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Dryfemount Care Home

Melanie Wilson, Home Manager at Dryfemount Care Home in Lockerbie, implemented Person Centred Software’s electronic care planning system, Mobile Care Monitoring, in December 2018 to improve its quality of care plans. At the care home’s next unannounced inspection in August 2019, it achieved a 4 in care planning, upgraded from a 3.

Dryfemount Care TeamBefore selecting Person Centred Software’s system, Melanie requested demos from several electronic care planning systems. “We had been looking for the right electronic care planning system for a while,” explains Melanie. “Some systems we saw were too basic, and tick-box orientated, which I think is robotic and not user-friendly. I didn’t like that there was no option to amend pre-filled data, because it meant we would risk not capturing personalised records and care plans. Some systems focused more on activities rather than all the elements of care.”

“Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system gave us an excellent selection of care including continence, mobility, communication, and it followed our care plan activities of daily living,” continues Melanie. “The icon-based app for care staff to evidence care was user-friendly and really straightforward. Person Centred Software’s system was the closest match to what we were doing on paper, with an additional ability to link assessments to care plans so information is always visible.”

Greater visibility than on paper

Melanie believes that the care home was struggling with care planning on paper because so little information was visible to staff. She says, “Now using a digital system, it’s easy for supervisors to see things at a glance and for me, the manager, to observe what is happening in the care home in real-time. The system very clearly displays immediately if someone’s MUST is due for review and I love the flags that show up to indicate someone’s planned care is coming up, due or overdue. It means that I can quickly see whether everything is running smoothly at the home.”

The implementation focused on the care and activities staff, but Melanie plans to involve all 42 members of staff, including domestic and kitchen staff, to document care interactions with residents. She says, “Our domestic staff encourage residents to help with cleaning as we see it as a way of involving them in everyday life. We want to capture this so it’s clearly reflected in care plans.”

User-friendly electronic care planning

Dryfemount Care HomeWhile reviewing systems, Melanie knew that the system that Dryfemount chose had to be user-friendly and save time that was previously spent on paperwork and administration. “The devices and the app for care delivery needed to be easy to use,” says Melanie, “but we haven’t sacrificed person-centred care records just to save time. Person Centred Software has designed a system where records can be highly personalised through the slider button icons.”

“I realised how intuitive the app was when a member of staff who’d missed the training picked it up just from watching the short training video on the handheld device and being shown a few things from colleagues”

Melanie explains some staff members’ initial reaction to the system was negative. “Initially, some staff didn’t like the idea of the system as it sounded robotic. But within 48 hours they were saying to me, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s so great!’. They recognised it was so much better than paper.”

The quick change in attitude was because, as Melanie explains, “Staff picked it up at the drop of a hat. We received training from Person Centred Software showing small groups of care staff how to use the app. I realised how intuitive the app was when a member of staff who’d missed the training picked it up just from watching the short training video on the handheld device and being shown a few things from colleagues.”

“The app is really good for any member of staff with a language barrier or that is computer illiterate. I also let the Care Inspectorate loose on the management part of the system after just showing them the basics for 15 minutes, which in many ways was a good exercise to show just how user-friendly the system is!” concludes Melanie.

GDPR compliant record-keeping

“We have a responsibility as a data processor to keep residents’ personal information secure for GDPR,” explains Melanie. “On paper that meant we could only keep records in the bedroom, which meant that nothing got recorded during the day. Now the Mobile Care Monitoring app gives staff easy access to see and record everything they need to, without breaching GDPR.”

“Just before we installed Person Centred Software’s system, we had been downgraded on our care planning from a 4 to a 3. We thought that Mobile Care Monitoring could help us improve again, and it did as we were rated a 4!”

“Staff now independently go and find residents to have a chat or provide additional support separate from the plan of care if it’s been a while since their last interaction,” says Melanie. “We love to record the residents’ happiness levels and see how they’re doing throughout the day. We just never could have tracked this on paper.”

“We also find it so helpful that we don’t need to ‘put’ someone on a food, fluid, behaviour or any other chart. We simply record it in the app and the chart is created automatically. We are recording food and fluid charts for every one of our 29 residents without being aware of it!” adds Melanie.

Improved Care Inspectorate rating

Melanie Wilson Dryfemount Care Home“We’ve already had our first unannounced inspection since using the system,” says Melanie. “Our inspector liked it. She looked at every care plan of the residents she spoke to, not just three like she would usually do with our paper care plans, which showed our willingness to be transparent with the Care Inspectorate.”

Melanie continues, “Our inspector particularly liked the front sheet on our care plans with detailed information about social, medical and care needs. She commented that staff seem confident and comfortable using Mobile Care Monitoring. It was her very first time she’s seen an electronic care planning system as an inspector, and she was able to find all the information she needed.”

“Mobile Care Monitoring resolved a lot of issues we were having with recording, especially live recording, which paper was never going to do for us. We used to write our records at lunchtime to try to keep up with it, but now we have a system where we can continuously record and monitor care, and that’s only going to improve our quality of residents’ care.”

“Just before we installed Person Centred Software’s system, we had been downgraded on our care planning from a 4 to a 3. We thought that Mobile Care Monitoring could help us improve again, and it did as we were rated a 4! The inspector could see the link between risk assessments and care plans is there now, and our records are more responsive and updated as things happen. Our inspector praised us for making a difference and being well on our way. She sees Mobile Care Monitoring as a tool that will support us with carrying on with improvements.”

“We haven’t regretted implementing Mobile Care Monitoring,” says Melanie. “It’s helped the staff to keep on top of care tasks that might otherwise be forgotten, like weights, and anything planned in the diary. It’s fantastic that if someone is late and has missed handover, they can see everything logged for handover on the app. We also create pre-assessments for prospective residents directly in the system, and then create the care plan from it a week later. We now continue that care plan without having to rewrite it.”

“All Care Home Managers need to be moving to electronic care planning systems,” concludes Melanie. “Mobile Care Monitoring resolved a lot of issues we were having with recording, especially live recording, which paper was never going to do for us. We used to write our records at lunchtime to try to keep up with it, but now we have a system where we can continuously record and monitor care, and that’s only going to improve our quality of residents’ care.”

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