Care providers across the UK are digitising their records and processes, to free up time, improve safety and care quality, and even staff satisfaction.
When selecting and implementing a piece of care software it is easy to be wowed and carried away by all the advanced features, the impressive analytics, the powerful automation and all the potential that unleashes.
However, unleashing that potential requires successful selection, implementation and ongoing use of the system.
Care providers often tell us that the involvement, ‘buy-in’ and enthusiasm of staff across their care services was crucial to achieving this.
Here are a few tips on what to do help you get this right, at each stage of the process.
Selecting a system:
People working in different roles can offer very different perspectives. For example, a care worker may spot potential flaws and issues, or hidden benefits, that might not be apparent to management until it is too late.
Create a working group involving staff from different roles within your organisation, especially those that will have day to day use of the system you are procuring.
You don’t need to involve everyone of course, just at least one representative from each role in your service that will have direct contact with the system you are selecting.
From these working groups, draw up a checklist of your must-haves and red flags from your new system. It doesn’t need to be an overly complex or extensive piece of work that saps your time and causes delays. You just need something that outlines:
- What our key goals/objectives are – what we want to get out of using this piece of software
- Any key functionality or features any system we choose must have
- Any characteristics of a system that we feel would not be a good fit for us
Once you’ve chosen the right system, it is crucial to communicate regularly and openly with everyone across your care services. Make it clear why you are implementing this new system, which should come out of your list of goals and objectives.
How will it benefit service users, your care service and staff themselves? How will it enable them to provide better care and make their jobs easier or less stressful?
Communication should be two way. Be open to questions and concerns from staff. Listen, as they may have thought of a potential hurdle you haven’t spotted yet. Respond, because often these concerns are shared by colleagues and addressing them properly will help people feel comfortable and confident about the change in ways of working.
During the implementation of your software maintain the approach to communication outlined above. You should also identify ‘champions’, people who are especially enthusiastic about the software and the change it brings. Often, it’s best if champions are care workers, especially when care workers are using the software directly.
These champions should not only act as an advocate of the software to colleagues, but also as a person who can confidentially hear the concerns or challenges that people are having and work with management and/or the software supplier to address them.
Your next step:
The Access Group provides a complete ecosystem of care management software, with everything you need to improve efficiency, safety, and care quality in your services.
Contact us for an informal conversation whenever you are ready.