Care continuity facilitates the trusting relationship between carer and client that lies at the foundation of excellent care. Not only does care continuity benefit your clients, but it also helps you meet CQC regulations and KLOEs and improve care quality overall. However, the pressures of running a home care agency can make it difficult to match carers with clients for every visit.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance and challenges of care continuity and how the carer matching feature of the Birdie platform can help you solve this problem.
What does the CQC say about care continuity?
In Not just a number: Home care inspection programme, the CQC highlighted lack of care continuity as an area that needs improvement on a national scale.
The report highlights one home care service user who’d had 25-30 different care workers during her time receiving care. As you can imagine, this lack of continuity makes it almost impossible for the client to form any relationship with their carers, damaging the quality of care as a result.
Let’s look more closely at the relevant CQC KLOEs.
The CQC Responsive KLOE asks:
“Do the services provided reflect the needs of the population served and do they ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care?”
As a home care service, you must be able to demonstrate continuity of care to achieve an outstanding rating in this area.
Home care managers can also refer to the CQC Effective KLOE when matching clients with carers. This KLOE asks:
“How does the service make sure that staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and support?”
The CQC regards care continuity so highly that a care provider will be marked down on their CQC rating if they don’t meet expectations.
How does care continuity impact service users?
Service users who experience a lack of care continuity are likely to be less satisfied with their care than clients who can build up relationships with regular carers.
Clients who see multiple carers have to explain their care preferences to every new visitor. Sometimes, service users have more specific needs or requirements, for example, someone who speaks their language or shares a common interest or religious belief, or a same-sex carer to assist with personal care needs. It’s difficult to meet these needs with care workers who don’t have the chance to get to know their clients.
What are the options?
As it stands, carer matching can be a headache for home care providers.
A lack of good software solutions means that you’re probably logging staffing information manually, constantly playing catch-up and filling shifts at the last minute. It’s easy to see how care continuity becomes the last thing on your mind when you’re trying to find basic staffing to cover visits.
We understand that you appreciate the value of care continuity but that poor systems let you down. There is a lack of effective tools on the market that do what you need them to.
You might make do with an excel spreadsheet to log staffing and visits, but it doesn’t help you match people's preferences. The dedicated software that is available doesn’t make intelligent suggestions to help you match the right clients with suitable carers.
What’s the solution?
The new Birdie all-in-one home care software system features the clever Birdie Roster. This powerful tool enables you to manage the entire rostering system in one place - including carer matching.
The easy-to-use, intuitive platform means that even if there's a last-minute issue, you can always find the best person for the job.
How does it work?
From one central hub, Birdie Roster allows you to:
- View and manage your whole care team.
- Create templates based on a set of criteria in our Core Template feature.
- Receive automated suggestions to update a template if a regular carer stops getting assigned to a particular visit.
- Respond rapidly to last-minute changes to staffing, for example, due to sickness.
- Take personalised care to the next level with Advanced Templating, supporting more detailed criteria like travel time, client preferences, staff skills, continuity, and availability.
- Block incompatible caregivers and clients from being matched.
- Support stand-in schedulers by showing them previous allocations as a prompt.
The smart carer matching feature means you can ensure optimal matches between care recipients and caregivers to improve care continuity, fulfil CQC requirements and improve the client experience.
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