MICHAEL WHITEHEAD ‘CEO’ OF HALCYON ‘CARE HOMES’ SPOKE TO US ABOUT HIS LOVE OF COOLCARE AND THE BENEFITS IT BRINGS HIS MULTI-SITE CARE HOME BUSINESS.
Halcyon Care Homes has been using CoolCare from inception. Perhaps unusually, our choice to implement CoolCare was not initially ours. Halcyon operate new build care homes constructed by LNT construction, as a value-added service LNT construction include a 12 month subscription to CoolCare for all operators of a new build LNT care home. We have found the system so invaluable we have kept it on in all of our 7 homes, I honestly don’t know what we would do without it.
Our aim at Halcyon is to provide the highest standards of quality care in a luxury, modern environment, and a well-run home is integral to that aim. Keeping on top of all of the many aspects of home administration ensures staff have more time to provide quality care, managers spend less time on day to day admin and we believe we can make a difference to our residents’ lives. What I like the most about CoolCare is that it’s a ‘one stop shop’ for everything I and the management team need to know about the day-today operations of the homes.
“I probably log into the dashboard 3-4 times a day to see what is happening in the group. I can instantly see if anyone is AWOL, see the current enquiry pipeline, rota vs budget etc etc, all from my phone”
At a glance, I see each individual homes admin dashboard or view the group as a whole, I can see whether the fee structure is being adhered to, I can see what staff are in and whether managers are sticking to the pre budgeted pre-set rota. It’s very easy to see, very transparent. Bearing in mind our staffing model is robust and well thought out, we always want to know why a manager is deviating from the agreed plan and if there is anything we can do to support them.
I like that the human resources system automatically calculates sickness absence and Bradford factor in real time. It really helps management keep things in check and ensure we have a fully staffed and efficiently budgeted care business.
Halcyon are an operator that exclusively manages luxury 5-star new build care homes, therefore the challenges of occupancy and associated staffing levels of an immature home are way of life.
However with CoolCare Halcyon are able to pre-plan staff to occupancy ratios as the enquiry pipeline grows. This means that management have full visibility of pending admissions and can set milestones and triggers for when to start the recruitment process. Agency cover is pre-budgeted and strategically deployed to meet the inevitable temporary shortfalls of full-time staff as the homes occupancy expands. With the 7th home opening soon, the ability to monitor group enquiries and multi-site staffing in real time is essential.
On the subject of enquiry management, Halycon handle the enquiries centrally, with enquiries coming in via a variety of channels all fuelled by a comprehensive, multimedia marketing strategy. The use of a virtual phone system allowing local care home telephone numbers to route enquiry calls direct to head office and the sales and marketing team. The enquiry team use CoolCare to direct to the sales and marketing team at head office and sort and sift enquiries and to allocate tasks to staff member’s ‘to do’ lists, all directly from the system, saving multiple emails and calls. Home managers and head office can monitor in real time where each and every enquiry is up to, so that filling vacancies has become a collaborative effort. This approach has borne fruit with other operators, a 2019 CoolCare customer analysis reported reduced enquiry to admission timeline of under 25 days and an increase in average fees to above 6% of the national average.
Another area where CoolCare has impacted the bottom line is the intelligent invoicing features. Every Monday the team run a report to check that all occupied rooms are being billed correctly, the system flags up any rooms not being billed at standard fees, and allows front of house, managers and head office to address the issue.
Finally, the main system feature that I find incredibly invaluable is the dashboard, for those that haven’t seen CoolCare, this is the front page of the system, displaying all of the key metrics of the home (or in this case group) at a glance when the user logs in.