A care home company has invested £80,000 into care monitoring software which works like a mobile phone app and gives a comprehensive report on each resident.
Milford Care, which has care homes in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, has introduced “Person Centred Software” which sees every member of care staff use a handheld device to record the care given to each resident.
The device looks like a smartphone and contains each of the residents’ profiles. It works like an app, where the carer can click on the photo of the resident and tap the relevant buttons for what care they have received. It also has features to record activities, communication, medical needs, emotional support and sleeping.
The software was trialled at Ashbourne Lodge and is now used in all of Milfords homes – Spencer Grove in Belper, Milford House, The Meadows in Alfreton, and Hazelgrove in Hucknall.
Jim Watt, care manager at Ashbourne Lodge, said: “If the carer assists a resident out of bed in the morning, helps them to wash, tends to their oral health care then assists them to transfer to another room it is all ticked off on the app.
Anything we do to help the resident goes on the handheld devices and links to the computer. It’s a great way for staff to quickly detail everything that they do.
“Previously we had hand written record, but this gives a better overview and makes care delivery more people centred. As a Manager I can access reports which give me a full picture of what care each resident has received each day. We can have up to 54 residents here. Before if I wanted to look at some information for a particular resident I would have to go through 54 sheets of paper, now I can just click a button and it tells me everything about that resident.”
The PCS device also means that if a resident needs to go to hospital, staff can simply press a button and print the details off to give to the paramedics or hospital staff giving them a really accurate picture of how the person has been cared for. The system also means records are likely to be more accurate as they are completed at that moment, rather than later in the day.
Jim added: “With this system, once the carer has done something, they just key it in and it only takes a few seconds. The device also reminds people when something needs doing and has emojis on a person’s profile – when all tasks are completed a smiley face will appear.”
All 20 care assistants at Ashbourne Lodge have one of the hand held devices which they keep on them at all times during their shift.
Ruth Griffiths, a care assistant at Ashbourne Lodge, said: “I was very apprehensive about using it at first but once you get the hang of it everything is much easier. It’s good for new staff too and great for communicating with the whole team because if something changes it’s there on the system for everyone to see.”
Photo: Care assistant Ruth Griffiths and Ashbourne Lodge resident Joan Stanton