Client Story

Cardia and Respect

Innovating with data products to optimise comfort and happiness in residential care

Great care is both personal and efficient. It gives vulnerable people a sense of well-being and it’s organised in a way that maximises value from often tightly constrained funding. But getting maximum value requires robust data insights enabled by digital technology. Our digital and innovation experts worked with Cardia and Respect, two residential care organisations in the Netherlands, to bring innovative data products that will reduce time spent on administration so carers can focus on what matters: caring.

Cardia and Respect needed support in maximising the value of their data to unlock new ways to innovate that would reduce the administrative burden on carers and inspire a more personalised approach to patient care. Together we designed small projects that deliver value fast to win support for innovation. It also meant working closely with end-users to understand their needs and ensure products under development met them.

Working alongside Cardia and Respects’ joint data analytics team, together we launched two pilots. Both pilots will enable them to drive further innovation and capitalise on digital and data to deliver better services that enhance resident care.

Key successes

  • Improved the time to market of data products from three to four months to three weeks
  • Delivered a ready to scale innovation in eight weeks to improve services and give the residents the personal attention they need
  • Grew agile and data capabilities by training 50+ people, with a plan to continue to grow both organisation’s capabilities
  • Collaboratively developed a toolkit for other elderly care organisations to start delivering value through data

Optimising comfort and happiness

Digital technologies have amazing potential to enhance care services while improving efficiency. Organisations like Cardia and Respect are increasingly alive to the possibilities that care-tech can unlock. The process of unlocking the opportunities would require an ingenious approach.

Cardia and Respect wanted to use digital technology and data insights to make care for residents even better. This included making sure the right type and number of carers were always available to provide support. The goal was to optimise residents’ comfort and happiness.

But, while they’d embraced tech via the introduction of a new platform, Cardia and Respect felt they should be seeing more tangible benefits for residents based on efficiency savings. With fewer staff available and the list of clients expanding, these efficiency savings were vital.

By showing Cardia and Respect a more effective way to innovate, within months, we enabled them to launch two new data tools that are already making a positive impact for residents, carers and managers. The launch represents the first step in a process that will transform the way the organisation innovates.

PA has created a really positive energy around the value that data can bring. This fresh enthusiasm helps us as we aim to capitalise on data to make sure our residents get the care they need and are entitled to.”
Product owner and project manager at Cardia
Developing innovative data products doesn’t involve any kind of wizardry, and it doesn’t demand a massive data platform. Data analytics teams can achieve a lot by focusing on delivering value, making sure they really understand users’ needs and starting with small projects that link to a future, bigger ambition.”
AI expert at PA

Applying an end-to-end innovation approach

Getting the right blend of expertise to seize this opportunity was crucial to enabling Cardia and Respect to deliver better patient care. Our expertise spanned innovation, digital and agile development – all combining as part of our unique end-to-end innovation thinking.

With previous success introducing innovative digital technology to provide better support for vulnerable people living in their own homes and using technology to provide safer care during the pandemic, we were best placed to offer Cardia and Respect the guidance they required.

Uncovering Opportunities

Embedding ourselves within Cardia’s data analytics team, we worked alongside them to identify use cases and develop data products. Working closely together made it clear there was scope for training their people in areas including systems engineering and advanced machine learning. By equipping Cardia and Respects’ teams with these data skills, it would enable them to innovate successfully in future.

Together with Cardia and Respect, we launched multiple ideation sessions to generate a range of possible use cases. By interviewing end-users across the organisation to discover the challenges there were, Cardia and Respect now understood what they needed from the data tools. Follow up workshops helped flesh out these ideas in greater detail.

Two use cases emerged as areas where digital and data products could deliver value fast. The first was in giving carers (many of them temporary staff) a quick way to understand the preferences and needs of individual residents. Seemingly small things, like how a person likes to be addressed or how they take their tea or coffee, can make an important difference to feeling cared for. Previously, carers were having to search for these details in physical files, meaning patient preferences were not prioritised and time was wasted that could be better spent with each resident.

The second use case involved establishing a detailed picture of how much personal attention each resident was receiving and which type of carer they needed. This insight would enable managers to plan staff schedules based on clear data and ensure resources matched residents’ needs more accurately. The solution had to be unobtrusive and not impinge on employees’ privacy.

People are sometimes sceptical about new data products, so we needed to avoid that. One of the best ways to do this was to focus on what the users really needed and validate your assumptions with the users in their own environment. Live tests always deliver new insights.”
Agile and innovation expert at PA

Launching the development process and responding to changes in an agile way

In a radical departure from convention, Cardia and Respect wanted to improve the customer experience by ‘making them feel more at home’. Residential homes have been impacted by high employee turnover, especially during COVID-19 with the increased absence rate. Together with a long onboarding process, this means that new caregivers may not have access to essential resident information. As a result, residents see new people every day who don’t know them leading to an impersonal approach to care.

In partnership with Cardia and Respect, we came up with an ingenious solution. By installing QR codes outside each resident’s room, carers were given access to digital notes for each resident before they entered. Caregivers could scan the QR codes to greatly speed up the process. The digital notes replaced the physical files that were time-consuming to search through, hard to handle, riddled with privacy risks, and as a result, were not used.

This type of quick-to-launch, easy-to-complete project is good for generating enthusiasm for new technology. A demo was presented to the whole workforce and user feedback was sought on each new version as we worked through the development process. Within six weeks, live testing was underway.

The work completed contains valuable lessons that can be applied in other fields. Adopting a user-led approach meant Cardia & Respect’s customers’ needs were prioritised from the start. And the way our team adapted to changes as we learnt more about user requirements is a testament to agile ways of working. The team we assembled had a breadth of skills that could respond flexibly based on matching expertise to changing user needs. Having access to local ambassadors who could advocate for the changes our team introduced was also essential; particularly in the remote working environment that this project was completed in.

Our clear commitment to seeking feedback and creating a solution that worked for users paid off. Engagement and rapid progress started to create a buzz around the new solution. This strategy was so successful that very quickly we had employees approaching the data analytics team for new improvements suggestions to the QR code and solutions to other problems.”
Agile and innovation expert at PA

Making a rapid impact

Together with Cardia and Respect, we’ve made it faster for carers to understand residents’ preferences and provide more personalised care. Additionally, planning has improved, supported by a better match between staffing schedules and residents’ needs.

The work has also inspired Cardia and Respect to share these solutions with a wider network of care organisations and follow up sessions on how other organisations can start using our approach and results are planned.

The lasting legacy that Cardia and Respects now have is enhanced innovation capabilities. The data analytics team have been equipped with a new process for innovating and realising value from data products. In future, the team will be able to take on more ambitious projects. In this way, they’ll get the most from digital technology and data products’ potential to enable ever-better care for residents.

The work the team delivered is already delivering tangible value for our staff and our residents at the most fundamental level – making people happier. Together with PA we have shown that, with the right capabilities and process, we can innovate to generate value from data and analytics.”
Marketing, communications and front office manager at Respect

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