Changing Lives NZ

Established in 1996, Changing Lives is a family run organisation dedicated to providing exceptional residential care to broad spectrum of people. Changing Lives currently operates 3 facilities throughout Canterbury, offering residential care to young and aging individuals with intellectual disabilities..

Changing Lives needed a way to manage this lifelong continuum of care across their different facilities. Changing Lives opted to incorporate VCare into their facility to streamline their processes, create clearer communication between staff and provide an overall exceptional level of care to their extended family, their residents.

The Challenges

Keeping all information up-to-date was something that Changing Lives found difficult using a primarily paper-based system. Glen found that “If you have a care plan and something changes, you can change it on paper but it’s not instantly available to others and they may not see it.” Glen and the team at Changing Lives also struggled to manage resident records across their different facilities. For Glen it was the fact that “Information was spread out in a lot of different places, in files in my office which isn’t always accessible to staff.” Changing Lives needed a solution that condensed everything into one place and was accessible anywhere and at anytime for those who needed it.”

Elmswood Retirement Village
Elmswood Retirement Village

The Solution

Prior to VCare, Changing Lives had been paper-based but were looking into developing their own software that was suited to their specifications. Just before they were about to go through with the development they spoke to Pukeko Blue, VCares first and at the time, only client in the disabilities and mental health industry. Glen was impressed “When I looked at it, it was having everything right there for us, it’s live. Pukeko blue showed us that they could just go into the system and see everything that’s going on in their homes all around. When comparing VCare and the ongoing support and updates it provided compared with developing our own we decided to go with VCare.”

Being one of the first two VCare users in their sector, implementing VCare wasn’t as straight forward as Glen hoped. The major difference between Pukeko Blue and Changing Lives is the size, while Pukeko Blue had IT specialists on their project, Glen struggled to find the time and have the indepth understanding to get VCare up and running to its full potential. With the help of Kim Brown, a VCare expert, Glen was able to get real value out of VCare saying“with Kim’s guidance we are forging ahead with fully utilising V Cares capabilities and our staff are now confident and competent using the system.””

The Results

Once the VCare system was fully up and running and customised to suit their needs, it proved an invaluable asset to the day to day lives of the staff at Changing Lives. There is no longer any miscommunication and everyone knows what needs to be done. Glen commented on this by saying “Before we had some grey, now we don’t have grey its black and white, this is how you care for somebody, this is our expectation and you know what the care plan looks like, it’s up to date and available to you”.

VCare allows Changing Lives to keep on top of the care of all of their residents. All care is logged in VCare so progress notes and changes to care plans can be seen instantly. The major benefit Glen has found from this is that “It ensures accountability and our ability to maintain our expected standard of care. Any issues raised are now dealt with instantly for positive health outcomes for the people we support.”

As with all residential care facilities, auditing is something that always needs to be considered. For Changing Lives, having several locations meant it was hard to keep on top of everything for auditing processes.

The key mission of Changing Lives is to provide exceptional care to their residents while giving them a unique family experience. VCare has helped Changing Lives achieve this in many ways with Glen saying “With the help of VCare we are able to provide the standard of care we expect.” 

Elmswood Retirement Village

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