Saving Frontline Staff Time and Stress: Using EHRs to Improve Outcomes During COVID
If you’re surrounded by a loving family, you feel comfortable and safe because you know they have your best interests at heart. Not everyone thinks of the staff at a healthcare facility as true family, but that’s how Royal Health Group operates—both for residents and employees.
There’s something special about this company. As a family business founded in 1997, has expanded to become a network of 12 nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and care facilities. There’s an atmosphere of inclusion, where staff are encouraged to share ideas and feedback, regardless of their role. This speaks volumes about our leadership. Leading is all about acting in the best interests of those you serve, and our goal is to serve our residents with the best possible healthcare experience.
I got my start in healthcare 12 years ago and I’m just as passionate as ever about making health care work well for caregivers and residents alike.
I joined Royal Health Group in November 2019, when I took the position of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) specialist. In my new role, I became part of a great team that would be implementing, training, and providing continued support of , a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) technology provider for long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) facilities.
I’ve been using PointClickCare for many years, and it’s fair to say that I’m somewhat of an evangelist. When Royal Health Group reached out to recruit for my current role, I jumped at the opportunity. I know that PointClickCare is an amazing tool if leveraged as a team. As such, I spend much of my time training the staff at Royal Health Group facilities on how to use PointClickCare, and help determine ways to improve everyday adoption.
With our team-based atmosphere at Royal Health Group, we are able to overcome hurdles to maximize PointClickCare’s potential. I view the platform as a shell, and you have to build out from that initial framework.
Our goal was to fully transition all of our buildings to PointClickCare, using as many features and modules as possible.
Evaluating Resident Care and Teams Efficiency
The resident is at the center of a wheel of care. Surrounding the resident are your healthcare providers from all care teams, such as nursing, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, and social services. Every action affects someone else on the larger care team, and it’s the same way in PointClickCare.
PointClickCare is designed to provide up-to-date information on resident care in all areas—which is available to both facility and corporate staff. This ability to monitor is especially beneficial during these times when working remotely becomes a necessity.
Within PointClickCare, you can utilize multiple assessments at a facility level. One such example is their standardized clinical content that is based on years of clinical studies. Nursing Advantage assessments are some of the most useful, multitasking, time-efficient tools in PointClickCare. The Nursing Advantage assessments trigger applicable resident care plan items and tasks for the caregivers.
With Nursing Advantage, you are able to add, update, or edit items for the residents, and it will immediately update the care card, notifying staff of the update. All care areas will have access to the new information, and it also becomes an alert on the centralized dashboard. This, again, provides up-to-date information to provide the best care possible to the residents.
In addition to being more convenient, it also reduces the risk of lost information as everyone accesses the information when they need it. The resident’s care is elevated, and our staff are more efficient and less stressed.
Boosting Adoption Rates
We’re all in this together. PointClickCare is the intuitive interface and user-friendly pathway that allows us to provide the critical elements of training, support, and continued education.
When the decision is made to implement PointClickCare, an important first step is to evaluate your facility and its needs. Each facility operates differently, although they may be part of a multi-facility operation, the care that is provided and/or needed for the residents of these buildings may vary. PointClickCare will help you succeed with the adaptation and integration.
The Key Steps to a Successful PointClickCare Deployment
The swift, accessible information via PointClickCare has allowed us to save time and energy in times of crisis during COVID-19, where expectations and guidelines change by the hour. And we can do this remotely or from within the building. No one is ever out of the loop.
Our PointClickCare team assigned to Royal Health Group has been exceptional in their support, knowledge, and training, especially during COVID-19. They work with the buildings before, during, and after the transition, and have been a vital part of our success.
Working with the Royal Health Group team and the PointClickCare team, I’ve discovered these steps to a successful PointClickCare deployment:
- Work as a team. You can’t have a successful deployment without buy-in and training from key stakeholders at all levels in all roles. The Royal Health Group team provided me with the support, guidance, input, and knowledge of the clinical care needed in each facility. This served as the foundation to build a successful training program.
- Encourage attendance at various training sessions. There are key training distinctions for each department, but I welcome anyone to attend nurses’ training sessions. I do this because everything the nurses do affects the interdisciplinary team. The feedback, objections, and ideas coming from all stakeholders matter because someone in a related role may have a great idea to improve a process. Again, we’re an interconnected team and have to work as one by developing empathy and a general understanding of different roles.
- Listen to nurses’ feedback. Nurses are at the heart of the implementation, and it’s imperative to learn and understand what their needs are in providing care on a daily basis. This won’t just improve adoption rates; it’ll help everyone understand your buildings’ challenges better and help you to explore solutions more tailored to your exact needs.
Keeping Families Strong While Strengthening Our Service
We implemented PointClickCare in our first building in early January 2020, followed by two more buildings in February. Due to COVID-19, we were forced to put our transition plans for our other facilities on hold.
It was an intense time for all of us, but by that point, I didn't have to convince anybody of PointClickCare’s value—it was obvious. When we got through the initial phase of coronavirus, the team decided to move forward again with training. We have an aggressive plan to implement PointClickCare in the remaining seven buildings before the end of the year.
And if events unfold in such a way that we have to put plans on hold because of COVID-19, the advantage of PointClickCare is that you are able to stop it and pick up right where you left off—it’s that intuitive. The PointClickCare training site, which we call “the sandbox,” is another great resource where nurses can train and learn.
The result of all our buildings being onboarded is twofold: First and foremost, the full adoption of PointClickCare ensures that we are given a tool which will help us provide the best care possible for our residents. The second result is improving our nurses’ efficiency by allowing them the time to provide more of the complex, hands-on, people-focused work that no system can replace. The hardest work is always linked to the human connection in resident interactions with our staff; PointClickCare just enhances the process.
I’m so grateful to be part of giving the Royal Health Group a platform that provides nurses what they need to do their best work. PointClickCare helps everyone stay connected while ensuring the best possible outcomes. That, to me, is what a family does best.