CareLineLive is a leading digital app to provide real-time scheduling, updates, and insights for carers, agencies, family, and friends, supporting home care and relieving pressures on hospitals
Pressure on social care is mounting, and technology can play a vital role in creating efficiencies and driving improvements
COVID-19 highlighted many problems, not least the disparity between various health and social care services.
In particular, while the focus was on the NHS and care homes at the height of the pandemic; home care services were under a tremendous amount of strain due to staffing shortages and pressures to get people out of hospital as quickly and efficiently as possible; thus relieving the pressure on beds.
In the last few months, extreme weather conditions, like the UK reaching 40 degrees for the first time, usually results in the media asking family members to help protect and support the elderly and vulnerable.
However, for home care agencies and carers, this task isn’t a seasonal one.
But what is supporting home care agencies to help their clients?
CareLineLive is the leading digital app to provide real-time scheduling, updates, and insights for carers, agencies, family, and friends.
Speaking to BBH, CareLineLive product manager, Merina Martin, explains: “There are many challenges facing care providers which we have seen mounting in recent years for a variety of reasons.
“The pandemic highlighted the need for technology to support businesses to deliver excellent and effective person-centred care.
When paper-based home care providers replace paper with technology, it opens a world of efficiency that can only be positive for care providers and their service users
“And providers needed technology to communicate vital information to carers, medical, and healthcare professionals, and to relatives and advocates of vulnerable people using services.
“More recently, in an already-challenging recruitment market, technology is helping providers to monitor their recruitment and training programmes.
“Carers are using technology to relay information back to managers in real-time, thus allowing them to respond pro-actively rather than re-actively to concerns and incidents.
“This all goes a long way to reducing avoidable hospital admissions.
“Providers are using technology to run all aspects of their businesses across the board; from rostering and payroll, to care planning and auditing.”
Before joining the company, Martin was an experienced senior manager within domiciliary care; and she is using her experience on the frontline to drive improvements.
She said: “What happens with a lot of technology is that clients will have different platforms and they try to integrate them, but that usually does not work very well and is very time-consuming.
“When I was a care manager I was looking for a one-stop-shop; a system that did everything from rostering and onboarding staff, to assessments and incident reporting, providing a baseline allowing users to monitor the improvement or decline of health and social needs.
“I didn’t want various different systems that didn’t integrate.
“With CareLineLive, we provide a wrap-around platform which gives peace of mind to clients.”
And the use of technology, whether it be from a management or service delivery perspective supports risk management.
Martin said “When onboarding new clients, managers will use the CareLineLive assessment feature to provide a baseline for health, social, and emotional wellbeing.
“The data collected gives vital information for person-centred care planning, safeguarding, and risk mitigation.
“For example, a client may be using mobility equipment purchased by themselves or a family member, and this information will prompt managers to make a referral to an occupational therapist to ensure that the correct equipment is provided for the client.
“And future reviews of concerns or potential risks can be recorded within the platform and managers will be alerted when they are due.”
The ‘care circle’ feature allows relatives, advocates, and key stakeholders to have access to information relating to the care and support of individual service users.
This access is managed by clients or their advocates giving consent for the sharing of information.
The carer mobile App enables carers to manage tasks for their clients, make observations, and report concerns and incidents, thus alerting managers to issues in real-time.
Providers need technology to communicate vital information to carers, medical, and healthcare professionals, and to relatives and advocates of vulnerable people using services
The new observation feature also allows carers to monitor specific conditions; for example blood glucose and blood pressure readings, fluid and food intake, and bowel and urine monitoring.
They can also raise concerns which facilitates issues being identified early, managers being alerted in real-time, and actions being swift and effective.
And the company has partnered with Nokia to provide enterprise-grade 4G-enabled handsets with the CareLineLive Carer Companion app pre-installed.
During the height of the pandemic, the company worked with Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, which had struggled with bed blocking.
By implementing CareLineLive, it freed up 13,000 beds between April 2020 and March 2021.
In February 2022, in his speech to the Health Service Journal’s Digital Transformation Summit, the then Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, stated: “I want to see a particular focus on social care – where around 40% of providers are still grappling entirely with paper-based records. I want all social care providers to adopt a digital record for social care.”
Martin said: “Technology is absolutely the future to improving home care services.
“When paper-based home care providers replace paper with technology, it opens a world of efficiency that can only be positive for care providers and their service users.
“Good adoption of technology is key and can be a stumbling block for those who are late adopters.
“However, speaking from experience, having a great support team is essential. At CareLineLive, that human touch, and our onboarding sessions, give a great foundation for our customers in how to use our platform.”
For the future of home care, technology is going to make an important stand. Martin concludes: “The barriers to communication between services must be addressed.
“The impact on providers, carers, and clients means the continuity of care and easy transitions for clients is essential.
“Digital sharing of information will become the norm when they transfer from one service to another; NHS, pharmacies, and community health support services will all benefit from sharing digital information.
“This would impact the health and wellbeing of clients, continuity of care, avoidable hospital admissions, and better medication management.
“CareLineLive is doing this now through its care circle and we hope to see a wider rollout of technology for the healthcare industry.