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Health & Wellbeing 13th December 2022

What is best practice digital care?

By Sarah Jenkins

Best practice defines the best way to achieve effectiveness and efficiency. In healthcare, this defines the best way to improve the health and wellbeing of the people supported.

How do we define best practice in health and social care?

Best practice defines the best way to achieve effectiveness and efficiency. Cambridge dictionary defines it as “a working method or set of working methods that is officially accepted as being the best to use in a particular business or industry.” In health and social care, this encompasses many areas from oral care to podiatry, to medication or mental wellbeing, and defines the best way to improve the health and wellbeing of the people supported. Best practice is the conclusion of high-quality evidence from recent, relevant and helpful care methods, procedures, techniques and interventions. The implementation of best practice aims to improve each individual supported’s health
outcomes and the quality of healthcare as a whole.

“Nourish has given us the opportunity to be really creative in tailoring interactions to meet the specific needs of our individuals, so that we can design a truly unique service for each person.” – Heathville Care

Working towards best practice care

While the Care Quality Commission (CQC) doesn’t define best practice in care, there are independent bodies within the health & social care sector that are dedicated to researching and assisting in delivering best practice. Utilising these bodies, such as the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB), The Outstanding Society, National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE), The National Care Forum and Care England, will share the best practice that is currently being exercised. These bodies will also provide a community and if you choose a
digital platform that works with them, they will be able to put a voice to your evidence and opinions that can continue to shape best practice.

The government’s digital deadline that requires 80% of care services to be using a digital system by 2024 suggests that using a digital care planning platform is considered best practice. A digital care planning platform that is customisable, flexible, person-centred and can be tailored to the needs of your care service ultimately becomes the best practice solution as it fits all of your needs. A digital care planning platform can give you the tools to assist you in working to achieve best practice care such as Oral Health Assessments or Quality of
Life Tools.

How can Nourish help?

With digital care planning, care staff can record notes on the go and at the point of care meaning their notes are more accurate and they have more time to flesh out the care note to be more person-centred. With more accurate and person-centred notes recorded on a digital system, care teams are able to track any changes on dashboards that showcases the information clearly and instantly. A digital system means any changes will be picked up quicker and don’t require searching through paper care plans.

Within Nourish, each care service will be assigned Libraries specific to their care types. These Libraries are collections of managed assets, such as interactions, assessments, care plan templates and more for managing specific pathways, conditions, needs and day-to-day operational requirements. Our Libraries have been built alongside care and clinical professionals, with a deep understanding of the sector and needs of the population. Nourish were one of the first to be accredited on the NHS Transformation Directorate Assured Supplier List and is a Quality Partner of the PRSB, working to promote best practice standards for care. Nourish were also the first to get the PRSB Digital Care and Support Plan Standard. Nourish partners with leading technologies in the health and social care sector to create an integrated ecosystem for care services so Nourish becomes the single source of truth. As standards and best practice evolve, not only does Nourish include advanced workflows for incident management, it also integrates with NHS technology systems such as GP Connect and other leading
suppliers, such as Nexus by GHM Care for nurse call alerts, Radar Healthcare for Incident Management and MED e-care for eMAR with many more to come.

The flexibility of Nourish allows for a constantly evolving best practice, not just for the care sector, but importantly your contexts of care and organisation’s evolving processes. Best practice says you should record x and y. With Nourish, if it is relevant and you think its beneficial, you can add that z also needs recording. A perfect balance between standards-based best practice and ever evolving best practice that doesn’t

“The timelines really help care teams keep up to date and aware of what everyone’s needs are such as turns, fluid intake, wound care, and being able to add photos really helps document some of these things and see improvements in those we support. Also seeing things like how much people are eating and how they are doing in day to day life can really help us see where the gaps are and what we can do to improve their care.” – South Coast Nursing Homes

Evidence-based evolution

Best practice is never set in stone. What was best practice is 2020 may not be best practice in 2022 if the evidence provided by care professionals has proved otherwise. The idea of best practice is always evolving as collaboration and evidence are built. Working towards best practice will always be an ongoing process.

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