This is a guest article contributed by Dave Wessinger, CTO of PointClickCare.com.
This is a three-part series, where we’ll be discussing three essential elements you should look for when choosing a nursing home for a loved one to ensure they are receiving the best quality of care.
Preventing loved one’s from falling victim to inaccurate nursing home documentation
It goes without saying that within any industry, inaccurate documentation leads to problems—sometimes small, and sometimes not so small. But within nursing homes, regardless of the scale, problems always hit home a little harder because the nature of the business is caring for the well being of people—the people you care about.
Inaccurate documentation in the your loved one’s medical chart has a potent fluidity that streams through the entire home, leaving a negative trail everywhere it goes. When incorrect information about a resident’s condition is recorded and processed (or not documented at all), the mistake spreads virally and ultimately circles back to the resident. When that happens, another cycle begins, but this one comes with a bit more bite. The problem has now leapt from paper into real life—residents are now exposed to illnesses, hospitalization, adverse medication errors and many other inherent stresses attached to inaccurate documentation...cue the next cycle.
This is an issue many nursing homes face on a daily basis, and the sad part is, the resident becomes an innocent victim. But they don’t have to suffer. If nursing homes can find a way to better manage their documentation process, they can significantly reduce these pain cycles.
So when seeking a nursing home for a loved one, what should you be looking for to ensure their care is being recorded accurately?
When it comes to the documentation process for patient record, diligent nursing homes employ an Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform, a system that optimizes caregiving practices by electronically collecting health-information about individual residents. Homes who have not yet caught up to the curve might still be using the alternative, a paper-based model, which is notorious for its holes and inefficiencies.
Nursing homes adopting an EHR improve their documentation processes through Point of Care (POC), a solution designed to effectively capture and share important resident information electronically at or near the bedside.
POC offers an easy-to-use interface that enables nursing staff to document clinical care activities at or near the point of resident care—in other words, in real-time. With POC, care workers create timely, accurate and complete documentation of residents’ condition, while increasing the amount of time spent with them and reducing cycles required for routine administrative tasks.
Accessed through kiosks, wall-mounted touchscreens, or laptop computers, POC eliminates error-prone paper-based tracking and assures documentation compliance and significantly increases the productivity and efficiency of care workers, creating a positive effect on the home’s quality of care. Also, POC technology enables staff to easily document critical resident information and manage all care tasks to be completed within their shift. Users can see pictures of all the residents under their care during that shift, as well as the scheduled care required for each.
Furthermore, care workers can quickly access the most relevant and timely information to proactively address resident needs, and information captured at the bedside is instantly available to other care workers. It’s having the ability to file data at the moment it’s received that is so essential for accurate documentation. Kirsten Lansford, Director of Nursing at Sunny Vista explains, “Our staff is using POC kiosks situated at or near our residents’ bedside as care delivery occurs. Our clinical team is documenting what is occurring with the resident in real-time, which has enabled us to capture patient’s needs, adjust staffing support accordingly, and ultimately improve our quality of patient care.”
Ultimately, the value POC provides for nursing homes and residents is ubiquitous. It’s proven that real-time, electronic documentation significantly reduces inaccurate information. This translates to staff spending less time entering data and dealing with the pains of incorrect documentation, and spending more time caring for the residents. It’s a win/win situation for everybody.
When choosing a facility for your loved one, be sure to incorporate Point of Care technology on your must-have list. It can prevent a world of stress, and at the same time provide better quality of life. Join us for Part 2 coming soon, where we’ll be focusing on electronic medication administration records (eMAR)—a proven method to prevent the dangers of medication errors.