MySE Life app expands to include personal support staff
September 1, 2022
For registered nurse Barb Gerryts, the MySE Life app is transforming the way she delivers home and community care; and she’s savouring every second – in real time.
Last year, with her help, SE Health, a not-for-profit social enterprise and one of Canada’s largest healthcare organizations, designed and implemented the MySE Life app.
It’s a one-of-a-kind mobile application and digital platform for direct care providers that’s empowering staff while giving them the tools they need to deliver high-quality and safe care.
“Today, I can’t live without the MySE Life app, it has become such an integral part of my workday,” said Gerryts, who delivers care in the Niagara region and is part of the original co-design team that created the app from the ground up early in the pandemic.
“I am constantly checking the app and sending the self-directed schedule notifications to our coordinators,” she said.
Since implementing MySE Life last summer, SE Health has expanded the app to include personal support staff across the organization and has established a personal support care team of champions. Their insights, along with those of the nursing leaders, continue to drive the app’s features and design.
SE Health calls this initiative, ‘for direct care providers, by direct providers,’ and it’s part of the organization’s People Everything Program that, together with staff involvement, identifies, understands, and implements specific actions to enhance the employee experience.
“This is the best experience of voicing our opinions individually and collectively and seeing it happen,” said Grace Mansfield, a longtime and dedicated SE Health Personal Support Worker (PSW) in the Hamilton, Ont., region. “Sometimes, as PSWs, we feel alone and it’s nice to know that our leaders and the organization are listening and including us in creating positive change.”
Staff feel happy about spending more time caring for clients because they can complete most of their role-related tasks in the application.
They are also grateful for the opportunity to work alongside other SE Health teams on a multi-year roadmap to make this digital platform the best it can be. Their ongoing input ensures that the MySE Life app remains relevant and that it’s optimizing the right areas.
“This is the quintessential, consolidated experience where a cloud-enabled mobile application is connecting multiple systems to provide a consistent, cohesive experience,” said Imtiaz Ahmed, vice president, Digital Experience and Enablement at SE Health. “While still using legacy systems we are able to provide a next generation experience for our direct care providers. The best part: they are in the driver’s seat telling us what works for them.”
“The MySE Life app is a breath of fresh air that is allowing me to focus my extra time on client care,” said Breanne Paquette, one of SE Health’s Personal Support champions in Windsor, Ont. “All the important information that I need to know about my clients is right there in the app, including their client number, diagnosis and medical and visit history. I feel like I have everything I need to do my job and keep everyone safe in any situation.”
“We are prioritizing the experience for our people,” said Candace Moore, SE Health’s digital product lead who is playing a key role by connecting the digital, clinical, and administrative teams to collect feedback and ensure seamless implementation.
“We are making decisions on features and ensuring the UX and the UI (design) are well thought out so that it’s a clean experience. Staff aren’t bouncing around from one side of the app to the other, it’s interconnected and it promotes their ‘day in the life’,” she added.
In the last year, that experience continues to get even better for direct care providers. Updates to client care schedules and virtual care delivery options are only few taps away, which give nurses the opportunity to manage all aspects of client care proactively and collaborate more effectively with their team through the app.
“The nurses also have better insights about their personal journeys,” noted Ahmed. “A feature called “My Metrics” provides a one-stop shop to view the direct care provider’s activities related to their performance and other measures. Having the on-demand ability to view the metrics further improves their autonomy so they don’t have to wait for information from team members or their manager.”
On time notifications is another valuable feature in the app. Direct care providers are always on the move, travelling from one client home to the next and across communities and receiving timely updates is crucial for awareness and planning. Automatic notifications on the app allow them to quickly view important changes to client schedules or flag administrative actions that may need immediate attention.
In all the app’s features, safety comes first – for both patients and staff. Employee and client screening tools introduced during the pandemic are built into MySE Life and the app makes the process smarter by consolidating the screeners together. Every day, the screeners automatically display in the app with a red line that turns teal once the screeners are completed.
“It’s a one-stop shop that’s giving us the platform to provide our staff with the 360-degree view of their clients – and then some,” said SE Health’s Clauselle Slack, a personal support leader in the Greater Toronto Area who is passionate about the holistic client care focus in the Home Opportunity People Empowerment (H.O.P.E.) Approach to Care – the primary model of care at SE Health.
“The app is helping personal support staff to become more integrated into the model of care, ensuring we have all the information we need about the client before we enter their home,” said Slack. “It’s also helping us to train new staff with its user-friendly interface and promote personalization so that it works for us the way we need it to.”
“I’m a visual learner so being part of a co-design leadership group where we are involved in tailoring this app to our specific needs is incredible,” said Monika Janeczek, an Ottawa, Ontario-based former airline employee turned PSW (in the first wave of COVID-19), who is thriving with the opportunities for growth at SE Health and refers to working in home-care as a “calling.”
“It was life-changing moving from four applications to two and it is also nice to hear the feedback from the nurses, about their experience. It’s a great feeling to work for an employer who is committing to getting its people on the same page; if I decide to go into nursing, I have a solid foundation for where I’m going.”
“We are continuing to invest in our Personal Support Care Program and are deeply committed to giving our personal support staff what they need to deliver the best care in our communities, at all times,” said Blanche Durocher, director of Personal Support Care at SE Health. “That commitment includes having the client knowledge they need so they can advocate for their clients and share feedback with the interdisciplinary team,” she added. “They can also look back and offer context about a client to a colleague if need be. As a result, they feel more a part of the care team and that translates into exceptional care delivery.”
The app is also giving personal support staff the ability to reorganize their working day, so it’s laid out the way they want to see their clients. They have access to “map view” – so they can pinpoint all client visits on a map – and client emergency contacts, which saves them time from having to search in many places for this information.
“It’s the total experience,” explained Ahmed. “We started with nursing, but our focus is direct-care providers and going beyond the individual experience to look at the full care-team perspective. We are committed to enhancing everyone’s experience together and the MySE Life app is just one of the many ways we’re doing that.”
But that’s not all. As Ahmed explained, the app is built on a digital platform with “open architecture” at the heart, and the team is looking at expanding the use of the MySE Life platform for all clinical and non-clinical staff across the organization.
“The MySE Life app product team is fully agile which allows us to pivot very quickly based on real feedback and changing business needs,” he noted. “The potential for development is unbelievable and the vision is truly in the name: MySE Life, my journey, my experience and my professional development – it will become the hub for ‘My life’ at SE Health. We are so excited for what’s to come.”
As Ahmed and his team look to the future and expanding the app to include rehabilitation staff, direct care providers like Gerryts and her colleagues are reveling in how far they’ve come since the beginning and the seamless experience the app provides every day.
“Together, our teams turned delivering care into a technology piece, which is necessary these days. Now, I will never go back to the old ways; MySE Life is my future.”
Sarah Quadri is Director, Corporate Communications, at SE Health.