Digital Transformation at St Elizabeth’s
Improving Communication For Families At A Residential Care Home
St Elizabeth’s, in Hertfordshire, manages residential care homes with nursing for people with epilepsy and other complex needs as well as a special needs school and college.
Communication with families in the Adult Care service became more difficult after new GDPR policies stopped personal text messages, de-personalised emails, and required using recorded delivery post for day-to-day communications.
St Elizabeth’s adopted Piota’s system to improve engagement, increase feedback, and reduce complaints and paper consumption.
Customised Apps Delivered Quickly
Within a few days, Piota delivered customised apps for each of St Elizabeth’s twelve residential bungalows and Day Opportunities Centre
After the initial free trial and testing it was clear to St Elizabeth’s that the apps made it easy for the care manager in charge of each residential house to send secure, personal accounts of each of their residents to their respective families. The analytics package that comes with the app enables staff to track how many downloads, unique users and views there have been on a daily basis.
The families enthusiastically welcomed receiving richer daily updates in real-time alerted by push notifications. One parent said, “The app provides updates about my son. As he can’t communicate to me, it’s so nice to hear what he has been up to and how he is learning and achieving” and another commented “Just to say thank you for this amazing app. Our Son lives at St Elizabeth’s and we get regular updates, photos. It’s great, we feel we are so connected. Brilliant! Thanks!”
We supported the app rollout by visiting St Elizabeth’s on two occasions, firstly during the free trial to train the care managers how to use the app securely and effectively, and secondly during the launch to families to help answer their questions about privacy, data security, downloading and navigating the app, etc. In addition, our support team has provided training and assistance to care managers over the phone whenever needed.
Senior management feedback about the apps has been overwhelmingly positive. The Assistant Director made these comments:
“Improving engagement through the apps has been the easiest part, as these families are desperate to receive valuable information specific to their son or daughter. Each app has a news section that has a variety of content to look through such as video and pictures. The information section hosts a rich resource of content such as uploaded PDF’s, staff pictures and profiles and frequently asked questions. The events section is so useful and the contact information is extremely handy. The alerts section provides instant updates and reminders. All trip permissions can be done digitally in the forms section and the surveys are a game-changer especially as the CQC requires an annual survey with family, which in the past through traditional methods had been tough.”
Providing families with real-time photos of trampolining or horse rides on an adventure is something they might never normally see
— Assistant Director
St. Elizabeth's Centre Care Home
Real-time Communication For Families
“Having thirty members of care staff can be difficult for families and the residents due to the intimate nature of the service and their medical conditions. Something as simple as having an up to date ‘who’s who’ in the information section provides so much reassurance as it’s easy to remember who it is that they have been speaking with over the phone, which in this industry is actually so important and goes a long way to help reduce complaints.”
“Providing families with real-time photos of trampolining or horse rides on an adventure is something they might never normally see. It’s not someone telling them over the phone, it’s seeing the evidence, which is priceless!”
“Piota’s support has been outstanding; the app Content Management System (CMS) is easy to manage and very user-friendly and each individual training session was tailored to meet the skill level of the administrator. Thank you so much Piota!”
Families have commented how the instant updates on the app relieve anxiety about being able to monitor how their family member is getting on day to day, allowing them to focus on positive engagement when catching up in person.
One parent wrote, “Since using the St Elizabeth’s app I have found the communications I receive about my son and his activities and those on his unit to be much deeper and more informative than previously. It is a great joy to get these in real-time along with the many photos that often don’t accompany the reports. Being able to easily communicate with staff is a great benefit too. I also appreciate that the diary includes events particular to my son enabling me to have a greater understanding of what is going on with his care on a day to day basis.”
Since using the St Elizabeth’s app I have found the communications I receive about my son and his activities and those on his unit to be much deeper and more informative than previously.