Supporting independent living: Uplifting home visits with end-to-end

In order to improve reablement home visits for residents regaining the confidence to live independently, Warwickshire County Council implemented end-to-end digital transformation to streamline home visits for both Occupational Therapists (OTs) and the community. Introducing a purpose-built mobile application for use out in the field, the council demonstrates its dedication to improving the lives of residents living with additional challenges through its fully integrated Fittings App.

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Key benefits

  • Faster accessibility fittings for residents with additional needs seeking independence
  • Time savings for both OTs and residents of up to 50%
  • Eradicated rekeying
  • Improved accuracy and data quality

The challenge

The Countywide Warwickshire Reablement Service supports residents with additional needs to live as independently as possible. OTs often complete home visits in these cases, assessing houses and requesting accessibility adaptions to support cognitive, physical, environmental, or psychological challenges.

These assessments originally consisted of paper-based data collection – requiring OTs to capture written notes throughout home visits and draw diagrams wherever adaptions such as rail fittings were required. This presented a number of challenges:

  • Home visits took longer, taking time away from both residents and OTs with high caseloads
  • Handwritten information was sometimes unclear and it could be difficult to draw the specific home features for diagrams.
  • Written notes and hand-drawn diagrams could sometimes lead to inaccuracies in orders

The solution

The council identified home reablement assessments as the suitable candidate for end-to-end digital transformation - combining a purpose-built app with robotic process automation (RPA) to digitise the process from start to finish.

Using NDL Digitise, the council created a bespoke mobile app designed specifically for OTs working out in the field. It completely replaces the original paper questionnaire, allowing OTs to input the same information digitally – removing the need for rekeying. It features a range of functionality, allowing OTs to demonstrate exactly where an accessibility fitting should be installed. OTs can include exact dimensions within the app and choose accessibility fittings through the catalogue feature – or where an existing item isn’t applicable, create a new one. Designed for offline working, the app allows visits to be completed in their entirety regardless of connectivity.

The council then created an RPA process with NDL Automate, which automatically populates a Word Document template with all the information captured by the app, saves the file in an accessible directory, and notifies the relevant OT that the file is ready to sent. OTs then review this file, and if satisfied, send it directly to the fittings supplier through their own ordering system.

The benefits

In 2022, 74 home visits were recorded in the Fittings App by seven OTs – resulting in approximately 130 completed Fittings Documents. Previously, these visits would take approximately 45-60 minutes, and visits now take roughly half of that time. OTs are able to capture more accurate data through the use of annotated diagrams and photos, which can also be reviewed with residents to ensure satisfaction with the placement of fittings within the home.

Not only does the project provide time savings during home visits, but it has also resulted in faster outcomes for residents. Adaptions are fitted more quickly due to the app’s ability to produce annotated diagrams in real time, including location and dimension specifications. It also eradicates instances of miscommunication between OTs and accessibility suppliers, meaning fittings can be installed quickly – and without any surprises.

What’s next?

With the app’s success, the council is now looking to transform processes across the wider organisation – already identifying potential projects within its Property Services, Social Care, Fire and Rescue, Education and Finance departments that would greatly benefit from both automated and digitised solutions. The council is dedicated to driving its digital transformation initiative with residents at heart.

To hear more about the project, or to find out how products from the NDL Evolve Digital Transformation Platform could benefit your public sector organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team. Looking for more transformation inspiration? Browse our growing library of success stories, or join us at one of our upcoming events.

WCC Case Study Thumnail

Ravi Paul, Mobile App Developer

The mobile app was an interesting challenge and helped us push what is possible in Digitise with the ability to capture and annotate images, producing a pleasing and functional interface, as well as gathering key information to produce an order. The combination of Digitise and Automate has helped us create a quick and effective solution to produce a complete process.