nursing home management

Are your older care home residents getting the nourishment they need?

breakfast

It’s National Breakfast Week, which is a timely reminder of the need for care home residents to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet – not only when they get up in the morning but throughout the day.

This is particularly important for older people, according to an expert on nutrition and catering for a leading care provider.

“During the night your glucose levels have plummeted. The brain needs glucose to function and low levels affect our cognitive abilities: in other words you’re not at your sharpest, which can lead to falls and mistakes,” he explains.

He also makes the point that many older people suffer from loss of appetite, so eating sufficient calories to keep healthy and well-nourished can be difficult. People with dementia are especially at risk, as they often have little interest in food and may end up losing weight.

Make sure your care home record-keeping cuts the mustard

easyLog care monitoring software can be used to highlight meal preferences and log food consumed as part of the standard nutritional care plan. Records can be accessed from standard computers or on the move with a tablet or laptop, so carers can check a client’s nutritional requirements whenever they want at the touch of a button or screen, helping to ensure no detail gets overlooked.

For more information on how our care monitoring software can improve your record keeping and deliver person-centred care, visit our care home management pages.

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording, nursing home management

View and save our care and attendance products on Pinterest

easyLog is now on Pinterest, so you can browse a selection of our care management products and time and attendance devices then pin your favourites to your own boards and share them with colleagues. You can also follow us so you will be the first to see new additions to our boards.

We currently have three boards:

To find out more, click on the links above or visit our Pinterest home page: www.pinterest.com/easylogltd/

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, latest news, mobile worker tracking, nursing home management

New Care Record Software on-line Training Videos announced

Responding to client requests, easyLog will be introducing a comprehensive range of on-line training videos on its care record management software during this Summer. These videos are designed to help care staff quickly get to grips with the main functionality of the product such as creating care plans and evaluating them, completing risk and health assessments and handling other care-related information about a service user like activities calendars, body maps and recording drug administration.

The idea behind the videos is to provide a comprehensive training resource that is independent of the senior system administrator staff that have been responsible for configuring and implementing the software initially. In this way care staff can review and learn functionality quickly without needing to interrupt or book time with the small number of managerial staff that possess the overall system knowledge and detail of its day-to-day functionality. As such this creates a win-win for the overall care team with both carers and their managers able to focus time on the specific training that they will need to operate the system from their own perspective.

The first on-line videos are set to appear later this month with a full set in place by the close of August.

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management

Care Recording: Be practical and clear for your care staff

One of the key benefits our care sector clients describe about their implementation of our care record management software is the facility to define their own recording phraseology for their care staff. On a practical level this feature means that the carer can be presented with recording options that are meaningful to them. This may be because the software is replacing previous manual documentation that has been used for many years or simply that the implementation has allowed the senior staff to present simplified expressions of more medical terms.

And practicality is key to the success our clients have seen in implementing care-Log+ especially in conjunction with the use of tablet PCs and the simplicity of the Carer App. This approach allows a care provider to capture the volume of recording that CQC Inspections now require. And because of the simple adaptation of technology that volume is achieved by the care staff as part of their usual care or shift notes regime.

As I mentioned earlier, the definition of the words that carers select is key. So a fluids chart could be defined in terms of millilitres or by ‘drunk whole cup’, ‘drunk half cup’, etc. Likewise a nutrition record can be phrased to include the option selected at any meal and the amount of food then consumed, such as ‘fully eaten’, ‘half eaten’, etc.

These recordings could be arranged in a single ‘nutrition’ or ‘fluid chart’ document (or evaluation record as it’s called in the software) or split across several documents organised by shift time. So for example, a carer could record the breakfast, mid-morning snack/drink and lunchtime intake in a shift note designed to record all activities from 8am to 2pm. The reporting options in care-Log+ enable a manager to collate all nutrition and/or fluid entries for any service user from any number of care recording documents into a single report. This becomes a vital tool during a CQC audit but also shows the practicality that was highlighted at the outset of this Blog. The main care recording documents can be organised to suit the needs of the service users and the care staff and do not have to be designed to second guess what questions a CQC Inspector may ask; if the recording has been done then the care-Log+ software can present the care records in any way required for audit purposes.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in care home management, care record management, care recording, CQC Inspections, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management

Recording care with objectivity, legibility and speed!

It goes without saying that in a CQC audit the Inspector will look for written proof of the care that has been provided. After all that is what an audit is about; select a small number of residents as sample cases and analyse their records. If any anomalies come to light then drill down further and possibly widen the audit to include other resident records.

But that means the care provider has to ensure their care staff are recording their shift notes in the quantity and quality required to provide the depth of record sets that an Inspector requests. Which brings to mind a number of obstacles. Handwritten notes can be subjective and may contain what could be regarded as inappropriate phraseology. Text such as ‘enjoyed a good day’ may be deemed meaningless as a record of the mood or care provision of the resident.  Additionally, recent years have seen an influx of overseas staff into the care sector. A percentage of these will have English as their second language which could present problems with the meaning and accuracy of the words used in care records. Beyond these concerns legibility would always be an issue from the mix of handwriting styles that carers bring with them and also, how contemporaneous the notes are without authoritative electronic means of time stamping.

Our care-Log+ care record management software addresses these areas by a two pronged approach. First, carers are presented with shift note documents that have multiple prompts each with a selectable option menu for them to record what happened across care needs such as continence, drinks taken, quantity of food consumed, etc. Additional text can be entered as well if a greater description is required. Second, care-Log+ presents these shift note documents on tablet PCs. With touch screen ease of use combined with placement in accessible  locations around the home, all recordings are automatically time and date stamped together with the user ID and then wirelessly added to the central database automatically.

The end result is that the required volume of records is achieved with objectivity and speed yet with reliability and accuracy that is fully auditable. In short, the balance between giving care and recording care is firmly restored in favour of what carers are actually employed to do.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

 

 

Posted by administrator in care home management, CQC Inspections, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management

Care recording in volume for a CQC Inspection audit; exception reporting for practical care intervention

This series of blogs focuses on the particular aspects of our care-Log+ care record management software that assist care providers to prove the care they have delivered in structured record sets. Above all we want to describe how the functionality of the software helps you deliver an auditable trail for inspection by any regulatory body.

In our previous blog (blog on recording for a CQC Inspection) we wrote about the detail and volume of information that it appears a care home may be audited on in a CQC Inspection. Nutrition and fluid records seem to be a particular focus as inspectors try to ascertain that the care home is providing correct input of both – and evidencing this by their records.

We remarked how users of our care-Log+ care record management system were able to satisfy the volume of their record keeping needs, whilst not losing focus on the fact that their care staff are employed to care rather than be administration clerks, in two ways: First, through the facilities care-Log+ offers to define the care records that the management team want the care staff to record. So fluid intake could be defined in terms of millilitre bandings (‘less than 20ml’, ’20ml – 40 ml’, ‘more than 40 ml’ for example) or by description such as in the example of an evening drink with ‘few sips’, ‘half taken’, ‘all taken’, ‘declined’. Secondly, the care staff can quickly record these notes not at a PC (although of course the option exists to do this) but on a wirelessly connected tablet PC that is either carried by the carer or wall-mounted in convenient locations around the home such as in the dining room or lounge.

However, by giving carers an easy and accessible method of recording their shift notes, haven’t we just created another mountain of records to look through only in electronic form rather than paper-based? Well yes we have but there is an extra aspect of the recording functionality (that works with the defining of the prompts and dropdown options that the carer sees on the tablet) that makes care-Log+ a very pro-active care management tool that allows a focus on the exceptions.

That additional facility is the option to mark specific responses, if selected by the carer, as flagging alerts. So in the examples given earlier, the selection of ‘less than 20ml’ for fluid intake could be designated as an alarm and thus alert the management team that the resident has consumed an insufficient volume. A warning is immediately placed on their desktop and will also appear in the Shift Handover report. The software presents the alert in an alarm list. Clicking on a line will then take the senior or matron reviewing the alert flags to the shift note record and present options to enter additional comments, review associated care plans and/or health and risk assessments, add a care task that notifies the care staff on the tablet PC to be aware of a particular care need (such as ‘prompt to drink’ in this case) over a period of time (for example every day for the next week) and, if relevant, access the resident’s body map image.

In this way care-Log+ provides an exception-based environment in which records are gathered very easily and in the volume required through use of the tablet PCs, and then automatically filtered by the software between the few that require immediate review and the majority which are held for reporting as and when required in the future.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in care home management, CQC Inspections, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management

CQC Inspections: It’s all in the recording…

Feedback from our care clients suggests that CQC Inspectors have focused on auditing the detail of residents’ nutrition and fluid intakes. And it appears that really does mean the detail with homes asked to present information for any requested period on the quantity of food and volume of drink consumed at each meal and break time.

For users of our care-Log+ care record management software that presents little problem. care-Log+ has definable shift notes that present a prompt to the carer and then offer multiple dropdown options for them to select from – together with the facility to add additional text if required. So a home might provide a morning shift note that includes options for a carer to record information about the morning drink such as ‘Fully Taken’, ‘Half Taken’, ‘Few Sips/Minimal’ and ‘Declined’.

Carers record this on a tablet PC which can be carried with them or placed conveniently around the home. In this example they would touch the ‘Morning Drink’ prompt and then touch the relevant dropdown option to record the care outcome. It takes seconds and provides instantly auditable records on the care the establishment is providing as every entry is time and date stamped and with the name of the person that made the recording.

Likewise at meal times carers can easily be prompted to record the details of the options selected and the quantity of portion consumed. Again this volume of recording is simply achieved, accurate and timely. Reports can then be run for any time period, any resident and for any option or combination of options (Morning Drink, Evening Drink, etc) across all shift notes. This functionality makes for a powerful tool in the face of an Inspection audit and records are generated with a simplicity of use that carers will take to instantly.

If you would like to know more about how our care-Log+ system can help you achieve accurate auditable care records for a CQC Inspection then please contact one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in care home management, CQC Inspections, nursing home management

Care plans are not a standalone document

When a CQC Inspector is auditing your care records one of the main things they’ll be looking for is to see that the recordings made in one are reflected in any other related documentation. So, for example, notes made on a carer’s shift that record a resident has been not eating to their usual pattern over the last couple of days or so, should be matched by evidence of a recent review of the ‘Eating and Drinking’ care plan. In this way written observations are closely linked to a reassessment of the required care interventions to ensure that the desired care outcomes remain achievable.

This of course describes basic good care and nursing practice but with the volume of care recording undertaken can it be guaranteed that this systematic review happens on every occasion?

A care plan is the central document that defines a service user’s care. Its on-going relationship is therefore not only linked to shift notes but with health assessments, risk assessments but prior to that with pre-assessments and social care (or life story) background information.

It is therefore pleasing to hear from our care-Log customers how the definable flexibility in the software is being used to ensure that each home’s unique and diverse documentation sets are being updated and reviewed as a complete entity. As Lesley Plumb from The Chestnuts care home in Meopham near Gravesend, Kent says,  At a CQC inspection, we were able to demonstrate how all the care we provided was both personalised and “in the round” – in other words, any problems raised were answered and explanations given, leaving no loose ends in relation to a resident’s care.

And of course that’s a very reassuring position to be in before any CQC Inspection.

For more information about the functionality in care-Log and how it can be harnessed to benefit your care home or supported living care facility please contact us.

 

Posted by administrator in care home management, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management

NFC tags making care home management easier than ever

tablet computer being used with an NFC tag

We have written before about how technology is changing the working landscape, particularly mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. And, as the use of tablets increases for care home evaluations and assessments, one of the trends we are seeing is more staff logging in to their devices with near field communication, or NFC, tags rather than conventional passwords.

Advantages of logging in with an NFC tag include:

  • Instant access without typing
  • Users cannot log in with another person’s password
  • Tablets can also be used to record attendance information, such as shift clock-in/out and breaks
  • Tags are available in many forms, including keyfob, adhesive label and wristbands

Using a tablet and NFC tag is also quicker and more convenient than having to remember and type in a password every time the employee needs to log in. Tags are particularly beneficial when the tablet software has timed out for security reasons because the user can easily log back in without having to re-enter a password, reducing timeouts to an absolute minimum.

For more information about using tablets and NFC tags to update care records and other client data on the move, please contact us.

Android-branded NFC tags and key fob

Posted by administrator in care home management, domiciliary care and supported living, nursing home management

How many hours do you pay when the clocks go forward or backward?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially starts this Sunday at 2am with the clock jumping forward by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour less for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay an extra hour when the clocks go back in October and British Summertime comes to an end?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime begins will also be working on the night shift when Summertime ends and therefore a natural order and balance to these things exists. But that is rather wishful thinking to my mind. Across those two days within any year an employee could be on a different shift, be off sick, have left or be on holiday. And if they’re on holiday and you pay that by the hour then what calculation do you use then to ensure the correct remuneration?

Surprisingly I find some organisations blissfully unaware of the point I am making; and when I bring it to their attention there seems to be an immediate fallback position of the ‘natural balance’ rule I mentioned earlier!

Aware of this conundrum or not, it really doesn’t matter if you are an easyLog customer using our staff scheduling software  as you can resolve the issue either way. A simple tick box parameter allows you to specify if you wish to pay to the exact hours worked or to the normal scheduled shift. And that will take care of any holiday hours calculations and payments as well.

If you are a current customer that would like some help with implementing this feature please call our Support Desk on 0845 225 3011. If you don’t currently use our scheduling software but this article has got you interested in exploring what other clever and efficient things it could do for your organisation then call us on 01892 834406 and speak with one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, business support, care home management, employee attendance, flexible working, invoicing staff time, nursing home management, payroll analysis, rota software, scheduling software, timesheets