Founded in 1994, Forest Healthcare provides specialist residential, nursing and dementia care for over 600 residents and employs 900 highly skilled workers to improve the quality of life of the residents that they care for.
Person Centred Software’s electronic care planning system was initially trialled in St Anne’s Nursing Home and Bridgeside Lodge Care Centre in Islington, North London. Following a successful trial, Forest Healthcare commenced implementation of Mobile Care Monitoring in its remaining 11 care homes.
The decision to use an electronic care planning system
Gladys Danquah, Registered Manager at St Anne’s Nursing Home, ensures the delivery of quality, person-centred care and day-to-day operations managing staff teams. She ensures that the care home maintains the highest standards of care and that it’s recognised by regulatory bodies.
“When our care home began to use Mobile Care Monitoring, carers felt more empowered. They knew that we had recognised their skills and experience and they could contribute to documentation using a user-friendly system that supports their role on the floor.”
Gladys says, “In my previous role I had used a digital system for care planning. When I joined Forest Healthcare, I quickly realised the need for an electronic care planning system. As the newly appointed manager of St Anne’s I felt lost using paper again for all care recording, it was like I was going backwards instead of forwards. Care plans were not able to be easily evidenced or reviewed well and care notes were not personalised.”
Forest Healthcare’s management team was supportive of Gladys’s desire for the introduction of an electronic care planning system. The system that Gladys had previously used was considered alongside other systems that would support staff to provide more detailed and personalised evidence of care and to keep care plans up to date.
Paperless person-centred care
“We chose Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system as it enabled us to be more person-centred by providing handheld mobile devices for carers to evidence care, rather than just a system for the nurses and the care manager,” says Gladys. “Mobile Care Monitoring brings everyone together and gives carers a way to contribute to care records at the point of care so that our records are person-centred.”
This decision was recognised by care staff. Gladys says, “When our care home began to use Mobile Care Monitoring, carers felt more empowered. They knew that we had recognised their skills and experience and they could contribute to documentation using a user-friendly system that supports their role on the floor.”
Gladys prepared the care home’s 58 carers and 12 nurses for the move from paper by sharing the benefits of a digital system in meetings and supervisions and by selecting champions to support less confident members of staff. “At St Anne’s, I support our staff team to embrace change. Change is difficult even when it is for the best,” says Gladys. “We did have some resignations in our nursing team due to fears of using a computerised system. Happily, we have since welcomed back two nurses who originally left us.”
“We moved from paper to Mobile Care Monitoring so quickly we shocked the organisation!”
“Person Centred Software’s on-site training was very good,” adds Gladys, “It boosted people’s confidence and helped to reassure staff. Mobile Care Monitoring was very easy to learn. The guidelines we received from Person Centred Software really helped us. They advised us to make the handheld devices available in every workstation while we were transitioning from paper so staff could practice.”
“We moved from paper to Mobile Care Monitoring so quickly we shocked the organisation!” says Gladys. “Our champions supported our move from paper to electronic by doing the initial upload of information from paper care plans.”
Benefits of using Person Centred Software’s system
When Mobile Care Monitoring was first adopted, St Anne’s Nursing Home provided care to 50 residents. It has since expanded to care for 65 residents. Gladys explains, “Mobile Care Monitoring has helped to increase the speed of recording and the quality of care and has helped to support the expansion of the nursing home.”
“We save about 90% of the time we used to spend on paperwork, as we can make changes very quickly using Mobile Care Monitoring.”
Gladys says, “We now spend far less time on documentation and more time engaging with our residents. We save about 90% of the time we used to spend on paperwork, as we can make changes very quickly using Mobile Care Monitoring.”
“Our relatives and residents are more involved in the care plan during the process of pre-admission, admission and on a month to month basis during our initiative of ‘Resident of the day’ where the resident and next of kin advocate are invited to a care plan review. Any amendments or change in the care plan or risk assessment can be easily be updated on the system rather than having to rewrite the whole care plan,” she adds.
Using Mobile Care Monitoring, Gladys feels confident to demonstrate to any external professional bodies the care that is provided at St Anne’s Nursing Home. She says, “We now have detailed evidence of the care that we have given that’s all in one place, which we didn’t have using paper.”
This is reflected in St Anne’s Nursing Home’s latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report in 2019 when the nursing home achieved a Good rating. The report says, “shortfalls in monitoring the service in the latter half of 2016 had improved through regular reviews and audits for care planning, pressure ulcers and risk reduction that were completed electronically.”
“Other professionals really love Mobile Care Monitoring,” says Gladys. “For instance, we provide intermediate rehabilitation care for patients who are looked after by a therapist from the NHS. The NHS therapists have access to see their clients’ records and add care notes and contribute to risk assessments and care plans. Before, these therapists and social workers would have to fax or scan if they needed to send us information.”
Be brave and take the plunge
Gladys reflects on the decision to use Mobile Care Monitoring. She says, “I was given a choice between the system that I had previously used, or a different electronic care planning system. I chose Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system because it is really robust. It includes all the fundamentals of care and every activity of daily living. It gives greater benefit to the care home by helping us to save so much time on meaningless paperwork. Most importantly, the system is designed to value carers and include them in person-centred documentation through a user-friendly system. Now I tell every care home manager I meet, ‘Using an electronic care system will make your life easier. Be brave and take the plunge!’”