Wherever you look in Social Care, it’s not hard to spot inefficiency. The sector has quite a few quirks like, for instance, a patchwork approach to training and development for carers.
As the CEO of Care England, Professor Martin Green, noted in a recent column for Care Talk, Social Care lacks “a clear skills and competency framework backed by portable qualifications so that when people invest in training and development, it is recognised across the entire sector rather than just one employer”.
It’s worth considering Professor Green’s point more broadly. What he is pointing at is inefficiency in Social Care not only affects training and development. It’s an operational problem, too.
Martin Green will feature on Soldo’s webinar ‘Moving forward, fast: How care finance teams can use tech to slash admin in Social Care’ (in association with Care Talk). Sign up here >
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the following four topics:
Admin in Social Care is out of control. So how to fix this problem? Well, Social Care already has an answer. Just look at the number of user-facing innovations already in use. Like AVERio, for example, provides fall detection software that monitors the health and wellbeing of vulnerable service users.
Instead of the wearable sensors commonly used in fall detection devices, it uses radar technology. Making it less invasive for service users. It’s a wonderful example of how technology is changing the way we deliver social care.
While these user-facing innovations are exciting, you shouldn’t overlook potential innovation closer to home. Technology improves efficiency in day-to-day operations, too.
Some of the areas that are perhaps most affected by admin are expenses, spend management and reimbursement. By cutting the admin in these areas (and the time spent on them), you’ll boost employee morale.
You’ll also improve service user satisfaction. When your carers have more time, free from expenses or worrying about paying out of pocket, their happiness will improve. And happier carers will provide better care.
At present, these processes are manual in social care. Employees spend their own money which, given the cost-of-living crisis, is already tricky. Next, they have to submit claims for reimbursement through a mix of paper receipts and manual reconciliation. Finally, the money is repaid.
But this takes hours (sometimes days) for finance teams to do. And time is money, as the saying goes. An alternative approach is to use company cards in tandem with an expense management platform.
The concept of company cards may be familiar to you. But this familiar concept takes on a whole new dimension when used with an expense management platform. The platform element sounds techy – but, in simple terms, it’s just a place to centrally manage spending and expenses.
You issue employees with prepaid cards – these can be plastic, virtual or temporary – and they use the card to buy a product or a service. The user snaps a photo of the receipt and submits it to the platform for approval.
For the finance team, approval happens within the software. As soon the receipt is uploaded, it can be put in the bin. No more chasing or storing stacks of paper. Once approval happens, the transaction is automatically reconciled if the platform is linked with your accounting software.
That’s just a simple overview. A leading platform like Soldo’s, for example, can do much more. Like monitoring and reporting out-of-policy spending, setting spend limits and creating ring-fenced pots of money for specific business units (to name just a few!).
All of these features save you time and, thanks to a Total Economic Impact™ study conducted by Forrester for Soldo, we can put a monetary figure on this efficiency saving. Forrester found that our expense management platform cut the time spent on submitting expense claims in half.
These time savings amounted to more than £62,000 over three years.
Some of the inefficiency in Social Care may take years to fix. And, honestly, lies beyond your control. Other drivers of inefficiency though, are very much yours to fix. As we’ve pointed out with expenses and reimbursement.
More generally, you need to ruthlessly slash admin in Social Care. Doing so allows employees – both finance and non-finance – to focus on core tasks. That’s more time and more care. And for a sector under pressure, every minute counts.