Narissa Wilson runs a digital design and consultancy business on the Sunshine Coast. She uses a host of online tools that allow her the freedom to work on the road when travelling to pursue her business, advocacy and other interests.
So it makes sense for Narissa to use online and mobile tools like Deputy in her personal life to self-manage her team of support workers, operating under the Your Life Your Choice Framework in preparation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Her support takes place in her home and out and about, according to her work and lifestyle needs.
Narissa also assists a lot of other people with disabilities to improve their self-managed supports and services using the strategies and tools (like Deputy) which she has discovered.
Here Narissa shares her expert tips on using Deputy for scheduling, communication, timesheets and payroll in a home health care environment.
“Deputy saves a massive amount of time and improves quality of my supports” says Narissa. “It’s a huge help to me and my Team Leader. For people who don’t have a Team Leader or a Key Worker, Deputy actually plays that role.”
Self-managed supports tip One: Set up ‘Areas’ in Deputy to reflect your schedule
Narissa uses a single Location in Deputy – her current location – as her supports are centred in her home or wherever she may be travelling from time-to-time. She recommends using Areas to reflect the cadence of a daily schedule, so she has created Areas in Deputy such as Morning, Day, Afternoon, Night with Sleepover. She also creates extra areas for specific shift types, or shifts with different pay rates.
Areas are ordered to reflect the chronology of her schedule and she always views the schedule in Area View, so she can see her daily routine in a cascading sequence.
Self-managed supports tip Two: Use Roles to suit the different needs of everyone involved in care
Narissa has set herself up as a System Administrator in Deputy and has set up her Team Leader as a Location Manager, able to schedule, add new team members, view costs, export timesheets, etc.
She has also added her informal support people in Deputy so they have complete visibility over the team and can effortlessly step in when needed.
Narissa notes that some of the people she has advised have informal supporters who assist with self-managing interstate, or even overseas. Setting those informal supporters up in Deputy gives them insight into daily supports, communication with the team and control over crucial decisions. She says all of this would be impossible to achieve if they weren’t using Deputy..
Some people like to add informal support using the Supervisor role, allowing them to schedule, communicate and approve timesheets without access to pay and financial data. Narissa, however, prefers to make her informal supporters System Administrators so they can take complete control if she is ever unable to.
Self-managed supports tip Three: Keep all your communication on Deputy’s News Feed
Narissa uses Deputy’s News Feed for all day-to-day communications, ad-hoc informal communication and a fortnightly newsletter which deals with HR issues, reports on who’s on leave and professional development.
“News Feed is a great way to keep everyone engaged,” she says. “Especially family members and/or informal support located overseas/interstate.”
With a team of five contributing to her support needs, Narissa discovered News Feed is the ideal forum for organising shift swaps, so she has turned off Swap and Offer Shift options in settings. However, she explains that these options are great for larger teams and organisations.
Self-managed supports tip Four: Use an iPad Kiosk for accurate and fast shift records
Many people with disabilities, especially where their support is overseen by a family member, like to set up a Deputy iPad Kiosk and have support workers use it to clock on and off. The benefits of using Deputy at a Kiosk include:
- Easy visibility
- Fixed location (mounted in place or kept on the location)
- Fast and accurate clock on/clock verification using facial recognition
Narissa has her iPad with her at all times, whether she’s at home or travelling, so her Deputy Kiosk is always accessible. She explains that even though all her support workers have the Deputy app on their phones, she has turned of mobile clock on/off and everyone uses the Kiosk function instead. Locking clock on/off to her location (via her Kiosk) ensures there are rarely any errors or time adjustment.
“The Kiosk is the ‘mothership’, although I still have a Desktop which is used for handover documentation and fortnightly payroll.”
Self-managed supports tip Five: Use ‘Training’ to ensure the best people are there at the right time.
Deputy’s Training feature makes it easy to add in any qualifications needed for a shift such as first aid certificates (e.g. CPR) and supporting documents explains Narissa.
“Training can include notes on specific routines for support and services: for example a worker might be trained in supporting you with showering but another worker may not,” she says.
“So you could set up ‘showering’ as a training component. Likewise, Training can be used to request support people with other skills such as ‘driving the vehicle’”.
“Add a training requirement to an Area/Shift so that you or anyone else doing the scheduling always puts the right people on.”
Self-managed supports tip Six: Make payroll a breeze with Deputy custom pay conditions
Narissa does payroll every 2 weeks. Narissa uses MYOB because it supports a WPN (Withholding Payer Number). Like many people self-managing their supports, Narissa doesn’t have an ABN, and many payroll software providers only support an ABN.
“Before Deputy, it would take 3 hours, now I can get it done in 30 minutes. Plus, it can be done from anywhere!”
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 in one click.
In Narissa’s case, she pays many people according to the relevant Award (i.e. the employment laws in her state), but some workers are paid at higher rates: “Deputy easily allows me to do this, as I can apply a specific rate override to an Area.”
Self-managed support is a desirable option for people who want autonomy and flexibility in how their supports and services are delivered.
“Self-managed supports are easier when you take advantage of apps and other tools to arrange things quickly and easily.”
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