In our latest feature, we speak with Julie O’Connor, Head of Product Management, and Julie Tyas, Senior Business Application Consultant at Servelec, to explore some of their digital programmes supporting social care services.
What technology have you implemented in the social care space over the past 6 months?
Julie O’Connor: Like many, we have had a busy six months focusing on a range of products to help social work teams continue their vital work with people through this pandemic. We’ve rolled out our Mosaic Portal solution which allows citizens and third-party professionals to be able to interact with local authorities and make requests. As more people have been forced to work from home, and with the way people interact with councils changing, we’ve seen more local authorities look to implement this solution, including Herefordshire Council and Derbyshire County Council.
We’ve also been working with local authorities to develop mobile solutions; we’ve created a mobile app that works both on and offline, Mosaic Mobilise, which takes a subsection of our social care case management solution and makes that information available on a mobile device.
The beauty of it working offline is that it is still available to social workers where there is no internet connection. Any information they add is automatically synced back into Mosaic once there is an internet connection, so social workers don’t need to return to the office for Mobilise to update Mosaic.
We’ve seen more customers taking up our Provider Portal solution, which helps local authorities manage their provider community more effectively. It allows providers to log on and provide evidence of the care they have delivered, so that local authorities can reconcile payments and process invoices more efficiently.
Julie Tyas: We have also implemented shared care records – a single platform that feeds into the view of a multitude of health and care organisations. Enabling social care workers and clinicians to retrieve information digitally in this way has been key, particularly in this period of COVID-19, when sharing information between health and social care has been vital. We’ve also had a heavy focus on self-serve and the ability for people to do things for themselves.
Using our Mosaic Portal, people can find out information and make contact directly with social care services online without them needing to visit a council office directly or trying to access busy phone lines. This information is submitted directly into Mosaic so it is available for social care staff to prioritise in real time.
What have been the challenges that you’ve faced in implementing the above technologies?
Julie O’Connor: The first challenge has been physically gaining access to people, so spending time with users in person; we would usually spend ‘a day in the life’ of a mobile user to set up and optimise the solution for the users. Our customers provide the frontline services that we have all relied on during this pandemic, so understandably their time has been in short supply.
We’ve still managed to run customer focused sessions, requirement gathering sessions, and have engaged with social care workers remotely. Working this way has at times been more efficient.
Julie Tyas: The change in government policy has been a challenge for us. We were implementing the Assessment Discharge Withdrawal (ADW) solution with a couple of councils, but suddenly COVID-19 hit and the discharge landscape changed from an ADW model to a Discharge to Assess model. Councils have really had to rethink how they manage the discharge process and so we’ve had to rethink too. We’re working with customers now to adapt the ADW solution to a Discharge to Assess model.
What are you most proud of through this?
Julie O’Connor: The fact that we’ve been able to respond quickly despite the world changing overnight back in March. We’ve managed to respond to a change in need very quickly; policy changed overnight, practice changed overnight, and we’ve managed to adapt to these issues efficiently in order to help our customers react and change.
Despite the challenges of working solely remotely, we’ve been able to identify the solutions that will help our customers deliver better care in the most challenging of times. We’ve helped make the lives of social workers easier and safer through mobile solutions, as they’ve continued to do incredible work with the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Julie Tyas: We’re proud of our contribution towards putting people at the centre of care through our digital solutions. When social workers and clinicians have the right tools to access and share information when needed, they can make decisions which will ultimately lead to better outcomes for those in their care.
What’s coming up for Servelec over the next 12 months?
Julie O’Connor: The key focus for us is adding more value to our products for our customers; our Mosaic social care case management solution is a well-established and well-respected product. We continue to look at how we can add value to Mosaic through a range of mobile apps and integrations with partners. We’re in the process of creating an integrated reablement solution for local authorities, so that they can deliver that service in a much more automated way. We’re also going to be working with partners who offer everything from assistive technology to online financial assessments.
Julie Tyas: The end-to-end reablement process is app-based and will help the social worker doing the assessment, the reablement carer going out and delivering that care, and so on, and that’s really exciting.
Julie O’Connor:  The other solution we’re moving forward with is Dynamic Purchasing. This allows packages of care to be published to the provider community for them to respond and bid for the work. The local authority can assess which supplier is most appropriate and cost-effective, before awarding the work.
We’re always looking at how we can improve the user experience of our products, where the key objective is to try and make it simple and easy to retrieve information.
We’ll continue to lead the conversation on interoperability next year. Our interoperability platform Conexes enables not only our own products, but also third-party applications to integrate. We will be actively looking at partnering with third parties; at its core, our solution is a case management solution, and we want to adopt a best-of-breed approach with third parties who will enhance what we already do.
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