Software based on NFC technology to identify workers, tasks and users has won the 2016 In-house Sacyr Innovation Award.
The thoroughness involved in caring for those who are dependent on others leaves no room for mistakes, and monitoring and responding swiftly become synonymous with quality. However, in the pursuit of excellence, innovation can optimise the service and make it totally efficient. Willingness is all that is needed. This is what led to the “Mobility in services devoting to dependency care” initiative receiving the prize for the most innovative inhouse initiative in 2016 at the Sacyr Innovation Awards ceremony.
Given the difficulty of really monitoring that the care is being provided correctly, the team responsible for the initiative (David Piernas, Concha Massa, Manuela Martínez, José María Lizan and Monserrat Castro) has developed a platform that makes it possible to ensure the quality of the home-care service for people who are dependent on others by performing real-time monitoring of each visit, the activities that have taken place and any incidents.
For this purpose, the software provides a reliable record of the timings of each of the services provided and makes it possible to anticipate incidents, such as workers failing to turn up for work. “With 900 people in a workforce spread over one or several sites, we needed to monitor this working time”, said David Piernas, as he explained that if an employee does not turn up, an alarm alerts the coordinator so the shift situation can be remedied.
Monitoring, to the second
The system introduced by these five innovators comprises a sticker containing NFC (Near Field Communication) technology placed at the user’s home which identifies it and is unique to it; any attempts to remove the sticker will destroy it and it cannot be copied. This device is accompanied by a smartphone with an NFC reader that identifies each visiting worker and a software programme that stores and processes the data.
The system, which associates the NFC card with the user, records the GPS coordinates of the residence and enables the worker to check in upon arrival, by placing the smartphone close to the sticker. It is therefore possible to check that the smartphone’s GPS position matches the user’s position so as to prevent any manipulation and to associate the arrival time with the start time for the service, while the tasks to be performed appear on the screen. The worker checks out when leaving, and this process verifies that the smartphone’s GPS position matches the user’s position and displays the tasks on the screen, so the worker has to verify the tasks that have and have not been performed.
Thanks to the modelling of all the workers’ rosters and their tasks, the software is capable of sending alerts to the supervisor in the event of any discrepancies, to enable the supervisor to take action. David Piernas explained that they were currently trying to make it into a smart system that automatically associates each worker with each user to whom care is provided according to the criteria set by the company, which can vary with time.
It will only be worth continuing if the innovation contributes to society. To this end, the prize winner for the in-house innovation award highlighted that winning acts as a trigger to continue to make progress in an environment as competitive as that in the sector. “Innovation is the only element that makes us stand out and that contributes added value”, he concluded.