Home Instead Senior Care

Nick Smith from Home Instead Senior Care Nick Smith, Head of Learning and Development

How information and systems can help your social care business

"Statistics cannot be seen in isolation - the numbers have to be connected to knowledge, whether that knowledge is provided by the same person or someone else.” 

Home Instead Senior Care is a domiciliary care company with 160 franchises. Each franchise office is independently owned and operated, but together they employ approx. 6,500 staff who work with around 9,000 clients delivering around 365,000 hours of support each month.

The national office provides support to all the franchises delivering a range of services including information technology (IT) and marketing and each franchise is linked to a Business Performance Manager. They use information to measure how they’re doing – both in terms of customer service and financial performance. 

“Informatics, for me, means being able to take information and turn it into action”.


Customer satisfaction survey

Pursuing excellence through advancing quality (PEAQ) is an independent and confidential annual survey of client and caregiver satisfaction and attitudes. Last year the satisfaction rate was 51% positive which compares extremely well with other large non care service providers.

Monthly database uploads 

Each month we upload information from each of the franchise offices and produce a range of reports.  The reports include everything from client requirements, business performance, schedules, sources of business and sales activities. We are also currently updating the software to provide us with a much wider and deeper analysis.

Monthly dashboard

Key statistics consider the financial credits and debits, in addition to staff numbers, hours and costs and client numbers, hours and costs.

We do not recruit statisticians who know about social care. We recruit based on attitude and then teach them the skills and knowledge of our business. Our performance managers’ have different skills sets from different backgrounds and only one of them is from social care. We train the managers about the social care industry, and in particular, the operation of the domiciliary care business.

Their previous skills, experience and analytical approach offers more to the company than any previous experience in social care. An analytical and questioning mind, together with a desire to improve performance, is the most important.

The accuracy of data entry is taken very seriously and therefore we need to ensure that staff are trained and supported to do this. The franchise owners are given a set of instructions on how we collect and input data.

Training videos can be accessed via the intranet for reassurance at any time. In addition there is an outward facing IT department to support them in their data entry.

Redesigning our service

We use statistical data to inform our plans and to support the franchisees both individually and collectively. The business performance manager conducts an assessment each month with the franchise owner based on the information reported in their monthly data collections. This informs the service and helps us to become even more effective.

Operating an efficient as well as effective business has to be a major motivation for Home Instead. Our data collection has evolved over the last few years, the company now has a much clearer understanding of we are looking for.

Delivering our service

The service operates as a business so needs to make a profit. However, we are clear that if our clients are not satisfied, the company will not be successful. The PEAQ ensures we are able to respond to client’s expectations and to build a better service which more closely meets the needs of the people they support.

I believe that social care needs to collect and use data to dispel some of the myths and to encourage people to drop the preconceptions around the business.

We need to ask; ‘What is really happening here?’ ‘Is it working?’ ‘Why is it happening?’ ‘Can we do it differently?’  to be an effective and efficient successful company