Sirona has discovered that Huddle goes beyond storage to offer a more integrated way of working with better document control, no duplication of files, and simple content discovery. It's improved working practices and reduced email traffic.
Sirona Care & Health is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, providing publicly-funded health and social care services that support people in their communities, to help them achieve their goals and full potential.
Sirona’s Care & Health Learning Disabilities and Autism Division provides a range of services for adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism in Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Services include Complex Health, Social Care, Autistic Spectrum Condition Service, Community Nursing, Supported Living Service, Day Services and a Vocational Hub. Our services are person centred and enable people we work with to have choice and control in their lives and reach their potential as individuals and members of the community.
There are some 200 staff within the Learning Disabilities and Autism Service, providing a range of activities and carrying out vital support services in different localities in Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire in the UK.
“One of my responsibilities is to ensure consistent working practices throughout the division,” said Russell Lee, Service Support Manager for the Sirona Care & Health Learning Disabilities and Autism Service. “Before Huddle, our information was spread about in various places. We used a combination of paper documentation, information on local drives, and an online clinical-based system. All of this inevitably led to duplication and difficulty finding files. This caused an issue around information governance.”
Sirona’s Head of Service, Director of Operations the Commissioner, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, all require regular reports on the work of the service areas. This requires evidence for performance monitoring – including statistics such as the number of referrals and screening tests carried out by the Sirona teams – to ensure they are meeting their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
“We implemented Huddle in October 2014, and the new system makes everything so much easier,” confirmed Russell. “There is better control, no duplication of files, and we all know where to find the information that we need. The change to this new way of working means we can take a fresh approach to file management. As we transfer from our previous storage processes, we are only moving over to Huddle the information that we actually need, and using a consistent file management system in terms of file names and folders, giving us consistency across the Division.”
“Huddle is not just a file store, it goes beyond storage to offer a more integrated and modern way of working,” explained Russell. “It’s improving our working practices. For example, using Huddle has reduced the amount of email traffic we see day to day. Previously, items such as meeting minutes were circulated via email, with people responding back via email with their comments, creating a long and complicated email trail. With a central file on Huddle, all the necessary people can access the documents and make comments. Moreover, Huddle provides an audit trail showing who accessed the documents, when. That’s really useful and very beneficial.”
Sirona has also found Huddle very helpful in recording and keeping data for the CQC. This data has to be supported by evidence, and with Huddle, links to the evidence can be added within the relevant folder, so all the information is in one place. CQC personnel who visit Sirona sites to audit the organization are given access to the Huddle workspace where they can check all evidence and ensure compliance to the required standards.
“We are looking at expanding the use of Huddle, and creating workspaces for external providers. It’s a question of understanding as an organization the range of capabilities that Huddle can deliver for us, and it’s also an ongoing education process as to how we are going to use Huddle,” said Russell. “Huddle has definitely made my life easier. It’s also saved a lot of travelling, as it’s reduced the need for me to visit the other sites as much this allows me to be more proactive with my time.”
Shared Lives finds information faster with Huddle
Laura Clarke is Senior Administrator within the Shared Lives Scheme, part of Sirona Care & Health’s Learning Disabilities and Autism Service. The Shared Lives Scheme is an adult placement service that bridges the gap between supported living accommodation and living within a family environment.
The Shared Lives Team consists of 1 Registered Manager, 2 Co-ordinators and 1 Administrator. There are currently 28 approved Carer households within Bath & North East Somerset that provide support to approximately 70 service users. The Service offers full time support, daytime support, or overnight support with respite care.
“Before Huddle, all our information was on internal drives or paper-based, in filing cabinets in the office,” said Laura. “We needed technology to give us a more efficient way of working, to eliminate file duplication and show us when a file has been accessed or updated – we essentially needed to change the way we operated.”
“We were also running out of space both on the internal drives and in the filing cabinets,” Laura added.
The Shared Lives Scheme is now using Huddle to record Carer information, which is proving very useful. “We are in the process of enabling the Shared Lives Co-ordinators to be able to access and work from Huddle when out on visits to Carers” said Laura. Carers’ timesheets, records, referrals and more are also input on to a central Huddle database.
“We are a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered service, and the CQC requires evidence on five key questions and key lines of enquiry: is our Shared Lives Service Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well Led?” Laura explains. “By moving our files to Huddle, and in the process reviewing and modifying our record keeping, file management, and who has what permission to add or archive folders, it has become much easier to both find information and provide evidence of CQC compliance.”
The Shared Lives Scheme is currently using Huddle internally, but is looking to extend its use to the Carers to reduce pressure on resources and offer a quicker way of working. Huddle will be used to enable Carers to receive letters, reports and other information securely and enable them to send in their reporting sheets electronically in a quick, safe and effective manner.
Sirona Care and Health District Nurses coordinate on relevant team information with Huddle
Sally Bullock is Administrative Support for the Sirona Care & Health district nurses based in Bath. The nurses are based in doctors’ surgeries and provide a range of adult community health services. They have their own case lists and work from the surgeries visiting patients at home. There are more than 100 Sirona nurses across Bath and North East Somerset.
“We were using the internal drives at Sirona to hold all our information, and we had quite simply reached capacity on the drives,” explained Sally. “Using Huddle, we can now store, access and update all the important information – work rotas, associated paperwork, key contacts – everything we need for the general running of the service.”
“We have created a Community Nursing folder and everything relevant to the nursing team will be stored and accessed there – all in one place. With Huddle, we can quickly update documents such as rotas, and know that any of the nurses accessing the document will be looking at the current version,” said Sally. “At the moment, Huddle is mostly accessed via desktop PCs, but the mobile app will be increasingly useful – it makes a big difference to be able to access Huddle from my phone, and while working from home.”