This guide will help you choose the right smartphones for your carers to use and also help you find some solid options that will improve your Wi-Fi signal in your care home, in order to get the most of your chosen care management software.
How to get your home connected - the choice between Wi-Fi and Mobile Phone Data packages
First things first, let's talk connectivity. By now you probably realise that in order for your care team to use smartphones to record via care home management software like Log my Care, they either need mobile phone reception (3 or 4G) or have access to Wi-Fi.
This is because several parts of the software such as the 'Carer App' synchronise information with the cloud. To access the most up to date information and relay to Care Managers and their 'Care Office'. Which choice you make is entirely up to you, but there are several different ways you can approach the decision:
- If you're concerned about having multiple data contracts and phones having to rely on their own connectivity then Wi-Fi is the option for you.
- However, if your care home is constructed in such a way that seems to really hamper Wi-Fi signal you might want to consider opting for the data Sim options.
We personally recommend you opt for the Wi-Fi option as it will generally give your phones faster data transfer speeds and can be secured.
What are your different options when it comes to connectivity?
If you're providing the connection or concerned about your home's Wi-Fi having areas it doesn't quite reach, you can try several different options
Alternatively, having a professional install Wi-Fi with full coverage will typically cost £1,500 and upwards, depending on the size of the building. We can put you in touch with reliable contractors if this is something you're interested in, just get in touch with our support team.
Perhaps the easiest method that you can use when you have a good mobile reception in the care home, is simply buying a 4g data SIM for each mobile device your carers use. On a network like Three, they are only £28 for 12gb of data allowance and that should last around a year of usage of our care home management software.
Which smartphones should your carers be using to get the most out of care home management software?
So, you've got the internet connectivity nailed. Now onto the smartphones, your carers are going to use.
There are two main types of smartphone on the market. Those that are built by Apple and run on iOS - the now ubiquitous iPhone, or Android devices from the vast majority of manufacturers. Our general advice for care homes is to look into Android smartphones This is because they come in at a far cheaper price point, meaning that you can get the same functionality that you'd get from an iPhone, but for a fraction of the price.
We always recommend that you choose an Android smartphone from a reputable manufacturer with a 4.5 to a 5.5-inch screen. The screen size is important! It makes such a lot of difference in the amount of information a carer using the device can take in and how effective they are when they use it.
What smartphones do we recommend to care homes using Log my Care?
At the moment, our top pick for a good smartphone at a sensible price for care homes is the Samsung Galaxy J3. They are a little more expensive at about £100 but you get the Samsung brand and it comes with some more internal storage (16gb)
However, you could, of course, make use of your staff's own devices. Just make sure you're using the Shift Password function to prevent staff from logging in whilst they are offsite. Don't forget when you purchase your smartphones to get them damage resistant cases. The amount of times they will be accidentally dropped is significant and you'll want to protect them as much as possible.
If you need more help - what's next?
If you're still struggling on what connection your home needs or what devices you'd like to purchase, then you can always chat with us via our live chat. Our friendly team are on hand to answer most questions and can share some of the experiences we've had with other members of the Log my Care community.