Want to know more about how our care plan software can work for you? Get in touch with our team today and book a personalised demo.
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Our founder and CEO, Nuno Almeida, is featured on Care Home Professional’s cover for July 2023.
Nuno shares his thoughts on the social care sector, the growth and future of Nourish and how we align closely with the ambitions of our customers.
“We think we have the best product in the market. What makes the difference is our understanding of how a good digital product – with the right integrations, data science, sector knowledge, when all brought together – can translate into better outcomes for people needing care. We can do this from a single care home to hundreds of locations with a variety of types of care.”
Want to know more about how Nourish can work for you? Book a personalised demo with our team and see how Nourish can truly adapt to your care service.
Electronic care planning isn’t just improving the lives of those in care, it’s improving the lives of those working in care too.
Personalised care plans are the best way to ensure your care team provide the most person-centred support to those they care for.
Each individual is different, therefore a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work, especially when you care for people with very different needs.
When it comes to working with personalised plans on paper, things can be quite tricky. With care teams looking after many different people at the same time, a lot of carers’ time is spent looking at care plans, writing up notes and analysing information by hand, which can become very time consuming, and ultimately takes away from the time they could be spending with those they support.
As personalised plans become far easier to create, manage and analyse online, they can also be shared easily with members of a care team so that everyone can see the information they need at the click of a button.
This results in people receiving a much more personal and bespoke level of care, and ensures care teams are always working with a person-centred approach. There are many benefits to personalised care plans that are empowering teams to provide a greater level of care.
Having a team of carers who enjoy their job is so important when striving to deliver outstanding person-centred care. When care teams are happy, this shines through in their delivery of care. Here’s just a few ways personalised plans are empowering care teams working digitally……
The most common way care teams are feeling empowered by personalised plans is through increased efficiency.
Having each care plan easily accessible at the touch of a button can save carers a huge amount of time looking through stacks of paper and spending lengthy periods writing up notes. It also means there’s no confusion or questioning when shifts change, as you handover to the next carer they have all of the same information readily available. Knowing what’s been done and what needs to be done allows carers to ensure people are getting everything they need in a timely fashion.
The Nourish system has a handover feature which allows carers to quickly scan through what a previous member of staff has done that day or night, which means that change overs are seamless and consistent care is provided at all times.
With personal plans for each individual they support accessible at the touch of a button, carers are feeling empowered through that added confidence in their role.
Personalised plans provide in-depth information about a person and their needs, including everything from their allergies and medication history to their likes and dislikes. Having this information to hand allows carers to get to know the people they support, and in having this deeper understanding of their needs, carers can feel confident they are providing the safest form of care for individuals.
The Nourish system has the ability to log notes and send direct messages to other members of staff, so if something doesn’t look right or they’re unsure of something, this makes it easy for care teams to communicate with each other and support each other in their daily tasks.
Those who work in care do so because they want to help and make a difference in people’s lives, but when there’s mountains of paperwork to do at the end of a shift, this can sometimes make carers feel like they could be doing more if it wasn’t for all the admin that comes with the job.
Personalised plans that are created digitally allow carers to spend less time on admin and paperwork, and more time doing what they do best, which is caring.
“Saved around 30% of the time care teams would have spent writing their notes” and “quite easily saves staff around 20 minutes per shift”.
Personalised plans empower care teams to work with a person-centred approach, as it gives them the time to spend with those they support in a face to face environment. Spending quality time with those in care is good for both the person receiving and giving the support.
The majority of carers’ job satisfaction comes from being able to make genuine human connections and really make a difference to those they care for. Admin is often seen as a necessary evil of the job, but a digital way of working can cut down this admin time immensely, which makes a huge difference to the way in which care teams work.
Autonomy is the key to a smooth running team, and personalised plans can help provide greater clarity on what each individual needs, without any uncertainty.
With a comprehensive care plan, handover notes and direct messaging available within the Nourish system, carers no longer need to search high and low for specific information about a person. A personal care plan will have all the important details of what that person needs, so that the carer on duty can simply get on with their work efficiently and effectively.
The Nourish system has a comprehensive care plan and personalised timeline that can give carers an extensive overview of a person’s biography, care needs, medication, emergency information and more.
Having easy digital access to personalised care plans is empowering care teams in the workplace with a better understanding of what is required of them in their role. Working digitally eliminates a lot of the uncertainty and groups all information together in one central location, which provides greater structure and direction for care teams.
With a clearer view of the needs of each person under their care, their work becomes easier and they feel more motivated to go above and beyond. With a more streamlined system that everyone has access to, admin time is drastically cut down and teams are empowered to provide more person centred care, there’s no doubt that a digital way of working is going to boost morale in the workplace.
With the structure and efficiency of a digital personalised plan, teams can put all their effort into providing outstanding care for everyone.
Many care providers are now looking towards a smarter way of working, and with the recent strain put on the care sector due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it seems now more than ever people will be looking to make the switch to digital.
In this guide to electronic care planning, we map out what the best ways of going about selecting a care plan provider are, and answer that all important question: what are the costs?
Electronic care planning is a very recent and modern market, with most of its current players being fewer than 10 years old. As a result of this, pricing is often a topic of discussion: is it driven by its market, or is the market driving it instead? Is the market mature enough to represent a fair value or are providers offering a round number and see if it sticks? How is pricing calculated – by the number of staff, or people we support? How much is the upfront/setup cost, and how quickly does it start showing a good return on investment? How can I ease off this investment if I am a smaller provider? Can I get support from the Government/my local authority? This guide to electronic care planning tries to answer all these questions and leave you with enough material so that you can set a budget before you start looking for the most adequate ECP for your care provision.
Let’s start with the basics: your budgeting for an ECP is usually broken down in three different types of payments: Licensing (recurring costs), Implementation (one-off initial costs) and add-ons (additional costs if there is a variation from the initial requirements).
1. Licensing: this is your subscription cost which will be the bulk of your budget; it should cover the usage of your solution, any server costs, security, backups, support, account management, and product development.
????Tip: Always ask if the list above is included in your licensing cost. Nobody likes being surprised with a lower licensing price only to find out later that support or account management are add-on.
2. Implementation: this is your initial setup cost, which is usually roughly the equivalent of the first year of your licensing cost. It should cover any hardware, training, and setup fees.
????Tip: Some companies might offer you implementation at a very low cost, or even for free. It’s
good to bear in mind that this may indicate that a company is relatively young and might not be as
robust as other, more mature providers.
3. Add-ons: Anything outside of the scope of the initial plan would fit this category. For instance, if you expand to get a new unit, require a couple of additional pieces of hardware, or require additional training, you should expect there to be a cost for these.
????Tip: A transparent company will always be clear about any add-on costs. Be cautious if any Licensing or Implementation cost mentioned above fits into the “add-on” category, since you should expect them as standard.
Usually the cost represents a breakdown of the points mentioned above: the usage of the solution, server costs, security, backups, support, account management, and product development. A lower cost usually means some of these key elements is severely reduced or even not included.
Another important point is understanding whether the solutions is fully cloud-based, on-premise, or mixed. Most modern ECPs are fully cloud-based, which should be your preference: it will be much more robust, future proof, with regular updates, and you will be able to access your care records from anywhere (with the right permissions).
On-premise solutions usually have a higher implementation cost and require higher add-on fees when there is a maintenance problem. Cloud-based solutions are usually more expensive initially but being future proof, you are not surprised with hidden fees and required upgrades at any point.
????Tip: ask the following questions to understand if the service will be within your expectations:
1) How often is the system updated with newer, better features and clinical updates from the sector?
2) Who receives support, how is it offered, and is it 24/7 all year round?
3) Is the data stored in the UK and how often are backups conducted?
Our guide to electronic care planning will break down the different types of licensing you can get. You will most likely encounter one based on the number of people you support, one based on the number of staff you have, and one based on the number of devices you are using.
1. Based on the people you support: this usually gives you a fair price because it’s directly based on your revenue.
????Tip: some providers offer you discounts based on different brackets so try to use that to your advantage. Also, clarify whether this impacts the capacity or occupancy of your numbers
2.Based on the number of staff you have: roughly a similar cost to the one above depending on the ratio of staff to people you support.
????Tip: ensure you have enough accounts for every member of staff or you will start losing accountability if people start sharing accounts. It might save you a very small cost initially, but it can have dramatic impact in evidencing care on a later stage.
3.Based on the number of devices you are using: usually more common in legacy ECPs, you will only pay for how many devices you require. Usually a good option if you have a low ratio of staff to people you support.
????Tip: Same as above, ensure every member of staff has access to the ECP at any point in time. If you neglect this, the ECP can become a downgrade from paper, since there will be times where staff will have no access to care plans, or no way of evidencing their care.
As with any decision, this will have an impact on your business. You should look at your options, even once you have picked your favourite ECP. Our guide to electronic care planning provides some ideas for how you can mitigate the implementation cost to a minimum:
1. Can you do one or more training days remotely? Usually the cost is reduced in this case, and there are many benefits such as multiple people being able to join, the ability to record the session and reuse it in the future, and ultimately best use of time. With the world adapting to the spread of Covid-19, this is likely to become the norm for many.
However, try keeping remote sessions only to staff who is comfortable doing this – and support staff struggling with technology with face to face training.
2. If you have more than one home, try joining the senior staff together, cutting the cost in half. The more homes you have, the more cost efficient it can be. But bear in mind too many might shift a workshop environment to a less practical “classroom” approach which might not be ideal.
3. Look into alternative hardware options. Cheaper hardware usually means more headaches in the long run, but if you have a strong policy for hardware handling in place, it might be worth looking at all the options.
4. Financing is another option – ask your ECP provider if they can recommend anyone or do your own research if you’re more comfortable doing so. It’s not unusual to see single Care Homes splitting the implementation cost across 12 or 24 months.
Picking an ECP is invariably a decision to which Care Providers say “I don’t know how I did not do this earlier” since it’s one of the quickest returns for a business which relies so heavily on data. You can split the benefits into tangible (direct saving in cost) and intangible (indirect saving in cost) savings. When you take notice of intangible savings is when you truly realise the advantages of an ECP.
1. Tangible savings: stationery, paper, printer leasing, printer ink, files, binders, pens, you name it. Any expense you currently have with paperwork is almost immediately reduced to almost zero. Archiving is another factor you will realise in the mid to long term: whether you store your archived paperwork in a shed, your attic, a room, or externally with a storage company, this is either direct capital or an asset that you will be saving: usually this means you will either make significant savings or be able to have an extra room in your care setting.
2. Intangible savings:
Adopting an ECP is not a question of if but when. More and more care providers are adopting ECP, which is giving them a business advantage over other providers who are still reliant on paper-based records. More emphasis is being placed upon the value and benefits ECP can provide, with even the likes of inspectors and commissioners endorsing using this approach to recording care. Take advantage of this by comparing the already mature ECPs in the market since it’s not a new sector anymore, and you will quickly reap the benefits described in this article.
????Tip: reflect or measure how long it’s taking your senior team to do audits, reporting, and staying on top of care plan reviews. This should be a great foundation for how much you will be able to budget in your decision. Repeat the same exercise for your costs on staff recruitment, retention, and overall happiness in writing paper notes every day.
????Tip: When picking an ECP, prepare your meeting well by setting a list of criteria you are looking for by including not only required features but also what is included in the cost breakdown. The better prepared you are, the less hidden fees will surprise you.
????Tip: Moving to an ECP is a massive business decision. Ask your peers, local providers, and communities for a reputable provider rather than being driven purely by cost – cheap is not always best.
????Tip: Do not neglect the quality of Support and Account Management. An ECP requires a significant process of change management in your care provision, so think of it as a journey and never as an end goal.
As you may have already seen, we’ve developed a close working relationship with former CQC inspector Anne Weston. Anne is now part of RHW Care Consults, a specialist team designed to help care providers with their regulatory commitments, which helps to provide Nourish with critical guidance when it comes to regulatory updates and compliance. Her direct experience of how the regulatory bodies operate, along with her vast knowledge of the care industry, make her perfectly placed to help guide care providers on a range of different technical topics they may need advice on. This week, we spoke to Anne regarding one aspect of care recording that is often overlooked when working in a busy care environment – “positive person-centred care”.
Person-centred care is a way of providing care so that those receiving and giving it are on equal footing when it comes to developing, monitoring and undertaking care, ensuring it always meets a person’s individual needs. This doesn’t mean that you give people whatever they want, nor does it involve mindlessly providing information, it’s about considering a person’s individual and personal wishes, family, values and circumstances, then working with them to create the best possible solution for care that’s tailored to their individual needs.
When recording care, being positive means communicating in a manner that reflects the positive aspects of the care and support being described, and not just the negatives. It’s the difference between – “Gladys is unable to get to the toilet herself and frequently wets the bed” which is a negative way to record care. Instead you should record in a style that highlights what she is able to do, such as “Gladys is able to use the toilet when aided by one of the care team” and “This means that she needs to be helped to go to the toilet before she goes to bed and first thing in the morning”.
Here are my top areas for ensuring your care planning is both positive and person-centred:
The Nourish care management system allows you to style your recording in a way which is completely customised to the individual receiving care. With person-centred timelines at the heart of the system your care teams are helped to record care that is bespoke to the individual.
If you’d like to find out more about how Nourish’s care plan software can help you deliver person-centred care planning and management, then give us a call on 02380 002288 or email the team at caring@Nourishcare.co.uk and one of our experts will get in touch. To find out more about how Nourish can benefit your care service, book your personalised demo today.
We spoke to Anne Weston from RHW and asked her what she would say the, “Top 10 essential care planning tips care providers need to consider when considering care plans and their management” would be. This article covers the areas she feels care providers can really make positive gains and improve the care they are able to provide.
The care planning process needs to follow an organised, systematic and deliberate format, which supports and guides care delivery. This means there should be a logical and systematic flow of the information, right through from the initial assessment to the final evaluation.
Want to know more about how our care plan software can work for you? Get in touch with our team today and book a personalised demo.
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If you work in care you will probably spend a great deal of time carefully planning and organising your care plans and pathways. So how do you know if your care plans are comprehensive enough to not only pass a regulatory inspection, but actively help those in your care receive effective support?
In order to help care providers avoid the many pitfalls that come with poor care plans, we’ve compiled a list of the top 12 mistakes poor care plans make and a subsequent list of methods you can use to avoid making them and ensure you always use effective care plans.
Each of the points we’ve made above has its own set of risks and requirements which all lead to a lower quality of care, but with the right approach, technology and techniques, care plans can be designed to avoid all of these pitfalls entirely.
Below we’ve detailed the best ways we’ve found to overcome these care plan pitfalls and how you can navigate through them yourself:
If you’d like to find out more about how Nourish can help you improve your care planning and avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve discussed above, then give us a call on 02380 002 288, get in touch with the team or book a demo.
Let’s face it, when you work in care there can seem to be an overwhelming number of different buzzwords, jargon and acronyms involved in the information you get given. This is especially true when you look at the practices involved with providing people with good quality care. Today we’re going to be looking into integrated person-centred care planning – we’ll help you to demystify the term and try to encourage you to adopt the practices it involves into your care provision.
To begin with we’ll be looking at what “person-centred” actually means in regards to care. Simply put, it’s a shortened way of expressing the creation of a series of activities aligned to specifically cater for a person and their requirements. In a way it’s how you choose to culminate your care pathways & activities in a bespoke manner to provide someone with actions, activities and results that are focused totally on the individual.
Person-centred, applies to care planning, when you take into account the clinical, holistic, desires, needs and wants of person when creating their care plans. It doesn’t stop there, however and in order to be truly person-centred, care plans must be created collaboratively with the person in control of the care interventions they want to accept, how they wish to receive them and designed to enable the person at every opportunity.
Here’s where things get a bit trickier. In order to provide integrated person-centred care planning, care professionals from all areas need to work together in order to ensure that the person in care has a seamless provision of their care, no matter the setting. When you have a person whose care requires the interventions from a variety of different social care and healthcare organisations, this can become fairly complex and has only realistically been achievable with the introduction of electronic health records and electronic care planning systems.
Here at Nourish we focus firmly on empowering person-centred care for those who provide and are in care. You can read more about our vision in our recent article on “framing personhood to manage frailty, needs and wants” from our founder Nuno Almeida. It’s why we’ve designed the Nourish system from the ground up to help enable people to receive tailored care and empower carers to do just that.
Nourish’s care planning system helps care workers, care teams, care managers and senior care providers with person-centred care planning by:
Our team of experts are always happy to help talk through how the Nourish system empowers care teams and care providers – talk to us today to find out more.
At Nourish we don’t take the typical path when it comes to care plans. Rather than telling care providers how they ‘should’ go about their care planning, we prefer to learn how they like their own care plans built. We know that care plans are not a one-size-fits-all exercise. There are a whole host of good reasons for care providers to adopt different styles in the care plans they choose to use.
How is a robust care planning template created?
Much has been written about how care plans should be put together. But ultimately, the structure of the care plan template needs to be decided by the senior team of the care provider (including its owners) who will set how the service should be led and by the care managers who will conduct service delivery day to day.
Care planning isn’t just about documents, its about shared journeys with each person
Although it is tempting to shrink the care planning exercise to a structure of needs assessments, a list of support services and the risks involved; good care providers are increasingly recognising that a good care plan covers a representation of a person as a whole. This means they need to cover their wants as well as their needs, their abilities as well as their frailties.
Getting this information goes well beyond an admission interview, or a comprehensive assessment; getting to know a person takes time, and people change their preferences and habits. Care planning is part of all interactions with the person and their close circle of support, family and close friends, not just at discrete times.
Care providers are different and so is their care planning
Some care providers may prefer to tackle recovering mobility with garden activities, others will focus on dancing, this will allow different care providers to resonate with different clients. This is why care plans cannot be the same for all care providers. Because care providers decide, which services to provide and together with their team decide how they are provided, how they are adapted to each individual’s wants and needs, the care planning framework must support the team in this journey.
Fundamental building blocks to a robust care planning framework
The building blocks you need to consider when building each care plan include:
In a modern care planning framework, people receiving care have the ability to continuously give feedback about their care, as well as help to improve and adapt the care they receive. This includes the ability to manage consent, allow a next of kin and other informal carers to record relevant notes, raise warnings and alarms, as well as help to stay involved in the care of the person.
Interactions in someone’s day to day care are typically recorded by carers as daily notes. However increasingly, there is information from connected devices, Telehealth or Telecare equipment, wearables and internet of things (IoT), as well as notes from relatives and volunteers outside of the care provider’s organisation. All of this information, when managed digitally, can be used to automatically update care plans, trigger reviews and enable care managers to have the best possible representation of the context of the person and their care, and feel reassured by the clarity of transparency of the quality of the care being provided.
How can Nourish help with your care planning?
Nourish is designed to support organisations in transforming how care information is managed, with radical improvements to the operation of care services and continuous improvement to care delivery. To find out more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
At Nourish there are a number of principles that guide our work. Firstly we understand the importance of planning in care, which is why we put care plans at the heart of what we do. Establishing a care plan is key to providing truly personalised care, so we designed Nourish to make that process as smooth as possible.
No two care settings are ever the same, which is why Nourish is flexible and customisable. Our approach is to tailor Nourish to work for care teams, not the other way round. So if a care team has well-established care plans that they are already using, we work with the team to take those care plans online with Nourish – creating the same order that carers are used to. Other settings may prefer to use Nourish care plan templates and then customise them to the care they provide – from nursing care to dementia care to domiciliary care to learning disabilities.
Secondly we use clear, user-friendly design to allow Nourish to fit into carers’ daily work. Care plans can be set up to generate tasks on a daily schedule – for example, if part of a person’s care plan is to monitor a person’s weight loss, daily tasks can be set on the timeline to check nutrition and food intake. Carers have told us time and again that the two hours they used to spend at the end of a shift on paperwork has simply gone, because by the time the shift has finished they have already made all the notes they need to.
Thirdly, care is provided not by a single person, but by a circle of care. Within a residential setting, this may involve the care team, visiting medical staff and family. In home care settings, friends and neighbours may also play a role. With Nourish, notes can easily be made by each person providing care. That information is then stored and organised in the care plan logs in a clear way so that others can access it when they need to.
With all this in place, generating reports no longer involves spending hours retrieving files from the shelves but can be done with just a few clicks, before, after or even during a CQC inspection if required. Care plans can easily be reviewed and audited, which is also vital when it comes to inspection. Reviews may be scheduled, but care teams also have the flexibility to react to changes in a person’s condition which may trigger the need for a care plan review.
Care requires both consistency and flexibility. We designed Nourish to support those needs. Which means care teams can get on with doing what they do best – provide the real, human, compassionate care that enables the people they care for to enjoy the best quality of life possible.