Time To Care About Data

Time To Care About Data

Written by Lesley McKee, Bellrock Technology.

UK hospitals are facing a bed-blocking crisis. Greater levels of care-at-home would help to ease this. But a considerable barrier to achieving this is a lack of people willing to be home carers. The most significant reason for this is the low rates of pay on offer in the sector. 

Time For You Care (TfY Care) is an innovative care-at-home provider on a mission to change this. Its services range from personal care and medication assistance to companionship and home help. It is at the forefront of excellence in care and brings a unique philosophy to the sector. 

TfY Care believes that a well supported team of care practitioners is the key to a high quality service. It backs this up by offering carers an industry-leading remuneration package and supports staff retention in a notoriously challenging industry.

It has achieved this by introducing technology to create a highly efficient business. Savings made have been passed directly to carers at no extra cost to customers. This has helped TfY Care attract more practitioners and deliver more care to those in need. 

In 2020, TfY Care engaged Bellrock Technology as a specialist data partner. The long-term collaboration has transformed how TfY Care plans and delivers patient care. 

Working together, Bellrock Technology has helped to identify and implement new data-driven solutions. It has assisted in rolling these out and ensuring they are successfully adopted. The partnership has step-changed TfY Care’s performance and supported its regulatory requirements. And it continues to inform and direct future plans for innovation. 

Here are just three of the advances made by TfY Care through its work with Bellrock Technology. 

1.     Real-time tracking of care provision

TfY Care is a regulated healthcare provider. As such, it must fulfil all appointments as planned and attend them on time. Missed or delayed appointments can put patients’ health at risk. This is particularly true of those requiring time-sensitive medications.

An early challenge faced by TfY Care was to manage and monitor these appointments. Back-office staff had to make contact with each carer individually, which was extremely resource-intensive and time-consuming. It was also very difficult to identify situations when care provision was at risk, which hampered the company’s ability to react accordingly.

Bellrock Technology helped TfY Care to use real-time data to identify when care workers were delayed and likely to arrive late at or to miss appointments. This enabled the control room team to be proactive in responding to reallocate resource. By detecting problems early, TfY Care is now able to respond instantly to ensure it meets its regulatory demands for patient safety.

The system developed pulls data from various sources, including carer check-in times, visit cancellations, missed visits and patient notes. In addition to real-time monitoring, it is providing TfY Care with the opportunity for more detailed analysis on root cause issues. These insights are helping the company to enhance its overall level of service, which has been recognised by the Care Inspectorate, its regulatory body.

2. Intelligent route planning

Like a logistics company, TfY Care’s ability to plan optimal routes is key to maximising its efficiency and reducing costs. Its challenge is to maximise the care it provides by reducing travel ‘downtime’ between appointments. In the past, TfY Care calculated its routes manually, using a time-consuming and inefficient paper system. But the company believed an opportunity existed to automate this using its experience and data.

Bellrock Technology has helped TfY Care develop intelligent route planning for its carers. This determines the shortest routes between appointments, including how they can be more efficiently ordered, keeping travel time to a minimum.

This not only enhances the level and amount of care provided but also increases the earning potential of the company and its carers. Carers’ daily runs have been reduced in time by 90 minutes on average, providing an immediate opportunity to take on new work and boost annual revenues by 15%. This, in itself, would represent a 17x year-on-year return on investment.

In addition, smarter route planning is allowing more care to be delivered without the use of vehicles. This is further reducing costs but also lessening TfY Care’s carbon footprint as a business.

3. Intelligent bid support

Patient care is managed by local councils, which can release new packages of care requirements on a daily basis. As a small team, TfY Care faces challenges in responding to these opportunities for new business in a timely fashion. Bids for new work must consider existing carers schedules, routes, travel times, resource constraints on the business and costs. But they must also be supplied quickly in order to be considered.

Bellrock Technology has helped TfY Care to rollout intelligent bid support for its back-office teams. This combines information on available care packages with data on the company’s existing care routes. It automatically identifies opportunities to bid for new work that could be added to existing routes or serviced by those nearby.

Coupled with intelligent route planning, intelligent bid support has slashed the time and cost of planning new care runs by 95%. It is helping TfY Care to immediately identify clusters of available care packages that could easily form new runs. This is providing a competitive edge when bidding as the team can now supply quick and accurately costed responses. TfY Care achieved a 35% expansion in the care runs it supplies within the first six months of introducing this intelligent decision support.

The future

As acknowledged by the Care Commission, TfY Care is now a pioneering force in the care-at-home sector. On working with Bellrock Technology, it’s Chief Executive, Melissa Readman, said:

“You would not believe the difference Bellrock Technology has made to us. They have put us at the cutting edge of our industry, carving through the care crisis and improving the earning potential of carers. If you want to drive greater value, you should look to work with Bellrock Technology”.

TfY Care has embraced the opportunity to become data-driven and now has a significant competitive edge within the care sector. It is running a vastly more efficient business, outperforming its competition and giving itself greater opportunities for growth.

But its ideas do not stop there. The company’s roadmap of innovation includes plans for:

  • Visit analysis to identify key pain points that are hindering care provision
  • Analysis of care provision to standardise and bring greater efficiencies to care runs, and
  • Understanding how greater sustainability and resilience can be brought to care runs by better managing localised resources.

Reflecting on its future plans, Melissa Readman reflected:

“Really, we’re just getting started. And in Bellrock Technology we know we have a long-term partner that will continue to support us on the journey.”

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