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Digital Social Care 30th April 2024

Open Your Doors with e-Reception Book

By Lorcán Murray

Connection is at the heart of care. We are defined by the bonds that link us to our communities. Bonds that came under intense stress throughout covid. A stress that is slowly easing as we work to rebuild our connections. A new fundamental standard has been established protecting the rights of residents to visitors and accompaniment. The new amendment in question builds upon the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and is a seen as a positive development for the sector by many providers.  

However, it will raise challenges around safeguarding and record keeping for residential care providers. Visitors are fantastic, but all activity in a care home needs to be monitored to some extent, and a sudden influx of guests and requests can swamp any team. Fortunately, there is technology available that can help you manage, monitor and promote connections in your community. 

Regulation 9a

In effect, the new regulation ensures: 

  • People staying in a care home, hospital or hospice can receive visits from people they want to see. 
  • People living in a care home are not discouraged from taking visits outside the home. 
  • People attending appointments in a hospital or hospice, that do not require an overnight stay, can be accompanied by a family member, friend or advocate if they want someone with them. 

Crucially, this right is now a fundamental standard for the Care Quality Commission. Which means that they can include it in their inspection framework. This is a welcome development for families and care rights activists. Indeed, the opportunity to promote connections is a welcome development for everyone in care. Though care providers need to ensure that this new regulation is implemented safely and securely. 

The Safeguarding Challenge

Care homes welcoming more visitors will increase the strength of connections in their communities. It will also increase the need for protections for their residents. Policies and procedures are essential to safeguarding the people who draw upon their support. These policies and procedures will need to be consented by and applied to all visitors. Providers ensure the safety of their residents by adhering to this process. 

These are challenges that are made more complex when using a paper-based registration system. Visitors sign in and out in one book, which raises privacy concerns by publicly displaying visitor’s personal information. A book that quickly becomes a litany of GDPR pitfalls and unutilised data.

A Secure e-Reception

e-Reception Book offers a safe, secure and simple solution to these challenges. The iPad based system logs all visitors and contractors. A digital login provides a secure and positive experience upon entry, one that guarantees alignment with the relevant regional and personal standards of your service. You can fully brand your login to provide a modern and welcoming first impression of your home to start all new relationships off on the right foot! 

Staff can also sign in through the system. Set up access control fobs or a smartphone applications so your team can easily check in and out of their shifts. This has the added benefit of giving your managers a fully up to date staff attendance record. One that can be easily evidenced to regulators as part of the new single assessment framework. 

Simple and Effective

The new regulation is widely welcomed by the social care community because it promotes more visitors to care homes. E-Reception Book not only supports and simplifies this process, but it can also be used to encourage it. With e-Reception Book it is possible to register guests in advance of them arriving at your care home. This allows for a more seamless and efficient check-in experience, as all their information will be prepopulated when they arrive.  

Additionally, you have the option to send pre-registered guests an invitation email in your branding, containing information on who they will be meeting, details on the time and date of the meeting, directions and a QR code for scanning upon arrival. You can even set up notifications so that your carers are made aware of when a visitor arrives at the home. 

A Treasure Trove of Data

Enhance your care by utilising the abundance of data at your fingertips. The e-Reception Book dashboard gives you a comprehensive overview of visitor and staff check-in history. It also provides an overview of your visitor history, fire list and site settings. It allows you to export detailed reports, based on your visitor categories. A useful tool for tracking, analysing and evidencing your visitor information. For multi home providers there is also a global dashboard that enables you manage a centralised staff check-in system while still allowing for customisation so you can set up site-specific requirements and visitor experiences as desired. 

The e-Reception Book contains a suite of further features for care homes. Up to date fire evacuation lists, document signing immediately saved to your database, a comprehensive staff companion app to keep them informed and feedback capture when checking out of the care home. All of which is manageable, recordable and evidencable from one simple platform. With roles and permissions to make sure that you only give access to this information to who you want, and not just anyone able to pick up the book. 

Promote Personal Connections

Digitisation makes things simpler by design. This is an easier bridge to build when dealing with technical processes. When dealing with something as fundamentally human as promoting personal connections between residents and visitors there is an understandable scepticism. With digitisation the gap between intention and application can be significant when improperly pursued. A gap we’ve seen appear with new social care regulations as well. Learn how you can bridge this gap and promote connections with e-Reception Book.    

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