Many commissioning authorities place significant value on the benefits that electronic call monitoring can bring to efficiency and accountability in the domiciliary care sector.
As bid writing specialists, we see plenty of tender documents where the requirement is written into their contractual agreements, and it’s common to see potential bidders asked how they will fund and implement a system before the contract start date.
Councils invest significantly in central monitoring systems or require providers to use electronic call monitoring systems such as CM2000, Quikplan, CarePlanner and PeoplePlanner, as they have the potential to bring them cost savings and quality improvements.
For example, central monitoring systems can:
- Provide visibility of all activity undertaken
- Enable quality indicators to be introduced to provide information on areas such as punctuality
- Allow the council to pay for services received rather than hours commissioned
- Use the issuing of electronic invoices to cut down on paper and provide a full audit trail
Should you invest or price more keenly when bidding?
If as a provider, you’ve already invested in implementing electronic call monitoring and trained your staff to use it, you’ve effectively got the points in the bag that are on offer from the tender process. If on the other hand you don’t, you can be faced with a dilemma: do you commit to making the investment and get the points, or alternatively offset the loss of the points by pricing more keenly?
As a provider, your decision will depend on your organisation’s strategic goals. Bidding low might initially seem like an attractive proposition, as it will avoid the need to find a substantial investment to implement a system, train care workers and overcome any potential resistance that staff might have to using the technology.
However, one of the pros of investing in electronic call monitoring is the potential for continuous improvements in the quality of your services and greater long-term efficiencies. For example, these might include more efficient scheduling of staff, greater continuity of care for service users, managing late and missed calls more effectively, reducing travel times of care workers by allocating visits more effectively, enhanced monitoring of staff and tackling staff shortages effectively.
Using such a system will enable you to benchmark your performance and demonstrate improvement over the course of a contract. In addition to improvements in quality and efficiencies, there will also be inherent cost savings, which can be used to build the business case internally.
Technology and continuous improvement
Electronic call monitoring is a common example of how technology can act as an enabler for continuous improvement within a domiciliary care organisation. However, it also demonstrates the wider point for any sector that it often pays to look beyond the initial investment and disruption when considering the introduction of new technologies and changes in processes, and consider the overall return on investment for your organisation. This is true whether you are a gas maintenance firm investing in a cloud-based information management system for remote working, or a translation services company investing in a new back office IT system.
Executive Compass’ team of bid writers are experienced in adding value to your tender submission and our external assistance can increase your bidding success rate. To find out more information, call us free on 0800 612 5563.