We recently published a White Paper: Is Electronic Care Monitoring still relevant in today’s fragile care market? following a qualitative research exercise to gain an understanding of the role of ECM in today’s market and to learn more about Councils’ current practices and changing needs. The research, led by ADASS Associate Keith Skerman, included face-to-face interviews with directors and other senior officials from seven different Councils to find out more about their experiences of using ECM.
Discussions with the Councils revealed that ECM continues to deliver quality and efficiency benefits and that data from ECM can support integration of health and social care both in delivery and commissioning.
One of the Councils (based in Central London) currently uses ECM with a finance module for Providers. It is now extending the use of ECM in integrated teams with NHS staff in CHC commissioned care and supported living schemes. The rollout of ECM initially got a mixed response from Providers, with ECM revealing a wide range of compliance issues – long hours worked by carers, missed visits, Working Time Directive breaches, safeguarding and complaints concerns.
However, the use of ECM data has enabled the Council to adopt a positive approach to Provider performance management, which has led to improvements. Targets on compliance were agreed with Providers and both quality and continuity of care were shown to improve. Safeguarding and complaints were reduced alongside compliance improvements and the Council is now sharing more trend data with Providers to promote partnership and best practice.
ECM data is regularly shared with the Member Scrutiny Committee and the Adult Safeguarding Board. The evidence-based approach enabled by ECM, has supported integrated practice and commissioning and led to an estimated 10% saving in expenditure for this Council, allowing the small Contract Management team to focus attention on exceptions.
Next blog: ECM working across local authority older adults and disability services.