We’re repeatedly told how important care plans are in providing client-centric care but it was a recent eye-opening experience that made me realise just how much our care staff depend on this documentation and when something is out of sync it can have disastrous consequences for both clients and family members. Making your care plans the backbone of your culture of care not only keeps everyone aligned it provides a safety net for carers so they can jump into the unknown.
A real-life horror story of a situation when care plan wasn’t carefully followed
Earlier this month, quite fittingly while on a train to the Care Show in Birmingham I ended up chatting with the guy in the seat next to me. He happened to be a barrister and was currently involved in a case with a care company, due to negligence from the carers in checking the client’s care plan the client faced life-changing injuries and a lengthy legal battle.
The firm had hired two temporary workers to help with some routine personal care tasks, as the client was incapacitated the carers were instructured to help him with bathing. It was only when he was lifted out of the tub they saw his body was covered in burns, unable to communicate the client couldn’t alert the carers that the temperature was far too hot for his sensitive skin.
If the carers had read the care plan closely they would have seen the exact information about the temperature of the bathing water and that a thermometer was available to use in the bathroom. Of course, this links to the bigger issues related to gross negligence and staffing issues meaning care companies have to rely on temp workers but I couldn’t help thinking if the care plan was easier to read, more accessible and part of an established routine all of this could be prevented. The client’s family sued the care company and in turn, the care company sued the employment agency that provided the temporary workers the ongoing legal battle is a fraction of the pain and stress caused to the client and his family.
How Can Technology help?
Making your care plans digital is one straightforward way of making the information required more accessible and intuitive for your carers. We’re all hooked to our mobile phones and by syncing all information for your carers to an app rather than relying on paper nothing can be lost and the most urgent and important aspects of client’s record can be highlighted.
There will always be nuances regarding internet access, client security and GDPR worries that have to be accounted for but real-time syncing of information and transparent information will only help both client and carer.
Give the client’s family the opportunity to follow the care of their loved one
After an eye-opening story on the way to the care show I was lucky enough to meet customers, carers and home care providers while I was there. And yet another struck a chord with me, a woman came by looking for advice on how to find support for her elderly mother, too many horror stories and bad experiences perpetrated by the media rendered her incapable of making a decision on how to hire the right company.
Technology can provide the missing piece to keeping the client’s family member involved every step of the way, keeping them up to date with care plans, medication records and case notes providing the peace of mind so desperately sought.
Don’t send your staff to the field without their parachute
Care plans are the parachute of your staff so ensure you don’t send them to the field without it. If you want to learn more about mobile care plans and family portal, book a 15 minutes demo with us and we’ll make you feel just that much safer.