Supported Living Apps

We can provide mobile apps for supported living and residential care facilities to improve communication and engagement between carers, residents and their families.

Features such as a calendar of events, a rich information section including staff profiles and appropriate contact details, plus the ability to send personalised messages and updates to families can all help to bring your community closer together.

Read more in our case study on St Elizabeth's centres below.

Digital transformation to improve communication

In mid-2018, Piota met with St Elizabeth’s, to discuss how a supported living app could help improve their communication. St Elizabeth's is a charity which manages residential care homes as well as a special needs school and college.

Communication with families in the Adult Care service had suffered after new GDPR policies stopped personal text messages, depersonalised emails and required using recorded delivery post for day-to-day communications. There was concern at the implications for efficiency, cost and meeting CQC fundamental standards. St Elizabeth’s wanted to explore whether a Piota App could improve engagement, increase feedback, and reduce complaints and paper consumption.

Quick delivery of the communication app

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 managers to send secure, personal accounts of each of their residents to their respective families. The analytics package that comes with the app, also enables staff to track how many downloads, unique users and page views there have been on a daily basis.

Improving communication for families

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”

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. 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 traditional 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."

Improving engagement has been easy!

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. 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.

 

Having thirty members of care staff can be difficult on 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. 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!"

Full technical support from Piota

Piota provide full support during the app roll out through a combination of face to face visits and telephone or e-mail support. For St Elizabeth’s, one visit happened during the free trial period to train the care managers on how to use the app securely and effectively. A second visit during the launch period helped answer questions about privacy, data security, downloading and navigating the app.

“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.”

 Get in touch

To find out how you can transform internal and external communications using a Piota app, whilst also improving administration flow and reducing workload for staff managing these services, contact Chris Moss on 07979 360260 or email cmoss@piota.co.uk