After developing and running five care companies, we set to design and develop Careberry. So, resolving the daily challenges faced by care managers, care coordinators, care workers and care owners were our main goal. Therefore, we got these key people involved and asked them to share with us their views and their experiences. We drew up a list of challenges and kept refining and reviewing them over a period of 24 months. We also spoke with other key individuals such as CQC inspectors and service users. In fact, the CQC inspector who was dealing with our registration suggested several amendments which made the care planning and obtaining consent process more robust. Here are the key themes that helped us map our daily scenarios to the architecture of Careberry and how it can help you put together a “due diligence checklist” before sourcing your care management platform:
1) Recruitment: recruiting carers from within local communities is the key to any care company’s success. The point that you can recruit through your platform and then seamlessly allocate your successful candidates to their home care visits within a fraction of seconds would make a world of difference. No transferring of data or keeping documents in a hard drive or on a separate platform! When developing this aspect of the platform we ensured the recruitment process is complies with CQC procedures. For example, putting steps in place to make sure DBS, car insurance and nationality documents are checked, and data could be traced back to demonstrate compliance.
2) Clients: Managing clients’ data within the same platform where the care workers’ data is processed is extremely important. What we have done in Careberry, which is unique and can save you a lot of time, is that you can feed whatever information that you gather about a client to the platform and it will automatically generate a care plan which is shared with the carers in real time. Each time you update the data a new care plan is generated and previous versions are kept demonstrating compliance with reviews.
3) Rostering: complexities around rostering can derail a business, demotivate staff, slow down the growth and increase the risks associated with care delivery. On the other hand, a good e-rostering system can help your services run smoothly and efficiently. That is why we were determined to get it right.
4) Medication management: A care management platform without medication management system is not complete. When developing our medication management system, we even went further and incorporated the NHS bank of over 50,000 medicines to make the job of preparing MARS charts easy and straightforward. Additionally, we have enabled staff and family members to add medications to the platform, which can then be checked and approved by another person.
5) Invoicing and Timesheets: Invoices and timesheets should be created effortlessly. That is why we have automated these as well. So as soon as care is delivered, Careberry will take care of invoicing for that care. We have made things easier by incorporating Go Cardless in the system. So, if you are serving self-funders it is extremely easy to instruct them to set a direct debit within the system so invoices are received and paid regularly.
6) Notes/Reports: Reports and notes on clients’ conditions and changes are only useful if they are shared within the team and with the families and are acted on. Careberry publishes the notes in real time. It also allows the office team to write notes, comment and communicate with carers, clients and families. Leave notes and memos to appear only at certain times and on visits, which can enhance the quality of care, increase safety and give reassurance to business owners and customers.
7) Policies: Care is highly regulated and well-run services not only have clear policies and procedures in place, but also make them accessible to their staff. The idea of having a policy book available at the office for carers to access when and as required is outdated! Therefore, we added a feature to Careberry so all policies and procedures are added to the system seamlessly and made available to the staff within their accounts.
8) Monitoring of visits: Before setting up Care & Carers my aim was to be able to pick up my mobile at any time and see the status of our planned visits immediately. Whether the carers have departed or are with the clients or have completed their visits. Then I thought that was good, but not good enough. Therefore, we made things to run in the background and only be alerted when necessary.
9) Multi-branching: Due to the nature of care the proven model of delivery is to start locally then branch out geographically. To speed up growth and put business owners in control we have developed Careberry in a way that you can create a branch within the platform within 30 seconds. It gives the management team control over all branches. You are able to see how each branch progresses, share resources and plan strategically. This is an excellent feature for ambitious business owners who wants to expand while staying in control or for existing multi-branch care agencies that want to bring consistency to their service and run them more efficiently. Careberry enables companies to share carers between branches, have an oversight over the growth of each branch and save time and money by centralising their backup office.
10) New features: Time is a precious resource. On average we have added a new feature to Careberry every two to three weeks over the past 12 months! Features such as enabling staff and families to add medicines, reporting incidents via mobile app and making relevant alerts appear on staff mobiles every time a shift starts are examples that make a care service safer and easy to run!