How to use technology to improve your CQC rating in domiciliary care. Part 1: before your inspection

Your CQC rating is the outcome of an inspection from at least one CQC inspector. Being well prepared before the inspection is key to achieving a high rating. In this article, we will review the factors that are key to preparing for an inspection with the goal of achieving the highest possible rating for your business, as well as to minimise the stress of the inspection for you as a business manager.

Firstly, it is important to remember that, as with any occupation, each inspector will have their own caseload and requirements to complete a specific number of inspections and reports.  Inspectors may be new to their role or have many years of experience; either way, you’ll want to make it easy for them to see that your company provides an outstanding service.

From our many years of experience in the domiciliary care industry, we know that the best way to do this is to be ready with evidence when the inspectors arrive.  This may be in the form of pre-prepared reports or with easily accessible data for interrogation and reporting whilst inspectors are with you.

It is not enough that you, your staff, clients, and family simply say that your service is excellent. You need to be able to demonstrate with data that your service is:

  • Safe

  • Effective

  • Caring

  • Responsive

  • Well-led

Providing a technology infrastructure

We all know that an effective technology infrastructure can save time and money, and that some sort of technology is necessary for running a modern business.  

It may seem daunting putting a technology infrastructure into place if you are a new business or if you currently have a paper-based or spreadsheet and Microsoft Office based system of record keeping.  However, having an effective system will save time, money and – probably most importantly – stress in the long term.

Before your inspection

Before your inspection, the CQC contacts:

  • A community professional

  • Your local county council

  • Healthwatch

  • Service users

  • Family members

  • Staff at all levels

The CQC will review:

  • Care records of at least two people who received support from the service

  • Service records including:

    • staff recruitment

    • supervision

    • training records

    • policies and procedures

    • complaints and compliments

    • records and audits of quality and safety

Good technology embedded into your working practices means that you can feel confident and reassured that you have compliant and effective systems and records.

Your care records will demonstrate person-centred care, with shared decision-making and correct processes for mental capacity, medication management and data security. Care records and risk assessments that integrate with rostering and staff training records further enhance this confidence, as it becomes much easier to roster a regular team of appropriately trained staff.

Staff recruitment, linked to staff training and supervision records means, that you have everything easily to hand and that you have the right staff caring for the right individuals. Link this to GPS and check-in systems, and you will even be able to demonstrate in an objective manner that staff are with clients on time, for an appropriate amount of time, and that they have acknowledged and completed required actions for each client.

A single place for policies and procedures, with an automatic notification to staff sent to their smart device when updates are made, completes the package of competent and reliable service delivery.

Complaints and compliments and records and audits of quality and safety give historic information as to the overall responsiveness and running of the business.

Your inspector(s) is only human.  If they can get all the information they ask for easily and promptly before their visit, this is the first step to demonstrating that you have an outstanding service.

Furthermore, having this infrastructure in place should also reassure all those you interact with that you have a service that is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

You have enough to worry about with staff sickness, absences, holiday cover, staff arriving at clients’ homes finding them unwell – you want to keep your records in order so that providing evidence is a seamless process.

With over a decade working in domiciliary care, we understand how a good CQC rating impacts your business, we want to provide you with all the tools you need to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating on your CQC inspection. To help give you an insight into the inspection process, we’re producing this article series with in-depth information on how you can improve your CQC rating by making use of technology. Look out for our next article – Is the service you provide effective?

Nursebuddy is a care management software with a mission to help care managers and staff (like you!) save time on paperwork and more time growing your business. Book a demo with us and we will tell you more about how we can help you solve your business challenges.