When home care meets coherent communication
Peace of mind is paramount when it comes to talking about clients and ensuring information shared remains safe.
By Alex Macfarlane
Founded in 2017, ‘Bloom & Care’ are a high-quality and award-winning home care provider in the Bedford region of Bedfordshire. The small personalised team of 12, ensure clients and their families receive person centred care and support, putting the care in home care.
Previously ‘Bloom & Care’ were using WhatsApp. This slowed down communication as they were having to anonymise client names with initials and were unable to share sensitive information. It also brought the question – is it legally acceptable to use WhatsApp?
Staff were unable to check personal messages without seeing work related messages, feeling the need to check and respond. The Pandemic has increased the intensity of their work and communication, leading to increased stress and low morale as work was constant.
To find a communication tool that would allow the team to separate work life from their personal life, so they can get the much needed rest and recovery on their days off.
Implementing a secure messenger, as GDPR is such a hot topic at the moment, is pivotal. With the risk of data leaks, the desire to protect client’s data must be to the highest standard. Peace of mind is paramount when it comes to talking about clients and ensuring the information shared would remain safe.
We spoke to Kirsty, one of the Directors & Care Manager at Bloom & Care, to give us insight into Pando’s effect.
How quickly were you able to get Pando up and running?
I was a little apprehensive at first as some members of the team aren’t the biggest fans of technology, so I thought it may be difficult getting them on board. However, it was so much easier and quicker to get the team up and running than I had first anticipated – even the technophobes on the team are confidently using it.
How often do you use Pando per day/per week?
We use Pando everyday. I’m always on it! Our senior staff and managers find it very useful, so we’re constantly sending messages.
How do you and your team use Pando?
So that we can provide personalised support, each of our clients are assigned a small team of our staff. In Pando, we have created a Team for each of our more complex clients, so all of the relevant staff can discuss that client in one place and share necessary information. For example, one member can raise concerns about changes in behaviour and mood, to see if anyone else has noticed this.
Because we are being told a lot more information about our clients, we can update their care plans accordingly. We used to have endless calls for updates, which could be a complete overload and information could be missed. Now our staff have got into the habit of passing on all information via Pando which has saved us time. Instead of relaying the information to the rest of the team individually, staff are now informed instantly, making the team more effective.
Messages can be as simple as asking for gloves from someone nearby – to discussing annual leave requests. It’s easy to become complacent when you’re visiting the same clients over and over, but with Pando staff can remind each other of any changes. This has been particularly effective with medication changes.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic we have set up support groups for our staff to provide wellbeing and mental health support to each other. Pando has provided us with the space for these groups to communicate, each with their own team on the app. This has gone down really well with our staff and provided reassurance that support is available and easily accessible should they need it.
Do you use patient cards?
We love Pando’s patient cards as it allows all staff to have access to a client’s details which is often required when ringing district nurses.
We don’t upload our care plans as they are 45 pages long, but we do include the client’s date of birth, their address, number of their Pharmacy, doctor and next of kin. If one of our staff did need to call the district nurse for example, previously they would have had to ring the office for this information or stay in the client’s home past their visiting time to obtain the details in the care book. Having the information on Pando saves the team time and reduces stress as they can easily access it on their mobiles and make any necessary calls between visits.
How has communication improved with the use of Pando?
We are now talking a lot more, with over 11,000 messages being sent between the 12 of us since launching Pando back in June. It’s definitely brought the team closer together. Morale within the team has improved as the team can easily communicate while in the community. This has allowed us to support our staff further and proactively provide our staff support.
We asked our staff in a recent survey: ‘Do you feel Pando has been helpful for support and communication throughout the Pandemic?’
100% answered that it has been very helpful.
Pando helps us to embody our values of: Respect, Dignity, Integrity and Teamwork, not just with the way we communicate, but with our client’s data and the care we provide them.
For those care agencies struggling with communication, Pando is a great solution and we recommend Pando everywhere we go. We are going for outstanding with CQC so we really researched Pando and are confident using the app will help us get there.