Is your care home prepared for winter?
As winter approaches and the days grow colder, it's important for care providers to prioritise implementing infection prevention and control (IPC) measures to ensure the safety of their residents, staff, and visitors.
During winter, older adults are much more susceptible to infections such as COVID-19, influenza and norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.
These viruses are highly contagious and can easily cause outbreaks, spreading quickly and easily in situations where residents and staff members are close to one another. In order to prevent the transmission of these infections, both carers and visitors must understand and adhere to IPC measures. These measures are put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
Managing vaccines in care homes
The adult covid and flu vaccination programme has been brought forward based on the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, which will prioritise those at greatest risk.
The NHS has already kickstarted the winter vaccinations campaign and is encouraging people to get covid and flu vaccinations as soon as possible and not to delay due to the risk of the new COVID-19 variant and ahead of the winter period.
Care providers must be clear on who will be responsible for managing the administration of the vaccines. For example, is it your care home, a pharmacy or a GP practice?
For more information on managing vaccines in care homes, click here.
Keeping staff and residents safe
Person Centred Software's COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool
Our digital social care record system, mCare, comes with a COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool that has been tried and tested throughout the pandemic.
This tool helps to ensure the safety of residents and staff and includes features such as:
- The Coronavirus Action Icon - using the Care Delivery App, carers have the ability to log symptoms.
- Additional Precautions Required - when a resident has been flagged with an infectious virus, an icon appears on their profile showing carers that extra precautions are required.
- Staff Coronavirus Audit - a form for carers to record symptoms and show covid status.
- Track and Trace Report- carers can plan responses and protect residents by seeing which staff members they've had contact with when symptoms were recorded; additionally, they can also trace staff that have worked together.
- Coronavirus Reporting- shows the care organisation a summary of staff and residents' coronavirus status.
Click here to view the full list of COVID-19 Risk Assessment features.
94% of Person Centred Software's customers find the COVID-19 risk assessment features beneficial in helping to protect the vulnerable.
Need a quick way to find out what a resident's covid status is?
Person Centred Software's GP Connect integration enables care providers to access residents' GP records and medical notes in real-time.
The GP Connect service massively helps care providers save time; it uses standards that enable interoperability between different clinical systems, enabling the secure sharing of patient records across primary care.
"Thanks to GP Connect, our care team no longer has to spend time waiting to get through to GP surgeries. The GP Connect service allows instant access to GP patient records in real-time; our care team can view all the important information they need, from prescriptions and vaccine history to specimen results, referrals, and much more.
By accessing GP Connect, we have gained a great deal of knowledge about our residents, which has completely changed our documentation process. It's a fantastic piece of software!"
Cliff Grand-Scrutton, Director and General Manager of Larchfield House
Person Centred Software's Digital Reception
Need to screen your care home's visitors for covid symptoms?
Person Centred Software's Digital Reception is a front-of-house, GDPR-compliant reception system where staff and visitors can 'sign in' before entering the building hands-free to avoid visitors and staff touching the screen!
Digital Reception is able to ask set questions, such as 'Have you had a temperature in the last two weeks?' and 'Do you have loss of taste or smell?' as part of the sign-in process, which the care home can use to screen for covid symptoms.
Alternatively, the care home can use these questions to prompt visitors to sanitise their hands or wear masks before entering the building.
Infection prevention and control in care homes
The Care Quality Commission's inspectors examine how well staff and people living in care homes are protected by infection prevention and control (IPC). To ensure your care home is aligned with CQC's standards, click here.
To download our FREE COVID-19 visitor advice poster for your care home, fill out the form below!