Care community embraces tech to protect staff from COVID-19
A Cambridgeshire care community has turned to new and innovative technologies to enhance its internal operations, as it takes bold steps to reinforce and enhance its commitment to staff wellbeing during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Askham Village Community, a specialist rehabilitation and care group near Doddington, has implemented new technology across its five homes to strengthen team work and solidarity amongst staff during the COVID-19 crisis - and it plans to outline the benefits of doing so to other care providers during a live webinar on Friday 15th May.
The technology that’s been introduced includes an instant messaging platform called Yapster, which improves communication through immediate support and advice for staff, as well as a digital HR rota system, Alpaka, which serves to improve the efficiency of staffing levels.
Yapster has been designed specifically for deskless organisations to communicate across entire workforces (no matter their size) instantly via a safe and secure messaging system. With swift communication playing an essential part in combatting COVID-19 within the care sector, the platform has been key in maintaining the safety of both residents and staff at Askham.
The collaboration came about through a display of generosity and innovation from Alpaka, which saw the team approach Askham in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and offer the Yapster service as an integrated messaging module, with Alpaka absorbing Yapster’s costs; allowing the community to embrace the benefits of the platform in a time of need.
Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, Director at Askham Village Community, is set to discuss how Yapster’s platform has helped during the crisis via a webinar to be held on Friday 15th May at 11.30am. Those who are interested in listening to the webinar can register here.
Commenting, Nasser said: “It’s reported that up to 80% of care workers don’t have access to an official work email address, with many healthcare employees having information cascaded down to them from management or through posters and flyers which need to be written and printed off; both long processes. Yapster though, which all staff have access to, has revolutionised communication within our community.”
For Askham, the private messaging platform enables staff to communicate swiftly and effectively even when working remotely. Its safeguarding elements have also allowed the team to share messages about individual patients without the need to worry about Data Protection issues, as it’s self-contained and secure. Furthermore, it allows everyone to communicate with each other, helping to form an open-door policy for management, even if they’re not on site. This in turn, allows Askham to provide support for staff 24/7.
As well as providing much-needed ease of communication during the pandemic, Yapster has also served to weave in an element of fun and light relief amongst staff, against their day-to-day challenges. For instance, images and videos of staff and residents getting involved in the weekly applause for the NHS and carers can easily be shared and circulated - as well as other positive initiatives or activities taking place in the various homes.
Rob Liddiard, CEO of Yapster, who will also be participating in the webinar said: “We are immensely proud to be working for Aliyyah and the Askham team at this critical time for the care industry. Any organisation looking to be more responsive or well-led ahead of future CQC key lines of enquiry should pay Askham a visit on the other side of lockdown - they’re quickly setting a new standard for digital transformation and social leadership in the sector.”
Joining Aliyyah and Rob will be Phill Rodgers, the Founder of Alpaka, the digital HR rota platform that has also been rolled out across the community. Courtesy of Alpaka, the care group was able to swiftly implement Yapster’s software, thanks to the ease of integration between the two systems, helping to provide immediate improvements to organisation and communication.
Alpaka’s clocking in and out system in particular, has enabled Askham’s care home managers to support staffing levels easily and clearly, whilst helping to minimise the stress and the time consumption involved in doing so. Staff can also view shifts at a glance on their phones, helping with transparency.
With staff having to self-isolate in the event of displaying any signs of COVID-19 symptoms, this has been invaluable ensuring there are no gaps in staffing.