InLife Independent Living is a disability support and personal care service provider operating in Melbourne and Geelong, Victoria.
Established by David Clarke and Louise Dunkley in 2015, the organisation now employs more than 80 people delivering a range of services including personal care (showering, dressing, grooming), social support (shopping assistance, social outings, assistance to access work and education) and domestic assistance (cleaning, laundry, light housework).
“We focus on services that help make life better for people with disability,” explains David Clarke, founder of InLife. “These services can evolve as the needs and aspirations of the person with disability change through life, so it’s important we embrace new ideas and technology to help us always deliver the best experience.”
Here David and Louise share their expert tips on using Deputy for scheduling, timesheets and payroll in a home health care environment.
Tip One: Set up each client as a ‘Location’ in Deputy
Create each client as a ‘Location’ in Deputy. This is especially useful in home-based care, where the care team’s shifts take place at the physical location of the client’s accommodation (or at least start and end there). The location (client) is assigned an address, and site or client specific notes and instructions. All the people involved in that particular client’s care should be assigned to the Location.
“You can save time when creating new Locations by simply duplicating an existing Location whenever the settings and configuration of Locations are very similar,” says Louise. “For example, you can duplicate the people assigned, payroll setup and notification settings.”
Tip Two: Use the ‘Supervisor’ role to enable distributed scheduling
A Supervisor of a Location can manage the following in Deputy:
- schedule (including scheduling themselves if needed)
- tasks; and
- approval of timesheets, leave and shift swaps.
Supervisors, however, can not see staff pay rates or schedule costs.
The Supervisor role is perfect for distributing scheduling responsibilities to the most appropriate people (which may include the clients themselves, family members, a key worker, a care manager, or some combination).
“Traditionally, home care scheduling has been a centralised admin task,” explains David. “It’s a tough gig, typically coordinating hundreds of shifts a week. And if scheduling mistakes are made or last-minute changes mean someone doesn’t show up for a shift, the impact on clients can be huge.”
“With Deputy, however, scheduling becomes a core part of our role. Everyone does a little bit of it and scheduling decisions are made much closer to the reality of the client’s situation, dramatically increasing the reliability and responsiveness of the support we provide.”
Tip Three: Exploit the flexibility of ‘Areas’
The Areas feature in Deputy can be useful for setting different shift types, including different rates of pay, training/qualification requirements and other factors.
For example, InLife has set up Areas to handle the different needs of its clients including:
- Training – for trainee carers who are working towards a qualification and who have lower pay and charge-out rates
- Sleepover – for carer shifts which involve staying at the client’s accommodation overnight, bookended by certain tasks that are different in format and conditions from other shifts
- Scheduling – for workers tasked to manage (and are paid for) the scheduling for a client for an hour a week.
“One great thing about Deputy is its flexibility” explains Louise. “We can tailor the Areas to each client location’s individual needs, so they only see the shift types relevant to them. For example, our Sleepover and Scheduling Areas would be confusing and unnecessary for many clients, and it’s easy to switch them on and off for each client location as needed”.
Tip Four: Keep all your communication on Deputy’s News Feed
Use Deputy’s News Feed to ensure all your communication is reliably delivered to the right people, remains on a single platform, and is easy to review and audit.
With Deputy’s News Feed you can attach files and photos, require a read-confirmation for a post, and use handy addressing options such as ‘send to all now working’ (at a Location).
“We love that Deputy allows us to send specific messages to the team members working at a particular Location” said Louise. “It’s great for communicating roster changes or specific training needs, and the Require Confirmation feature is great for making sure team members are up to date with the latest information.”
Tip Five: Make payroll a breeze with Deputy custom pay conditions
In Deputy you can set pay rates for different days, including overtime conditions. Deputy integrates with many of the most popular payroll software solutions so that approved time and pays can be synced or exported at the click of a button.
“InLife uses Xero payroll,” notes David, “and we love how the Deputy/Xero integration automatically interprets very complex Award and Enterprise Bargaining Agreement conditions. This is a huge timesaver, and the Deputy team was fantastic in helping us to set up the integration too.”
Tip Six: Flexibility to handle multiple clients in one location
Sometimes there is more than client living at the same address, for example two children in the one family. In some of these cases it makes more sense to make the dwelling the Location (rather than one Location for each child). You can replicate the necessary areas for each client if you wish (e.g. Client 1 – Training; Client 2 – Training).
Tip Seven: Use Templates to set up weekly rosters
Deputy’s Templates feature offers a handy way to set up regular timetables for every client and team member that are flexible.
“Changes occur every week, whether due to team member illness or changes in the client’s usual routine, each particular week’s roster rarely reflects the agreed timetable,” explains Louise. “As a result, it’s often really hard to remember what the regular timetable actually is! Templates are really handy for storing that standard timetable. When we publish advance rosters, we just load up the template, make any adjustments (for example, for planned leave), and it’s ready to go.”
Let Deputy Work For You
“Deputy can handle every scenario we give it, from organising teams of workers who support a person with disability, to managing payroll, leave arrangements and team communications” concludes David Clarke of InLife.
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