Covid lockdowns brought exponential growth in the use of collaborative tools. Whether it’s Teams, Slack or Zoom, organisations have flocked to these tools as workforces had to find ways to keep processes moving while working from home.
OK, they don’t always work perfectly and it takes a while to learn how to use them proficiently. But collaborative tools bring many benefits that will help limit travel costs and office overheads even after things return to normal.
One big question is whether collaborative tools improve efficiency or just make it possible to work under different circumstances. Another is whether they improve data security or add new risks that have to be managed.
Collaboration and Care Brokerage
These are highly relevant questions for care brokerage. Even before Covid-19 the system didn’t work well in many areas, leading to delayed transfers and high rates of unfilled care packages. As of February 2020 over 5000 people each day were needlessly occupying beds because of a delayed transfer of care.
‘People assessed as eligible for domiciliary care services in the community were finding that they were unable to get these services because of issues with the local social care market.’ (CQC – State of Adult Social Care 2018/19).
The situation isn’t down to lack of effort – brokerage teams work incredibly hard. But placing care packages into an understaffed and underfunded system is difficult. Although fixing the entire care ecosystem is a huge long-term task, the brokerage element is one part that can be improved, almost immediately, with the right tools.
Process Improvement and Digital Transformation in Care Brokerage
Frequently, collaborative tools are about communication and information sharing rather than process improvement. And if the process remains fundamentally the same – just supported by better communication tools – how much has changed?
Let’s apply this thinking to social care brokerage. The system is under enormous stress. Layering collaborative tools onto a process driven by spreadsheets and emails that providers have little time to access and respond to isn’t what’s needed. This won’t do anything to improve the situation with transfers and unfilled care packages.
If ever there were a time to reengineer the care brokerage process it’s now. Moving it all to a secure cloud-based platform like eBrokerage from UDMS has a transformational effect. No more spreadsheets, no more emails. Just an easy to use and completely secure online environment where brokers and care providers can do everything they need with minimum time or effort.
Collecting contract compliance data is also automated within the same environment. And all communications are fully end-to-end encrypted for maximum data security.
Brokerage is one part of the social care system that we know how to fix. eBrokerage from UDMS is a fully proven platform used by multiple brokerage teams. It can be set up and running in two weeks and can be procured quickly through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.