Overcoming the Unseen Costs of Paper-based Care Home Management Systems
OK, so it’s fairly well established now that utilising software to manage business processes can increase efficiency. Most of the business world is digitising as many of its workflows as possible. The more the machine can do, the less time workers need to spend finding, inputting and analysing data, which could be automated. That means more time spent on tasks that add extra levels of quality to services.
We ponder: Is the same true for care homes? Is paper really the cheaper option than investing in a care home management system?
Care Homes’ Love of Paper
We probably all love the comfortable feeling of having a piece of paper in our hands – none more so than care homes. The benefits of digitising are no different in care homes but the environment is fairly unique which can lead to a greater predisposition to want to work from hard copies. Add to that a view that software is more expensive than working the “old fashioned way” and you can soon see why some care homes miss out on the advantages of care home management software.
Care homes are not full of a bunch of staff sitting behind computers in an office all day long. Managers and admin staff alike are also on the floor and many aspects of changes to individual staff or resident circumstances can’t be estimated. Working in a care home feels different. The mentality of the team is also different to a typical business.
Changing Data Requirements
There are, however, lots of benefits care homes can get out of digital care home management systems. It may be tempting to stay with the warmth and comfort of a paper-based system that everyone is familiar with. Sadly, it just doesn’t reflect the new reality we all need to face, especially with the increasing focus on personal data record-keeping and its protection.
So, why aren’t care homes going digital? There is often a misperception that not having digital care home management systems are cheaper and thus more cost-effective to stick with “what we know”. Managing things such as data protection through paper-based systems is laborious, time-consuming and costly. From this alone, there are lots of savings to be made against the unseen costs of operating from paper.
Savings, Savings, Savings
There are quite a few areas where paper-based systems hold unseen costs which features of care home management systems can overcome – making you some serious business savings.
The top four savings to look out for are:
- Space: Will a software system reduce the amount of space you need for archives and records in the home?
- Time: Does it give you efficiency savings in the time take to create and find a record?
- Money: Through the time savings and the new processes you’ll introduce, will this lead to a cost saving for you?
- Compliance Investment: Can you easily demonstrate your compliance with data protection rules? How much will you have to invest in managing your data records if you don’t record it all digitally?
Some of these may seem obvious, however, they are worth taking into account. For example, how much time is currently being wasted because the team have to wait until the office is free to add a new record? Or perhaps archiving is piling up because there is no room for a new filing cabinet – perhaps you are even going to have to consider paying to get archive storage off-site.
Your care home will have untold amounts of costs associated with paper-based systems that you don’t see. Just because you aren’t paying a monthly subscription doesn’t means you aren’t paying for them. Think of the extra staff you might have to cover admin time when they could be better deployed elsewhere.
Still not convinced? Well here’s a figure that even startled us: “19.8 per cent of business time – the equivalent of one day per working week – is wasted by employees searching for information to do their job effectively.” (Source: Interact)
Wow and that’s only one part of the cost of managing your business through paper. Your mind is now probably racing with all the savings you could make by embracing care home technology, the future of the care home industry.
For more information on our care home management system, you can contact our team of experts, who are on-hand to answer any questions you may have.