A new self evaluation tool has been developed to help care providers gauge their CQC (Care Quality Commission) grading.
iCOPS has been created by regulator and certification body for assistive technology services, CECOPS, and aims to help providers move away from relying on paper-based systems when preparing for inspections or monitoring improvement.
The cloud-based system allows staff members to evaluate their team against official CQC standards, find out where they're falling short, collect evidence of compliance and set steps for improvement.
It can also be accessed by other members of staff and even CQC officials who can also feed into the report via the cloud to give a comprehensive assessment.
Brian Donnelly, chief executive of CECOPS, hopes the tool will help more care providers evolve from being complaint to constantly improving their service.
He said: “iCOPS allows care providers to drive their own continuous improvement agenda,” said Mr Donnelly. “This is much more than a document store, this is a real tool that delivers real results.”
“It allows commissioners and providers to assess performance on a monthly, weekly or daily basis, rather than waiting for an inspection.
“The cloud technology is a significant improvement on an outdated paper-based spreadsheet system, which can be immensely time consuming and difficult to evaluate if a key staff member is off sick, or leaves."
Shelley Watson, a risk and governance adviser to the CQC has also praised the system as being "the best tool I've ever seen for CQC complaince."
She said: “I’ve helped dozens of independent health and care providers and NHS trusts to meet CQC standards.
“However, many used their own in-house system, often using spreadsheets to record information. These are unwieldy, require manual manipulation and producing reports from them is difficult
“iCOPS ends all of this. It’s the best tool I’ve ever seen for CQC compliance.”
In addition to taking the stress out of inspections and maintaining an excellent standard of care, Mr Donnelly hopes iCOPS will enable care providers to save time, cost and effort and get back to doing what they do best: caring.
He said: “iCOPS means care providers no longer have to cross their fingers with regards to their CQC rating and care managers will have ‘no surprises’ when CQC inspectors arrive. That, I think, is a position every care manager and provider wants to be in.”