All Care has three offices in Basingstoke, Southampton and High Wycombe and provide domiciliary care.
We talked with Head of Operations Emma Holton and Supervisor Tom Tremlin about choosing the PASSsystem, and in particular implementing into a multi-office company.
What made you decide to go digital?
Emma Holton: It was something that we’d been considering for quite a while and having the presentation from your company showed us that we were actually ready to launch. The reason we wanted to go digital was primarily to save us time and to be fully compliant; to have everything live and up-to-date, so anything the carers were experiencing out in the field, we’re also aware of in the office. Any information we get here, we can send to the carers immediately, so there’s no delay. There’s no having to rush out in the cars, go and do new assessments, to do MAR charts and to update things like that. It can be done from the office, and is then sent over live to everybody else.
Training and Implementation
What were your thoughts on the training and implementation process?
Emma: The training was fantastic throughout. We had two full days here in the office where everyone could come in. It was split between the first day where we really just got to know the system and what it was going to be able to do for us, and then the second day was more actually how to use the system from our point of view in the office, and then also from a care worker’s point of view.
Then we started the implementation from there, which was more from branch level, adding the Care Plans on the system itself, and then also working with our project launch manager to create the documents that we needed.
How long did it take you before you were ready to go live?
Emma: From our last training day, we then set deadlines for our supervisors and everyone within the branches to put the Care Plans on. So from last day of training to go-live day was five weeks. That was for 750 customers, and for 350 care workers.
Could you describe the implementation process as you experienced it?
Emma: It was a very smooth implementation period I think, because we planned it in advance. We looked at what was needed and when it was needed by, and set really clear deadlines for our staff. They knew how many Care Plans they had to get on by which date; other documents that then needed to be added afterwards and how they were going to be put on, so it was quite a clear system. But it needed a lot of follow-up and a lot of support from management to make sure that those deadlines were being met.
How many of your team took the training at once?
Emma: We had two sessions on Day 1 and two sessions on Day 2, and between 10 and 12 people on each one.
Did you send the same team members to the training sessions each time?
Emma: For the first training session, we sent in all of our supervisors and our team leaders and the managers and registered managers, so they were aware of the people who were going to be using the product and the whole system from front-end all the way to everything we do in the office. On the second day, we sent in everyone from the first day, and then we also sent in our ECM administrators, so that they were aware of how the system was going to work, and they could then learn how to teach the care workers how it was going to be used frontline out there in the field.
Did you find it easy to make contact and communicate with your Launch Project Manager?
Emma: Yes, we had a great relationship with our Launch Project Manager, always at the end of the phone, always emailing, always coming back to us whenever we came up with any queries. He helped us out the whole way along.
How did you go about preparing your team for implementation? i.e. covering shifts etc.
Emma: When it came to doing the plans for the implementation and preparing our teams for it, we just gave them clear deadlines of what they needed to do. We didn’t need to consider covering shifts for the people in the office, because each individual person had a different part to play in that process. When one person was doing a task, the other person was there and able to carry on with the day-to-day tasks. With the care workers having to come in individually, one-to-one, to have their training, they were then covered for their individual shifts at that time, but we were talking one care call, they were only in for an hour at a time, so it was easy to cover.
How did you go about organising everything from your end and would you recommend your processes to other companies in the same situation?
Emma: When it came to organisation, there was a lot to consider, and also a lot that came up during the process, so we then had to learn and adapt what we had originally set out to do. Very easy, very minor tweaks. For example, the forms that we had put on and the documentation that we then added meant that extra steps were needed. I would definitely recommend the way that we did it because it was seamless: there was a very clear date that we had to get to at the end. We had a very clear spreadsheet that everybody followed, and it was updated daily, so it meant that we were fully aware of what was being achieved and by what time; so I would highly recommend it, yes.
Would you mind us sharing your processes with similar companies?
Emma: Of course, that’s fine. We did a lot to make sure that our process works smoothly, so we’re proud of what we’ve achieved, so I’d be more than happy for that to be shared with other people.
What did you find the most difficult in the implementation process?
Emma: It’s hard to find a difficulty because actually the process is so simple to follow; the system is so easy to use. I think the biggest difficulty in implementation is time. We set our deadlines so that we had something to work towards, but there still wasn’t enough time to consider everything that is required within it, so time was the only thing. But I have to say it was still easy, even with that being the biggest difficulty.
What did you find the easiest in the implementation process?
Tom Tremlin: Probably copying and pasting all the tasks over because it was just a case of creating the visits, which was fairly straightforward, quite easy options to choose from, and selecting times and links to call durations. Then just creating the tasks from the information I already had.
What did you think of the ongoing support throughout?
Tom: It was very easy to access support. You’ve got the online chat window where they usually respond within five minutes. And they can come back with most answers fairly quickly. Then also you’ve got the out-of-hours telephone number to use, and again, I got through fairly quickly as well. We speak to one member of support and then they escalate it up to somebody else if necessary.
We appreciate that there are always ups and downs in the implementation process. What actions were taken to address any issues and by whom?
Emma: Throughout the process, we had a spreadsheet that we followed diligently. This was updated daily and then circulated to all of the managers involved. So everyone at all times had an awareness of where we were and what was needed. We did have hiccups as you can imagine: maybe Care Plans weren’t put on for the deadline. But then they were hit by the next one. We then changed our tack for those weeks as we needed to, and by the time it got to the end of the process, because it was daily, and everybody was accountable for an area, everybody knew where they were at in that process and what needed to be done to achieve.
Would you recommend having a Launch Project Manager?
Emma: I would definitely recommend having a dedicated Project Manager. It meant that we had consistency from the start all the way through and then ongoing. They were able to understand us and how our business worked, so the queries were answered immediately. They understood after meeting all of our teams what they needed as individuals, just as much as actually what the company was trying to achieve. It made it seamless throughout.
How did you find the data entry process?
Tom: It was very easy. Certainly our Risk Assessments were exactly the same on PASS as they were with our previous Care Plans. So it was just as simple as copying and pasting and selecting the boxes as you go through.
When you roll out PASS to your other offices, would you want them to have the same implementation team? If so, what would be the advantages?
Emma: I think when we choose to roll out to our next two offices – that will be in the coming months – we would definitely like the same Project Manager, as they understand our company. They understand how we work, and they also know now how we’ve managed this project, so when we roll out in the other offices, that project will be managed in exactly the same way, so it’ll be invaluable to have his support again.
Do you feel as though you have received enough updates and progress calls throughout the process?
Emma: We had update calls and progress support throughout. We decided when to schedule them between ourselves and the Launch Project Manager; he always kept us up-to-date. It was also nice that he called us just to give praise as well, to say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve achieved this many Care Plans or that you’ve put on these documents.” So it was nice to know that he was keeping in touch and looking at what we were managing to achieve without us having to call in and say, “Look what we’ve done.” He was there, even when he wasn’t communicating with us: we know he was still supporting us in the background.
Have you implemented anything similar before or something that uses a similar process?
Emma: Not really. We’ve only implemented a rostering system before. Changing that was a big task, but having done that previously actually did set us up quite well to then implement this. We knew the bits that you shouldn’t forget, we made sure we had a very clear system and we followed it throughout, so there weren’t any issues.
If you could change anything about the implementation process, what would it be?
Emma: I think if we had to change anything, my only suggestion would be if all of our documentation, our Risk Assessments and the forms that we later created on PASS, were actually on there before the second training session. Because then we could have had that training session on our actual documents, as opposed to the ones that are preloaded which we have since either removed or we’ve tweaked so much they now look like our own forms anyway. So I think if they were there from Day 1, that would have been a really good start for the team to get everything on. Instead, they put on all of the tasks outcomes, the details page, the summaries, and now they’re going on and adding on the additional forms. That could
have been done at the beginning and potentially could have saved some time, and it would have just made
it easier I think for our trainer to actually show us our documents at the time.
What could we do better?
Emma: I think as a whole, as a company, as a system and how it works, at the moment, we haven’t found anything that we think needs improving. There are small things that are needed. Small things we have raised are already in development, which is fantastic, so as soon as that is out, that’ll be brilliant.
The system has been fantastic.
Top Tips For Using PASS
Make the most of the PASSsystem for domiciliary care by:
- Logging in online every morning to download your bookings and ensure all your customers are up to date;
- Logging in offline whilst in areas of low signal to enter the app and view data downloaded from your last online login;
- Tagging in on arrival, as your visit time doesn’t start until you do!
Click here to download this case study as a PDF file.