HOW IS EVIDENCE GATHERED FOR DOMICILIARY CARE AGENCIES?
Overwhelmed by the demand for Evidence for your Home Care Visits? …………………….here’s a solution.
We all know that when it comes to the property market, it’s all about Location, Location and Location and similarly in domiciliary care it is debated that its all about Evidence, Evidence, and more Evidence.
Every Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection is primarily an Evidence-gathering exercise. Speaking to one inspector and CQC Specialist Advisor (SpA), I was told that “if it isn’t written down then it never happened”. That’s the stark reality of running a domiciliary care agency today. It can be overwhelming.
Every action or inaction on the part of your Support Workers needs to be justified:
What did they do?
When did they do it?
Where did they do it?
How and why?…..and all of this needs to be documented.
When something goes wrong or there is a major incident where a member of staff is or has been involved such as the unexpected death of a Service User, without the appropriate documented Evidence of the above, your agency is at a far greater risk of being fined or being found guilty of negligence, corporate manslaughter or gross misconduct.
Gathering all the Evidence you need to protect your agency; your Support Workers and your Service Users may sound like an impossible task but it doesn’t have to be.
Digital technology exists to help you easily and comprehensively log, store and access all your recorded evidence.
Why go digital?
If you’re not quite convinced of the power of going digital, of switching from manual care notes to electronic notes, consider the following:
MAR charts, Topical Medication Application Reports (TMARs), Fluid Intake, ABC Charts, Safeguarding, Bristol Stool, Monitoring Charts and the list goes on; your Support Workers have a lot to write up during a single visit. How much time does that take away from the provision of care on each visit? 10 minutes or even more?
With electronic notes, the time spent documenting tasks can be drastically reduced. With the CareSuccess mobile app, checklists for tasks considerably speed things up with voice-to-text functionality adding that vital layer of detail as all your Support Worker needs to do to make their notes is click and talk.
Whether it’s the CQC or Social Services, dealing with demands to see Evidence of a Service User incident can be stressful. This is especially true if you have boxes of paperwork to wade through. With logbooks stored in Service Users’ homes, your Care Managers may not even be up to date on the current status of a Service User, let alone have easy access to vital notes. This situation is confounded by the eligibility of hurriedly written care notes as your Support Workers struggle to stay on schedule for each visit.
Electronic notes can be accessed anywhere, anytime. With the CareSuccess management portal, Manager’s simply needs tap in a quick search query over any given date range for a specific Service User or Support Worker to access the required notes.
Day-to-day, Managers can also see up to the minute reports as the moment a Support Worker completes their electronic care notes for a visit, these notes are synced with the CareSuccess management app. In addition, our Red-Amber-Green (RAG) alert system enables Support Workers to clearly flag any issues they had on a visit so your Care Managers can quickly see whether or not they need to intervene.
How often do you deal with calls from family members who believe their loved one, your Service User, has not received the care they need? Perhaps they claim personal hygiene tasks were not completed or Medication not administered.
With handwritten care notes stored at a Service User’s home, you haven’t got easy access to the information you need to provide them with an immediate, definitive response. You’ll need to make time to go get those notes, rummage through them and find what you’re looking for, though you may still come up empty if your support worker hasn’t documented all of their tasks.
Electronic notes don’t just give your Managers instant access to Evidence of completed tasks but with the CareSuccess management portal, every time your support workers log that they have completed a task, the task is time and date stamped. Add to that GPS tracking and you’ll have convincing proof to show Service Users’ family members of where and when a task was completed.
What’s more, individual Service User care plans and their needs are built into their profile on the CareSuccess mobile app; if a Support Worker tries to log their completed notes having not ticked off a mandatory task, they’ll be alerted to their oversight and requested to submit their notes.
When it comes around to monthly audits, from Spot Checks and Shadowing to Mandatory Training and Hand Wash Audits, Evidence once again comes into play. The CQC want to see what you’ve done and when you did it. As before, rifling through countless folders to dig out your proof is time-consuming. Electronic notes via the CareSuccess mobile app shred on the management portal enables you to quickly log and easily access your audits. The same goes for Evidence of Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions.
All your evidence is in one place, easily retrievable and the highest levels of security.
CareSuccess enables you to do away with mountains of paperwork by providing user-friendly digital apps that make creating, storing and accessing evidence easy for everyone, whether you’re tech-savvy or not.
Here is some of the functionality you can look forward to with CareSuccess:
- Attendance logs for arrival and departure times of Support Workers at Service Users’ homes
- GPS tracking of Support Worker visits to Service Users
- Evidence of completion of care plan tasks including:
- Medication Administration Reports (MARs)
- TMARs and Repositioning
- Alerts indicating potential Safeguarding concerns
- Antecedents, Behaviour and consequences (ABC data)
- Bristol stool data
- Ulcer grades (including photo uploads)
- Food and Fluid Intake
- Accidents, incidents and near misses
- Real-time alerts of completed visits (including logged care notes)
- Clear indications of the need for intervention using the RAG red-amber-green alert system.
There’s more to gain with CareSuccess’ state of the art digital care technology. Every feature and function is designed to take away the stress that comes with the constant demand for evidence. With our suite of care apps, Evidence is easy to log and easy to access, leaving you to focus on providing excellent care.
For more information about how CareSuccess can help your agency thrive, get in touch with me, Harry Jashvir, here
Author: Harry Jashvir, CareSuccess – Digitally Empowering Care Providers…….We Care
LESSONS THAT DOMICILIARY CARE CAN LEARN FROM THOMAS COOK?
‘Go digital or go under’ may sound like a stark ultimatum but the recent liquidation of Thomas Cook proves there is truth in it. With a 22,000-strong workforce and a 178-year heritage, the case of Thomas Cook proves there is no such thing as being so big that your business can’t fail by ignoring the rapid march of digitalisation.
The need for digital transformation isn’t restricted to the travel industry. It’s the way forward across all sectors from retail and manufacturing to education and healthcare, as supported by a recent study which revealed 89% of enterprises have plans to adopt a digital-first strategy.
There are lessons to be learned from the demise of Thomas Cook and the writing is on the wall for businesses that fail to take action in light of their downfall. Digital technology disrupted the travel industry and left Thomas Cook behind. It is now disrupting the care industry. Investing in digital transformation is no longer a choice; it’s the only way to ensure your agency won’t suffer the same fate.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what went wrong with Thomas Cook, what the care industry can learn from this and how digital technology can drive your care agency forward
LESSONS TO LEARN
Thomas Cook was “an analogue business in a digital world”. These are the words of Tim Jeans, former managing director of Monarch Airlines, who left the airline well before its own liquidation. Like it or loathe it, we live in a digital world and that’s dramatically changed the way potential clients interact with businesses
In the case of Thomas Cook, they held onto their 560 high street travel agents and failed to heed the changes in how people now book their holidays. Rather than move forward with the internet revolution, they watched it go by. Travellers became increasingly happy to create their own holidays by booking online with competitive travel businesses that had unique offerings. Airbnb, Trivago, Expedia, Ryanair and lastminute.com all took slices of the market away from Thomas Cook
The fact is, the internet revolution makes it easy for your clients to find alternatives to the services you offer. Even if you’re an established name, holding onto Local Authority contracts or retaining private clients now requires more than this.
WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO SAY
We aren’t the only ones who believe in digitalisation in care, the government is pushing for it too. The NHS 5-year plan puts digitalisation at its heart. Social care services are now enforcing a new requirement on care providers in order to secure care contracts – you must embrace digital technology in the running of your care agency. No digitalisation, no contracts, it’s as simple as that.
Digitalisation will keep you in the game when it comes to winning care contracts but it can do far more to benefit the day to day running of your agency in light of the current state of domiciliary care in the UK.
THE CURRENT STATE OF CARE
The rate of staff turnover in adult social care is staggeringly high at 30.7%, resulting in 110,000 nationwide vacancies at any one time. Almost 70% of these vacancies are for carers. Greater turnover means more time and money spent on recruitment and training, while continuity of care suffers. The problem at first appears intractable.
You’re expected to retain your carers at a time when turnover rates are at an all-time high and the funding gap continues to grow. You can’t increase salaries, you don’t get a say on adult social care funding and a looming Brexit is predicted to further exacerbate the situation.
So, what can you do to get your staff to stay and be the very best? The short answer: make their lives easier
Help them deal with the strain on the system, empower them to do more and free up their time to focus on delivering excellent care. This is where digital technology has a major role to play.
HOW CAN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY HELP?
Often, the task of digital transformation focuses on the bottom line. However, truly effective digitalisation of your care agency requires shifting focus to the frontline. This is something organisations in other sectors have already recognised. In the manufacturing industry, 71% recognise their workforce as either very or extremely important in realising the digitalisation of their organisation, according to an Industry report.
By transforming your care agency from the ground up and taking a people-centred approach, your bottom line will benefit as the performance of your staff improves and your agency delivers better care more efficiently. This is what will raise your brand and profile above your competitors.
When considering where in your care agency digital technology can make the greatest impact, it’s helpful to consider the outcomes you wish to achieve. Here are 3 major benefits of digitalisation that can help your care agency:
CONTINUITY OF CARE
Mobile technology enables your carers access to clear, up-to-date care plans anywhere, anytime. What’s more, it allows them to easily update care plans or add handover notes for subsequent care visits. Features such as photo uploads also improve the accuracy of data for more tailored service provision.
Handwritten notes are not only easily lost or damaged, but they are time-consuming to prepare. Digitalisation speeds up the process of updating care plans and compiling handover notes. Voice-to text capability means carers needn’t even type up their notes. Cloud storage and mobile access means your carers can have instant access to the information they need, enabling them to get straight down to providing care. For visiting home carers, time is also saved in between appointments with mobile apps providing appointment reminders and maps with detailed directions
For office staff, operations that ensure the smooth running of your care agency can be brought together on a single platform, rather than juggling multiple software programmes, spreadsheets or hardcopy files. Rostering, electronic invoices and timesheets to integrate with payroll software, as well as centralised access to staff records, reports and training certificates all save your office staff time.
ENHANCED VISIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
Mobile apps enable GPS tracking and logging of appointment times, with real-time alerts to office staff of missed or late appointments. Accident and incident reports can be logged at the scene and immediately made available to managers via a single shared digital platform. All of this data provides a clear evidence trail for audits while features such as digital questionnaires for service users and electronic care plans ensure you are always ready to provide evidence to the CQC.
CareSuccess has developed a suite of apps tailor-made for the care industry. Each app facilitates continuity of care and compliance, improves visibility and reduces the time your staff spend on administrative tasks, so they can focus on the human side of care.
The need for adult social care in the UK is growing. Currently, over a third of older people receive formal care and an ageing population means that one in 5 UK residents are now aged over 65, with expectations that this will rise to one in 4 by 2050. Meeting the demands for care will require gains in efficiency and effectiveness that only digitalisation can provide.
The bell has already tolled for care agencies that are stuck in analogue mode. The internet revolution is here, unless you want to suffer the same fate as Thomas Cook.
Make it happen for your care agency today by contacting Hitesh (Harry) Jashvir to get your Free 30-Day Trial of our care apps.
Author: Harry Jashvir, CareSuccess – Digitally Empowering Care Providers…….We Care