Care communication: Can technology bridge the gap for families?
March 13, 2020
Watching a loved one’s health decline can be painful for any family member. It’s made all the more difficult when there is a lack of care communication, particularly when a family member begins to receive professional care.
The kind of care a person needs varies hugely, depending on their situation, but home care is usually the first step in helping an elderly person to continue to live independently. Home care provision has many levels, depending on the needs of an older adult.
NICE (National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence) provide the following advice when it comes to communication: “Communication in-home care has 2 main aspects: communication with the person using home care (and their carer, family, or friends) communication among professionals.
It refers to both written and non‑written communication. As with person‑centred care as a whole, effective communication is an ongoing process. As a person's needs or preferences change, so may their preferred forms of communication.” (Source)
Keeping track of care
When it comes to care communication, many home care providers use paper to log and track the care that they deliver. From visit observations to medication, everything is handwritten on paper sheets, which are usually collected and reviewed at the end of the month.
For families, understanding what actually happened during a visit can be impossible without accessing the communication or log sheets in person. Families can request access to the logs, or call the care provider directly, however, if the sheets are yet to be collected the care manager may struggle to give up-to-date information.
A real-time solution?
That’s where technology comes in. Technology like Birdie can assist care communication by digitising care logs, making them instantly accessible. Birdie combines powerful software for care providers to plan their care delivery, (like assigning tasks, medications, carrying out assessments and building personal profiles of those in their care) alongside an app for care staff to use during visits and an app for families to log in and see instant updates and visit notes.
Families play a huge role in caring for an individual. By involving them in the process of care and streamlining the care communication channels, it can make care delivery easier and ensure that everyone is in the loop at all times. The frustrations of paper and the slow process of keeping families involved and up to date is completely eliminated when a technology system like Birdie is implemented.
How does Birdie’s family app work?
When a home care provider signs up to Birdie, they’ll have the option to offer a family app to the families and carers of the people in their care. If the client agrees to the sharing of information, the family member can then download the app and log in to keep updated with their progress.
Families (and nominated individuals) will then be granted instant access to updates on their loved ones care. From visit notes to medication administration and alerts when there’s a concern, every nominated family member with app access is kept up to date at all times with developments, changes and observations.
Birdie in action
Hear from Elizabeth and Zara about their experiences caring for their families using the Birdie family app.
If you’re a family member looking for a solution like Birdie, get in touch with your loved one’s home care provider and ask them to consider a system like Birdie.
If you’re a home care provider or care manager, why not get in touch with us today to see how Birdie could help streamline care communication for your agency? Book a demo below and we’ll walk you through the process.