Wesley goes mobile with clinical systems in the cloud

Wesley Mission Brisbane (WMB) has embarked on a mobility strategy for its 12 residential aged care communities, equipping care staff with mobile devices to provide real-time access to the organisation's roll-out of Leecare's cloud-based Platinum 5.0 clinical information system.

WMB is currently rolling out Platinum 5.0 to all of its aged care communities, with its three largest sites now complete and a fourth in the process. It has installed WiFi in all sites to support the mobile devices, which are a mixture of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and the Note 10.1.

Selina Beauchamp, WMB's business systems group manager, said all staff member on every shift had access to a device.

“Clinical staff such as registered and enrolled nurses and allied health professionals are given the device, and care staff are using kiosk devices, which are stored in a lockable cabinet and signed in and out at each shift,” she said.

WMB is hosting Platinum 5.0 locally and provides access based on roles for clinical and care staff, of which there are well over 1000 in aged care, and full access to the system for visiting GPs. The organisation also plans to roll out Leecare's medications management module once the core clinical system is fully implemented.

Ms Beauchamp said from both a clinical and operational perspective, the real benefit of the mobile devices was in the real-time data capture capability and the reduction in risk.

“When we embarked on this, we looked at a number of opportunities to improve care practices and reduce risk,” she said. “We looked at re-engineering processes and changes to work practices, and that included the roll-out of mobile devices.

“The purpose for the whole implementation was to implement a system that will assist us to deliver efficient, quality and user-friendly electronic clinical systems that will improve holistic care to the residents.”

Ms Beauchamp said using mobile devices for real-time data access will also enable the organisation to use the Platinum system to its full potential.

“[For example, a] speech pathologist can make changes to a resident's dietary profile and that information is immediately available to hospitality staff, allowing them to make the necessary alterations, and therefore reduce any risk of residents not receiving the correct nutrition,” she said.

“Previously if changes were made to a diet, the transfer of information may take a couple of days. Now we’ve got the residents' current real-time data in there and as soon as changes are made, they'll know about it.”

Wesley has also taken advantage of the capabilities of the software to create pictorial care plans to provide care staff with information on the care and personal needs of residents. Many care staff have English as a second language, so the pictorial care plan provides essential information at a glance.

“Care staff are able to run a care plan, which is real time, ensuring that they know exactly what the resident needs and it has lots of pictures so that they don't have to read a lot of information,” she said. “Our carers are just loving it. There is still some writing on there and they can run a more detailed care plan if they're not sure or want to check something.

“We believe that it’s a very progressive step within Wesley and the provision of aged care in general. The information is there so if they're not sure they can always drill down, but at a glance they know that Mrs Smith likes that chair and she has this hoist, and all that sort of thing.”

Wesley has also modified the tea trolleys that deliver drinks to the residents so that the mobile tablets sit on the trolley, doing away with the need for paper lists. Ms Beauchamp said there are some aged care providers that claim that they are paperless, but Wesley's investigations have shown that this is not entirely the case.

“Wesley has now reduced the reliance on paper to the bare minimum where we are now at the point of operating essentially paperless,” she said.

Platinum 5.0 has differing levels of security to allow access based on role, and being a web-based solution it provides clinicians with the ability to log in remotely, including visiting GPs. Ms Beauchamp estimated that about 20 to 30 GPs were accessing the system both on-site and remotely, and are happy to directly enter their progress notes into Wesley's system. This further enables real-time care to be provided to residents.

“For all of the GPs that indicate their interest in using the system, we give them access to our system and training to use it. They are also able to speak to an RN from their clinic if they need to and access the information immediately.

“Often GPs will write something down that can be difficult to read, so legibility is a bit of a problem, but as they are actually documenting it in our system that reduces the risk of their notes being misunderstood as well.

“Not all GPs have come on board but we've got quite a few, and they are really impressed with the benefits.”

Ms Beauchamp believes GPs will also welcome the introduction of electronic medications management, as will Wesley clinical staff.

“When the independent reviews of medication are done, the details are on Leecare so they are actually going into the system and looking at the risks as they have real-time information.,” she said.

As expected, some staff were initially nervous about the implementation, but it has proved very popular with both staff and residents. “I think some staff initially were a little bit nervous because it is change and it is new for them,” she said.

“There are staff who've never used a computer in their lives, so not only has it changed their lives at work but also at home. For example we have a staff member who didn't even have an ATM card, so by introducing them to new technology, it has given them the confidence to say 'I can do this’.”

WMB has a dedicated information services department that did most of the WiFi implementation and which supports the mobile devices. The organisation is hosting Platinum 5.0 locally, although Leecare can provide that service for organisations without the capability.

The organisation also has the PCEHR on its organisational roadmap, with Wesley having registered for the program. It also uses EOS technologies' ComCare software for its community care services, and both Platinum 5.0 and ComCare are PCEHR-compliant.

“We have a fairly extensive roadmap for the next two to five years for what we want to do and where we want to go, and this is really just the start of it,” Ms Beauchamp said. “We have some big projects in the pipeline for Wesley. [The PCEHR] is definitely on our roadmap but you really have to market it and it’s essential that people understand what it is and how it could impact them.”

Posted in Aged Care

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