Digital Social Care Record leads to better, safer care for local residents

Digital Social Care Record leads to better, safer care for local residents image

Home » Digital Social Care Record leads to better, safer care for local residents

As part of the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership’s digital transformation agenda, the Digitising Social Care programme is working hard to provide support and funding to enable local care providers to benefit from digital tools and services to improve resident care and safety. One of these tools is the Digital Social Care Record or DSCR for short.

The DSCR allows health and care professionals to securely and quickly access relevant information within local people’s health and care records, allowing them to provide residents with better, safer care. Previously, many health and care records have been paper-based which has slowed down sharing of important information and these haven’t always been as secure as they could be.

One care provider benefitting from this support is Prime Care Support, an independent domiciliary care provider operating in Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Buckinghamshire.

Prime Care supports a substantial number of local residents in their own homes, resulting in huge amounts of paperwork to manage and audit.

Managing Director Jason Drury was looking for a solution to help improve the company’s systems and processes, while saving staff valuable time and resource. After trialling several different options, Jason began using digital social care records, which, he says, have undoubtedly helped improve care.

“You can provide a safer service and know what’s happening in the community,” he said. “I can’t underline enough the importance of that.

“We get 10,000 records a week, so we can’t audit everything, but we know within an hour if there’s an incident where someone hasn’t had their medication. It’s also easier to track falls, see trends, and carry out lessons learnt reviews and root cause analysis.”

Since using DSCR, Jason has seen a number of other advantages for his company. Staff have the flexibility to update care plans or carry out audits without physically needing to be in the office, helping save time on administrative tasks. The digitisation allows for better record keeping by reducing the risk of documents being misplaced or lost, and keeps an up-to-date, easily accessible audit trail for management. The digital system also means medication changes and medication administration records (MARs) can be updated immediately,

Jason has praised the amount of information available through a digital system as ‘100 times more’ than the previous paper method.

Prime Care’s staff have adapted well to the change. Jason said: “After a while, staff found it a lot easier than writing care notes, especially once they activated the voice note function on their phones, through which they upload their reports. Their spoken notes are converted into text and they tend to be much more detailed than the brief written notes we used to get, which gives us a lot more useful information.”

Through DSCR, images can be sent securely meaning photographs can form part of a staff member’s report during a home visit, which Jason says has proved extremely useful.

Carers can also draw circles on interactive body charts to show where, for instance, a pressure ulcer might have formed. “We get to know about it straight away in the office,” said Jason.

The system Prime Care bought didn’t immediately prove a perfect fit for its needs, so the team spent time editing and adding fields, which they were then able to populate. While that was a learning process, they went on to work with the product company to help develop the reporting side and shape the system to fit their individual needs.

Jason said: “It’s now got to the point where the reports are pretty good.”

He says changing from a paper to a digital care planning system is a significant move but putting in the work early on to ensure the right information is captured by carers pays dividends.

“You need to put in the resources to do it properly, but if you use the product to its potential, there is financial benefit. However, for me, the ability to shape and provide a safer service is the biggest positive.”

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