Home Care Staff & Clients to Benefit from New App
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Published Wednesday, July 26, 2023
The WRHA, in partnership with Victoria Hospital Foundation, is announcing a new initiative for Home Care staff aimed at improving client care and efficiencies. Following staff feedback during engagement sessions, the Procura AlayaCare Mobile App will be installed on smartphones provided to staff and will give employees the tools they need to provide the highest quality care by allowing real-time access to client schedules, increasing safety, and enhancing communication.
The Victoria Hospital Foundation is providing $500,000 over two years to support the start-up costs of this implementation, with the total one-time costs estimated at $2.1 million in the Winnipeg Region. "We truly believe this mobile app will help remove barriers to increased connected care and that's why we are proud to offer our support," said Nicole Chammartin, Chief Executive Officer of Victoria Hospital Foundation.
The Procura AlayaCare Mobile App is a well-known, successful software platform used in Home Care delivery systems across North America. Many recognized benefits of the app include:
- immediate online access to schedules including real-time changes, updates or
- automated mileage tracking which identifies the best route to client homes
- improved communication with staff via built-in secure messaging
- improved safety for staff working alone as a result of checking-in and out when arriving
and leaving a client's home
- an overall reduction in paperwork
The WRHA has the largest home care workforce in the province with more than 1600 staff members delivering approximately 12,000 to 14,000 visits per day in the region. "This app will also offer an improved ability for staff to accept available shifts, and will improve upon the number of cancelled visits thanks to better scheduling," said Luba Bereza, Director, WRHA Centralized Home Care Operations. It's estimated that by implementing Procura Mobile, the hours spent per day on administrative work will be reduced from 4.5 hours to 30 minutes, allowing scheduling staff to concentrate fully on scheduling of client services.
Employees will be supported in hands-on scenario-based training before the app is launched. The rollout of the app is being done is phases and is expected to take 9-12 months to complete. This approach will allow leadership to assess and address any potential issues before moving to the next group.
The WRHA continues to focus on recruitment, training and retention of Home Care workers in the region to address the vacancy rate and improve staffing levels in the long term. While that work is being done, the goal is to make the best use of the resources we have by improving the work environment and service delivery. "We recognize how hard our home care staff work every day to provide safe client care, and adopting this app will only improve upon their working conditions and efficiency of their time," said Bereza.
The Victoria Hospital Foundation is also providing funding support for Victoria Lifeline, the industry leading fall detection and medical alert technology. It will be offered at no cost to clients deemed at high risk of falls in River Heights/Fort Garry and Seven Oaks/Inkster areas, for up to one year. Once the introductory period is over, Victoria Lifeline will work with clients to find the best long-term option for their care needs, including long-term subsidy opportunities. "Increasing home care capacity and reducing falls risk has a positive impact on our hospitals, such as the Victoria Hospital, and supports people in transitioning successfully from hospital to home, while reducing the overall need for hospital visits," said Chammartin.
Falls among older adults continue to be a serious public health issue leading to emergency department visits, hospitalizations, loss of quality of life and independence and death. In 2022, Victoria Lifeline responded to over 6000 help-needed calls for clients. Lifeline is a key factor for successful care transitions from hospital to home. “Victoria Lifeline can be the difference between independent living and institutional care for people who are at risk for falls or hospital readmission, and this funding will help people live safely in their own homes while supporting their overall health and well-being,” said Sandra Duma, Executive Director of Victoria Lifeline.
Its connected care model allows people to live their lives with as much independence as possible and can provide a connection when caregivers are not present.