Embracing technology was “fundamental” to the Good Care Group in achieving its five star ‘Outstanding’ rating earlier this year, managing director Dominque Kent has said.
Speaking at the UKHCA Digital Solutions conference in London yesterday, Kent (pictured) said technology has been critical in enabling the live-in care provider to collect and understand data in order to make meaningful decisions and achieve positive outcomes for its clients.
“I absolutely believe we would not have achieved the rating we did if we had not gone on our journey with technology,” she said.
“It was fundamental because we were able to provide data and demonstrate the difference it made to the business, and our clients’ lives.”
Analysing data from incident reports enabled the Good Care Group to reduce UTI-related hospital admissions by 22% and the average rate of emergency admissions by 63%
“About a year and a half ago we started to notice that UTIs was a real concern for us. We were able to see from our data that clients were being admitted to hospital because we weren’t getting antibiotics to them quickly enough,” explained Kent.
The Good Care Group decided to equip its carers with the knowledge to spot the signs and symptoms of UTIs, as well as UTI testing kits, so they were able to collect important information and pass this on to their client’s doctor.
“So rather than picking up the phone to the doctor and saying ‘Betty is a little bit under the weather. I’m her live-in carer and I know her really well, there’s definitely something wrong’, carers can now call up and say ‘I’ve done a UTI dip, I’ve measured her breathing etc, I think she might have a UTI’. And we’ve now got things like WhatsApp groups with GPs for people who have regular issues with infection,” said the MD.
Collecting and analysing data has also enabled the provider to achieve an 88% reduction in falls resulting in serious injury, a 75% reduction in pressure sores and a 41% reduction in 999 call outs.
By going digital, the Good Care Group has replaced paper with technological devices in clients’ homes. This allows carers to log in to a Carer Community and access the information they need for the client they are serving, as well as communicate with other carers.
The provider has also designed its own eMAR records, which alert a central support team when a medication hasn’t been taken.
“We have visibility like we’ve never seen before. It’s wonderful in terms of looking at what type of medications your client population is taking, when was their last medication review taken and how long ago,” said Kent.
The Good Care Group, based in South London, was rated ‘Outstanding’ for all five areas of inspection – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led – during an inspection in February.
This was the second ‘Outstanding’ rating for provider and an improvement on its 2016 inspection, when it was given top marks for two out of five areas – responsive and well-led.