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Use of laptops in clients' homes
Steps Ahead Care and Support home care agency has supplied its clients with laptops that are used by care workers to record visits and notes online.
Other professionals providing health and care services, including care managers and speech and language therapists, also have access to the notes with full permission in line with GDPR, as do clients and their families or carers - although only the creator of the note can edit it. Sharing notes this way improves the efficiency and effectiveness of all involved in the clients’ care and allows Steps Ahead staff to better monitor the support and progress of clients.
Steps Ahead care coordinators can see the online notes of all clients. This also means that they can more easily support care workers if there is an incident involving the client at home.
The agency is also using other technology-based means to support clients and help people maintain greater independence. For example, one client has an activity tracker and an app to monitor their food intake and exercise. This enables the agency to ensure the client is eating enough as due to their condition it is essential to monitor calorie intake. Another client has a smart watch and the agency has trained him in the use of an app that allows him to self-monitor his condition at night – a positive benefit as the client did not want overnight care as he felt it was intrusive. It has also allowed the agency to set alarms and contact emergency services if needed.
How was it developed?
The idea of using laptops in this way came from strategy meetings between care coordinators’ managers, who then worked with an IT company to develop the system.
Who is using it?
Steps Ahead supports 50 clients in their own homes and currently 15 of these use the laptops. The agency specialises in supporting people with acquired brain injury or learning disabilities. Care coordinators train home care workers and clients in the use of the laptops, Step Ahead is rated outstanding by CQC. Inspectors had noted the use of technology such as tablets being used as 'memory boards', for example, as alerts to take medication.
At the time of writing, the laptops had been in use for about 6 months. While no formal evaluation has taken place yet, the agency is confident that the investment in this technology is helping to make people safer and promoting greater independence. By enabling all relevant professionals to access to a client’s notes in real time, it is helping to ensure care is better coordinated and progress is monitors to help all the clients reach their goals and aspirations.
- Last updated:
- 23 July 2019