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We recently spoke to Paula Guest, Safer Staffing Implementation Lead (Community Nursing) at Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, about how they are using the Allocate eCommunity system for their community scheduling and how it’s supporting them to prioritise their patient care, safer staffing and staff wellbeing.

Read the full interview below or click here to watch the video interview.

1. Do you have a favourite feature of the Allocate eCommunity system?

My favourite feature of Allocate eCommunity is the ability to plan realistically. The system gives us the ability to clearly show our clinical visits, but also that non-patient facing activity as well. When we use the non-patient activity tiles, it gives a clear picture to the clinicians of what their day is going to look like. There’s so much that’s unplanned in district nursing, so starting off that day well planned and clear is really helpful.

The other thing that I really like is that the travel times are built in. So, if we use the system well, we don’t overload our staff. Even travel back to base at lunchtime is included, which provides a very real picture of how the day is planned.

Operationally, one of the benefits I really like is the easy reporting. There are many different reports available, including open treatments, active referrals, deferred care and those reports contain lots of information. The ability to filter them makes them really useful and often those reports underpin some of the other systems we use in the Trust.

2. What are the key benefits your clinical team have experienced from Allocate eCommunity?

Some of the key benefits for our clinical team relate to that very realistic work planning, in terms of having a clear interface on that mobile app that shows the clinicians exactly what’s outlined for them for the day has a really positive impact on their wellbeing.

The other aspect that they really appreciate is the ability to clearly see when they’ve got training or supervision. By using the non-patient activity tiles for blocked out times, it’s clear for them to see. So, we’ve actually found that attendance at those events has increased as well, as it’s clearly shown on their plan.

For those of our staff that are coordinators and they’re actually planning and allocating the work, they find that it’s a relatively simple process and they’re glad of the safety aspect of it. With the clinician skills already set as parameters in the Allocate Optima system, they know that if they’re allocating a visit to a particular clinician, they are doing so safely because that clinician will have the correct skills. Those safety parameters of the system are really reassuring.

3. How has the integration between Allocate eCommunity and your Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system benefitted your patients?

The integration with Rio (our EPR system) has really benefitted our patients as well. We know it’s a reality of modern day community nursing that we have to defer some elements of care or even whole visits. Allocate eCommunity allows us to do that safely and we can do that easily on the planning screen. Operationally, the deferred care reports, which show our rescheduled and cancelled visits is incredibly useful in reviewing the amount of deferred care we have, enabling us to monitor and report on it. So, that’s particularly helpful in terms of patient safety.

Another benefit of Allocate eCommunity for our patients revolves around the ability to see our whole caseload at any one time. We use the open treatments report to clearly show the patient details and the frequency of the activity, which we can then use to underpin our regular caseload reviews. So, it really gives us a lot of useful information in one report.

In terms of efficiency it’s helpful for us, but from the patient point of view, Allocate eCommunity allows us to see our whole caseload review, our quality metrics and ensure that our visiting schedules and the activities we are providing are appropriate for each patient.

4. What would you say to anyone thinking of using Allocate eCommunity for their community care needs?

My advice for anyone thinking of using Allocate eCommunity would be to absolutely use is to its full functionality, rather than just using it for clinical visits. Use it for all other aspects of the clinician’s work, such as supervision training. Put those in so you get a realistic picture. That’s the only way we can know that we’re safely allocating work to our clinicians.

Allocate eCommunity lends itself to safer staffing because of the positive aspects of that well planned day on staff wellbeing. I can’t talk about safer staffing without talking about Allocate eCommunity. The system gives us the assurance that we are safely allocating work to all our staff. It gives us assurance that we’re not overloading them. It gives us assurance that each visit is matched to the clinician’s abilities in terms of their skills. The whole system absolutely supports safer staffing.

The other thing I would say to anyone considering using Allocate eCommunity is don’t be afraid to talk to the team at RLDatix. They’ve been really receptive to our feedback and the team have visited our base and looked at the way that we use the system on a daily basis.

Ready to learn more?

Chat to us about how we can support your community scheduling needs? Get in touch today.

Watch the full video interview with Paula from Midlands Partnership

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