St Vincent Care Homes had previously been burned by a provider failing to meet their expectations – a system that promised much but failed to deliver – so were understandably cautious of signing up to a new digital provider.
Nikki and Clare were attracted by CoolCare’s flexible contract terms that allowed them the flexibility and decision-making time they felt was essential to evaluate a comprehensive administration system. They have been delighted with the system and the positive impact that CoolCare has brought in such a short space of time.
Across the board, staff have been able to use CoolCare4 in a way that works for them, from checking rotas from their own smartphone and maintenance to-do lists to working through their paperwork ahead of compliance audits.
St Vincent Care Home group, is a multisite operation with over 200 staff, it was very important that the team find a solution that worked across all sites, and could be accessed centrally to view aggregated site data. This was not possible with their existing system and was a key future requirement.
The desire was to move away from a Time Attendance system that left a great deal of calculations to be done manually. It was critical that the next system had automated calculations and admin efficiency built in.
Both Nikki and Clare were actively looking for digital and technological solutions that would speed up administrative tasks, reduce errors and ultimately make life simpler for them, they have an ongoing quest to become paperless. It was essential that the solution be user-friendly and easily navigated by all administration and front of house, not just the most tech-savvy team members. There was a concern that no such system existed, however upon seeing a demonstration of CoolCare4 and using it within the operation, it was clear that they had found the right system for them. They have been able to upload staff and resident documentation and staff have found the user interface easy to learn and simple to access. All staff have been able to access CoolCare4 in a way that is suitable and works best for them.
dramatic payroll efficiencies.
The difference that CoolCare4 has made in terms of payroll efficiencies was dramatic – payroll administration time was reduced from 23 hours per month (3 working days) to just 4 hours per month. In financial terms, the streamlining on admin time alone saves in excess of £300 per month, which has now been re-invested in other areas of the business.
Not only is the timesheet–authorisation and payroll process faster, the payroll data is also much more accurate. Acknowledging that human error can lead to miscalculations, unhappy staff, unhappy management and a need to re run payroll to correct minor errors, Clare and Nikki highlighted the fact that staff members could have anywhere up to five different rates of pay and that mistakes in manual data entry were inevitable.
CoolCare4 has the ability to store multiple job roles and the system intelligently recognises which shift the staff member is here for and also applies rates based on the day of the week / bank holidays etc. This means that the system eradicates manual errors and provides a seamless, simple-to-use system.
ease of implementation.
St Vincent’s implemented CoolCare4 in a short timeframe that fitted with the needs of the business. Having trialled in one home, they rolled out across the other properties with ease.
Another aspect that is working well for the team is the occupancy management function. Previously, getting an overview of each home and group occupancy was an arduous, lengthy process that required completion of forms at care home level and periodic submission to head office for analysis. With CoolCare4, both the home managers and Head Office can get instant oversight of occupancy levels, in real time. As well as being able to see the funding mix of residents, what rooms are currently vacant, and enquiries in pipeline. The whole team now has a much tighter handle on understanding income streams; pending and assessed residents; where enquiries are coming from; and the efficacy of the marketing spend. The teams across the company now review occupancy on a daily basis.
Both the Head Office and the care home teams are exploring the wider functionality within CoolCare4,. The Staff Portal means that all staff are now able to access their own calendars, showing when they are working next, what shifts they have done, what holiday or training is booked in, meaning staff can take a greater ownership of their work life balance. Staff can sign in via a smartphone, tablet or home PC and review their holiday entitlement, they can then book holiday there and then (directly from their device) and know with confidence the system has immediately flagged the request to their line manager.
For managers, the request appears in their to do list: one click checks the entitlement and shows the staff calendar of planned holiday so they can approve there and then. Holiday approval time is cut from days to seconds. Prior to using CoolCare4, they were more likely to call into Head Office to see how many days off they had left; complete a form, wait for authorisation and then update diaries, calendars and allowances. With Coolcare more than 90 mins admin time per staff member is saved each year.
St Vincent’s staff and management alike are enjoying the transparency that comes with offering extra shifts to all staff via an SMS message and the ability to see who is on shift at any given moment. Communication has also improved, with all staff able to see on their personal calendar whether they are due to work, in real time including minute by minute updates which also saves on endlessly replacing printed out staff rotas in staff rooms.
When it comes to streamlining, the team at St Vincent Care Homes have already identified how the reporting functions within the system will save hours when it comes to CQC inspections. Pulling of data reports – for example, staff turnover and leavers – will be the work of seconds.
The team praised CoolCare’s customer support, in particular the live chat help feature that sits within the system itself. They were impressed with the quick response times and the support team’s ability to help them with what they need there and then.
Remarking on how user-friendly CoolCare4 truly is, they also pointed out how using the same system across all homes has encouraged greater peer-to-peer support between the care homes, where they would have previously called head office (tying up valuable administrator time).
St Vincent Care Homes are looking forward to using CoolCare in their quest to understand why one home is using many more hours than the other properties and commented that the level of analysis wouldn’t have been possible before implementing the system. So impressed are the team with CoolCare 4, they have already recommended it to another care home provider.