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ABOUT 11 Dec 2021

Tim Bolot Challenges Health and Care Boards

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Spencer Garner

Head of Marketing
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“Do you really want to improve quality? Empower your teams!”

“No sizeable health or care organisation can be managed effectively without structured, timely and easily understood information.”

This is the basic premise behind the work Tim Bolot (Founder and CEO) has put into developing Tendable, an incredibly accessible way of producing the real-time data staff and management need.

A fast and effective way of capturing information to ensure an organisation evolves into a quality-focused, improvement-driven culture that delivers safe, efficient care and support.

During his career, Tim spent 15 years on the boards of some of the largest, most complex health and care organisations in the UK such as South London NHS Trust and Southern Cross Plc, the largest care home provider in the UK with 750 care homes. Working primarily as a Director of Finance, his role has been to help organisations to improve their operational and financial performance. As he says, “In this role, I have spent thousands (probably tens of thousands) of hours with front line staff, doctors, nurses, therapists and administrative staff, working with them to help try and improve services as well as working with management teams trying to effect change.”

Three key learnings from his career have driven the development of Tendable:

  1. The key to improving quality and performance in health and care organisations is to get the frontline engaged and motivated.
  2. Too often, technology and management processes have been imposed on frontline teams without engagement, and without participation in their development.
  3. There is no way any organisation of scale can be managed effectively without structured and timely information provided from across that organisation.

As Tim explains, “Unless you engage and bring on-side the doctors, nurses, carers, pharmacists, administrative and the numerous other staff actually providing care, any quality improvements you aim to make will not be sustainable. Any solution has to properly take into account what staff need, the pressures they are under, and the ways in which they work.

“I have made a career out of tidying up the mess which can result from failing to engage. As an example, an electronic patient record system was introduced without properly training the outpatient clinic administrators – and the result was a roomful of angry patients who couldn’t be checked in. The staff had to resort to completing paper slips. A ‘computer on wheels’ system had nurses in care homes expected to administer medicines while wheeling around a laptop with an extension cord that wasn’t long enough. These ‘solutions’ were thoughtless, a waste of staff time, and failed to provide useful information to management.

“Time and again, I have seen management struggle as teams of people come to quality review meetings with paper forms, and report back orally in a way that makes it impossible to work out what is going on.”

Tim asks, “How can you fulfil your management duties as a health and care provider if you have no idea what is going on in many of the sites you operate from, and have not seen any meaningful information in the last six months?”

Tendable solves these common issues by using well designed mobile technology and innovation to unleash the potential of people in health and care to improve quality. It provides them with the tools and insight they need to be more effective in their roles and deliver better, safer services to patients and their families.

“Tendable, formerly Perfect Ward developed as an idea when I was given responsibility for helping to improve quality at an NHS Trust which had been rated “Inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Each week, nurses from across the organisation would arrive with their paper audits of issues they had identified, and they would try to explain what was happening and the improvements they had implemented.

“It was impossible to follow whether we were making progress, and where the real, major issues were. It was frustrating for them as they struggled to communicate the progress made and the barriers they were facing; it was frustrating for me as different people came in with highly subjective reports which could not be easily assessed.”

And so the idea was born – an easy to use mobile app which makes quality audits and so much more information gathering enjoyable, no matter what clinical role the user has. “To test Tendable, we mocked up an online library, much like the music libraries many of us have now on our mobile devices, and each clinical area was represented as an album cover. The clinical staff absolutely loved it. I will never forget the excitement in the faces of some very non-tech-savvy nurses as they saw how this could help them.

“We are creating the easiest to use, most reliable quality improvement and assurance tools that are designed with and for front line care staff. These people are doing difficult, stressful work and our goal is to make their jobs easier, not harder. Tendable solutions are helpful, easy to engage with, and support people working in care to quickly identify what is wrong, and to fix it.

“Frontline staff love using our product. The data they record delivers back to them and their management teams the best insights and the information they need to rapidly improve care. We help build communities which share a commitment to improving quality.”

Six years on, and Tendable has a team of 50 people serving more than 80 customers – who number among them many of the largest, most respected public and private health and care organisations in the UK, South Africa and Australia. More than 50,000 quality audits are carried out each month on Tendable software. Tim comments, “We are a high energy team, working together. Our purpose is to continuously raise the bar in quality so that our clients can provide safer, better quality care to their patients and families and actually evidence this, quickly, easily, automatically.

We are looking to make a meaningful and significant contribution to helping improve health and care standards across the world."

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