As someone who is involved in children and adult social care, you’ll understand how complex and unique each individual social care case can be. The intricate details of social care must be captured accurately in a way that’s easy to do for case officers, whether in the office or out in the field visiting recipients of your services.
Case officers and the care organization must have, in their toolkit, a system that is flexible enough to capture complex data, allow monitoring and control of cases and provide reporting detailed enough to satisfy the bureaucratic red tape required by local governments.
Social care software systems by their very nature should be able to handle common (and more niche) use cases encountered by social care organisations. By supporting the needs of the social care organization and their case officers, the social care case management system should provide a reliable, secure, controllable and scalable system that allows case officers to focus on care support and less on red tape.
One other benefit of social care software systems, is that they allow your knowledge workers to create the rules and events which guide your processes, without the need to involve Business Analysts.
SOCIAL CARE ORGANISATIONS NEED CASE DATA FLEXIBILITY
The complexity of children and adult social care scenarios means the flexibility in configuring case data capture is paramount. Care organizations must be able to record information about the contact, medication, health and wellbeing, associated medical staff, types case officer interaction and much, much more.
An example of how a care organization might use flexible features of social care software to monitor a contact’s health and wellbeing could be as follows. An extensive set of emotional and health markers are added to the system. The case officer meets with the contact and logs, in the social care software, emotional and health markers for the contact; e.g. rating the contacts levels of happiness, anxiety, etc, against predefined scales. The case worker then logs a recommendation for action, in the software, to improve the health and wellbeing of the contact.
In subsequent meetings, the Case Officer can then log levels of health and wellbeing, allowing them to track and monitor progress of the client based on recommendations, while being able to use and interpret contact’s data to provide recommendations for new courses of support where necessary.
SOCIAL CARE ORGANIZATIONS NEED CUSTOM REPORTING
With case data flexibility, must come custom complex reporting. Collecting swathes of data from cases is no good unless the level of reporting is adequate enough at least to allow case officers to analyse case data to understand the history of a contact. At an organization level, custom reporting must be flexible enough to monitor very specific trends based on the unique data collected by the Case Officer in the case notes.
As well as this, social care organization must be able to provide local governments or any other institution they’re contracting for, large amounts of information around the actions of the organization. For example, full audit trails on every single case and contact, evidence of care interactions, performance management and statistical data on social groups under the care organization; such as percentage improvement in wellbeing following a particular action over a defined period of time.
The volume of custom reports required by care organisation can run into the hundreds. Configuring these reports, enabling automation of report generation or single click reporting is imperative for the care organization to keep their head above the administrative water.
SOCIAL CARE ORGANIZATIONS NEED SYSTEM USABILITY
Ultimately, a social care software system must be usable by everyone in the care organization. Case Officers must be able to easily and efficiently use the system from anywhere. In the office or out in the field visiting contacts, they must be able to access the system, find specific cases and input required data.
Conversely, back office staff must be able to easily configure social care software in a variety of ways; custom fields for case data capture, custom case milestone events, custom reports, report generation and more. The relative ease of use for back office staff means the care organisation can rapidly adapt to the changing needs of their contacts, support initiatives and regulatory reporting requirements without the need to consult expensive contractors or maintain IT support staff.
Truly flexibly social care software systems are few and far between. Many confine their users to niche template workflows with little configurability. Instances where different workflows for different case types require subscription to separate systems is not uncommon. So, before you try social care software in your organization, talk to the supplier to understand whether the system meets your needs, and not the other way around.
Do you have any experience of using social care software in your organization? Share your experiences in the comments, or get in touch with us.