Going digital


There is a truth in software development, products can be measured in 3 ways-

  • is it fast
  • is it good
  • is it cheap

Unfortunately, you can usually only have 2 out of 3. So how do you select the right product for your business? Here are some tips.

The care industry is under pressure to make changes. An ever-growing population with care needs, coupled with increased scrutiny and demands for secure practices with recent GDPR changes, indicate that for an industry heavily reliant on recording systems, the task of change is not a small one.

Going digital could be the answer but embracing technology doesn’t have to be a scary and time-consuming process if you choose the right software partner.

Care businesses need to determine ‘What can technology do for us?’. Their aim should not be to make changes because it’s a requirement, the opportunity is to commit to changes that have a positive benefit for day-to-day operations and make your business easier to run.

If you are a small to medium sized privately-owned business, it’s possible you have the flexibility to make purchase decisions for yourself, you can take your time and shop around. You should make the most of this and start by breaking down the process of software research into the following bite-sized chunks.

Step one: Understand the regulatory commitments to make your business and processes GDPR and CQC compliant.

Step two: Determine what you would like software to do from a business process point of view. What tasks currently generate paperwork, what administrative areas are prone to failure or worse still, generate errors or staff stress.  

Step three: Involve your whole staff in some way. Introducing new systems into a place of work can be worrying for staff, easing in the idea of change is essential to keeping your staff included even if it’s only a brief explanation of your progress at a staff meeting. Your staff may make some valuable contributions to your research criteria.

Step four: Reflect on the first 3 steps and create a wish-list of features. Be bold and make a long list, ask for too much, the best software vendors will always want to hear about your whole list.

Step five: Shop around. Call and get one-to-one demos so you can ask your own questions or watch the online presentations. Ask for testimonials you can contact yourself, invite prospective vendors to your facility, you are about to embark on a partnership that will hopefully last a long time, you need to know who you are dealing with. If possible, pick some senior or influential staff members to these meetings, they don’t need to know the commercial cost of software, but they do need to feel like they have had a say.

Sales people are not software developers and developers are not sales people. Ideally you need to hear from one of each when meeting vendors, somewhere in the middle is the truth about their product and what it can do for you.

If you are a small to medium sized business, you might consider a calendar management system that works to coordinate a range of tasks. Scheduling people and processes in a clear way that automates shift reminders can save hundreds of hours of work for even a small business, not to mention the cost of staff no-shows.

A software package that automates timesheet completion from the rota can save everyone valuable time and mean that your staff spend more time in the care of your clients than they do on admin.

With all this in mind, investing in software to not only fulfil legal requirements but to also automate or improve repetitive tasks must be worth considering and could even be an exciting prospect???

⚫️ Come and see Alpaka on stand D181 at the Dementia, Care and Nursing Home show on the 26th and 27th March 2019 at The Birmingham NEC where we will be showcasing our software and launching our new care home package. Your can visit their website https://alpaka.co.uk/