With the care industry under ever greater scrutiny, effective management of processes, measurement of service quality and overall efficiency is just as important for back office systems as it is front of house.
The UK's largest owner/operator of care homes, Bupa, has over 300 care homes throughout the country, offering a range of specialist services for residents funded privately, by Social Services or the NHS. It aims to provide the highest standards of care and service for its residents and uses its experience and knowledge to ensure that each resident, their families and friends are treated as individuals at all times.
What was the issue?
Each Bupa care home operate as their own profit and loss centres, with a requirement to report to Bupa's central support office on a monthly and quarterly basis. As a result a significant amount of critical data, from management and compliance information through to financial reporting was being shared, but with little to no consistency or structure.
The ad hoc process meant that consolidating the information into a single application was essential in order to enable meaningful interrogation of the data. This not only proved time consuming but increased the potential risk of error and the time taken to act on results.
"Smooth communication between care homes is essential, not least to ensure consistency and accuracy of data and enable best practice to be shared," explained Andrew Lowe, Management Information Manager for Bupa Care Services. "The need for a robust system that could aid that process was critical, as was the need to partner with an organisation that understood our industry and what we were trying to achieve."
With over 25,000 staff nationwide, many not computer literate, and a range of statutory requirements to be met, Andrew sought the help of Enable to redress the situation as quickly as possible.
What was Enable's solution?
"When I first met the Enable team my brief was for an electronic forms solution," continues Andrew. "Interestingly Enable has been able to get completely 'under the skin' of our organisation, understand what we do, how we work and our processes and deliver a solution that goes far beyond our expectations but not our budget."
Using its standard technology, Enable is able to deliver many solutions by solely using configuration. As a result systems can be developed, tested and implemented quickly. For Bupa Care Homes, Enable provided a common protocol for critical data to be shared.
Today, each care home can now log into the system and complete the information. The data is then validated by the system and is immediately available for analysis and central reporting purposes.
Offering total flexibility, the system it is able to capture all manner of data including:
Although renowned for developing intuitive systems, Enable took the concept to a new level with the Bupa system.
"From the outset Enable understood exactly what we needed to achieve and has, in just two months, delivered a solution so easy to use that we were able to roll it out across all our care homes without any requirement for training whatsoever," explains Andrew.
What was the impact?
The initial rollout of the system was for 20 care homes, the success of which prompted Lowe to sanction its use across all care homes.
"It has been one of the smoothest projects we have ever implemented and that is, in no small part, down to Enable," continues Andrew. "As a business our back office processes are operating much more effectively and we are now able to act on the information in a more timely fashion.
"We have greater data consistency and as a result we have already seen a 25% drop in complaints. Administration time has been slashed as entry duplication is no longer required and the overall transparency offered by the system across the business has revolutionised the way we operate. Quality of service and customer care will undoubtedly benefit from our slicker back office process."