Mobile Care Monitoring is helping care providers to be recognised by CQC for transparency and innovation within their services, which is part of being outstanding, says Angela Sutcliffe.
Only 2% of social care services are rated outstanding nationally, yet 5% of providers using our system are rated outstanding*. This means that our customers have received 2.5 times more outstanding ratings than services nationally.
When she spoke at Health + Care 2017, Angela Sutcliffe, the chief inspector of CQC, said that transparency and innovation are part of being an outstanding service. The commitment to an open culture for people who use the service, staff, families, carers and partners, and a ‘can do, will do’ attitude is essential to ensure that the people are at the heart of the care that the service provides. Through using our system, providers who have most recently received an outstanding rating were able to demonstrate to CQC innovation and transparency in the culture of their care homes. All three services mentioned in this article have improved their rating from good to outstanding since implementing Mobile Care Monitoring.
Andrea Sutcliffe encourages providers to embrace digital technology and to look for ways to be innovative and creative to improve the quality of care. However, providers still resist changing current practices, fearing that CQC will not approve. They can be reassured that outstanding providers are recognised by CQC for their adoption of innovative technology. WCS Care, who already had 5 outstanding homes, implemented Mobile Care Monitoring along with other technological systems at Drovers House, the most recent site to be awarded an outstanding rating. The report states:
The provider was innovative and creative and constantly strived to improve the quality of people’s lives. The provider had researched and reflected on how an internationally recognised provider of excellence in dementia care provided care. They had implemented technological systems that […] ensured staff and management had access to the most up-to-date information at the press of a button and enabled relatives to be fully informed and involved in their relations’ care. People benefited from the technology because staff had more time to care for them.
For a system to be innovative it must deliver tangible benefits to the service. For instance, in the report above, CQC recognise that Mobile Care Monitoring, along with other systems, gives staff more time to care for people. Oakhaven Residential Care Home, another service that has received an outstanding rating, Mobile Care Monitoring enables staff to quickly communicate with each other and tailor care to people’s specific needs:
An advantage [of Mobile Care Monitoring] was the responsiveness to changes in people’s care needs instantly updating care records. For example, a person had seen their GP and due to concerns about hydration they had asked staff to monitor their fluid intake. This had immediately been added to the electronic care plan and staff working around the home were immediately updated about this. If a person had not received the care and support as scheduled, the management team would be alerted and could follow this up to find out why. This meant people’s care was monitored closely to make sure they received their care and support when they needed it.
Transparency is essential to providing an outstanding service, but it is still a contentious issue for providers who are nervous about sharing details of care with residents’ families. Person Centred Software’s Relatives Gateway has been praised by CQC at the first of Liaise Loddon’s learning disability sites to achieve an outstanding rating, Sansa House, for providing transparency and joined up communication with the relatives of residents:
[Person Centred Software’s] innovative system [Mobile Care Monitoring] enabled relatives to see what their loved one was doing at any given time through a ‘Relative’s [Gateway] portal’. Clearly visible icons displayed people’s moods so people authorised to visit their records could see at a glance how they were feeling. The relative’s portal also had a gallery of photographs showing people enjoying themselves completing different activities.
Relatives provided positive feedback about the development of PCS. One person told us, “One of the strengths of this service has always been the joined up communication between relatives and the staff. They have always been excellent at providing important information, keeping us involved and updated. This new development again shows why they are always trying to make things even better.”
Providers using our Relatives Gateway to electronically share information with nominated people has decreased complaints and phone calls from relatives, given those families peace of mind, increased communication between families and their loved ones, all with the intention of improving the resident’s care. Drovers House CQC report details the benefits to families of people at the care home:
[Mobile Care Monitoring], the electronic care planning system provided a new opportunity for relatives to stay fully informed and involved in their relations care. Relatives had a password protected access to an on-line ‘[Relatives] gateway’ into their relation’s care plan and daily records. Relatives were able to talk to staff through an associated messaging service, so were able to obtain immediate reassurance from staff if they had any concerns about their relation’s care, support or health.
Angela Sutcliffe says that transparency and innovation are a part of outstanding care. There are many ways for care providers to be innovative and transparent. The qualities of looking to improve, and having strong links with a wider community outside the care home have to be first and foremost values among staff. Mobile Care Monitoring has been mentioned in CQC reports as it gives tangible benefits to everyone involved in care, and the tools for care homes to share information with families. Mobile Care Monitoring is one of many factors enabling care homes to be recognised by CQC for the high quality, person-centred care that they provide to people.
*160 of the 400 homes have been inspected since they implemented Mobile Care Monitoring and 8 have been rated as Outstanding as of July 2017.