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Normally, case studies or customer testimonials centre around the same things. Either hopeful aspirations for the future and potential benefits or a retrospective look at all that have gone well. There’s usually nothing in between. No nuances. No consideration for the entire process the organisation goes through. Especially when making profound changes such as going from paper to digital.
That’s why we have chosen to tell Achieving Aspirations’ story somewhat belatedly. In fact, we held off for over a year. To get a new perspective that takes more than just immediate feelings into account. And to see if all the good intentions during implementation have come to fruition.
Achieving Aspirations provide day care and short break services for children and adults with additional needs. They also provide activities and care for individuals with learning disabilities, particularly to those who have complex support needs and require bespoke and specialist support.
They work with families and new members to find their unique needs. For that, Sekoia is helpful as it allows an individual’s plan to be as bespoke as you want.
The pinnacle of excitement is usually right after the training sessions have been completed. Reality hasn’t spoiled the fun and the focus is on all the positives the new way of working will bring. Staff are raring to go – hopefully.
Digital care planning systems shouldn’t need extensive training. It should be intuitive to use. So it might seem counter-intuitive, expensive even, to hold training sessions. But training sessions are about so much more than reading from a manual. It’s about reassurance and letting staff gain confidence in the system. It’s also a great time to address questions and concerns.
It’s not only staff that are uneasy with change. Especially considering the practical aspects. Manager Theresa Walters explains:
“(Before going digital) One of my biggest concerns was around cost and setting up devices. Having not used any digital care planning before, I was concerned about it ended up a failure. Getting staff on board with the change is always a task since people usually don’t like change.” – Theresa Walters
The early onboarding phase is a precarious stage for any change. A dodgy start will often result in a failed project. People don’t like change so they will look for chinks in the armour. So if devices are not working then it’s easy to dismiss digital care planning as a non-starter.
Even if Sekoia is intuitive enough to use without a minute of training. The training sessions are not a simple “here’s how you do this and that in Sekoia”. It’s just as much focus on the “why are we even using Sekoia”. The benefits and potential digital care planning will bring. Once you’ve achieved buy-in from staff the implementation is much more likely to be a success. And it feels less scary to profoundly change the way you’ve worked your entire career. Theresa elaborates:
“Getting staff onboard has been a positive experience so far. After a training session, they were able to see Sekoia in action. And they saw it’s not difficult, not scary and they are all more than capable of using the system.” – Theresa Walters
One year later and the realities of using digital care planning have set in. So what is the verdict from Achieving Aspirations? Is there anything they wish they had known before going digital with Sekoia?
Home Manager of The Junction (One of Achieving Aspirations’ services), Cathy Walker, reflects:
“After the initial loading everything on each service user, it’s been really easy for everybody. All staff have picked it up. Even those that are technically challenged.”
To take everything you document every day on paper and put it online seems like an insurmountable task. And it does take some work. Loading the system with all your paper-based care plans and assessments. Dissecting the day into activities and tasks. But all that is done in the implementation phase. Now, a year later, that time spent is paying dividends. Paper documentation is a rarity and everything is much easier to find when it is digital. And always at hand.
To help implementation become a success, we train super users in Sekoia. They act as experts on the system and the way the organisation uses digital care planning. They act as ambassadors and support their colleagues with anything related to the system.
“The training we had before going live explained a lot and since then nobody has struggled with it at all.” – Cathy Walker
So how have staff taken on the system? The super user Emily explains:
“Because everyone is using the system every day we can all support each other in using Sekoia. It’s so much easier to see what people have been up to. So much easier than going through millions of pieces of paper.” – Emily, Super User
Cathy recaps Achieving Aspirations’ implementation and decision to go with Sekoia:
“In hindsight, I wish we had implemented Sekoia years ago. It has made life a lot easier. A lot easier.”
Watch the full video with reflections from managers to super users below.