Home of Comfort Nursing Home implemented Mobile Care Monitoring to improve its quality of data. The care home, which offers nursing care for 29 residents in Portsmouth, adopted Person Centred Software’s system in 2018. The care home previously used paper documentation for record keeping.
Looking for a digital care planning system
Home of Comfort was initially cautious about adopting an digital care planning system. Administration Manager Robin Hall, is involved in all non-clinical aspects of managing the care home operations. She explains, “We’re a small, conservative home. We saw ourselves as more concerned with providing person-centred care than investing in the latest technology.
“I could see the value of digital systems, but didn’t want to make the wrong choice for the care home. We hoped we’d get guidance from our CCG about digital care planning systems, but we’re still waiting!”
Robin met one of co-founding directors of Person Centred Software at a social care technology conference. “He explained the positive impact of technology,” says Robin. “After that, I spoke to an early adopter who had begun using Person Centred Software’s system in 2013. They experienced huge benefits and said it saved their care staff an hour per shift on documentation.”
Deciding to use Mobile Care Monitoring
“It took us 15 months from discovering the system until we implemented Mobile Care Monitoring,” explains Robin. “Seeing the system in use at other homes was a critical part of our decision-making process. Person Centred Software has a customer map on their website. We could see everyone using the system and speak to anyone we knew.
“One care home we spoke to was planning to move from using another digital care system to using Mobile Care Monitoring. This helped us to validate our choice and indicated that Mobile Care Monitoring was the best digital care planning system on the market.
“Ultimately, Mobile Care Monitoring was the only product that had the feeling of: ‘let’s make a really good product and let it speak for itself.’ There was no hard sell,” Robin adds.
How Home of Comfort implemented Mobile Care Monitoring
“We worried if our 40 members of staff would cope with using a handheld device to evidence care rather than paper,” says Robin. “I was grateful that we could talk to other care providers who had already made the transition for reassurance.”
Person Centred Software provided on-site training days for Home of Comfort. “Training was very good and the speed that the system embedded is testament to how easy to use the Care App is,” says Robin. “The roll-out went much more smoothly than we expected. Even people who don’t have a smartphone find the system easy to use.”
“We are getting value for money, and we are only currently using three quarters of the system so far.”
“Staff were apprehensive before their group training session but they were supportive of each other in the session. They came out much more confident saying, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? We can’t break it!’. Staff even asked how soon they could start using it!
“Within a few weeks, Mobile Care Monitoring was working well, and everyone was committed to not going back to paper. I think I would have had a riot on my hands if I’d suggested it!” laughs Robin.
Mobile Care Monitoring improves quality of data
“We have massively improved the quality of our data since implementing Mobile Care Monitoring in 2018,” says Robin. “The amount of data that we collect and store is not comparable to paper. It’s so much easier to record things that we would never have thought to write it down before. With this amount of data, we can better monitor and improve our residents’ care.
“Residents’ care records are also visible at all times. Matron doesn’t have to run around the building to find out information now. I can look at records without bothering anyone. As administration manager, I don’t need to hunt through piles of notes to find out, for instance, when someone’s last GP visit was. I can easily answer questions from any external agency or relative,” adds Robin.
“It has always been my impression that Person Centred Software work hard to understand care homes’ problems. They make sure their product works best for us, not just now, but in the future too.”
Care homes have the option of using barcodes for night staff scan to evidence the time and place a night check happened. Robin explains that photographic evidence, “provides reassurance to commissioners and relatives.”
“One of the reasons we chose Mobile Care Monitoring was the Relatives Gateway. It’s a brilliant idea; we can show a resident’s relevant care information to families through an online portal.
“Mobile Care Monitoring supports our home’s open, transparent attitude. The side-effect of collecting so much information is that it reduces the likelihood of safeguarding inquiries. If there is one, the quality of our evidence means we are on the front foot, not in the firing line like care homes so often are. We have collaborative, honest conversations rather than combative ones.”
Value for money for a small care home
“We are getting value for money, and we are only currently using three quarters of the system so far. It has always been my impression that Person Centred Software work hard to understand care homes’ problems. They make sure their product works best for us – and the millions of agencies we work with – not just now but in the future too.
“Home of Comfort is an old converted building and it could do with new carpets and wallpaper. Yet, we see Person Centred Software’s system as an investment because it is helping us to improve resident care.”
Support from user groups
Home of Comfort has benefited from a wide user network across the UK. “We offered to host a user group as we felt we learnt a lot from other care homes when we were looking for a system,” explains Robin. “We knew we were not using all capabilities of the system, so it was a good opportunity to speak to other providers in our area using the system.
“It was very positive that Person Centred Software offered to send someone from their product team. It demonstrated a commitment to drive development of the system with input from users.
“We received real answers and support from other care providers and Person Centred Software.”
“We often feel that providers suffer from ‘meeting-fatigue’, so we were delighted that the user group was so useful. Unlike a lot of meetings we’re asked to attend, the user group was not only focused on telling us what to do or our problems. Other users introduced us to areas of the system that we could use more.
“We received real answers and support from other care providers and Person Centred Software. Ultimately, it was a constructive and supportive forum, with ideas of things we could do immediately to help our care home. We look forward to hosting another user group in the Portsmouth area.”
Switching to Mobile Care Monitoring is worth it
“There were lots of reasons we were hesitant to use an digital care planning system, but on reflection, none of them were real issues,” reflects Robin. “We were concerned about how residents would feel about it, but it’s easier to show them their records than on paper. I was concerned that our care workers and nurses might struggle – some did at first – but with our support they are all happy using the system.
“My advice to other care homes is to somehow create the resource to go paperless; it’s really worth doing!”
“Also, we thought recruitment might be harder if were using technology in our care home. However, most of our recruitment comes from colleges. Young people are very confident using any kind of computerised system. Most agency workers have used a digital care planning system at another care home, so I believe that we’re hitting critical mass!”
Robin advises other care homes that are still using paper, “Our main concern with adopting technology was that we were too small for it. I am sure that we would get even more benefit from Mobile Care Monitoring if we had an Operations Manager or IT Manager, but my advice to other care homes is to somehow create the resource to go paperless; it’s really worth doing!”