Switching from a paper-based system to electronic care planning is a significant transition for an assisted living or nursing home community. In addition to financial investment, Senior Living management must consider the time it will take to train care staff and convert records.
Anyone who works in a senior care community knows that accomplishing their daily tasks is a big enough challenge, without adding to their workload. Moreover, change to the way care management is carried out is a disruption and involves a lot of moving parts.
The thing is, you can’t have the ROI without the ‘I’. The challenges are worth facing. Once your senior living community has transitioned to electronic care planning, the returns on investment are many! Our clients say that productivity increases are often the first sign of positive change.
Here are some of the most common workflow improvements seen from making the transition to electronic health records:
Communication with Resident Families
Electronic care management software save staff time when communicating with families. Families can log into their own account where they can see:
- Activities their loved one has participated in
- Photos, videos, or voice recordings of their loved one uploaded by care staff
- Notes and messages from staff
By evidencing care this way, it can give family members peace of mind. Additionally, it may answer questions or concerns, saving staff members time.
Furthermore, an EHR allows staff to quickly pull up a resident’s care plan and medical history with a few clicks. This can make handling family calls less stressful. In turn, this builds trust rapport with families and increases satisfaction. That satisfaction can lead to increased occupancy stays and service user ratings.
Reporting is hugely important but sadly, underutilized. In part, this is due to how time-consuming it can be. EHRs are crucial for reporting. It saves time when you don’t have to transfer data from paper to a computer at the end of a shift. However, the biggest benefit is that reports automatically generate. You can easily track the data that is most important to your senior living community, print or export reports and even set it up to email you analytics at an interval of your choice. Some of the things you can see analytics on include:
- # of activities offered
- types of activities offered
- resident demographics
- resident participation
- accidents logged
- staff actions
Staff can create, assign, and schedule tasks for literally anything. When staff arrive to work, they log on and see exactly what they are responsible for. This sets greater responsibility, as management can see when tasks are getting missed and can follow up. Rather than documentation happening hurriedly at the end of a shift or over someone’s lunch break, it can quickly be typed up or checked as complete on a care management system.
Electronic Care Planning Collaboration
Typically, resident care requires the involvement of multiple parties. A CNA, dietician, physical therapist and activity coordinator could all be collaborating on the care of one resident at the same time. Effective care isn’t possible without excellent communication amongst these practitioners.
With an electronic care planning software, communication amongst multiple parties involved in someone’s care improves instantly. With an EHR, the ability to share important information and collaborate on a resident’s care plan is simple. Everything happens in one space and everyone has access to live updates. This means everyone is on the same page about a resident’s changing needs and current condition.