App success drives expansion at Lancashire firm

A Lancashire technology solutions company has had to take on more staff following the huge success of a new mobile phone app that is revolutionising the work of home care workers.

E-Tel Communications has employed two new staff members and increased the hours of an existing employee from part to full time due to the popularity of the app.

The software, known as the Quikplan Mobile app, allows care workers to record their home visits by scanning a tag unique to each service user.

They can also use the app to access rotas, reschedule visits and view details about patients, as well as add appointment notes, organise payroll and generate invoices at the touch of a button.

The app was the brainchild of E-Tel director Chris Newsome, who had been supplying telephones to domiciliary care providers and noticed that the majority of companies he dealt with were keeping a manual record of patients and home visits.

He approached software developer Quikplan with an idea for an app which he believed would improve productivity and save costs. Quikplan agreed to develop the app, which E-Tel is marketing.

Chris said: “The idea was to create an app which has everything home carers need in one place.

“At a time when care providers are under such heavy scrutiny, we believe the app can improve quality of service by reducing the time spent on administrative tasks, minimising the risk of human error and providing a digital record that appointments have been attended.

“It’s had particular benefits for those patients with dementia who may forget that their carer has visited and become distressed. The app feeds the appointment record and any information through to a website, which patients and their loved ones can access for peace of mind.”

E-Tel has been supported by experts from Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, headquartered in Preston. Moore and Smalley provided accounting and taxation advice and helped E-Tel to secure funding for the venture.

Isabel Bamber, senior client manager at Moore and Smalley said: “In the current digital age, mobile technology cannot be ignored as a key enabler for improved quality of services and more efficient working practices, particularly when it comes to providing care.

“While we routinely turn to technology for things such as online shopping and banking, the use of technology in care and health industries has been slow to take off.

“E-Tel has made technology accessible for the home care sector and the popularity of the app is fantastic news – not only in terms of the success of a local business but in the way that the industry is embracing the benefits of mobile and digital technology.” Demand for the app has meant that E-Tel is planning another recruitment drive in the coming months with a view to further expanding the company.