Digital vs paper care plans: understand the benefits of using digital care plans
January 27, 2020
You’ll already know that care plans are essential for any care recipient. Care plans don’t follow a standardised guideline or format, which means that there are a multitude of different types used by care providers all over the country, but each should have the same three purposes:
to ensure that the client gets the same care regardless of which members of staff are on duty
to ensure that the care given is recorded
to support the patient/client to identify, manage and, hopefully, solve his or her problems.
Traditionally, care plans are written documents that include information like: nutrition, mobility, sleeping, positioning, oral care and personal hygiene. More detailed care plans might include sections on issues like: falls prevention, psychological needs, recording of clinical signs, communication and information.
Paper care plans may be stored in the office of your agency and a full or partial copy kept at your client’s home for visiting care professionals, GPs or district nurses to refer to.
Why go digital?
The care industry is facing change; speaking at the Policy Exchange, Matt Hancock suggested that the CQC would begin assessing how appropriately providers are using digital solutions, something they’ve not previously done. (find out more here) And, with the CQC actively endorsing digital systems, there’s never been a more important time to make the switch.
One of our partner agencies, MyHomeCare (Derby), recently had their CQC rating increased from ‘Requires improvement’ to ‘Good’ with Birdie being cited in their report.
“An electronic system 'Birdie' had been implemented since the last inspection. This allowed staff to log in and out of calls, complete medicine administration records electronically and daily logs. The nominated individual explained if a staff member was not at a call within 15 minutes of the scheduled call time, the office was alerted. This system allowed management to access information immediately, in an event they had a query or concern.”
That’s not the only success story either. Elite Care, another of our partner agencies also received an ‘Outstanding’ rating in responsiveness thanks to Birdie. Read more about how Birdie helped them, here.
But not only is the move recommended by the CQC, there are many other benefits for your business when it comes to going digital vs paper.
Reduce paper costs
Recording your care plans digitally means there’s no need to print and store your care plans - instead they’ll be stored electronically, in a secure, encrypted space.
Traditional paper care plans require printing thousands of sheets of paper at a time - and if you need to make a change, you’ll have to repeat the entire process. One of our partner agencies, Prioritising People’s Lives told us that before Birdie, they were “going through stacks and stacks of paper” and now with Birdie they’ve managed to “streamline everything” and achieve “a massive reduction in the paper side” of care planning.
Being compliant and keeping sensitive information safe is of paramount importance. Paper is notoriously difficult to keep secure. By removing paper entirely, you can always be sure that nothing will go missing and you’re always in control of sensitive information. Birdie is also fully GDPR compliant and keeps your data safe by storing information in a fully encrypted cloud-based server.
One shared portal
When you move your care plans to a digital format, you can grant your care professionals access to the information, right from their smartphone. With the information they need at their fingertips, they’re far more likely to refer to it - rather than spending a lot of time reading a care plan before a visit.
Find what you need, fast
Rather than flipping through pages and pages of paper to find what you need, you can quickly search and find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, if you need to find out if there are any risks at a client’s home, you can visit your risk assessment on Birdie, find the relevant section and access the information instantly.
Update care plans easily
Care plans should be regularly updated, but as doing so often requires reprinting paper and redistributing the copies - it can be a chore. With a digital care plan making amends is easy, and everyone gets updated simultaneously.
How can Birdie help?
Birdie’s Care plan feature allows you to record information about your clients and their goals and requirements across a huge range of areas - allowing you to create a person-centred plan that reflects their needs accurately.
Your client’s personal profile is where you can record details like their likes and dislikes and important information that relates to their own personal well-being.
Record goals, risks and tasks
The Care Plan hub contains six additional key areas of care:
Moving and Handling
Nutrition and hydration
Alongside the key areas of care, you’ll also find an area where you can record assessments. Currently, you can complete an in-depth fire and risk assessment on Birdie, but this is just the first in a suite of tools we’re building to help make your digital care plans even more complete. Find out more about what’s coming, here.
For each area, you can record your client’s desired outcome and add tasks for your care staff to complete on each visit to help your clients achieve their goals. You can add extra notes to your tasks too, to make them really personal.
Upload extra documents
If you have any additional risk assessments or documents, which you would like to store in the Care Plan of your client then you can use the document uploader.
At Birdie, we want to make sure that everyone has the tools to provide the best care. Our digital Care Planning feature is just one way we help you do that. To find out more about how Birdie and how it could work for your business, arrange a demo and we’ll walk you through it.