Switching to care home planning software brings with it many benefits, not least a more convenient, secure and logistically straightforward system of recording, updating and storing care home-related data. Paper-based systems and storage have many limitations, not least data protection, additional time spent in updating records and the need to store bulky files. More and more care homes are turning to technology to provide care home planning software to manage their social and nursing care.
Why Go Digital for Your Care Home Planning Software?
There are around 17,600 care homes in the UK, of which 70% are residential. As demands on staff time increases, advances in technology are helping care staff keep closer track of their residents, visitors and staff. Care home planning software covers such areas as health and medication records, residents’ likes and dislikes, dietary information, funding, staff HR records and visitor sign-ins. Here are seven compelling reasons why your care home should go digital in 2022.
1· Automatic Updates and Reports
Care home planning software is user friendly and can be programmed to update details automatically on a regular basis, or each time an entry is made or revised. Users can have instant access to a whole library of care forms, policy documents and reporting tools. Software like this can render paper records unnecessary, freeing up space and storing essential data securely and in one place. Reports can be pulled from the system easily and promptly for regulatory compliance or internal auditing purposes by saving time. Finally, invoicing, finance and HR information can be kept up to date and readily available.
2· Person-Centred Care
Key to a successful care home is putting the residents and their needs, safety and welfare first. Care home planning software allows busy managers to do just that by creating comprehensive, bespoke records for all residents that can be viewed in one place. No more searching for disjointed paperwork, memos or referrals. All information can be entered onto the system and retrieved by whomever needs it to support a resident’s care. This helps keep families updated and can assist in identifying risks and resolving problems as they arise.
3· Medical Records
Care home management software has its own in-built ‘eMAR’ system for recording medications prescribed and dispensed, along with dosages, reactions, special instructions and more.
The eMAR can record allergies, medical history, wound care and body mapping too, giving as full a digital picture of each person as possible. This not only saves a lot of time for busy nursing home and care home staff, but can prove quite literally life-saving in the event of an emergency.
4· Safe and Sound
Password-protected software keeps confidential details safe and helps the care sector remain compliant with GDPR rules around data protection. Sensitive information, including medical records, visitor and staff DBS checks and funding details can remain private and secure. Care home planning software allows different levels of security to enable only certain people to access various types of information. Additionally, since COVID-19 arrived on the scene, extra care must be taken to keep everything clean and hygienic. Having so much data stored electronically helps reduce the amount of physical paperwork lying around. This also means that surfaces are easier to keep clean.
5· Easy to Access
Cloud-based data storage facilities have revolutionised how data is both kept and retrieved. People can read and update information remotely, from anywhere with the right IT to enable them to gain access. This really helps with mobile social care workers who operate from multiple sites, as well as when conducting home visits. Updates can be entered onto the system immediately via website or mobile access. This reduces the chances of the wrong details being added at a later date or time, which could compromise, delay or actively harm a resident’s care.
6· Emergencies and Monitoring
Having data stored in one place can be invaluable in a medical or other type of emergency. Digital care planning and cloud-based storage also means that it can be retrieved if the physical premises are compromised in some way or computers fail to work. The system can also act as a monitoring function to recall activities and decisions taken in the event of a complaint, emergency or a risk assessment procedure. The care home planning software offers full accountability and transparency. This is because changes and updates can be easily tracked and dates and times of any significant actions taken worked out to a greater degree of accuracy than with paper records.
Last, but by no means least, good quality care home planning software will keep track of staffing to enable the smooth running of the care facility. Staff can use it to clock in and out of shifts and to arrange rotas.
Sickness records, holiday allowances and other staff absences can be managed digitally. Additionally, it can record and support staff training needs and keep track of salaries and taxes due.