Digital Communities: Unite Healthcare

Here at O2 we strongly believe that through embracing digital we can improve lives, grow businesses and build connections within a community.

We were so confident we decided to put this belief to the test, by completely transforming a town with the power of technology. A number of businesses were chosen ranging from florists to pie shops (and everything in between).

One month into the project we decided to catch up with Daniel Butler, the Managing Director of Unite Healthcare to see how he and his business were finding the transition…
Being a carer from a young age, Daniel always had a personal insight into the health care industry. However, in 2009 when his son Ellis was born with health care issues, Daniel was exposed to further inefficient health care services within his local area. Having always been interested in running his own business within the private sector, Daniel decided to take action and improve standards of care, by setting up Unite Healthcare in 2012 with his wife Claire.

Now with a force of 70 employees working at his office, Daniel quickly noticed this rapid growth was causing inefficiencies within the business. Aware of the benefits which technology can bring to a company, he was delighted that Unite Healthcare was chosen to participate in the digital communities’ project within St Helens. The business was given surface 3’s with keyboards, Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium and MaaS 360 to help enhance their digital communications further.

Having previously captured iST HELENS DIGITAL COMMUNITIES 3096nformation from clients by hand then travelling back to the office to type up the information, Daniel’s team quickly realised the new technology allowed them to become more flexible and efficient within their work. Through preventing double entry and capturing information on the surface 3’s within the clients home, this reduced their patient consultation time from 2.5hrs to 30minutes; meaning they could spend more time with patients, and increase the number of face to face visits per day.

Due to the nature of the work, carers were often working across the whole community, which could make time management difficult to maintain, but within just a short space of a month Daniel found communications had dramatically improved. Being able to use emails out of office and developing the use of share note whilst visiting clients homes, information was finding its way into the hands of staff members more quickly helping employees be more co-ordinated within their work.

Although the introduction to new technologies can often prove difficult for many businesses, Daniel and his team viewed this new way of working as a positive challenge, noting that no employees were adverse to the change. For the successful entrepreneur, this was due to two things: great communication and training.
Firstly Daniel mentioned the importance of communicating a great proposal to his employees, stating that if you believe in the benefits which technology can bring, and communicate this effectively to your employees, they will be motivated to use and understand these new technologies to the best of their abilities. Secondly, Daniel undertook a two day training course with the help of an O2 tech guru to ensure all employees were confident in using the technology before taking it out to their day to day job. As a result of the implementation of the new technologies, Daniel has noticed a positive impact upon his staff morale levels as well.
Due to the nature of the work, interaction with clients can be naturally difficult, therefore face to face contact has always been highly valued by both employees and clients. The increase in flexibility, mobility and greater opportunity to interact with clients has seen employees feel more motivated not only on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. The employees feel a sense of responsibility towards their community, which shows from the progressive impact they are making to the people within it.

Daniel also noted the effect that the technologies have had on the costs within the business. In terms of indirect costs the changes have caused greater efficiency through interacting directly with more clients, causing an increase in motivation and thus a dramatic improvement in service user satisfaction. The changes have also caused a decrease in direct costs with the company saving finance on fuel and paper due to double entry being cut within the business.

With Daniel seeing such positive impacts on his business in such a short space of time he is certain that technology will continue to play a large role within his company’s future. He will carry on making the most of the advanced hardware, Office 365, and gradually go on to creating a new and improved website to mark his strong, cultivating presence through social media as well.