As a follow on from my recent story on the use of technology in the form of the Konnekt Videophone which makes it easier for residents in aged care facilities to stay in touch with their families and friends, I was very interested to hear of a recent study. Evaluating the the benefits of giving personal care workers a tablet to access an illustrated care plan for their client, the study was conducted across twelve Wesley Mission Queensland aged care facilities. Care workers were able to access a picture care plan (PCP) in a point-of-care app in Leecare’s care software program.
This illustrated information was used by carers immediately prior to providing care to the resident. As an Aged Care Consultant I like to be up to date with the latest advances in tools and technology that help to make residents’ lives in facilities more comfortable and enjoyable.
The Wesley Mission study was recently published in Health Informatics Journal and found that access to the illustrated care directives in the point-of-care app at the bedside could increase the quality of care of residents.Through an anonymous questionnaire it was found that 85% of the aged care workers in the study responded positively that using the app was helpful, with 76% responding that it increased resident safety and quality of care and 69% said it gave them more confidence in their work.
The tool includes a brief life history of the client and has sections on safety, movement in bed, transfers, hygiene, mobility, meals and drinks, skin care, oral and dental, toileting, communication and pain management.
Although the use of technology is a brave new world for many elderly people, it is encouraging to see it being used to bring about positive outcomes in aged care facilities. In my aged care consultancy work I am finding that more of my clients are demanding wifi be available in the facilities we research, as many wish to keep in touch via modern technology.