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Toolkits 10th October 2023

Uncovering the Hidden Pitfalls of Paper Based Care Records

By Sarah Jenkins

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare and social services, the way we manage and maintain care records has a profound impact on the quality of care provided. For many years, paper-based records were the norm in social care settings, but this traditional approach came with its fair share of challenges and limitations. In this blog, we will explore the pains of using paper and why transitioning to digital solutions is the way forward. 

Inefficiency and Delays 

Using paper to record care allows for inefficiency. Documenting care notes by hand is incredibly time consuming and means there is a delay in updating records for the people you support. In a fast-paced environment, having access to real-time information is paramount. The delay caused by paper can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the people you support as changes to their needs may be critical and time sensitive. This risk of outdated or incomplete information can compromise the quality of care.  

By using a digital care management system, your care teams can record care notes on the go and senior members of the team can be kept in the loop and take action where necessary, ensuring the people you support are receiving the right care at the right time. With full oversight of your service in real-time that can be accessed anywhere and anytime, nothing will be missed! 

Data Inaccuracy 

Human error is much more likely when using paper to record care. Handwriting may be illegible, and documents can be misplaced or misfiled which can lead to inaccuracies in your data. These errors can have serious consequences for the people you support.  

A digital care management system not only allows for legible records all in one place but also has Speech-to-text functionality that removes the need to type notes, you will be reducing errors and unnecessary stress so there’s no need to worry about spelling mistakes, grammar or punctuation. 

Data Security Concerns 

Paper records are vulnerable to physical damage and loss, putting sensitive information at risk.  

At Nourish, we take data privacy and security seriously. Our platform is ISO 27001 accredited, Cyber Essentials Plus certified and GDPR compliant. Our servers also meet high security standards required by the NHS and we undergo regular security audits to ensure the highest standards of data protection. In addition, in the Nourish platform we have implemented access controls to ensure only authorised users can access data. 

Limited Accessibility  

With paper-records, there is only one copy for the entirety of the care team to work from. If both a carer and a registered manager wish to see the care plan at the same time, this creates some difficulty in the realm of hindering collaboration within care teams and slowing down the decision-making process. 

By using a digital care management system, records are stored in a secure cloud that can be viewed by multiple members of the team at the same time with real time updates allowing for the most appropriate care to be delivered to the people you support.  

Storage Space and Sustainability of Paper

Physical paper records require space to be stored accurately and according to care regulator guidelines. Physical records also require constant use of paper and take up a significant amount of space as well as the need to be archived for a certain amount of time as per regulator’s guidelines. The CQC’s latest guidance point towards their stance on sustainability, hinting at care provider’s needing to be environmentally conscious in order to achieve a Good rating.  

Using a digital care management system reduces the need for paperwork and is an easy way to become more sustainable. Care records can be viewed from one central location which means if there are multiple locations in one group, there is a reduced need to travel between services, another step towards becoming environmentally friendly. 

Regulatory Compliance 

The care industry is evolving, and so are the regulations that govern it. Keeping up with the shifting landscape while relying on paper records can be a compliance tightrope walk.  

Digital care records align seamlessly with regulatory changes. Inspectors increasingly expect the precision and accessibility that digital records offer. Embracing our platform can help you sail through inspections with confidence. 

Limited Communication and Collaboration 

Effective communication and collaboration are the lifeblood of a well-functioning care team. Paper records often isolate vital information within handwritten notes, creating barriers to collaboration. 

Our platform is designed to break down these walls, fostering seamless information sharing among care teams. Say goodbye to disjointed handovers and hello to improved teamwork and person-centred care. 

Analysis and Reporting Challenges 

Extracting meaningful insights from stacks of paper records can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.  

Our digital platform equips you with powerful analytics tools that transform data into actionable insights. With our platform, you can effortlessly generate reports and make data-driven decisions that enhance care quality and outcomes. 

Disjointed information 

There’s a wealth of information you need to know about an individual you are supporting. Whether it’s medication management, pain management, incident management or workforce management it can be extremely hard to join the dots when you still have paper care records.  

With a digital care records platform, not only can you streamline your processes, but it also acts as a central hub, connecting with other powerful systems where information is shared between them, providing care teams with rich and up-to-date information at their fingertips. 

The difficulties that come with using paper for digital social care records are evident in the inefficiency, inaccuracy, limited accessibility, and sustainability concerns associated with traditional methods. Embracing digital solutions not only addresses these issues but also enhances the overall quality of care provided. The transition to digital social care records is a step towards a more efficient, accurate, and sustainable future in social care settings. 

Find out more about the benefits of Nourish by contacting our team for a personalised demonstration of our platform.  

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