Therapists are usually a very important part of a residential care home community. They can range from occupational therapists helping people make adaptations to their daily routines following an illness or injury to physiotherapists working with residents to help with physical recoveries and overall fitness. Not to mention many other important activities.
These skilled medical professionals work in tandem with internal care home staff to improve quality of life and support health and fitness for many residents. So, ensuring that they have the tools and resources they need while receiving the right support and co-operation from you and your team is extremely important. Here are five ways to help them feel at home.
A warm welcome
When therapists first start working at your care home, make them feel welcome by having everything ready ahead of their arrival. You can use your digital care management software to plan what they will need and add their visits and appointments to the main diary. You can also show them how to use the system themselves and add their updates, instructions and feedback to individual resident records and other carer note-taking and professional reporting tools. Invite therapists to any relevant meetings, information sessions or training days and use your software to send them the details. Add them to your mailing lists to receive ongoing communications from you and your team.
Easy information sharing
Often, therapists will have been called in to help residents with one or more ongoing problems or issues. These could be physical – helping them regain mobility or overcome pain, or mental – working through unresolved trauma or learning to handle emotional difficulties. The more information therapists can receive about their patient, the better they can tailor their own, specialist form of support. Being granted access to relevant medical information, including medications the person is on, past health history, operations, injuries and conditions etc. can really help with this. All of this can easily be done through Care Vision and its information-sharing tools. These include functions like eMAR (electronic medications records), weight monitoring, falls monitoring, emotional and behavioural response assessments etc.
Safety on site
Care home managers have a responsibility to keep everyone on site safe at all times, which includes visiting therapists. A key aspect of this is knowing who is present, how long for and where they are likely to be visiting. Using an electronic visitors’ book helps with this, ensuring that people sign in and out to show where they are. Times are recorded automatically, and the system provides a digital trail of everyone who has been on the premises and for how long. Visiting therapists should also be shown where safety-related policies are stored electronically, such as fire safety, security procedures, medical emergency instructions and safe working protocols.
Scheduling and staff support
Another safety feature of a digital system like Care Vision that also helps therapists with issues around staffing availability is electronic staff clocking in. This allows managers to be sure that there are sufficient numbers of trained people around in the case of an emergency. It also helps therapists plan activities that may require additional support from in-house carers to run correctly. Care Vision can also help with other areas of staff support, such as procuring supplies needed for therapy sessions, booking quite spaces or rooms to work with residents and enabling regular therapists to let managers know about and record forthcoming holidays or other periods of absence.
Admin, expenses, etc…
Therapists operate in similar ways to other care professionals, in that they must also complete endless paperwork, keep up with their training, record all interactions with their patients, including treatment suggestions, changes in behaviour and other observations. They also need to stay on top of general administrative tasks, such as keeping their diary up to date and making sure their invoices and expense claims are processed. Happily, if your care home operates Care Vision, this versatile digital care management system can help them and you sort out all sorts of administrative tasks related to the residents with whom they work. This frees them (and you) up to spend more time planning therapeutic sessions, working with their clients and getting to know the wider care home community.