Getting the message write

Anoto’s digital pen technology is transforming business processes in HC-One’s 200-plus care homes, freeing time for staff to spend with patients and delivering real efficiency gains.

About Us

HC-One specialises in Dementia, Nursing, Residential and Specialist care with 200-plus homes throughout the UK. HC-One focuses on the individual, striving to provide the best and kindest possible care, to the one who matters, the Resident, by the one who makes the difference, the individual member of staff.

Introducing digital pens is one othe methods we are using to try and reduce paperwork. The pens have reduced the duplication of work and increased job satisfaction. Colleagues can now spend more time doing what they are trained to do – spending time with residents.


HC-One realised that homes were missing up to 20% of incoming phone calls because staff prioritised patient care over answering the telephone. This demonstrated that a number of people were making repeat inquiry calls as they had not received a call back from their initial contact. This was a major business issue, not only was HC-One potentially missing business but also its projections about future bed use were not well informed.

The implementation started with the aim of helping care home staff to respond more efficiently to people calling to ask about a home placement. Care home workers were writing these details down manually before entering them into the central database for follow up. Using an electronic pen and digital form would allow staff to capture the information electronically and automatically. It was potentially a cost effective solution that required the right partner to support an implementation project across all HC-One care homes.


In 2013, HC-One selected Anoto as its business partner to take the project forward. “They understand what our business is about and work with us to find solutions,” says Neil. A small pilot project in ten homes tested and refined the way staff used the pens. This showed that staff found them acceptable and easy to use. HC-One and Anoto jointly developed bespoke training material before rolling out two pens and digital forms to each of HC-One’s care homes. Simultaneously, HC-One rolled out digital pens to the field teams of operational managers who oversee groups of homes on a regional basis.

HC-One is convinced that digital pens have a wider role in to play in the business. They are practical, cost
effective, easy to use and acceptable to staff. “We want to use the pens for any process where there is duplication or where we are failing to capture data centrally,” says Neil. HC-One and Anoto are currently looking at digitising a number of forms so they can be filled in by digital pen. By using Anoto Live Forms,  HC-One will be able to capture handwritten information as digital data.  The company believes that automating document processing is key to improve efficiency.


No more writing down details on paper, no more typing details into the system as this is now done automatically. The pen does not require wifi and it is easy to use – simply plug it into the computer and the information uploads to the central database automatically, ready for HCOne’s operational teams to follow up.

So far, over 14,500 enquiries have been logged digitally and over 1,600 key contacts recorded. Home administrators no longer have to enter the contact details onto the database manually – a task that previously took seven minutes per contact. HC-One says this alone is saving 70 days a year in admin time across the whole

Operational field managers who oversee groups of homes also use digital pens to capture notes as they walk around, saving hours of typing. They use them for monthly visits, for annual surveys of maintenance and upgrades and for HR meetings. According to Neil, this reduction in paperwork has the potential to impact on staff morale. As any homeowner will know, paperwork and bureaucracy is a major source of dissatisfaction for carers and managers. Quite simply, they prefer spending time with residents to time at a keyboard.