Here at Birdie, we’re on an ambitious mission to radically improve the lives of 1million older adults.
Why? Because we believe that it’s time for change. In a world where “We talk about self-driving cars... yet we regularly leave older people on the bathroom floor for 48 hours because simple technology is not being used." (Max Parmentier, CEO and Founder of Birdie), we believe that technology could be the gateway to better care for older adults.
We’re not talking about AI and robots to take care of our ageing population either. We have the technology ready and waiting - all we need to do is deliver it to the people that matter most, by empowering those who care for them.
How can technology help?
Our population is ageing quickly. And unless we act fast, we simply won’t have the resources we need to support elderly people to live independently. Every time an elderly person is admitted to hospital, their quality of life decreases drastically, so prevention really is the cure when it comes to living well.
Domiciliary care (or home care) is usually the first step in caring for an older adult who needs a little assistance with their activities of daily living (ADL). Traditional methods of home care involve sending a carer (or multiple) to an elderly person’s house to help them complete tasks like dressing, washing, walking, eating or simply for companionship. Once a carer has visited their home, they’ll complete some paper notes, filling out their medications, their wellbeing and any other observations. The notes are then stored at the person’s house, for the next care professional, family members or the office staff to collect at the end of the month.
Time to rethink the system
This method of writing paper notes and storing can lead to problems later down the line.
For example, if an elderly person has missed a medication, the care workermay note these down on their observation log over a period of time.
This manual method means that Care Managers may be unaware of any growing issues until the end of the month when they collect and audit the care logs, or carry out a spot check.
By this point, the missed medication could have caused complications to develop, which could lead to hospital admission. And, as we mentioned earlier, this could hugely impact the health of an older adult.
Care in realtime
Using a care management system like Birdie eliminates these risks. With instant alerts and real-time updates, care managers are always in the know - so they can be proactive in delivering the best care. When a concern is raised, Care Managers are alerted, instantly, which means they can make decisions in real-time, rather than waiting for the month-end audit.
Anita, a care manager from our partner agency Enthuse Care knows all too well how much time is wasted on paper-based auditing - especially when your agency is growing. “As soon as you start [getting] bigger, it can become a problem because paperwork is coming into the office only once a month. If you start finding problems in the paperwork, that haven’t been reported back to the office, you [have to] start investigating back in time”
She used to spend “hours and hours and hours and hours checking everything”, but now, with Birdie, she gets “the information straight away and can act upon [it] quickly.” And overall Anita says: “It just gives you the comfort to know that, yes, everything is fine. I don’t have to fear - everything is smooth, everything is going all right - and I can just stay in the background, nicely.”
Delivering more responsive care
Recently awarded a CQC rating of outstanding in responsiveness, Elite Care has revolutionised care delivery with Birdie. For Emma, the Director of Care, making sure that her staff are equipped to deal with the challenges that caring brings means making sure that their risks are minimised. With Birdie, her staff has everything they need at their fingertips - and she knows what’s happening at all times with real-time alerts.
“Now, with Birdie, we audit every morning. We audit every time an alert comes through. It’s over and above.” Removing the painful process of monthly auditing means that Emma can catch any issues in real-time, deal with them instantly and keep her clients and her business safe. Plus, it’s all recorded in one place, meaning that she can keep track and stay in control - safe in the knowledge that nothing is going to go missing in a paper file somewhere. So, when it comes to CQC audits, it’s all there at your fingertips - a benefit which has secured Elite Care an outstanding rating in responsiveness.
It’s not just about reaching outstanding though. Technology can also help care agencies to reduce their risks and provide the safest care.
Before Birdie, Asfana, Managing Director at Prioritising People’s Lives and her team were “going through stacks and stacks of paper”. MAR charts were causing confusion and a simple error, like a carer forgetting to add their initial to a MAR chart could cause serious repercussions later down the line, especially when it comes to auditing.
Asfana knew something had to change. Since implementing Birdie, they’ve managed to streamline their management process. They’re now “able to look at the information as and when it happens and update information instantly.” Mistakes are “completely avoided now because [carers] have to go through the list on Birdie. And it flags up straight away if something has been missed off.”
It’s not just the office staff feeling the benefit. “As a carer, I think it’s brilliant because it’s so easy to use. It’s just basically, check-in, tasks are listed and then the medication is all listed, details everything. It’s just really straightforward.”
When it comes to delivering the best care, Asfana said: “We aim to constantly improve. As time goes on and everybody gets the full grips of Birdie, I think, including all the staff, it will just only help us reach our outstanding.”
The key takeaway
Implementing a tech solution like Birdie can have a huge impact on the way you deliver care, especially when it comes to safety. And with the CQC highlighting the importance of embracing technology in home care, there’s never been a better time to go paperless. If you’re interested in making the switch, get in touch with Birdie today. We’ll walk you through the process, and how a solution like Birdie could help your agency reduce risk and provide safer care. Get a free demo here.
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