Maroba Lodge: reaping rewards from a technology-based system

| 30 Jun 2013

The Challenge

In 2008, Maroba Lodge discovered that their existing electronic resident management software would not support changes to the funding application and tracking process that had just been introduced by the government. After researching a number of options, they selected iCareHealth’s Clinical, Care and Medication Management software – a comprehensive resident care and medication management solution based on Microsoft SQL Server.

“We were looking for a few key elements,” explained Leeanne Dove, Director of Hostel and Self Care Unit Services at Maroba Lodge. “Most importantly, we needed to be able to apply for funding in a compliant manner so that our applications would continue to be processed. We wanted a complete view of resident care right across our organisation with the flexibility to customise elements if we required, and we wanted support for tablet devices so that our staff could access the software at the bedside. When we saw a demonstration of iCareHealth, we all agreed that it ticked all the boxes”.

The Solution

Maroba now has a very comprehensive resident care and medication management solution thanks to  iCareHealth.

Once a resident is entered into the software a record is created that can be used for all medical information including temperature, blood pressure, urinalysis, pain, accident and incident reporting. The software also provides comprehensive medication management – from ordering drugs from the pharmacy, through to displaying exactly which medications are required for each resident on a round-by-round basis.

Doctor’s information from the popular application Medical Director (MD3) can also be linked into iCareHealth, which Maroba uses to create individual care plans, providing a complete and up-to-date record of all resident interactions and medications.
From a management perspective, iCareHealth also links to EPICOR– a resident management software that handles waiting lists and financials with a direct link to Medicare, if required. iCareHealth also enables staff to quickly complete funding applications that are fully compliant with the latest government requirements and linked into their EPICOR financial system. The new solution also allows staff to quickly pull any reports they need for benchmarking or quality control.

It took Maroba about three months to roll out their initial deployment of iCareHealth, with the complete solution – including medication management – taking a further 6 weeks to complete. According to Leeanne, “the deployment was very smooth and went according to plan.”

The Results

I can audit which antibiotics we’re using, how many infections we have had in the facility, how many falls – there are many reports which I can obtain to see how we are tracking against our objectives.

At Maroba, staff are confidently using iCareHealth to document and manage every aspect of care.
“We now have a single, complete view of every resident’s care, medication and financial information. Staff can access and update records wherever they are using Tablet PCs, or on desktops or laptops” says Leeanne. “This has enabled them to work more collaboratively and efficiently as a team with many additional benefits.”

Improved medication management
According to Leeanne, the medication management feature of iCareHealth has solved a host of issues.

“iCareHealth has a very smart medication management software designed to eliminate errors,” she says. “It lists all the medication that a resident requires by time period instead of across a 24-hour period, making it far harder to make a mistake. It displays a photograph of each resident along with their exact dosage of any medication plus any additional notes such as crush the tablets, one at a time, etc. It even shows a photo of the medication to confirm visually that the right drug is being provided.”

“With iCareHealth, staff can immediately see if they have the right dose of the right medication for the right resident. It’s simple and much safer.” The new software has also saved time.

“Some nurses have reported that they can complete their medication round as much as 30 minutes faster,” says Leeanne.

Simpler, compliant funding applications
Submitting funding applications in a compliant manner is now much faster. Leeanne explains, “I completed two funding applications this morning and they took me less than 15 minutes each. In the past, it used to take up to three hours per application, so the new software is certainly saving a lot of time and typing. I can now link directly to the required charts or evidence in iCareHealth and no longer have to search for the data I need or retype information from another system.”

iCareHealth also links information and progress notes to resident care plans, enabling accreditation agencies to confirm that they have been regularly updated to comply with requirements. And by providing all the information in one location, iCareHealth makes it easier for accreditation to occur.

Easier reporting and auditing
Leeanne also finds the software useful for providing performance reporting across the organisation.

“I can audit which antibiotics we’re using, how many infections we have had in the facility, how many falls – there are many reports which I can obtain to see how we are tracking against our objectives. The software also enables me to customise my own reports if there is particular information that I require.”

Safer handover and resident management
iCareHealth also makes it safer for residents if they are being transferred to hospital or when a new shift is taken over. Leeanne explains, “a transfer report is instantly created to provide an up-to-date resident history across medication and treatment. As a result, there are far fewer phone calls from hospital staff and far less scope for error as everything is clearly documented.

“Handover is also simpler and safer. A detailed sheet is automatically generated so the new shift can see everything that happened that day. And if a doctor is called in on a weekend, even if the attending staff member hasn’t worked during the previous week, they can immediately look at all of the notes relating to any resident.”

Reduced errors and paper consumption
By eliminating paper charts Maroba has also eliminated double entry into diverse systems, which was more time-consuming and error-prone.

“Our documentation has far greater clarity now, which has reduced the possibility of error. We also consume far less paper and ink, which has both a cost and an ecological benefit,” Leeanne said.

Easy deployment and growth
Although the new iCareHealth software is very comprehensive, staff have found it user friendly, easy and intuitive to use.

“We provided training for all of our staff – from basic computing skills for those unfamiliar with new technology to onsite training from iCareHealth. Staff uptake has been excellent with everyone now using the software and enthusing about it.” Maroba also organised a GP forum to talk doctors through the link into iCareHealth from the Medical Director (MD3) software, which they use, and this was very positively received.

Maroba has always been a proactive, professional and visionary aged care facility. CEO Viv Allanson encourages staff to be at the forefront of the industry and their individual specialties. Leeanne believes their new iCareHealth software not only shows leadership, but will also make it far simpler for the organisation to grow.

“We’re hoping to build more self-care apartments,” she says. “The new software will scale easily to accommodate that growth. And the fact that it supports Tablet PCs means that staff can provide care in the new units as and when needed, with full access to all the resident information they need.”

Tags: iCareHealth software, medications, residential aged care solution, technology

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The iCareHealth Team

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