By Marcus Leach

When the London Borough of Ealing Council (EC) selected Panztel’s eziTracker service for managing payments to care providers they became one of the first London Boroughs to see the benefits that could be gained from a sophisticated electronic homecare monitoring system that efficiently controls the delivery of all commissioned care from its contracted independent care providers.

The eziTracker service uses the telephone network and data capture technology to provide real time information on the whereabouts of social care workers, enabling management to fully and effectively monitor the remote staff employed by independent home care providers.

“We selected Panztel’s eziTracker because it best met our needs and we were impressed with the product’s proven track record of performance and reliability," David Archibald, Ealing Council’s Executive Director of Children and Adults, said.

“The decision to adopt eziTracker was also made easier following a thorough assessment of the efficiency gains that would be delivered, especially the substantial reduction in staff effort from the retrospective manual checking of carers’ timesheets and invoices to a real time, fully electronic system. This has enabled us to actively manage and verify the quality and timeliness of services we commission for our customers.”

Supervisors can now check that the Council’s homecare is actually being delivered on time, as scheduled, and any breakdowns in service, for whatever reason, are immediately notified via eziTracker alerts.

“Just as importantly, the eziTracker system had proven a practical, hassle free system with the care workers; they have found the service to be simple and easy to use whilst understanding the overall benefits of the system, in particular our lone working carers appreciate the safeguarding benefits of the service,” Archibald continued.

By linking EziTracker with existing in-house Adult Social Care systems the Council have been able to automate and simplify the processing of their provider payments, eliminating any scope for overpayments and only paying for services actually provided.

EC now pay independent care providers electronically via agreed schedule payments and this has resulted in significant improvements in the accuracy of payments. Critically, EC now have a full and detailed understanding of exactly how much they are commissioning and there has been a complete transformation in the management control of provider payments.

“EziTracker has proven to be an invaluable tool, improving efficiency, delivering cost savings and helping us better understand individuals’ particular requirements so they actually get the care that they need — overall I’m delighted with the success of the project," Archibald concluded.

The next step is to allow care providers a choice of monitoring systems which seamlessly link into eziTracker thereby increasing efficiency for both the Council and the providers.