CQC

10 ways Home Care Studio can make work – and life – simpler

female carer visits elderly client

When you’re choosing a home care system, the chances are you’ll have a long list of boxes that need to be ticked. But we know from talking to our customers that often it’s the less obvious features that prove most valuable in terms of saving time and making delivering quality care that little bit easier.

The following functions of our Home Care Studio software may not be top of your checklist – but we think that once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

  1. Reviewing care plans on the move – on a phone

Our Care-Logger app enables carers to carry out evaluations and assessments as well as view care plans and tasks associated with client visits wherever they are via their smartphone – even when there is no internet connection. It can also be used to view and manage rotas and as a clocking device for ultimate flexibility and convenience.

  1. Set an ideal rota

We know most providers like to send a familiar carer face to their service users – and that most carers want some certainty over their rota. So that’s where the ideal rota comes in. A powerful and flexible function that allows you to define carers’ regular visit routes and then use this as the basis for the weekly rota.

  1. Log client visits by mobile phone

When time is money, an accurate and cost-effective visit tracking system is essential. One that is proving particularly popular with our home care customers is visit logging by smartphone. Using QR codes (smart barcodes), NFC tags or GPS global positioning technology, all are simple to use, highly efficient and surprisingly inexpensive.

  1. Update records on the go

With our specially-designed care-Logger app, carers can make visit notes directly into client records using their phones – no uploading or transcribing required. And to save even more time and bother, you can easily set up existing assessments in Home Care Studio.

  1. It’s not just about home care…

Our Home Care Studio software has flexibility built in – which means it’s equally suitable for supported living and agency care providers. This is particularly useful for customers who have multi-faceted care businesses.

  1. Personalise your invoices

You can customise your company invoicing by adding your own logo and adjusting the layout, creating a consistent, professional look and feel across your paperwork.

  1. Easy access to policies and procedures

Our policies and procedures section means staff can quickly and easily find important information when they need it, saving time and helping to ensure best practice is adhered to at all times.

  1. CM2000 interface

Because we know that, in the real world, larger care organisations especially use a variety of management tools, we have made our software compatible with other leading providers, such as Care Management 2000 for smooth transitions between systems.

  1. Client contributions made easy

Our invoicing section takes into account different payment structures, including client contributions, saving time and reducing billing-related headaches.

  1. Reports with everything

Whatever kind of report you want and however you want it presented, you’ve got it. You can even access a mileage report from Google Maps if you want.

If you want to know more about our domiciliary care and supported living system or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us by phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in business support, care record management, care recording, domiciliary care and supported living, employee attendance, mobile worker tracking, payroll analysis, rota software, scheduling software

Make your care home more efficient without compromising on care

carer using bodymap function on a tablet

With rising costs and an ever increasing administrative burden, it’s no wonder that the number of care homes going into administration has been rocketing.

Over the past three years, care home insolvencies have jumped by more than a third, according to Moore Stephens, with the number rising by nearly a fifth (18 per cent) in the year to September 2015. And the accountants suggest that the situation is likely to get worse as a result of financial pressures such as the introduction of the Living Wage, the cost of meeting increasing regulations and local authority spending cuts – the Local Government Association estimates that there will be a £2.9 billion annual funding gap in social care by the end of the decade.

Research by BBC Radio Four supports this view, indicating that a quarter of British care homes will go out of business within three years because they are not making enough profit.

Of course there is no quick and easy way to reduce running costs while maintaining high standards of care – but there are things you can do to make your working practices more efficient.

Choose the right technology for your care home

If you haven’t already invested in an electronic record system, do it now. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and will soon pay its way in terms of time savings and greater accuracy and detail. Many suppliers, including easyLog, offer low cost monthly payments for software and services so there is no big capital outlay to strain already tight budgets.

A carefully-chosen solution tailored to your care home’s needs can transform the way you manage your business and how carers go about their daily tasks. Using tablet PCs to work on the move, for instance, helps carers spend more time caring and less time on admin by allowing them to record and view care records and shift notes as they go.

Be ready for a CQC inspection

This not only makes for a more efficient way of working but also ensures you always have a full audit trail and detailed care record reporting to hand, enabling you to answer quickly any information requests in a CQC inspection.

At the same time you can build and sustain a reputation for the quality of care in your area through the proactive management of care issues that your easyLog software highlights.

Use your rota to control costs

Implementing suitable staff scheduling software designed for care homes will make setting your rota quicker and easier. More importantly, it will help you control your staffing budget – so there are no unexpected staff costs through unnecessary headcount or overtime payments, for example.

Specialist software such as our care-Log+ package will also give you the option to streamline other staff management functions, such as training and HR records, through a simple but detailed personnel module.

To find out more about finding the most effective care record management system for your business, take a look at the care home section of our website or contact one of our team.

Posted by administrator in business support, care home management, care record management, care recording, CQC Inspections, rota software

Record-keeping tailored to the needs of autistic service users – and their carers

 

autism logo image

Every person receiving care is unique, with individual needs and characteristics – and this is particularly true of those on the autism spectrum. That’s why it is essential that daily record-keeping is as flexible and detailed as possible, yet quick and easy for care staff to manage.

A good record-keeping system has many benefits for care staff, autistic service users and their relatives. It’s not simply about recording routine events, such as meals, toilet visits and scheduled activities – but an opportunity to collect and monitor important data that can be used to improve an individual’s daily care and quality of life.

Clear, regular and thorough records of a service user’s day-to-day activities are particularly useful in helping carers to:

  • Identify causes of current behavioural issues or new ones as they develop
  • Track progress of a particular behaviour and how it is being managed
  • Monitor the development of a skill or regular event

easyLog’s care-Log+ electronic record management system has been specially designed to be flexible and convenient. What this means in practice is that all the evaluation, assessment and care note functions are fully customisable so they can be tailored to meet each care home’s – or even client’s – requirements exactly. So whatever data you want to collect can be easily incorporated into the system.

What’s more, our software is ideal for use with tablet computers. So care staff can quickly and easily update records wherever and whenever is most convenient, making keeping full, accurate and timely records even more simple.

For more information about record-keeping with care-Log+, take a look at our website or contact one of our team via e-mail or phone.

 

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

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

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

Care plans that fit your service users and your staff

Click or tap to go to video

Anyone working in the care sector knows how vitally important a comprehensive and clear care plan is to the ongoing quality of care and well-being of the service user. A care plan is a document that must be understandable to the service user and their relatives as well as to the care team responsible for the delivery of its content. What’s more, under scrutiny from CQC, it is an auditable document on which an inspector will base his or her assessment of the quality of care provided and outcomes achieved.

Key to creating effective care plans is ensuring that they give relevant clinical detail together with the practical lifestyle and personal information required by the care staff – the definition of a good person centred care plan. So, when care providers consider computerising their care plans, do they seriously consider how service users’ care plans may change over time – or indeed changes in the type of care service that their organisation may in future provide?

Watch our video to see different care plan styles

Flexibility is crucial to achieve this. Our care-Log+ care home management software has always been designed around this principle but in the area of care plans – and in the hands of our users – it continues to deliver multiple styles of care plan across ever evolving types of care delivery. Take a look at the video from this link to see some examples of the variety of care plan styles that our care home customers use.

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