Improve continuity of care and fill shifts with people you know and trust from your full-time team; avoiding expensive agencies.
Cover any gaps with Florence professionals matched to your shift; fully background checked and qualified with the skills you need.
Auto-Fill shifts with your full-time staff first, so the same people work together often
Invite Florence nurses, carers and support workers back to shifts, over and over
Florence matches people with the right skills to shifts, so you deliver the best care
'Favourite' the Florence professionals you prefer to work with and invite them back to fill open shifts, again and again.
Patients and residents will keep building relationships and seeing the same faces, improving continuity of care.
"When we push the shifts out on a Friday, Florence professionals can see them alongside our permanent staff, so we can fill schedules straight away. It makes life so much easier and less stressful for our managers."
"One of the biggest issues was trying to find cover when people called in sick shortly before the beginning of their shifts. Now, we've all gained a few more hours in the day, [with] more time to create an outstanding space to care for people."
"The main difference between Florence and a traditional agency is the online platform. Florence is very easy to use. I have a lot of workers on my favourites list, it’s almost too long now!"
"I like the auto-favourite feature. When you find the right worker, it’s very important to get them back whenever possible, to preserve continuity of care – especially in a dementia care setting. I’ve built a list of nurses that have taken the time to understand us and enjoy working for us, and I invite them back regularly."
"I posted 20 shifts, and they all got picked up within 10 minutes. Honestly, that’s amazing. The same Florence professionals come back time and again, which is key for us. It means consistency for our service users and permanent staff: they know who everyone is and how they work. You can tell Florence nurses, care assistants and support workers really love what they do. These days, we view them as part of the team."
"Since working with Florence, we’ve had less staff shortages. When staff drop out at the last minute, Florence can always cover those shifts – any day or time. The quality of the staff is really good as well. We’ve managed to get some continuity going with staff, It’s nice for the residents to know who’s looking after them. It’s freed up a lot of time; you’re not having to call on-call staff which means you can focus on what matters, which is giving the best care."
Put your healthcare service's postcode in below to see how many Florence nurses, carers and support workers are ready to cover your shifts nearby.
You can improve every aspect of your care service to deliver better continuity of care. Here's how.
Continuity of care means making sure a person's ongoing healthcare runs smoothly over time between all the different people and teams involved.
It's like passing a baton in a relay race. Each healthcare provider needs to know what the last one did, so the person gets the right care all the way through their treatment.
It means everyone - doctors, nurses and other care staff - follow the right processes and understand what needs to be done to keep each person healthy and safe.
Continuity helps make sure everyone taking care of a person knows what's going on. Mistakes - like getting medication wrong - are less likely, because everyone's communicating and in the loop about what patients need.
It also helps those being given care feel more comfortable and understood, because they don't have to keep explaining their health issues over and over to different people. So, it's continuity is good for peoples' health, peace of mind and their positive impression of a care service.
Good continuity of care makes things better for everyone involved: care teams can do their jobs more effectively, and people get more comfortable and personalised care. Here's how:
For care teams
Less confusion: When everyone knows what's going on, it's easier to give the right care.
Better teamwork: Care teams work together more easily when systems and processes are smooth and standardised, because they all have the same information, consistently.
Time-saving: Staff don't waste time figuring out what the last person did when continuity is good. They're able to simply focus on giving care.
Job satisfaction: Team members feel good about their work when they know they're providing good-quality, consistent care.
Less risk: When everyone's on the same page, there's less chance of making harmful mistakes.
For patients and people in care
Better health: Getting the right treatment at the right time can help people see improved outcomes and have a better care experience.
Peace of mind: People feel more relaxed when they know their healthcare providers are talking to each other and know what's going on.
Trust: Continuity helps build good relationships between patients and their team. Trust makes it easier to talk openly about health concerns.
Less repetition: People don't need to keep explaining their history or symptoms to new people all the time, which can be tiring and frustrating.
Personalised care: When healthcare providers know a person's history well, they can give care that's most suited to their needs.
Continuity can be split into three broad types. Maintaining and improving continuity in each of these areas is important for making sure people get the best care possible.
1. Informational continuity
This means making sure medical information is passed along correctly. Each doctor, nurse, or caregiver should have all the important details about a patient's health history, treatments and needs. This makes it easier to give the right care.
2. Management continuity
This is about making sure the care plan for a patient is consistent, no matter who is giving the care. For example, if a patient moves from hospital care to home care, or to a new location across the country, everyone involved at each end should know what treatments and medications the patient needs.
Medical records and care plans should be easily accessible to any new healthcare providers, so care continues smoothly. This helps make sure everyone gets stable and consistent care.
3. Relational continuity
This is about the relationship between the patient and the healthcare provider, for example when a patient can see the same doctor, nurse or support worker over time. This helps build trust, and it also means the healthcare provider knows the patient's health well.
Maintaining and protecting good continuity of care should be at the heart of any healthcare team's goals. Here's what you can do and put in place to help your team achieve this:
Training and skill development
1. Regular training: Make sure your team's training is up-to-date and covers all regulatory requirements. This helps everyone give the same high level of care. You can manage training in-person, online, or using a mix of both - Florence Academy is a super simple way for your whole team to train online, helping you keep track of compliance at a glance.
2. Skill assessments: Regularly check in on how well your team can do certain tasks and train them in areas where they need to improve. This helps keep quality of care the same no matter who is on duty. Our competency framework and supervisions template can help you with this.
1. Open channels: Make it easy for staff to talk to each other about what's going on. This could be through meetings, group chats, website updates or email and chat messages - ideally a mix of all, depending on the information you need to share.
2. Clear guidelines: Make sure everyone knows the rules, values and standards you have in place for giving care at your service. When everyone knows what to do, it’s easier to keep things running smoothly.
3. Feedback mechanisms: Provide ways for your team and people in your care to give feedback, and listen to it - good and bad. This helps you see what’s working and what needs to get better. Make improvements based on what you hear.
Monitoring and oversight
1. Regular audits: Review care plans and service records regularly to make sure they're current and complete. This helps you see if anything's going wrong.
2. Quality checks: Find meaningful ways to measure if you're doing a good job. Keep an eye on these measures to see if things are getting better or worse.
1. Shift planning: Make sure you have enough people to do all the work that needs doing. When you don't have enough staff, it's hard to give good, steady care.
2. Backup plans: Know what to do if something unexpected happens, like if someone calls in sick. This helps you keep giving good care even when things are tough. With Florence, you can get last-minute cover at the tap of a button by inviting favourite professionals you know and trust to the open shift. A handy plan B to have at your fingertips!
1. Involve people in their own care planning: Let people have a say in how they get cared for. This makes them more interested in their own care, which helps keep things consistent. Try using our person-centred care plan template to help you with this.
2. Regular updates: Tell people and their families about any changes in how they're being cared for or who's caring for them. This builds trust and makes changes easier to handle.
Technology and documentation
1. Use a shared system: Pick a computer system everyone knows how to use (offer training where needed). This makes it easier to pass information from one person to another.
2. Data protection: Make sure the system you use to keep records is safe. You need to keep people's personal information private to stay within the law and maintain confidentiality.
The right tech can significantly improve continuity of care at your service by saving you time and connecting your team. Technology that can help includes:
1. Electronic health records (EHRs) or electronic care records (ECRs)
What they are: EHRs or ECRs put all the info about patients or clients in one place. This helps teams work together and share important information - like patients' medical history and what meds they're already taking.
Benefits: These records make it easier to make healthcare decisions, as well as keep information correct and up-to-date. They also cut down on paperwork and let you make updates in real-time.
2. Care coordination platforms
What they are: This software helps you manage and plan patient care ahead.
Benefits: It helps you use your resources better, sets up automatic schedules, and lets staff know right away about important tasks or changes in a patient's or client's condition.
3. Telemedicine solutions
What they are: Telemedicine lets doctors and healthcare professionals talk to patients over video calls.
Benefits: Care is more flexible for patients, and your time is freed up for more urgent, in-person cases.
4. Secure messaging apps
What they are: Phone or desktop messaging apps that let staff chat in a way that's both fast and private.
Benefits: They help speed up decisions and make it easier to hand over tasks from one person to another.
5. Medication management systems
What they are: These are computer programs that help keep track of medication records. This cuts down on mistakes.
Benefits: They make it simpler to give out medication and make sure people are sticking to their medication plans.
6. Wearable health technology
What they are: Wearable technology, like smartwatches, can keep an eye on important numbers like heart rate, blood pressure and how much a person moves.
Benefits: These devices let you keep an eye on a patient's health all the time, giving you a fuller picture of how they are doing.
7. Remote monitoring tools
What they are: This is special medical gear that keeps track of things like your vital signs and sends the info to healthcare pros.
Benefits: This lets doctors and nurses take action right away if something starts to go wrong.
8. Scheduling software
What it is: This kind of software sorts out who is working when, and what they are doing. Using Florence to schedule your team helps you maintain continuity of care, as you can maximise your full-time team's hours, and cover unfilled shifts by inviting the same temporary staff back, again and again.
Benefits: Helps make sure enough people are working, that the same people are working together on the same patients or residents when possible, which helps keep care person-focussed and consistent.
9. Data analytics platforms
What they are: Reporting to look at performance metrics that you define, to figure out what's going on in your service and what might happen next.
Benefits: They help you make choices about the management of your service, helping you deliver better and more consistent care.
10. Cybersecurity solutions
What they are: These are computer security tools that keep patient data safe.
Benefits: They help protect against illegal access to data, making sure you're following the law about keeping information safe.