Person Centred Software: Implementing the About Me standard to enable personalised care in more than 3,000 locations

Person Centred Software provide a digital care record and evidence of care solution to approximately 3,000 care locations across the UK and Australia. The organisation’s customer base constitutes a variety of care settings supporting older people, those living with dementia and those with nursing needs, as well as services supporting younger people with learning requirements.

The organisation has developed a feature called Who I Am; a tool that provides carers with the information they need to determine how best to support the individual. The tool is mobile and eradicates the need for those administering care to repeatedly return to computer terminals to gather information on individuals they are supporting. In implementing the PRSB’s About Me standard, Person Centred Software’s CEO, Andrew Coles, and his team wanted to enhance the product further.

“People are at the heart of everything we do, from the people receiving care to the people providing care,” explained Coles. “All will have different encounters with different healthcare professionals throughout their life, and one of the key aims of the About Me standard is to improve these journeys and ensure a continuity of care. We are continually evolving and improving the solutions we offer, and there are many things we could do, but the About Me standard matched the philosophy of our business 100% and so implementation was a no-brainer.”

In embarking on a programme of change, it was important for Person Centred Software to consider other stakeholders likely to be impacted. Those using the tool were prioritised in this regard, and Coles’ team wanted to ensure implementation of the standard made a difference in improving the lives of end users.

“How do we take tens of thousands of users on a journey without having to retrain them? Our users demand that we meet their evolving needs, but any change management processes need to take place with limited disruption. This was one of our major challenges, as it would be for any software supplier.”

“Meanwhile, it’s important for us to deliver against the promises and commitments we have made to be part of the NHS assured supplier list for digital care records. But we knew that we would be able to achieve widespread coverage and use of the About Me standard, and we knew it would make a big difference.”

Person Centred Software had already made great progress in the development of the Who I Am tool prior to implementation of About Me, and the organisation found itself already conforming to many elements of the standard. The software was built in such a way that allowed for iterative future development and this was helpful in making changes quickly and efficiently. But the conformance process helped Coles and his team ensure the tool was delivered in a way that proved more impactful for the end-user. It flagged changes that took little more than four weeks to implement.

The conformance process with PRSB was supportive. It was helpful and made sense, and it was clear that implementing a standard shouldn’t be done purely from a data perspective. Instead, it should be viewed as the means to provide a tool that can be used and which delivers best practice.”

Andrew Coles on the About Me standard conformance process.

Our role is to understand how technology and software works alongside people. This shone through in the conformance process and helped us realise the importance of co-designing and engaging with end-users. You could really see how About Me integrates and is not just functioning in isolation. It’s a living and breathing tool that adapts and should be used and updated daily as opposed to set and forget.”

With the Who I Am feature hosted as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, Person Centred Software are able to deploy updates to all users instantly and seamlessly. “We were able to achieve widespread adoption of the standard by making the required changes fit the solution in an intuitive way, working alongside regular day-to-day working practices.”

The About Me standard has benefitted Person Centred Software by bringing person-centred care to the forefront of conversation. Since launch of the Who I Am tool in 2019, more than 11,000 About Me profiles have been created.

“Whenever providers are considering which solution best fits their business needs, it’s common for the care team operating on the front line to be considered first and foremost. Like Person Centred Software, those making the decision tend to focus primarily on the person themselves. Implementation of the About Me standard has helped demonstrate our commitment to the individual and this really resonates with customers, giving us an edge over the competition.

“Our customers have benefitted from our implementation of the standard as it has improved the lives of both those receiving and delivering care. It has bred confidence in what individuals require within their care programmes.”

Case Study: Berhard Baron Cottages

Implementing mobile care monitoring has helped carers at Bernhard Baron Cottages provide support quickly and effectively to prevent situations from escalating, and resulting in a less stressful experience for all.

“The Who I Am feature in Mobile Care Monitoring helps us to support our residents. We have a resident that has mental health issues and suffers with anxiety. There’s a prayer that she likes to read when she’s anxious. It’s really good to have that information available for all staff under the ‘What makes me feel better if I’m anxious or upset?’ section of the Who I Am feature.”

Jasmine McFetters, Carer, Berhard Baron Cottages

Case Study: Tilsley House

Implementation of the About Me standard can also prove critical in transfers of care scenarios, as demonstrated by this instance at the Tilsley House care home. When the person moved, they were able to get the same level of care they had been receiving previously as a result of the rich information travelling with them.

“When one of our ladies with dementia had to go to hospital, we provided a pack with all the details from the Who I Am document to aid staff providing her care. A hospital nurse got in contact with us to say it was the best information she had seen.”

Shari Tindle, Deputy Manager, Tilsley House

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