How Smart Software can Help us Beat the Care Crisis

By Paula Whitby, Managing Partner of CARAS Software (www.caras-solutions.co.uk)

Care providers have been hit with the worst staffing crisis ever along with a lack of support for their workers. Whilst also facing an ageing population, the UK’s care situation has hit a critical level. This lack of staff and resources not only puts immense pressure on the wellbeing of care workers, but also means that in some cases service users are receiving a sub-par level of care and are left feeling disregarded and forgotten. Utilising advancements in technology has become an ever-repeating trend in business. Whilst it is not a cure-all and many different factors contribute to the care crisis, I believe that harnessing technology will be pivotal to improving the current state of social care.

Pre-pandemic, 70% of the 10,000+ care providers in the UK operated their business on paper, meaning that everything from staff rosters, care notes and reporting was done manually. This means that for many providers it is impossible to build a real-time picture of staff movements and service user details, causing further delays and a lack of quality care.

Care management software solutions can provide crucial support to domiciliary care providers and help to reduce costs by improving efficiency.

Care management solutions allow you to collate live, dynamic data on your staff and clients and utilise this to increase efficiency and deliver better care, in addition to simplifying compliancy checks and reporting. These solutions allow you to save time and resources on repetitive tasks such as working through timesheets, invoicing, and payroll by automating these processes. I have worked with many clients who were able to free up full-time salaries because of these time savings. Therefore, enabling them to redirect funds into improving the quality of care that they offer or into increasing staff pay, leading to longevity and satisfaction.

It is no secret that today’s care staff feel undervalued and underpaid – a large cause of the care crisis. Speculation around pay often comes from the guesswork involved with manually working out mileage and travel time between care visits. Every domiciliary care provider owes it to its staff to pay fairly for this time, and utilising the available technology is the best way to ensure calculations are correct. Many providers take advantage of care management solutions that automatically track and adjust pay based on travel time and I think that taking steps like this to ensure worker satisfaction will be a key contributor to creating a happier, motivated care force.

Another example of how not utilising today’s technology is detrimental to the care industry is in mobile access to care systems. Giving care workers access to your systems through integrated mobile apps allows them to track visits, enter care notes and communicate with HQ during visits. This not only allows managers to keep updated in real time and make quick decisions, but also means that staff feel the benefit from lone worker protection – another element that contributes to a happy, satisfied carer.

All in all, I want to help care managers realise the potential locked within their data and that there is a world of software out there, tailor-made to make their jobs easier whilst cutting costs and improving the wellbeing of staff. It’s time for our largely outdated industry to follow many others and utilise software and technology to the fullest – following this, I believe we will be well on our way to beating the care crisis.

Sign up for all the latest news from The Carer!

Sign up to receive the latest issues, along with highlights of the latest sector news and more from The Carer, delivered directly to your inbox twice a week!