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7 Cost Effective Ways to Improve Care Quality

29/03/2019



Social Care is just one of the sectors faced with increasingly difficult conditions in our current socio-economic climate, easily finding themselves overstretched due to lack of available funding and rising demand. We have put together our Top 7 ways to improve care quality without breaking the bank. 

 1. Review your processes to free up time.


The most valuable resource in good care delivery is time. In an ideal world we would be able to take the time to ensure our clients physical and emotional needs are met to the fullest extent, however, the burden of extensive, while necessary, paperwork and potentially overstretched staff can be a barrier to this goal.

Saving time on administration can allow staff to dedicate more time directly to their clients. Simplifying processes and banishing as much paperwork as possible is a direct route to freeing up valuable time. Using a good Electronic Call Monitoring system can save time in a multitude of ways by automating time consuming processes such as rostering and removing the burden of manual auditing. Automatic alerts whenever a call is missed or medication not administered saves you poring through records and is much safer for your clients. There are many options on the market however we recommend finding a ‘one system does all’ cloud-based system that will allow your business to function in unison and allow staff direct access to all the information they need when they need it. 


2. Optimise Travel Times to Improve Consistency


Inefficient travel plans mean time and money wasted on fuel and travelling between appointments. Extensive planning can take too much time to make the exercise worthwhile, so choosing software that will help plan calls by building in and minimising travel time, and even save run route templates to be replicated, is essential. This will ensure your carers spend as little time travelling as possible and reduces the administrative burden required to achieve maximum efficiency. This also reduces risk of lateness and improves consistency with your clients. 

3. Make Employee Satisfaction a Priority


In an ideal world we would retain 100% of our staff and have minimal recruitment and training costs, however Social Care is facing an industry wide struggle with retention, with Skills for Care reporting a 30.7% turnover rate in 2018. On top of the costs associated with new staff, regular new faces are unsettling for clients and impact the quality of your care. Research has discovered that company culture, working environment and pay are the top 3 factors in staff satisfaction. Focus on communication, remain open to suggestions and implement a feedback scheme such as 360 feedback to ensure you are aware of any issues and can act in the best interests of your employees. 

4. Provide Mobile Handsets


Whilst providing mobile handsets can seem like an extra expense, you may find it is cheaper than paying for extra data and call allowances on staffs personal handsets, especially when the administration to deal with this is costed in. OnePlan provide handsets at industry-beating prices that include free push messaging. The money saved can be invested in other resources.

Additional benefits to providing handsets include staff being legally obligated to answer a business handset during shift and business handsets can have their locations tracked- a vital feature to ensure lone workers safety.

5. Take advantage of free training courses.


You will develop a workforce of skilled, qualified staff, better prepared to provide quality care. It is also important to give your staff opportunities to gain skills and develop within their careers, as part of a valued workforce.

6. Train your staff to provide emotional support.


Time is quickly taken up catering to clients physical care needs but sometimes a little goes a long way with emotional support. Simple activities such as reminiscence therapy and future planning can take very little time and can be delivered with minimal training, yet contribute greatly to clients overall mental wellbeing and physical health. 

7. If you have a software provider, check they aren't hitting you with extra costs.


Some care providers have a number of extra add on charges or large set up costs, and what seemed like a good deal to begin with can quickly spiral into an uncontrollable cost. Care providers rely on their systems to run smoothly so cutting back on features or restricting text messaging isn't likely to be a sensible option. Shop the market for a system that does everything you need and potentially saves you money along the way.





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