How Can Care Homes Protect Themselves Post Pandemic?

Cristian Newman

It’s no secret that care homes have been badly affected and hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Since April 2020, when the Office for National Statistics reported 1,000 care home deaths from coronavirus in the previous five days, the government has been heavily criticised for its handling of care home staff and patients.

Since then, reports of COVID-19 spreading through homes, lack of beds in hospitals and the struggle to get safe PPE has all been concerns.

In many cases, care homes now have more acutely ill residents than ever before, residents who should be in a hospital, being cared for by doctors, and access to end-of-life care, oxygen, palliative drugs and more.

So what can Care Homes do differently to protect themselves?

Let’s start this by saying in no way are we suggesting that the spread of the virus has had anything to do with key workers in care homes, who bravely care for positive patients at risk to their health.

On a process level alone, the staffing issues, health and safety changes, and vast pressure has been unprecedented in modern history. So how could anything help stop this?

Technology. Software is organised in a trackable way and usually 99.999% accurate, therefore taking away some human error risks.

How can a Workforce Management system help?

Work Rotas

For starters, let’s think about the workforce. If you have residents who are contagious or high risk, as well as workers with high-risk family’s members, this needs to be considered.

Scheduling teams or shifts that never cross could help minimise the risk. Putting those more venerable in wards or rooms where there is less spread could also help keep more employees in the workforce.

For illness, absence or lateness, a rota of part-time or available carers that can slot into your schedule, without ever mixing with anyone on previous/alternative shifts.

It might seem like a momentous task but think of it as a relay race. If the first part of your team cannot finish the race, the second half takes the baton.

Our scheduling functionality can also help you see who is out, on holiday or unviable (due to certification requirements) in the click of a button.

Temperature reading

Trying to eliminate the spread of any illness, before it enters your care home is another vital key to improvement.

With a biometric facial temperature scanner, your employees will be able to check their temperature as they clock in for work.

If their temperature is above the set limit, they will not be able to clock and will be flagged as a risk to management.

Timesheets and data

Another tool at your disposal is timesheets. Yes, rotas will show you who worked on a specific day, but timesheets can show you their exact hours.

For example, if a carer tests positive and alerts the management, they will see with exact certainty which employees came into contact with them during their previous working days.

As our customer – Treasure Homes – also states
With WFM you can set up alerts which draw attention to irregularities, late clockings and expiries such as licenses.

We’ve been impressed by the adaptability of the product. We have a large number of shift patterns and pay rates, and the system has been able to cope with all of these.

WFM by Chronologic also offers a host of other tools that can help optimise a care homes workforce and help keep employees safe. To find out more, click here.