Prevention is better than any cure!

Cura Systems, Care Safety SystemWe know things go wrong when least expected. Even when all the right procedures are in place how can you be 100% sure they have been properly applied?

As well as offering comprehensive care planning system, staff scheduling, medication management, electronic care plans, hand-over notes, mobile care monitoring, and time and attendance tracking, Cura can be used as an alert aid.

Transforming the State of Social Care

Cura Systems, CQC ComplianceThe CQC has recently released their report on the State of Social Care in the UK, which highlights:
• The majority of care providers at 77% are providing a Good level of service
• Only 2% of care services being rated achieve an Outstanding certification.
• 2% of care services are currently rated as Inadequate, and 19% of services are rated as Requires Improvement. That equates to 21%, over a fifth of the entire market is offering below standard delivery of care.

Too many services are not improving or seem incapable of improving. 38% retain their rating of requires improvement following re-inspection, despite knowing from CQC inspections what needs to change and 5% of these services had deteriorated. Community social care services (such as supported living and Shared Lives) were rated the best overall whilst nursing homes remain the biggest concern. Poor medicine management was highlighted as a key factor including poor administration, lack of knowledge, poor record keeping, lack of audits and incorrect storage.

Is your care company looking to strengthen data recording and management, improve communication and care outcomes at the point-of-care delivery?

Health plus Care is Europe’s largest integrated health and social care event designed to build relationships between care providers and suppliers.

Come & meet us! As a key technology supplier to the health and social care market, Cura Systems will be available on stand D28 to talk about all of our latest innovations for best of breed care home management system, including Cura Kin and Cura Angel.

Is your care company looking to strengthen data recording and management, improve communication and care outcomes at the point-of-care delivery?

Going Paperless in a Care Home

We have produced a series of blogs where we are going to discuss the issues surrounding the change from a paper-based system to a point of care electronic management system(EMS) or digital care planning system in a care/nursing home.

Identify the need

CQC has a vision that care/nursing homes should be paperless by 2021. How would your home start the journey to consider and finally achieve this?

The key factor to change is to recognize the need for the change. So, why should you change the way you have always worked?

Switching to Electronic Record Keeping in your Care Setting

Cura Systems, Electronic Care Record SystemIn October 2016 I spoke about the implementation of an Electronic Record Keeping System at a presentation at the Northampton Care Association Technology Day. Delegates generally acknowledged the need to so and this led me on to ask the question – why haven’t you already installed one?

As always, the answer to simple questions are complicated. Why would you want to take the risk of change and leave the comfort of good old paper records? We have lived with old records and care plans of residents and we can (eventually) find what we are looking for. But we know that is not the case!

Electronic Care Record

With the inevitable implementation of paperless management, mobile care monitoring and care planning systems and compliance with the vision of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 2021 strategy we all need to be implementing or at least planning to acquire an electronic care planning system. Apart from reducing that paperwork mountain what are the other benefits?

Let’s look at some of the issues that Social Care in England is facing. Due to many factors our ageing population is increasing at an alarming rate. People are living longer and many are also living with complex needs. Many of these needs will be met by Care Homes, Nursing Homes and Domiciliary Care.

Along with the increased demand for care, we have a national shortage of suitable staff. Added to that, we have funding problems and potential problems associated with Brexit.

So in summary, increased demand, fewer staff and less money!

Every person that enters a care setting needs and deserves the best available care. Enabling delivery of high quality care is essential for the resident/patient, carer and their families and friends. Monitoring of that care and a record of its delivery is required by the regulator.

How can an electronic care home system help address these issues?

Records of all aspects of care can be recorded electronically. I could write the rest of this article about this record keeping alone but there are far more benefits to the installation of an electronic system.

What do carers really want to do? They want to care for residents/patients. That is the reason why they want to work in the Social Care sector. What is reducing the amount of time that they spend with residents? Primarily, the amount of paperwork that they have to complete.

Let’s look at some of the other advantages.

You have really good staff – how are you going to retain them? Experienced carers are precious and good managers realise this. Retaining good staff, is a complex solution. Many care workers move around from home to home within a local area. How do you retain yours?

Managing and developing your staff is key to their happiness and will increase the likelihood of them staying with you. Investing in your staff and improving their job satisfaction is certainly a well-trodden path by successful organisations. Are your staff training goals realistic and in line with CQC standards? How are your staff accessing training tools and where is the evidence that they are using them?

Is an experienced carer more likely to want to work for a care provider with a great CQC rating? What would happen if your manager left your organisation? Would your rating remain the same? You may have plans to improve on your current rating but how would the loss of your manager affect that rating?

Installation of an electronic care management system would reduce paperwork, facilitate the use of training tools and record that staff are compliant. By investing in an electronic system you are showing your staff that you are not only interested in delivering the best possible care but also that the people delivering that care are being well supported and their need are met. This goes directly to a well led rating.

So, having thought about how to support your staff lets move to the elephant in the room – DATA.

How are you going to generate the data required by the Department of Health, CQC, ADASS, NMDS-SC, Skills for Health, Local Authorities, Think Tanks, universities and a whole host of others. We all know that we need to store and generate this data but how can it be accessed quickly and efficiently?

Electronic care plans enable synthesis of information and allow generation of graphs and tables in a click. Most of us are still very comfortable with pen and paper and I for one love a new notebook but times are changing. Most of us are very happy with our mobile phones, in fact some of us cannot live without them. So, what is so different when we think about installing an electronic care planning system, when we live with new technology all of the time outside of work?

My personal idea is that there is an element of fear. Fear of a new system and fear of the culture change within our work places and uncertainty that may arise from change. These fears are justified. Many of us have worked with a paper based care planning system for years. We know what we are doing and it works. The new system is not only unfamiliar but it comes with new technology that appears to be complicated. Are you uncertain as to what a “cloud based system’ is? Are you worried about the security of the data and information that you store? Many more people than you might imagine are fearful of these issues.

Let’s try to put these fears in perspective…

Security of your data and information is paramount! NHS has produced guidelines which if followed religiously, will protect data from straying. Most systems available in the market are largely similar. They will have a database that sits in the “Cloud” and can be accessed either through a laptop, tablet(electronic) or mobile phone. They enable electronic assessments and electronic care plans to be produced along with a whole host of other processes(modules). Some will have unique features such as medication management and the costs will vary from company to company.

Fear of the Cloud is yet another point of fear. We have heard of so many horror stories of data loss that make the fear so real. However, a reputable supplier will ensure the system is hosted at a very secure and reliable site that has a great deal to lose through any breach of security.

How do you choose which care home software to purchase? Think about what you want from the care home software and not what the companies think that you want. Any product is only as good as the support that comes with it. Ask to see what the product looks like and see how user friendly it is. A well designed care planning system will be intuitive and within a few minutes you will be able to see the benefits of having so much information, accessed at the point of care. Can you implement it in stages without the vendor losing interest in you?

Purchasing and implementing a care home software is an ongoing partnership with the company that you choose. Do you like the sales/development team that you are dealing with? Are they sympathetic to your needs and requirements? Do they listen and offer care home solutions to your specific problems? Do they have innovative solutions and are open to your views and suggested changes? Or are you forced to accept any colour as long as it is black!

Chances are you will eventually purchase a care home software and like so many that have made the right choice of vendor partner, you will look back on this time of indecision and think – why on earth didn’t I do this sooner because however challenging the process of change may be, it will be a lot easier that managing that pile of paperwork…

By Lynne Omar, Senior Consultant
The Carer Magazine – Oct-Jan 2016 Issue

For further details on the Cura System, please contact Lynne Omar, Senior Consultant, by email at Lynne.Omar@Cura.Systems

Cura provides a solution to tedious paperwork

Cura Systems, Founder Abu OmarA NATIONAL company is doing its bit to provide care homes across the country with an easier technological care planning sytem to tedious paper work.

Cura Advanced Technologies Ltd was founded by Abu Omar while he was caring for his elderly mother. He wanted to create a user friendly service that made care giver’s jobs easier and gave him piece of mind.

He said: “I’ve been in the IT business for about 35 years, my mother is 90 and I was thinking about what I would want to see if she was in a home, that’s where the idea for the business came. “My mother still travels a lot and it’s nice to know that my brothers can check in and see how she is doing using our technology.”

Point-of-care Software

The concept has three components: Cura Web, Cura Tablet and Cura Kin. It was rolled out in England last year. Abu added: “We started about 18 months ago with a lot of fact finding and research on what changes we had to make to our system for greater accessibility and compliance with UK standards and customer practices.”

The user friendly care planning system covers every aspect of the caring process, liberating caregivers from tedious paper work by providing them with an easy to use web based care home system, a tablet and a mobile care monitoring app. Abu said: “Today absolutely everybody can use a mobile phone, we wanted to create a type of technology that was as easy to use as a mobile phone.” The care planning system allows care givers to take vital information from residents and input it to their system instantly by using a user friendly tablet.

Abu added: “The CQC want people to be well looked after, safe and respected but there has to be evidence of that, we can provide technology that meets the demands and is easy to use and update.“ A home can be run perfectly very day of the year but on the day the inspector comes a dementia resident could say they don’t like the food, even if they don’t remember what they had to eat. “The care planning app allow care givers to input the information quickly and easily.”

Abu wanted to ensure that relatives were able to see exactly how their loved ones were doing, creating a social media style app, available on any smart phone that provides residents with a photo sharing platform. He added: “With the care homes approval and consent people involved in the caring process and residents next of kin can download an app and see what their grandma is doing, what she had for dinner and what activities she’s been involved in.”

Abu believes some care givers have the wrong mind set when it comes to technology because of past experiences with long winded and complicated care home systems, he want to change the way carers think about industry technology, seeing it as a helpful tool rather than a hindrance. “Caregivers are so busy they feel they don’t have time to use technology, computer systems have not been very kind and that’s given people the mindset they have to be fed in order to get anything done.

“We want to get them out of that mindset and get them to embrace technology.”

By Olivia Taylor
Caring UK Magazine – September 2016

Cura improves planning and monitoring at the point-of-care

Cura Systems, Executive Director Abu OmarToo much time is wasted checking care plans, handing over from one carer to the next, and updating resident records. Even computer-based care planning systems take people away from their residents to input information into back office systems. Cura aims to change all that with a care planning system that delivers all its power at the point of care on a handheld tablet-based care management software.

Suite of Care Home Apps

Cura Systems is introducing a suite of applications that gives care home teams complete access to electronic care planning and monitoring on a tablet computer.

The company aims to put power back in the hands of carers, freeing them up to support their residents rather than constantly forcing them to fill in paperwork and ensure that every action is recorded and compliant with modern regulations.

“Caring for the elderly and incapacitated has never been easy and now even more challenging with increasing compliance requirements and paperwork taking their toll on scarce resources that should be spent in providing care,” the company says. “With Cura, you can simply get all information relevant to the care of the individual in the hands of the carer and where it matters most: at the point of care delivery,” it adds.

In a demonstration of Cura to Care Home Professional, the company’s director and founder Abu Omar (pictured above) showed the vast array of applications that carers can use at the tap or swipe of a tablet screen. Modules include electronic care plans, daily event reports, laundry planning, meal plans, medication tracking and body mapping so that a resident’s injuries and vital signs can be monitored.

“The tablet computer carries all of the power and control of the care planning system, with the back end servers subservient to the front end,” Mr Omar explained. “The power is in the pocket of the caregiver,” he stresses.

Development of Cura – the Latin translation for ‘care’ – began eight years ago in Singapore, and is widely used by the care industry in the Asian city state. It was first introduced to UK care operators at the Care and Dementia Show in Birmingham last year following extensive work to ensure that the system is compliant with all UK regulatory authorities and has details of British medicines and medical terms.

All aspects of clinical and personal care can be monitored from Cura. In the demonstration, we were shown a typical snapshot of a carer’s day with resident interactions recorded including sleeping and waking, going to the bathroom, administering medication, booking an appointment at the hairdresser and registering that clean linen had been delivered.

With many of the interactions, there are detailed checks such as the mood of the resident during the activity, how much food or drink has been consumed, and what the person’s vital signs are following an activity. This information builds into a highly detailed picture of the care each resident is receiving, and the affect it is having on him or her over the time they live in a home.

The tablet screen is divided in two. On the left are all the application modules that relate to the resident’s care. On the right are apps that provide important information for the carer such as the schedule of what is happening in the home on any day, the food and drink menu, and details of consumables that need to be ordered.

There is also an extensive library of advice where carers can search for information, and also ask questions. “They just ask Cura, how do I book transport? for example,” Mr Omar explains.

Transport can even be integrated into the app. Cura demonstrated how a local taxi firm could be connected so that they could be summoned from the carer’s tablet.

Helping the elderly with their medication is one of the main challenges care service providers face, and the handover of care from one carer to another increases the difficulty and risk of mistakes being made.

Mr Abu showed how Cura minimises the risk of errors in medication or other healthcare interventions, with alerts for medication, a full medical history of conditions and vital signs of each resident, body maps and notes.

“Every intervention is logged, so there is considerably less chance of errors, even if several carers are involved with a resident over days or weeks,” Mr Omar explains.

If there are any issues that cannot be addressed by the carer, Cura includes a chat system that allows care providers to communicate in real time with key contacts such as doctors, pharmacists and others. “With Cura, care givers have relevant information available at the point-of-care-delivery,” says Mr Omar.

The aim of Cura is to create an ecosystem of care around each resident, so that they benefit from contact with carers, GPs, pharmacists and their family members. The mobile care planning system includes an app called Cura Kin, which relays information about the resident to relatives. “Cura Kin is a mobile care monitoring app and a wonderful way for the next-of-kin to stay in touch with their elderly relative in a care home. Push technology relays certain information about the resident to their relative and enables the user to stay in touch with the care home and care givers,” Mr Omar explains.

The depth and breadth of the services delivered on a handheld tablet may lead operators to fear the complexity and cost of moving to Cura, but Mr Omar says he encourages customers to start small and simple and build from there.

Rather than deploy every application in the Cura suite across multiple care homes at the same time, the company suggests people begin with a small number of apps in a single care home. “We always recommend baby steps,” says Mr Omar. “Identify one pain point and address it using the care planning system. That might mean only one or two modules to begin with. People quickly gain confidence and grow from there,” he adds.

The cost of getting started is also attractive, with the care home software priced at under £3 per resident in a home that deploys it. Cura offers training for all staff on the system for around £300, and administrators are guided through a step-by-step migration process.

By Rob Corder
Care Home Professional Magazine – July 2016