Interview: How care management software is helping throughout COVID-19

There are few better placed people who understand exactly what the care home industry is dealing with right now than CoolCare’s Training and Implementation Coordinator, Michaela Regan. Michaela has been working with CoolCare customers throughout the pandemic, which has given her great oversight into what care homes have needed from their CoolCare software to get them through the last 10 months.

Michaela, these have been really tough months for the care home industry and this doesn’t seem set to change for some time to come. Have you been able to identify a key focus across the industry? What is it that care homes need most right now?

What they need – the functionality that they rely on most of all right now – is the ability to know where they are at any given moment and they do this via instantaneous reporting and streamlined occupancy management.

The enquiry pipeline is the lifeblood of most care homes but pipelines have been destroyed by the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Most of our care home clients that I speak with have prioritised investment in their pipeline and reporting, restoring some form of order and structure to their horizon. It is simply the single most important topic of conversation right now.

Can the reporting process make that much difference to an overall business?

Yes, reporting can absolutely transform a business at a time of crisis. Reporting, alongside using CoolCare’s full capabilities, takes the guess work out of every aspect of the business and it means that critical decision-making is evidence-based. This allows businesses to implement new processes, make budgetary savings and trace the impact of their customer service on enquiries. A software that can deliver against so many different areas of the business is a gamechanger for these care homes.

How do the care homes that you work with balance their books? How does the software help them to manage their costs?

Accounting and timekeeping software can be useful, but it is simply not purpose-built for our industry. CoolCare has been developed with the care industry at heart.

In other industries, staff absence or sickness may not have that much of an impact. In care homes, the knock-on effect of absence will be felt both in the budget and in the quality of care. Being understaffed is not an option, but calling upon costly agencies can leave care homes financially vulnerable. CoolCare delivers integrated reporting that shows you where you are in terms of staffing, absence and agency costs on a daily basis.

It allows management teams to analyse the figures and to have the level of visibility that they need. That data is gold dust at the moment.

Can the CoolCare care management software help with ironing out issues that arise as a result of staffing? It can be one of the most complex areas of care home management.

It really can. There are so many factors at play when it comes to staffing in care homes and the self-isolation regulations have only made that more complex to manage – however, infection control is also one of the most important elements of the fight against COVID19.  CoolCare’s new dynamic report functionality can be accessed via both the dashboard and on timesheets to ensure that you’re making your workforce work as effectively as possible, with reduced risk of error.

With rotas easily developed and managed, it becomes easier to reduce staffing costs.  Overtime becomes the exception, rather than the rule and agency reliance can be properly managed. CoolCare software means that care homes can more easily look after the pennies that add up to the pounds and develop into thousands of extra costs in a very short period of time.