Choosing the right care planning
tool for your care home

When it comes to care planning tools, care home managers are certainly not short of choice. As of today, there are currently 20 CQC-accredited care planning tools to choose from.

How do you choose which is right for your care home?

Given the impact this tool can have on your home, you must make the right choice. To help you navigate the myriad of options available, the iCare Services team have put together a checklist of 12 important areas to consider when making your decision:

1. Assessment of Home Needs:

The most important activity to undertake is a thorough assessment of your care home’s unique needs, considering factors like size, resident demographics and care services provided.

2. User-Friendly and Accessible Interface:

Make sure you look for a tool with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. A system that’s easy to use and navigate will make life easier for your staff and ease the transition to a new way of working. Make sure that any device is accessible for all of your staff: can you change the size of the text, adjust the volume, make the screen brighter or high-contrast, capture speech as text; is too big and heavy, does the battery last for a whole shift?

3. Customisation Capabilities:

No two care homes are exactly alike, so make sure you look for tools that offer customisation to adapt to the specific workflows and processes of your care home. Every home has its own way of doing things; flexibility is key.

4. Integration with Existing Systems:

Ensure that your chosen tool can seamlessly integrate with other systems you already have, such as electronic health records (EHRs) or medication management systems.

5. Scalability:

Consider the scalability of the tool. Will it grow with your care home? Ensure that it can accommodate an increase in residents and expanding services. The last thing you want is to outgrow a system and to be forced to migrate to something else.

6. Compliance and Regulation:

With 20 options, and counting, to choose from that are compliant with industry regulations and standards, it shouldn’t be a problem choosing a care planning tool that complies. Double-check that your choice meets care quality requirements and regulatory guidelines.

7. Training and Support:

It is so important to choose a provider that includes comprehensive training and support for you and your staff. Evaluate the training and support options provided by the tool’s vendor. Good training and ongoing support are crucial for staff proficiency and problem-solving and need to be planned before you start.

8. Cost Considerations:

Make sure you understand the full cost structure, including upfront costs, licensing fees and any potential hidden fees. A transparent pricing model helps in budgeting effectively. You don’t want to encounter any nasty surprise invoices down the line.

9. Feedback and Reviews:

Do take the time to read reviews and seek feedback from other care homes using the tool. Real-world experiences can provide insights into the tool’s effectiveness and user satisfaction. Try to arrange a visit to another care home to see the system in operation before you buy it.

10. Data Security and Privacy:

With the importance placed on data privacy in today’s digital world, ensure that the tool prioritises data security and privacy. Compliance with data protection regulations is vital to safeguard resident and staff information.

11. Reporting and Analytics:

Look for tools that offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Data-driven insights can aid in making informed decisions for better resident care. Take time to understand the data in your care home and it can help you deliver better care.

12. Trial Period:

Whenever possible, opt for a tool that offers a trial period. This hands-on experience allows you and your staff to assess how well the tool aligns with your care home’s requirements. Don’t be afraid to reject a system that doesn’t work for you in your home at the end of trial period.

Remember, the goal is to find a care planning tool that not only meets your current needs but also aligns with your long-term goals for providing exceptional care.

You should now have all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about the best care planning tool for your care home.

However, we appreciate that this checklist could come across as quite overwhelming. If that is how you feel, don’t despair.

This is where iCare Services can help. Our knowledgeable and friendly team of care technology experts are here to remove all the hassle, time and stress of making decisions like ‘which is the right care planning tool for me?’

To find out how we can help you, call us on 023 8202 611, email enquiries@icareservcies.co.uk or you can even arrange a free discovery call via clicking the following calendly link, https://calendly.com/icare-robin-hall/30min. Speak soon!

Make sure you look for a tool with an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
A system that’s easy to use and navigate will make life easier for your staff and ease the transition to a new way of working.