Chris Rose, director at OLM, which delivers software and services to help care organisations improve efficiencies, explains the benefits of implementing digital solutions for care management in care organisations that support service users with learning disabilities.
Technology is an integral part of the way that care homes deliver care, and pursuing the latest innovative developments helps to support high quality care. An increasing number of LD care providers are implementing these innovations to enhance their service, but what are the benefits?
A common issue with traditional care management workflow is that defined rigid processes need to be followed which can get in the way of effective recording; the latest digital systems overcome these issues, allowing care homes to take a much needed step forward.
Recognised as a better way of working, and a means to improve efficiencies, next-generation case management solutions are being implemented by learning disability care homes in a unique way. The functionality and flexibility of systems provides an attractive option to streamline operations, benefitting managers, staff and service users.
Here’s five ways digital case management software solutions are making life easier for care homes that support residents with learning disabilities.
Improves and supports processes
Online care management solutions address the challenges that care professionals face when recording, significantly impacting operational and financial efficiencies.
With traditional care management processes, it’s common to record the same information again and again, which creates inefficiencies in terms of time and is also open to errors in recording. By speeding up the process and automating known or repetitive tasks, whilst ensuring that information is recorded only once, care homes are able to reduce the administrative burden, reduce errors, and reallocate time saved to the service users. Digital solutions improve transparency and visibility to make processes quick, easy, and cost-effective.
Industry compliance is essential, and online systems help care homes meet statutory requirements across health and social care, plus data protection requirements.
Recording and evidencing all aspects of care can have a big impact on inspection outcomes, yet achieving Outstanding CQC ratings is a difficult task, particularly for learning disability care homes. Used to their full potential, software systems enable homes to manage their quality and risk, stay compliant and improve standards.
The quality and accuracy of management information generated improves considerably. For instance by having all the necessary care plans and forms in one place, Resolve Care, an innovative organisation that supports adults with learning disabilities, has achieved Outstanding ratings from the CQC for both of its homes. Resolve has a culture of innovation and improvement, and uses the ECLIPSE case management solution to evidence its care, and to support continuous improvement.
Anytime, anywhere accessibility
Today’s software systems are developed to work on any device, anytime, anywhere; flexibility which enables direct recording with patients. This also means that individual care plans are accessible to all staff, and are secure; whereas paper-based files are not as secure and if left where they shouldn’t be, can be accessed by anyone.
Usability is key, and the right technology is user-friendly and intuitive for staff, and accessible via a smartphone or tablet; so no more time wasted with scribbled hand-written notes which then have to be typed up on return to the office! Day-to-day reporting is certainly more straight-forward.
Paper-based notes also require a great deal of storage, and care provider managers using cloud-based systems report space savings as a result of removing bulky filing cabinets that take up valuable office space.
Online software present an opportunity to document detailed knowledge of each service user, which is essential in order to provide specific person-centred support, including activities, behaviours and moods. The positive and the negative can be recorded too, allowing staff to be vigilant in spotting service users changes. As information is accessed in real-time, staff can gather data at the touch of a button and respond to changes quickly and efficiently.
Through undertaking high-quality recording, and not simply following a tick box exercise, care homes can develop a clear understanding and plan for their service users, and monitor and identify any changes to service users’ health in order to deliver an outcomes-focused service.
One area to be mindful of is that sometimes reporting tools are restrictive and cannot access all the data that you have created. Choose your case management solution wisely!
Remember that some systems are not customisable and cannot be tailored to suit the best way each individual learning disability care provider works, as well as to suit the residents.
Enables patient involvement
The most advanced software is built with users at the core, and clean, modern interfaces make using them second nature.
Involving service users and their families in the entire care process, listening to their views and opinions, and responding quickly is very important and this is where digital solutions once again go above and beyond the paper-based approach.
Service users in learning disability homes often have varying levels of verbal communication skills and ability to understand written documents. Innovative technology allows service users input into their own pictorial care plans; removing the barriers for those with learning difficulties who find reading and writing a challenge.
Furthermore service users can share photos, memory books, audio recordings, and videos with their families; which cannot be achieved via a paper-based approach.
OLM takes the complexity out of people's lives through innovation in software and services.
Using its expertise in service redesign, agile technology development, security and infrastructure, it designs and delivers collaborative solutions to meet the unique challenges of the care sector.
OLM’s ECLIPSE provides a single software and service platform that meets the unique challenges of the care, health and education sectors.