challenging time for the sector.”
Immediate benefits of using Person Centred Software’s system
Paula says, “Despite having used the system for a couple of months, we have already seen the benefits of using Mobile Care Monitoring. Our recording is more person-centred. The previous paper care planning system was archaic, and task orientated. Now, our recording is holistic and engaged with residents’ emotional wellbeing.
“We are capturing a wide range of residents’ needs in real-time. Everyone involved in care records their interactions with residents. On the previous system, only the shift leader contributed to records. Our accident and incident reporting has massively improved using Mobile Care Monitoring too.
“Staff spend more time with residents because detailed documentation is so quick. Residents are more involved as they can see us recording and contribute to their records in real-time.
“It has been useful to record Covid-19 symptoms in Mobile Care Monitoring to track and monitor residents’ health. We are using the recent changes in the system for test results and to conduct ongoing twice daily welfare checks.”
Advice to other care homes
Paula advises other care homes yet to make a move to digital care planning systems, “Having remote training hasn’t stood in the way of our successful implementation. The key to success is to handpick your champions. Choose people who you want to lead the rollout of training, who will understand the system and support colleagues’ training.
“During this crisis, I’ve been proud of how our staff team has worked together to bring positive change to our working practices for the benefit of residents.”