Nottinghamshire based Care2Communities, a rural home care service based in Rushcliffe, has a mission to provide flexible, tech-enabled, person-centred home care to their rural community.
November’s Customer Success Story focusses on an innovative home care model. Delivering home care in rural areas often sees Wellbeing Assistants travelling significantly longer distances between home visits, which means they can attend fewer visits each day, compared to home care providers based in urban locations. This makes remote workforce efficiency and productivity top priorities.
“We immediately saw MyHelpa’s potential, and knew we’d have the right system in place for when we started to expand.”
Stacey Danby, Wellbeing & Development Director
Traditionally, care is commissioned on a time and task basis. Otherwise known as ‘zero-hour commissioning’, public organisations often purchase home care by the minute for contact time with the person receiving care. They don’t pay for all the costs of delivering quality care.
Because of how care is commissioned, Care2Communities staff travel time and waiting time between home visits must be as low and as efficient as possible. Some Wellbeing Assistants can drive 100 miles on a shift, so travel and mileage costs can be substantial.
Rural areas sometimes also have the lowest population densities, making it harder to recruit Wellbeing Assistants.
Care2Communities strategy offers a unique blend of in-home tech monitoring service, alongside a range of in-person home care provision, designed to provide a flexible service that can react quickly to changing customer care needs. Their challenge is to continue to build an engaged team that is supported by technology to waste no time, so they can successfully deliver their outstanding service.
To scale their tech-enabled model, Care2Communities wanted a system capable of delivering automation and optimisation so it could ensure maximum productivity when facing into the rural challenges of remote work.
MyHelpa had to comply with home care industry standards and enable information to be shared among authorised people involved in the care pathway. “MyHelpa takes the ‘heavy lifting’ out of the administration associated with rostering and the manual aspects of home care operations,” says Stacey Danby, Wellbeing & Development Director of Care2Communities, “and we need to have the right processes in place to allow for growth, supported by software that saves hours of manual roster management and increases staff efficiency.”
Care2Commnunites aim to quickly react to changing client needs, and MyHelpa automatically matches the right care professional, considering the requirements of each home visit. By following unbreakable rules, MyHelpa’s algorithm matches an available care professional that scores highest on all aspects of both care professional and client attributes and needs.
To meet regulatory requirements, MyHelpa matches Wellbeing Assistants that have valid qualifications to meet specific care needs. The algorithm also factors a myriad of attributes required for person-centred care, like matching the right personalities, preferred languages, as well as considering intolerances like pet allergies and non-smoking residences.
“We don’t have to do the headwork,” Stacey says, “MyHelpa works out who is best to take the visit, whether from a continuity of care perspective, or who’s on holiday, and holidays staff need too.”
MyHelpa is designed to capture detailed knowledge of the care team and the people receiving care too, so the quality data input is key. “The more detail put into MyHelpa, the better it is at matching staff likes, dislikes, interests and training etc., to the person,” she says. “Staff also update some aspects on the mobile app, such as their availability, and clocking in and out of visits.”
With rural clients requiring greater travel between visits, when matching a care professional MyHelpa calculates the optimal and most efficient travel route by considering all the locations of both clients and Wellbeing Assistants.
“Our clients live in rural and remote areas and MyHelpa can plan the most effective route for a Wellbeing Assistant according to the home visits planned for the day,” Stacey says. “Because of the flexible model we deliver, no two days are the same.”
Scaling Care2Communities will require successful staff retention, and productivity will help ensure staff are not demotivated by excessive travel costs and time wasted with unnecessary waiting time between visits.
“MyHelpa’s scheduling will help our Wellbeing Assistants to be more productive and provide a live picture of where they are,” adds Stacey. “As well as helping us to run more efficiently, we believe MyHelpa will contribute to staff retention as staff can see schedules are efficient and there is personalisation to the people they are supporting.”
In rural communities, support networks also provide in-home services, and MyHelpa helps important information flow between Care2Communities and other professionals.
“Community professionals can use the MyHelpa app to add notes about how the person is when they have visited, so we can view, and if they have had to reschedule, we can also organise a social visit.” Stacey explains. “Also, we can capture important updates, such as a death in the family, so next time our Wellbeing Assistants visit, they are aware of how the person may be feeling.”
“In addition, when we know other professionals and neighbours are visiting our clients, we can calibrate the need for our paid support, reallocating it to be used at another time when they really need it,” she says. “The beauty of MyHelpa is there is always control and flexibility in the system.”
MyHelpa also schedules virtual visits, “Being able to log virtual visits helps record our response to alerts from our assistive technology, as well as plan recurring virtual visits, a mix of ‘check-in calls’ and ‘wellbeing calls’ as required, where this is appropriate to meet the needs for an individual,” Stacey says. “We anticipate this will help us cope through the winter months ahead and support our contingency plans where in-person visits are replaced by response calls.”
Hosted by Amazon Web Services, MyHelpa is also secure and compliant, a vital factor for a regulated industry like home care. “We comply with strict regulations regarding our staff and client confidentiality and privacy,” says Stacey. “MyHelpa’s secure environment assures us that our data is safe.”