From Paperwork to the Cloud: Digitisation of the Care Industry in North America

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The care sector has been put under the microscope in recent years, and the findings point to the need to create robust processes to ensure the quality of care to all customers using any form of care services. One of the paths which many organisations are going down to provide quality care is through harnessing the power of software solutions. The ability and benefits of utilising software are compelling: software can improve processes and productivity, deliver better customer and employee experiences, manage risks, and control costs.

It would be easy to assume the proliferation of digital technology has made this process of pairing business-focused philosophies with software development models par for the course – but some industries have been quicker on the uptake than others. The care industry, for example, has traditionally been behind the curve when it comes to adopting digital technologies that streamline processes, reduce the burden of paperwork, and ultimately improve the quality of care, but times are changing.

In response to reports of widespread neglect and abuse in nursing homes, Congress implemented legislation in 1987 – namely the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) – requiring nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid funding schemes to comply, as a minimum, with prescriptive quality of care rules. This encouraged many facilities to replace antiquated paper-based processes with software systems that delivered efficient and accurate data management. However, the adoption and upgrade of technology has moved slower than other industries due to the huge culture shift and technology required.

This continued reliance on inefficient, unreliable, manual methods of managing vital information, can have a detrimental impact on patients, whose right to access safe and quality care and to live without abuse or neglect is compromised – and the consequences can be severe: from a lack of visibility on incident investigation, actions and follow-up, to a siloed approach between governance and other systems and ultimately it is patients who suffer.

Aged Care Quality Standards

In addition to the NHRA the Department of Justice launched the National nursing home initiative in 2020 to tackle problem areas in nursing homes, like having adequate staff on duty, providing food and medication, and guidelines to protect patient dignity. All these regulations apply to care homes who are receiving Medicare and Medicade funding and clearly define what good care should look like – making it easier to check that people are receiving the care they deserve.

Determined to avoid a box-ticking exercise the NHRA established a comprehensive set of rights for nursing home residents that focuses on caring for the individual’s needs:

  • The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
  • The right to freedom from physical restraints
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological and social needs
  • The right to participate in resident and family groups
  • The right to be treated with dignity
  • The right to exercise self-determination
  • The right to communicate freely
  • The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
  • The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal

To demonstrate their adherence to these guidelines, care facilities must adopt best-practice processes and GRC software can facilitate that. It supports carers to capture information in a consistent manner – in one place – and gives those that oversee care facilities access to invaluable data enabling them to spot problems or use the data to demonstrate compliance to regulators and auditors.

How Camms is Helping the Care Industry

Camms’ integrated cloud-based solutions are assisting care facilities to improve their service quality, ensuring the safety of their customers, and bringing their operations in line with both state and federal legislation. The Camms technology supports care facilities in the following areas:

  • Personal care and clinical care: incident, hazard and near-miss management solutions ensure that customers receive safe and effective personal care. Our risk management solution helps Aged Care organisations provide effective remedies for all high impact or high prevalence risks while creating transparent reporting using configurable reporting tools.
  • Feedback and complaints: capture, triage, investigate and action feedback and complaints from customers and their families using our digital workflow tool and easily report on trends and emerging issues using our self-service reporting tool.
  • Human resources: our talent management solution monitors and reviews the performance of each member of the workforce, ensuring they’re meeting the minimum standard of training and giving them the opportunity to discuss further training opportunities and upskilling.
  • Organisational governance: our suite of integrated solutions combines to power organisational governance of any care facility.
    • Our strategy solution assists in aligning organisational plans, KPIs and scorecard and the setting and tracking of organisational performance.
    • Our risk management solution reports on organisational and clinical risks, controls and treatment actions.
    • Our incident management solution facilitates the capture of clinical and organisational incidents.
    • Our compliance management solution provides oversight and accountability for changes in regulation and internal policies.

Camms provides the care industry with all the ingredients required to finally embrace digitisation to the full. The compliance tools make it easy to comply with both state and federal legislation which in turn makes it easier to check that people are receiving good care. Effective incident management systems can be embedded to capture any problems and manage them through to resolution.

With integrated solutions in risk, strategy, projects and people, Camms software is helping care facilities make the right decisions, manage risks, capture and investigate incidents, achieve compliance, and focus on what matters.

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Andrew Mercker

Business Development & Strategic Partnerships

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