Going digital
Dec 19, 2018

How to identify the best software for residential care homes?

Software for residential care homes aims to give people working in the care sector an efficient and seamless way of doing paperwork, one that gives you more time to give quality care to the people who need it.

Gone are the days of handwritten notes and spreadsheets and trying to locate specific paperwork in filing cabinets. There are so many reasons that you should consider adopting care home software, so keep reading for some tips on how to identify the right kind for your organisation!

What is Care Home Software?

In really simple terms, care home software is a system that is designed for carers to help manage every aspect of running a care home. Everything from storing information, policies, organising rotas and resident care plans can be managed in one easy to understand programme or smartphone app (See our best apps for carers guide for more information)

What are the Main Benefits That Software Brings Your Care Management Team?

The most obvious benefit of care home software is probably the simplification of record-keeping. Paper-based administration can be expensive to store, difficult to update and look at, or can be easily lost or damaged - not to mention the issues surrounding confidentiality. Adopting a good care management system can make this disappear.

Care management can be simplified when you adopt care home software. The system lets you automate tasks such as reminders and training, as well as automatically logging holiday and absences. As a manager, you can also create reports to flag up issues or to help analyse data and make the right decisions. Control of information can be filtered by managers, but everyone can have access to the same system, meaning that all staff work from the same up-to-date information. This simplifies the record-keeping for everyone involved.

Good care home software collects large amounts of information and puts it all in one place - all whilst improving the quality and efficiency of care. This information is available at the click of a button or tap of a screen and allows managers and owners to get more hands-on in understanding what is going on and when. It's not just limited to compiling information about the daily tasks that people do either; care home software can include general management of stock levels for supplies, food, as well as rotas and reminders. This is guaranteed to make administration easier to handle.

Families can also review care plans for their relatives by looking at the care plans on the app. If they suggest changes, this can be accessed by all the resident's carers via the app. This puts the service user at the centre of care and cuts out the need for people having to remember to relay information through word of mouth.

What Can Residential Care Home Software do to Help your Carers?

When you need to access information on a paper-based filing system or fill out handwritten forms, it can really slow down work efficiency. By having information stored digitally and on a variety of devices, time is saved with simple computer searches. There is no more hunting down paper documents or making copies of paperwork. It also reduces the equipment that caregivers need to carry with them - no more trying to find lost pens or worrying about a biro running out. With residential care home software, being able to access comprehensive care plans as and when required, as well as accessing the most up-to-date information a lot of time can be saved. This can reduce the likelihood of errors and omissions in data and improve accuracy (as well as helping you to improve your CQC rating).

Features such as voice recording save a lot of time. Carers can verbally describe notes that need to be written down whilst they are working, and these notes can't be lost. Given that English is sometimes a second language for staff, it can really help this demographic and reduce confusion or mistakes in records, keeping them accurate and up to date.

How Do You Know if You've Got a Good System?

With a good care home system, you will find that it is simple to use and will save you time. If employees pick it up quickly, you'll know you have the right software. It won't get in the way of giving quality care but will aid it and improve the productivity of carers and administrators alike. You'll also find that the best care home software has a visible return on investment; you won't spend a fortune on investment nor will it take away from other resources. Time can be better spent meeting regulatory standards and giving quality care.

Saying this, it's important that you only buy care home software after it you have tested it yourself. If you need an example of a care home software platform you can find free care home software here. Make sure you try out all aspects of the system to truly work out if it's the right one for your company. Done properly, the right care home software will improve everyone's lives, from carers to administrators, to relatives and (most importantly), the residents.

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