We caught up with Ffion and Paul from Jewish Care to find out how their staff feel about making the transition to digital. They rolled out the Nourish electronic care planning system in 10 of their homes over the course of 15 months, and plan to continue to do so in all new facilities too, thanks to it’s success.
About Jewish Care
Jewish Care is the largest health and social care organisation serving the Jewish community in London and the South East. They run over 70 services, touching the lives of 10,000 people every week. They adopted Nourish in 2017 and continue to roll electronic care planning out to all of their sites.
With Jewish Care offering so many different services including residential, nursing, dementia, home care, mental health support, day centres and independent living, it was really important for them to make an informed decision when choosing an electronic care management system.
Why did you decide to start looking into recording care electronically?
We wanted to find a way to improve services, ensure care plans were maintained well, meet compliance regulations from the CQC and most importantly, allow our carers to record at the point of care. So many of our staff would spend afternoons filling in their notes, and this eliminates that problem.
What were your reasons for choosing Nourish?
We really wanted to look at it from all sides and choose a system which had everyone’s priorities in mind. We visited some other homes that were using Nourish and once we saw it in action we knew we wanted to go for it. It just seemed really user friendly and easy to use.
How was the process of implementing Nourish?
I’ll admit I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but there were plans in place and lots of support from Nourish. When we were told each staff member would get one hour of training we weren’t convinced this would be enough, but we were surprised that after one day of training, the majority of people had picked it up.
People pick things up at different speeds, and some older staff were frightened to begin with but everyone helped each other out. It went very smoothly despite our anxieties. We were worried some staff might not like the new system and leave, but we’re happy to say we’ve kept all of our staff and made the decision to roll it out across all of our homes.
Nourish got everyone comfortable with the handsets first, before moving on to training staff on the desktop version. It was a big investment (both financially and in terms of staff training), but everyone embraced it and trusted the process.
How long did it take to onboard the entire group?
We have 10 homes in total, 2 of which have over 100 beds which were split into chunks for their training. It took from August 2017 to around November/December 2018 to fully on-board everyone across all facilities, which works out at around one home per month.
How have CQC inspections gone since implementing Nourish?
We had three inspections over the course of the on-boarding process, and we were only really using the daily notes feature at the time. We were very honest and open with inspectors about the transition and CQC seemed to really like it. We were anxious about embracing the transparency of Nourish’s system, but it allowed the CQC to get answers straight away rather than having to look through lots of notes.
They were curious about it as it’s still a new concept to them too. They saw the potential in the system and the next time we have an inspection we should be fully up and running with it.
What has been the impact on staff and the quality of care?
We’ve asked staff to give their feedback and we’ve had a mixed response. On the whole everyone has said they can record quicker, spend more time with the residents and they are able to complete tasks in a more timely manner. While they all notice the benefits, some are still nostalgic for the old way of working on paper, but it just takes some time to get used to.
One thing in particular we’ve noticed is that we can monitor things much more closely and with ease. Whereas looking for specific notes could sometimes take all day, now we can find them right away.
We feel that we can use the features in Nourish’s system to improve the wellness of our residents, for example tracking hydration to prevent bladder infections and much more.
We would recommend anyone considering switching to electronic care planning, to consider what you want to get out of it, remain flexible and look long-term – it’s an ongoing process that’s about the quality of care, not the finances.
Jewish Care has 1400 members of staff representing 70 different nationalities. For more information, visit www.jewishcare.org or call 020 8922 2000, you can also visit doyouwish.org to find out more about fulfilling careers at Jewish Care.