Industry-focused suppliers reflect on how they have supported home care providers through the ongoing pandemic.
In September, HCI reported on the positive role of technology in care during a crisis and how there’d been a surge in demand for digital solutions since the start of a pandemic.
So, as a follow up to that, we asked suppliers to the sector how specifically they have supported domiciliary care and live-in care providers to stay resilient throughout this unprecedented time.
From taking the burden of admin away from services and launching a NHS symptom tracker, to creating a COVID hub for useful guidance and facilitating remote working, here’s how suppliers have had your back.
Max Parmentier, CEO of Birdie: “Throughout the crisis, Birdie mobilised every possible resource to help older adults be safer, healthier and better cared for. We deployed all possible means to support care providers in dealing with this crisis, including:
- Partnering with NHSX for Techforce19 to build the NHS111 symptom tracker into the Birdie app
- Updates to our product to help care providers to deal with the daily challenges of COVID-19. These included a RAG status, an in-app banner message, and a viral symptoms checklist.
- A 24/7 hotline for care providers
- Offering our solution for free to new providers to help ease the challenges of working with paper
- Hosting regular webinars with experts to share best practices
- Creating a COVID-19 Hub for content that helped providers navigate the latest information
- Mobilising our teams to provide support wherever possible, including setting up volunteer companionship calls when carers could not undertake a visit.”
Josh Hough, managing director of CareLineLive: “CareLineLive offered new subscribers to our cloud-based total home care management solution the first four months for free.
“We also partnered with Hastee, giving our customers the option to offer their carers the ability to receive a portion of their earned pay immediately.
“We enhanced the features of our Friends & Family portal, which meant that family would have a more detailed view of the care being delivered to their relatives.
“Our carer mobile app also provided quick reference COVID-19 information. For example, symptoms and essential hygiene prompts
Mark Anslow, operations director of CarePlanner: “Our focus has been on supporting the individual needs of our customers so they can best weather the challenges presented by the pandemic. So we’ve spent time investing in the stability and resilience of our platform.
“We’re also humble enough to admit that others have far more important and useful things to say about dealing with COVID-19 and its effects than us, so we’ve actively sought out and promoted key voices on social media, including Dr Jane Townson of UKHCA.
“We also reached out to our clients early on in the outbreak to assess how many of them had access to adequate supplies of PPE. Not many, it turned out! We then disseminated this information to draw attention to the situation.”
Mark Kennion, director of HAS Technology group: “HAS Technology has recognised the pressures that the home care sector has faced during the pandemic and has been able to respond in a number of ways. With vulnerable people leading largely sedentary lifestyles for many months, care professionals need a way to stay connected with them.
“Falls preventative measures are proving to identify risks so action can be taken earlier, offering the potential to reduce emergency care costs and hospital admissions, whilst empowering people to self-manage and increase quality of life. We have also been able to adapt and evolve our technology to enable remote installation, minimising human contact.
“Technology is the key to staying connected, facilitating remote working and better utilising capacity. With experience of working with many providers across the UK, our customers have told us how invaluable real-time information is, and the ability to report on both the big picture and focus on individuals improves overall care delivery and quality.
“During the pandemic, technology has enabled business as usual, despite many office staff working remotely for the first time. They can see immediately if they have capacity to take on more packages, which will be key going forward. With care workers used to receiving rotas on their mobile phones, changes to schedules can be easily accommodated and any feedback on service users shared to support high-quality care.”
David Lynes, managing director of Unique IQ: “We wanted to do whatever we could to make providers’ lives easier as the dealt with an extremely challenging situation. We took on some of the initial admin burden for our care providers. For example, we automatically added various mandatory tasks, such as symptom checks and risk assessments.
“We also developed new features that care providers told us would be useful in this situation. This included tools like a ‘RAG’ status for clients, which care managers could use to assess the level of risk to a client.
“Finally, we’ve supported a large number of care providers in rolling out full digital transformation projects at speed, because they could see the huge benefit of switching from paper to digital – paper being a touch point and COVID-19 risk.