Mobility – what are the benefits to care staff?

| 12 Aug 2014
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Mobile technology has revolutionised the way individuals interact with one another, and is now changing the way we work. To highlight the benefits of mobile technology for the home care sector, we’re featuring a three part special on the key features for business, staff and care recipients. Today we look at the importance of mobile technology in ensuring staff satisfaction through efficient and easy to use processes.

Research commissioned by The Department of Health calculated the average staff turnover in the aged care sector to be 25%, which is significantly higher than that of comparable sectors. It is therefore necessary that aged and home care providers address any inefficiencies or procedures that may be resulting in reduced staff satisfaction.

By using mobile software to create streamlined efficiencies, care workers are able to focus on caring rather than paperwork. Electronic timesheets can allow care workers to electronically access personal timesheets in a mobile-friendly format. This means staff no longer have to come into the office to pick up and drop off timesheets, which is often a time consuming and tedious task. By entering their timesheets electronically, care workers are also more likely to receive payment on time and without errors, which further contributes to staff satisfaction by decreasing the unnecessary stress that can come with delayed payment.

From a coordinators perspective, generating timesheets for each care worker is a lengthy process that is subject to weekly amendments. Coordinators spend hours, sometimes days, calling care workers, leaving messages and then re-calling when visits are covered. This process can take up the bulk of a coordinators time and can be an extremely costly process. By using a mobile solution, it is possible to electronically offer a job to a care worker or group of care workers via messaging functionality. Rather than having to phone 10 potential care workers, one job offer can be sent to all at no cost. The first care worker to accept the offered job has it added to their roster, and the remaining care workers receive an automated message to notify them that the job has now been allocated. Any messages sent to the mobile device can also be tracked and audited by when they were received on the handset, when they have been viewed and whether a visit offer has been accepted or rejected; ensuring conversations around performance are based on accurate data. As an added bonus, by advertising that an organisation has paperless timesheets, our clients have found that this can result in a significant surge in job applications.

One of the other benefits a mobile solution offers for coordinators is the auto sync functionality. This function automatically confirms when workers check in and out of a care recipient’s home, reducing a coordinators workload so that only discrepancies in visits need manual checking. Without this software, coordinators may spend hours each week manually confirming each timesheet. The auto sync functionality also enables coordinators and care workers to demonstrate a visit was completed, even if discrepancies are raised by the care recipient or their family.

Organisations have a duty of care to all employees. With care workers offering services within care recipient’s homes, worker safety is of prime importance. By using a mobile solution, care workers are able to look through a care recipient’s file to find any potential health and safety issues before stepping onto their property; such as references to pets or property maintenance. Another health and safety benefit of using a mobile solution is the location service feature, which notifies the office if a care worker has not checked in or out of a visit location, highlighting that a potential problem may have arisen and allowing the organisation to take appropriate action. Care workers can also press the alert button within the software to inform the office that they require help or assistance. The ability to access this information ensures the organisation can put the welfare of care workers at the forefront of their services.

Which aspect of mobile technology do you think would most assist your staff out in the field?

(Image credit: shutterstock)

Tags: aged care, assistive technology, cloud computing, mobility, software, technology

Sophia Bolden

Communications Coordinator

Sophia Bolden is the Communications Coordinator at Telstra Health - ADCC (formerly iCareHealth). With a background in the disability and aged care sector, she brings an understanding and passion for aged care. Sophia recognises the importance of social media and online communication in relating technology and aged care news in the most effective way possible.

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