Care home residents often require medical support services that are not based in the home itself. These can include GPs and district nurses, therapists, hospital specialists and more. Being able to co-ordinate each person or organisation providing care is vital so that everyone involved can work together to provide the most effective and safest care and support.
Sharing knowledge, working together and agreeing on courses of treatment as quickly as possible are all key to maintaining the person’s health and wellbeing as much as possible. That is where digital care management systems can prove hugely valuable. Here are some areas that are especially important to cover when liaising with medical professionals and using a care management system to do so.
The most important aspect of having multiple medical and healthcare professionals working together is ensuring effective, timely communications. The interactive nature of a care management system, such as Care Vision, makes this happen rapidly and seamlessly. Notes, medication records and treatment plans can be shared instantly between involved parties, as the system is accessible remotely, and available 24/7.
Tips to ensure that communications can happen as efficiently as possible using care management systems include keeping residents’ medical notes up to date and as accurate and comprehensive as possible. Also keep contact details current for medical professionals on the care management system. This is also vital information to update for the resident’s family, loved ones and any other agencies that may be involved in their care, for example Social Services.
A care management system can benefit both internal staff and external doctors, nurses, therapists and specialist seeking to share information about the resident to help inform their ongoing care. Notes are made in real time by the carers, entered onto the system during, or just after interacting with the resident. They are available straight away for those involved in their care to access and read up on any updates or areas of concern.
Details can also be shared, as appropriate, with other relevant parties about the activities each resident has enjoyed taking part in, what they have eaten during mealtimes and general observations around their health, behaviour and mood. All of this helps to build up a clearer picture of their daily routines and state of health. Having all of this available digitally helps keep the flow of information between the care home and doctors, medical specialists etc. timely, accurate and transparent.
Training and support
Care management systems also capture data and records around staff actions, including rotas, clocking in, training needs etc.. This can also help care homes interact better with external medical teams, as it shows what internal staff are doing, and where there are any gaps needing to be filled by additional professional support. For example, if there are knowledge gaps that could affect the medical care of residents, could specialist doctors or medical experts be enlisted to help? How could external training sessions be introduced to enable carers to work better or more closely with doctors, nurses etc from the nearby GP surgeries or hospitals?
Other questions that staff data from a care management system could reveal include: are staff in the home aware of who to contact in the event of an emergency, or where to seek external specialist advice? Is the care home involved in the right local networks, forums and joint working schemes? Have any concerns been raised around how to cope with situations in the care home requiring extra support, such as disease outbreaks?
Auditing and reports
Audits and reports from care home often require input from external professionals, organisations etc. Being able to share the relevant data and records with doctors and other medical professionals straight away enables the auditing process to carry on with minimal delay. Conversely, medical professionals can benefit hugely from being able to call on care homes’ digital records to help complete audits and reports of their own. Once again, sharing knowledge and working together can benefit all parties.
The layout and functionality of care management software also means that any information that is shared with, or requested from doctors, nurses etc from outside the home can be provided in a consistent, clear and complaint way. This avoids confusion, doubling up on admin work and ensuring audits and reports can be completed quickly and easily, without detracting from the care of residents and patients.