Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Stone House, Tech, Workforce Intelligence

Digital Care Plan roll out

Digital Care plan roll out at Peverel Court Care - award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Following a successful implementation at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, we will be rolling out the use of digital care plans to our other homes.

 

As revealed in our Transitioning to Digital Care Plans article from October 2019, Peverel Court Care has been running a digital care plan pilot programme at Bartlett’s since the start of this year.

Our previous post detailed many of the key benefits of moving to the use of digital care plans as opposed to the paper records that have been utilised as standard in the past. However, there have also been a number of additional benefits revealed through the pilot programme.

The transition has proved to be hugely successful, both for staff and residents, and we have therefore made the decision to extend the use of the Nourish digital care plan solution to both Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury (launching September 2020) and Merryfield Nursing Care Home in Witney, near Oxford (starting October 2020).

 

Digital care plan solution

We have chosen to use Nourish as the platform for our digital care planning. Their website describes the solution as:

“Nourish enables carers to plan, record, report and co-ordinate care, all focused on the person. At a time of growing demand for care, Nourish is using technology and design to empower carers to do what they do best: help people they care for enjoy the best quality of life possible.

We give care providers the digital tools to leave the paper trail behind. Our easy to use electronic care management platform enables care teams to plan, record, report and coordinate care on the go.

It’s not about recording less information, it’s about empowering your care teams to record more accurate notes, in less time. And with our simple search and report functions, you can share critical information about the people you care for with the entire care circle.”

Our Bartlett’s pilot programme has shown sufficient evidence of the truth in these claims for us to move to roll out the solution across our other care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

Immediate impact

Since embedding the trial at Bartlett’s, we’ve seen the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that the use of technology within the care setting has never been so critical.

Electronic care planning allows for faster reporting of symptom presentation, and for the whole care team to be made aware in a timely fashion. This has translated immediately into how care teams organise their rotas to sequence their contact with residents to minimise the likelihood of spread.

A good digital platform supports the coordination of care teams so that even in a pandemic, care is still centred around the person. GPs, district nurses and hospitals can all engage remotely with residents based on observations made available to them remotely – enabling coordination to happen between social care and health.

Electronic care planning is also reducing the reporting burden on Care Managers who are being asked to report Covid-19 symptoms, personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks, bed availability and staffing levels to several entities. Using data collection repositories enables Care Managers to report once, and for entities that are coordinating responses to consolidate this information in different ways to suit their purposes.

For our Leadership team, digital care planning allows us to review care plans remotely, providing reassured confidence; we know everything that is happening with residents and care teams. This includes which activities took place, who’s not staying as hydrated as they should or who skipped lunch, along with which carers are off. We can also learn very quickly what innovative ideas are emerging from the front line, which we can then roll out across the group; accelerating innovation in response to the challenges.

 

Resident Focus

One of the key drivers for our transition to the use of digital care plans has been our Core Value of always taking an approach based on Resident Focus. That is to say, our: “commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.”

In support of this, one of the pieces of feedback we received from Tudor Nanu, Deputy Manager at Bartlett’s, was:

The new Nourish system is providing us with a host of options for personalised interactions that can be used in a person-centred way to achieve an evidence-based practice. 

As soon as we started migrating care plans onto the digital platform we realised the benefit of staff being able to access information instantly. The process of auditing care notes and rolling out reports has become more time efficient using the Nourish platform.

The team quickly saw the benefits of recording care notes as they go along, as now all the documentation is at their fingertips. Staff can access risk assessments and care plans instantly, releasing valuable time for staff to spend with residents.

We are able to create more unique care plans now, which concentrate on the individual needs of our residents and can facilitate better quality in the care services we provide. In addition, the system allows us to interlink care plans and risk assessments, which is very helpful when reviewing care plans or conducting audits.

To sum up the feedback obtained from staff, they would not return to paper care plan systems.

 

Digital care plans – staff opinion

The Bartlett’s team quickly came to embrace the new technology, and Tudor continued:

Staff were very eager to learn the new system. Its use is self-explanatory and in-house Nourish champions provided one-to-one training to staff who experienced difficulties in utilising the app effectively.

Due to the fact that Nourish allows us to dictate care notes directly into the device, we are able to record more complex information about our residents. Recorded information has become easier to hand over, and the intra-mail system allows us to communicate directly with the team of any changes and updates.

As we now have the opportunity to record care notes in real-time, we can spend more quality time with our residents and can input more accurate notes on care plans as soon as we finish delivering care.

With regard to the feedback received from Bartlett’s residents and their families, Tudor added:

Residents and families welcomed the idea of having an electronic system in place that centralises the information recorded under one umbrella. It became easier to follow an evidence-based practice, as Nourish allows us to access the history of interactions recorded for our residents and we are able to review notes of our actions and the care we have provided to our clients in a more efficient way.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Merryfield, Safeguarding

Merryfield House Nursing Home receives excellent review

We’re delighted to announce that Merryfield Nursing Home has received an excellent review of our services after an inspection by Oxfordshire County Council.

The Monitoring Officer, who uses a traffic light system to rate care homes in the area on the quality of the services provided, marked Merryfield House as green, the best possible, across every single one of their monitored categories. These include ‘Safeguarding’, ‘Leadership and Management’ and ‘Health and Safety’.

Though it’s vital that we are performing well under every single category, we were most pleased at the comments we received about the personalisation of our care.

At Peverel Court Care, we recognise that every one of the people we care for is different. Whilst some of them like to be social and join in activities, others do not. Some like to watch TV in communal rooms, others like to read quietly in their bedrooms or watch their television in private. This means that people should not be receiving the exact same care package, because to give the best care we should be tailoring their care to their own personal preferences.

We work hard in all of our care homes to make sure that our staff recognise the importance of personalisation for all of our residents. It’s something that we promote from the induction of new staff, and that everyone must take responsibility for – from frontline care staff up through to management. For example, if someone we care for has a nickname they prefer, we expect everyone who works in our home to address this resident by their chosen name. These little touches mean the world to people. Nobody wants to feel like a number.

We were happy to see that Oxfordshire County Council recognised the work we put into personalisation. They noted our ‘My Story’ documents, which contain detailed information about our residents and their childhood, their social interests and religious beliefs – even their preferred appearance. This information helps us to make sure our residents are living their lives as they would want to if they were in their own homes. Where possible, we accommodate everyone’s wishes. For example, if we know a lady likes having her hair cut in a certain way, but she reaches a point where she can’t communicate this as well because of dementia or Alzheimer’s, we can refer to these notes and make sure the lady is happy.

On the day the Monitoring Officer from Oxfordshire County Council attended Merryfield House, our Activities Coordinator was taking part in a morning activity of reminiscence with some of our residents. This involves selecting props personal to individuals and their past, then discussing these items in a group. This exercise is a great stimulation for our residents, who enjoy telling each other tales from their past as much as they enjoy listening to one another. The Monitoring Officer was moved enough by this activity to mention it in her report.

Operating a safe and comfortable care home takes a lot of work from lots of people. The lives of individuals are in our hands. Allowing officials into our grounds is a scary but exhilarating experience. For us, it’s a chance to show the officials the excellent care that we are providing, as well as the happiness of our residents and our staff.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the management and staff of Merryfield House Nursing Home for their outstanding work.

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