Leveraging digital tools to benefit healthcare and hospitality businesses
Who’s never wished that their days were just a little bit longer in order to get everything done on time? Or, on the other hand, who’s never dreamed of speeding up their days to get through certain tasks quicker (administrative ones, perhaps)?
Like all industries, although some more than others, health, social care, and hospitality are facing serious organisational and human challenges.
You’re probably wondering how to optimise your resources, which are more and more scarce, but also how to increase in efficiency, without having a negative impact on the quality or accessibility of your service.
Nowadays, there are a plethora of technological solutions, designed specifically with your industry in mind, built to help you confront these challenges and sometimes proactively avoid them. All you need to do is establish exactly what help you need, and select the digital tools that will truly help you save time!
How can technology simplify the management of your establishment?
Technology is a bigger and bigger part of our professional — and personal — lives. Whatever line of work you’re in, certain tools can help you save time by simplifying, or even automating, certain tasks.
But digital solutions can also be used to leverage efficiency, by streamlining certain processes, or by providing you the right information to make the best decisions.
Embracing the potential of technology doesn’t necessary mean digitalising the entirety of your daily tasks, especially for industries with a strong human element. Also, these applications have to be reliable, and easy and pleasant to use if you want your teams to adopt them.
In healthcare or hospitality establishments, these digital tools will always be an added bonus, and require a human dimension to ensure they are effective. Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing specialised technologies that are designed for your line of work, though. It is indispensable that the features are adapted to your business and can provide truly effective solutions to your problems.
So, before downloading your HR or accounting software, it is important to properly analyse your needs.
1. Technology for care recipients / customers
The first obvious way to use technology to support healthcare or hospitality establishments is in the experience that care recipients or customers receive. Significant advances in the quality of patient and customer care have been observed when coupled with digital tools.
In health and social care
Professionals in the health and social care sector pay particular attention to maintaining the quality of every day care and the standard of living of their patients and residents. Staff in these industries have already seen innumerable robotic technologies come and go, but applications that have a real and concrete impact do exist. They can free up your staff from repetitive tasks, or even make them more self-sufficient in their daily duties.
With this in mind, many solutions have been developed to streamline business processes or facilitate communication between different departments. For example, there are tangible benefits to using tools on medical wards for bed management, in particular for emergency departments. These solutions allow staff to see real-time availability and attribute beds to the right patients at the right time.
Onboarding patients can also be improved with these new technologies. Notably, they ease the identification process, and speed up access to a patient’s medical records, past treatments, and specific needs.
Many technologies are available for simplifying patient tracking or improving the quality of care given. For example, electronic bracelets can detect if an elderly patient falls. And there are also practical applications for augmented reality. The Good Cells software offers immersive treatment experiences to treat cognitive disorders.
Technology supports your customers in hospitality, too, and allows you to improve their experience in your establishment. It brings an additional level of service, and convenient and friendly customer support that helps you encourage purchasing decisions.
Of all the possible applications you could use, some special mentions include:
- QR codes, to replace menus (especially useful in light of current health measures), and streamline order-taking or payment;
- Digital menus, to update content in real-time based on availability, season, and daily specials;
- Interactive tables, which create a more interactive engagement with your customers, from taking their order to settling the bill. It’s also an original way to encourage them to share their experience on social media in real time, offering you more exposure;
- New payment solutions, like mobile payment, which is a real time-saver, and also allows you to target customers with personalised offers;
- Reservation software (like Resengo), which improves your online presence and streamlines reservations to fill your restaurant more often;
- Apps for streamlining meal delivery services (like Deliverect), which centralise orders from all compatible apps (Deliveroo, Uber Eats, etc.).
2. Digital solutions for optimising your human resources
The role of managing your human resources has definitely evolved in the last few years and certainly become more complex. Recruiting staff, paying your collaborators, simplifying their onboarding process, and managing their workload can monopolise a large part of your working day.
Technology can, once again, act as a time-saving method and streamline your tasks.
Finding backup staff
Nothing is more stressful for a manager in healthcare or hospitality than confronting an increase in activity with a reduced staff. Being able to simply and quickly find qualified staff to lend a helping hand is, therefore, essential.
Brigad can help by putting you in contact with experienced freelance workers, ready and available to step in and relieve your team’s pressures. Instead of making you sift through dozens of profiles, Brigad’s algorithm suggests the most appropriate candidates for your mission, based on more than 20 quantitative and qualitative criteria. Not only does this save you time, but it guarantees that you are working with a trust-worthy and capable pair of hands.
Supporting new staff onboarding
The new employee induction process is crucial to any business. Indeed, it is hugely influential in whether new staff members are able to effectively carry out their new job or not, and also it has an impact on that staff member’s loyalty to your company. However, very few establishments take the time to formalise this process, perhaps through lack of time or experience.
Digital solutions like Talentsoft or Eurécia can be a huge help when it comes to staff onboarding. They help new team members learn the ropes of your business more quickly by giving them access to all your internal resources, and can even help them prepare for arriving in your team with e-learning modules.
Easier invoice and payslip management
Managing salaries, especially when you have a large team, can be a real nightmare. Your HR department has to create a payslip (or invoice order for self-employed workers), calculate National Insurance contributions, oversee the reporting of payroll information to HMRC, etc…
Using an external provider for this arduous task can come at a considerable cost to your business. You can, however, automate these tedious tasks by using specially-designed software. Payfit stands out in this domain. But healthcare professionals would likely prefer a more tailor-made solution.
Optimising activities and time management
Managing your employees’ time is another unavoidable reality of your role as a people manager. A number of startups have therefore developed digital tools that will easily integrate into existing HR software, but will also allow you to validate clock-on and clock-off data, track overtime and holiday pay, and finally, receive comprehensive reports about time spent on particular activities and jobs still to complete.
A great example of a practical use case of how this technology can assist your business would be Strobbo. Specialising in hospitality, it accesses your reservation system (Resengo, for example) and plans the right number of team members for each shift.
Skello is also aimed at the restaurant industry and helps you design rotas according to each employee’s particular work contract.
Boosting team engagement
You can also turn to a digital solution to boost your team’s engagement. Some establishments set up a full-scale internal social network, allowing team members to share skills and knowledge, and save time looking for information. The go-to reference for this would undoubtedly be Slack, whose free version is remarkably powerful.
WorkBuzz allows your team to have a voice and sounds out the general sentiment and motivation level of your troops. The app lets you easily share personalised surveys, and the qualitative comments can help you improve working conditions.
If you need a secure internal communication tool for sharing confidential information about your patients, you can also rely on Beekeeper. It stands out from the crowd by offering an encrypted mobile messaging service!
3. The right digital tools for simplifying accounting
For many years now, technology has considerably taken the burden of financial management and accounting off of business managers. Nevertheless, it is important to note that increasing numbers of new solutions are targeting medical, healthcare, and hospitality businesses specifically. They offer features specially designed for these industries.
Apicbase is a noteworthy example of this. It allows restaurant managers to track costs and reduce avoidable overspending. Thereby increasing margins, in a sector where they can be quite tight. This programme can shine a light on certain dark areas, for example by giving you access to your stock inventory in real time. Or, by showing you precise quantities of each ingredient to order, based on current business levels.
Phénix takes another approach, and allows restaurants to put their unsold food to good use. Or to recycle unused products in other recipes, thereby helping to reduce food wastage. More generally, business leaders can take advantage of a number of accounting solutions available online.
4. Counting on technology to improve communication and boost visibility
To conclude, the advances of the internet have deeply transformed how we communicate, and have fostered the development of new digital tools to increase your business’ visibility, enhance customer loyalty, and measure satisfaction.
Uses of technology for communication and marketing are numerous. Here are just a few examples worth mentioning:
- Graphic tools, which make creating your establishment’s visual identity easy. Indeed, marketing tools for communicating with your customers or patients can take many forms: signs, brochures, logos, menus, business cards, to name but a few. Free graphic tools such as Canva give you easy access to various visual templates, and even templates designed specifically for each social network.
- Social media (talk of the devil) is an integral part of your marketing strategy. Various applications have therefore been developed to help you save time running your virtual communities. AgoraPulse allows you to run several accounts at the same time and generate reports. It also offers the possibility to prioritise answering customer enquiries and programme future posts.
- There are also specialist tools for managing ratings on specialised ratings websites. This is important for improving your establishment’s image and the trust it instils in potential visitors. TrustPilot, for example, helps you by encouraging your previous visitors to share their opinion. It also exploits the data to drive traffic to your site or social media.
The final word…
It is undeniable that technology can significantly help you in managing all sides of your business. From user experience and HR management, to accounting and marketing, digital tools help you save time and allow you to make better decisions.
Before jumping feet first into this new digital dimension, first take the time to properly assess your needs. Favour solutions that are designed with your industry in mind, but that are also easy to use and as collaborative as possible. If you can take advantage of a free trial before committing, that’s even better!
At Brigad, we know your time is precious. That’s why we created an easy-to-use platform that brings together all the features you need to meet qualified workers. Create your mission in a few clicks, automate your recruitment, and simplify invoicing. Like our current users, you’ll save dozens of hours a week with our services!
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