Demonstrating a commitment to innovation and technology, Cara has released a mobile application to its workforce, giving staff easy access to important customer information, while on the go. The app is understood to be the first of its kind in the South Australian disability sector.
Nicknamed the ‘Cara Companion’, the app allows staff to view and input customer notes, see customer alerts, locate service information and extract other customer details, all from their mobile device.
A pilot group of Home and Community Support (HCS) workers tested the app on corporate mobiles in early 2021, where it was met with great enthusiasm.
“The only problem with the pilot group was getting the phones back from staff,” acting Cara ICT Manager, Jason Breen joked.
“The team wanted to carry on using it because it makes their job so much easier.”
While Cara residences (Support Independent Living and Short-Term Accommodation homes) include a staff office and computer, HCS staff support customers in their own homes, meaning they lack the luxury of a dedicated office space.
“Currently, HCS staff call through to head office to retrieve or record customer information,” Jason said.
“So, the app really is a game-changer because they can complete these tasks themselves, while they’re out and about.”
Since 2018, Cara has used iDempiere to manage customer and staff data, an open-source platform that has been completely customised in-house, to suit the needs of the organisation.
Working closely with development company, Logilite, the Cara ICT team transformed the desktop version of iDempiere into a mobile-friendly interface.
The app will continue to evolve, with additional features incorporated as required.
“Another catalyst for implementing the app is rostering,” Jason said.
“We’re currently building a new rostering tool that will transform the way our Workforce Planning team manages rostering. Soon they will be able to push notifications to the app to offer shifts, while staff will be able to accept shifts, upload sick certificates and change their availability.
“These are all basic functions that will have a huge positive impact down the track. With a staff body of more than 1000 people, we welcome any tool that can help us streamline communication.”
To ensure data remains secure, only current Cara staff can log into the app and users are logged out after a brief period of inactivity.
If you’re interested in a career at Cara, view our current job vacancies here.