Orchard Care Homes implemented Person Centred Software’s electronic care planning system at 60 residential and nursing care homes to improve the quality of care and to provide more robust care to residents. Greater visibility has contributed to positive CQC scores, improving Good and Outstanding ratings by 22% in two years.
Lorraine Lee, Executive Director for Quality and Governance at Orchard Care Homes, highlighted that the care home group had specific issues caused by paper records. It was decided that a move from recording care on paper to using an electronic care planning system would help to solve these issues.
Lorraine explains, “There were deteriorating factors in our care homes, for instance it was hard, even at a senior level, to pull together information from care plans, risk assessments, fluid monitoring and repositioning charts. We needed a system that would reduce the amount of time we spent travelling to our care homes for this data and would give us a clear oversight.”
Electronic care planning trial period
Initially, Orchard Care Homes ran a six-month pilot of Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system in two care homes alongside trialling another electronic care planning system. After extensive testing and end user feedback, Mobile Care Monitoring was selected as the electronic care planning system to rollout across the organisation.
Lorraine says, “We chose to pilot the top two market-leading electronic care planning systems. Person Centred Software’s system was better suited as it was the most user-friendly. Our carers took to the system instantly, and we immediately saw an increase in quality and quantity of information recorded.”
Mobile Care Monitoring did not take long to embed culturally at the trial sites. The management staff leading the trial said that that both care home managers joked that the care staff would kill them if they were asked to go back to using paper at the end of the trial.
Tailored implementation rollout
Person Centred Software and Orchard Care Homes worked together on a tailored rollout plan. During 2018, Mobile Care Monitoring was implemented at approximately 10 care homes per month. Every care home had the first day’s training focusing on training carers and nurses to evidence care electronically, with senior staff on how to monitor care effectively. A second training day focused on risk assessments and care plans.
By September 2018, the full rollout of Person Centred Software’s award-winning Mobile Care Monitoring system had been achieved at 60 Orchard Care Homes sites in just 9 months. The system is now used by 2,000 members of staff, together evidencing 137,000 care notes every day.
Lorraine says, “Orchard Care Homes worked together with Person Centred Software on the implementation into our care homes. And while we didn’t anticipate it taking as long as it did to embed, it’s been worth it for the quality of care plans and risk assessments that we now have.”
Benefits of using an electronic care planning system
“We wanted an electronic care planning system to help us to drive quality improvements and help us to provide robust resident care,” explains Lorraine. “Using Mobile Care Monitoring, all management levels now can access reporting 24 hours a day and at weekends from our armchairs. Regional managers no longer need to travel to individual care homes to compile data from paper records.”
“With the greater visibility, it’s much easier to find documents we need, whether that’s complaints or a local authority request. I think the evidence that we can easily document on Mobile Care Monitoring will help us if we have safeguarding enquiries too as it’s so thorough. We certainly have much better evidence of care than we did before across the board.”
She continues, “Using paper we weren’t getting any meaningful data, whereas the information that’s recorded on Mobile Care Monitoring is much more meaningful. This means that we now have amazing data that’s incomparable to what we had on paper, and we can use this to make improvements to our service, especially to the quality of our resident care.”
“With the greater visibility, it’s much easier to find documents we need, whether that’s complaints or a local authority request. I think the evidence that we can easily document on Mobile Care Monitoring will help us if we have safeguarding enquiries too as it’s so thorough. We certainly have much better evidence of care than we did before across the board,” Lorraine adds.
Improved Good and Outstanding CQC ratings
Through improving visibility and quality of care, Orchard Care Homes has improved its CQC ratings. Lorraine says, “Greater visibility and meaningful data has contributed to positive CQC scores. In 2017, 49% of our care homes were rated Good by CQC and by July 2019, 71% of our care homes are rated Good or above.”
Orchard Care Homes has a three-year strategy to increase occupancy in its care homes. The first phase, to increase CQC ratings, has been achieved successfully in the year since implementing Mobile Care Monitoring. Greater visibility of care to continue to improve services will help to improve occupancy levels at Orchard Care Homes in the next two years.
Real-time evidence of care
It’s not just the senior management team that has benefitted from using Mobile Care Monitoring. Carers and nurses now have the information they need to deliver high quality, person-centred care at their fingertips. Lorraine says, “The real-time evidence of care is so powerful. Everyone benefits from having handover notes in the palm of their hand during the shift rather than just verbally at the beginning and the end. Mobile Care Monitoring also compiles all charts, such as repositioning and fluid monitoring, automatically in real-time so we can immediately see where care is needed. The system is so in-depth and the interface of the app gives fantastic visibility to care staff; they can immediately see if any time-sensitive care activity is overdue.”
“Greater visibility and meaningful data has contributed to positive CQC scores. In 2017, 49% of our care homes were rated Good by CQC and by July 2019, 71% of our care homes are rated Good or above.”
Orchard Care Homes has been conscious to manage the change from paper to an electronic care system with families of residents too, so that they are aware of the benefits. Lorraine adds, “We have had to educate families that staff are not on their mobile phones, they’re actually evidencing care.”
She explains, “Person Centred Software has helped with educating relatives by giving us posters to put up in the care home for family members explaining the benefits of using an electronic care planning system. On average, staff save three days a month that they would have spent on recording care on paper, that is now time spent with residents. We also educate our staff during their induction about the system and how to be discreet when recording.”
Lorraine concludes, “I think electronic care planning and digital systems are the future of social care. I can’t see us going back to paper. It is a challenge to make the change, but we are pleased with the outcomes of going digital. I believe this commitment to progress is something that every care provider needs to make.”