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In many care homes, the primary place to document is in the office. This means, that the staff have to go from providing care to the residents, back to the office to document this. This procedure is very demanding for the staff since they have to focus on remembering the tiny details for documentation purposes rather than focus on the resident’s needs in the care environment.
The result more often than not is that the documentation is not accurate or sufficient. This hampers communication between colleagues. If you are unsure of what tasks have been completed and how, you will waste a lot of time on trying to find the information yourself and then communicating this to your colleagues. Time that could be used with the residents or on planning and completing professionally relevant tasks.
There is no easy solution to creating a workday with more focus on care competencies. However, there is a number of things you can do to make it easier for your staff to utilise their expertise even better.
How does the care plan for each resident look? And how am I contributing towards the plan right now? This cohesion should dictate the documentation process itself, making it more coordinated towards the resident’s needs as well as the carers’ work processes.
If steps towards making the documentation process less strenuous are not being made, each member of the care staff will have to choose what is most important in the moment – delivering care based on needs or documentation. In most cases delivering care takes precedence, so the following documentation will not be as thorough and adequate as it could be. Unreliable documentation does not have much value. Therefore, it is important to provide the carers with the right framework so that documentation can be done at the point-of-care, rather than back at the office.
The staff can benefit from collecting and delivering knowledge obtained throughout the day in the context of their professional care tasks. When your staff is able to do this instead of documenting at the end of the day, it will improve the organisation’s collective ability to make decisions on a well-informed basis. When carers have ongoing access to the newest insights to the daily workflow, they are able to utilise their knowledge on a higher professional level. The documentation process is often regarded as a chore since it is not the reason why the carers chose the care sector. However, it is possible to turn the ‘chore’ into something positive if the documentation can contribute towards making care tasks easier and better.
Shifting the focus towards your organisation’s care competencies can seem like an indomitable task. However, it is not impossible to achieve as one of Sekoia’s clients has shown in just a short amount of time.
“We have created a new initiative where all residents are encouraged to have a daily walk. The initiative is listed as a recurring activity on the Sekoia screen. Having it on the screen makes it so much easier and practically impossible to forget. The result is more daily walks for our residents.”
Another result from the 30-resident care home is a more controlled and strict handling of medicine. This creates peace of mind with the staff which they did not have before implementing Sekoia.
“The whole task involving the resident’s medication has changed for the better. It felt horrible returning home from a shift and realising that you had forgotten something. That just does not happen now, because all tasks are visible on the screen and need to be checked off. The instructions are also much clearer and easier to understand. Instead of reading a ton of text, you just flick through a couple of pictures. It makes everything run much more smoothly.”
A key result of utilising your organisation’s care competencies is that care tasks will be completed with more uniformity. The uniformity is hard to achieve unless there is transparency in how a task is being solved. When your staff know exactly how and why a task is being done, they are put in the best position to provide even better care for the residents. And each other!