Innovation and technology
Our care homes and Central Services use of a number of great technologies. Over the past few years, we’ve embarked on a digital transformation journey which has taken us from manual paper-based processes to purpose-built apps and business intelligence software. We’ve also invested in life-enhancing technology to promote dignity and independence for our residents.
Adopting technology brings many benefits across the company.
- Efficient and immediate response to incidents - technology helps us to identify, prevent and control incidents that have the potential to cause delays, serious injuries, property damage and environmental impacts. It gives our managers the tools to lead and be proactive, rather than reactive.
- More time to spend with our residents – technology helps us to perform the same tasks quicker, which gives colleagues more time to care.
- Enhanced quality of life – assistive technology enhances the lives of our residents. We’ve invested in WiFi and iPads across all of our homes, and have introduced life-enhancing technology to support care delivery.
- Reduced opportunity for human errors – processes that need human intervention are naturally open to error. Technology automates elements of many of our processes, reducing the risk of error.
- Improved data - digital process automation allows us to gather information which helps to drive our services forward and demonstrate compliance. Having access to data digitally not only saves time in manual collation, as tasks can be automated, but also improves accuracy of reporting.
Here are some of the ways that we use technology across our care homes and central services.
Life-enhancing technology in our care homes
Our care homes use technology-based products and services to enhance the lives of our residents.
DR.VR is a virtual reality distraction therapy that can support pain management and reduce stress and anxiety. It uses a headset which, when worn, transports people to a 3D computer generated environment and immerses them into a virtual ‘world’. The technology can provide a safe and therapeutic experience for adults living with a range of neuro-disabilities and mental health needs.
The team at Ribble View care home in Preston has been using virtual reality (VR) technology to support therapy sessions. Read how virtual reality is enhancing people's lives at Ribble View.
GrandCare supports independence and sociability through smart technology and non-intrusive monitoring. The technology detects movement and picks up on any breaks to atypical behaviour. If it spots a risk, the technology notifies the relevant Care Team. The sensors are connected to an interactive touch screen hub which provides visual prompts for residents to complete day-to-day tasks, such as taking medication and reviewing blood pressure.
Our Ravensdale care home in Leeds has welcomed Sarah, a robotic cat, to provide company for residents. The Home Manager shares how the cat has made a difference to resident, Val’s, life: “Val spending time with the cat really enhanced her communications and interaction with us. Val strokes her, carries her and even took her to bed with her one night - all tucked up. The therapeutic benefits for our residents, not only for people living with dementia but other complex conditions, including Huntington’s disease, are huge.”
Our digital transformation programme
Our digital transformation programme is a significant investment that enables smarter ways of working to improve the lives of our residents and colleagues.
The journey started in 2018 with a multi-million pound investment in IT infrastructure and cyber security.
Since, we’ve introduced digital apps and systems to replace many of our previously paper-based aspects of care delivery and administration, such as medication records, health and safety, care planning, quality and compliance, rotas and staffing levels.
We’ve also welcomed a state-of-the-art business intelligence platform to provide real time reporting to Home Managers and support teams. This enables greater insight and predictive insights into home-level operations, which allows us to identify risks and take action before issues occur.
Artificial intelligence and psychometric technology
We use the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and psychometric technology to improve operational and quality performance, and attract and retain the highest calibre of employees.
We’ve incorporated forensic psychometric testing into our recruitment process to identify whether recruits have the qualities needed to provide the very best care. This has made our recruitment more efficient and has improved colleague retention, cutting in half the number of people leaving within their first year.
We’ve invested in AI and data analysis to determine predictive patterns of KPIs and identify risk outcomes. The system is consistent with CQC’s risk-based monitoring approach.
Our data analysis can predict risk events before management has started looking, so they can respond before an issue occurs. This increases the quality of interventions and outcomes, and minimises points of failure. The technology also provides us with an extra level of root cause analysis that’s helping us to transform our operational and quality processes.
Key performance indicator (KPI) app to monitor and maintain quality
Our KPI app gives an overview of compliance against key targets and measures such as quality, recruitment and occupancy. This easy-to-use dashboard allows Home Managers to view live updates and alerts, and take the required actions to resolve issues and maintain compliance.
The app includes information about CQC ratings, medication audits, internal inspection results, health and safety audits, staffing levels, occupancy, recruitment, budgets and care plan audits. It breaks down key data under each topic area, by each home and over a period of time, so that we can monitor and track progress across our homes.
Signing in app and staffing dashboard across our care homes and offices
All of our homes and offices have a signing in app to monitor who’s on-site at any given time.
The app enhances fire safety practices and supports our Home Managers to review staffing levels in the home.
In 2020, we developed a staffing dashboard which uses data from the signing in tablets to show live staffing levels in each of our homes. If a home drops below its target staffing level, the Manager gets a notification. Read more about our staffing dashboard.
When people sign out of the home, the app asks them how their day has been. At the end of each day, the Home Manager gets a report from the app. This allows them to identify any concerns with colleague wellbeing, so they can address issues immediately.
Exemplar Learning Management System (ELMS) – eLearning for Exemplar Health Care colleagues
In 2020, we introduced Exemplar’s Learning Management System (ELMS), our eLearning platform. The platform provides online learning to support mandatory and statutory training, job essential training and continuing professional development (CPD).
ELMS hosts eLearning about topics such as moving and handling, infection prevention and control, information governance and safeguarding.
Colleagues who are new to care can complete the theoretical elements of the Care Certificate on ELMS as part of their induction. Between April 2020 and December 2021, ELMS has supported over 1200 new colleagues to complete The Care Certificate, despite the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The platform also hosts over 35 specialist clinical skills modules, Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor training, and information about CPD opportunities for colleagues.
This ensures that our colleagues are confident and competent to deliver high-quality care and keep up-to-date with the latest best practice. Since its introduction, ELMS has supported us to achieve over 95% compliance, company-wide, for mandatory and statutory training.
MyExemplar app to support colleague engagement
As we continue to open new homes across the country, it’s vital that keep in touch with our growing workforce.
MyExemplar is a mobile app for all Exemplar Health Care colleagues. It shares stories and important updates from across the company, and hosts our policies and procedures.
There's also a section of the app for our service users to allow them to network online with each other, ask questions and share advice, and find important information.