Manad Plus goes native for care worker mobility

Melbourne-based aged care software vendor Management Advantage is currently rolling out a major new version of its Manad Plus care and management software to existing clients and is set to launch three new native apps that will allow nurses and carers to add observations and progress notes at the bedside through their phones, whether they be Apple, Android or Windows devices.

Management Advantage general manager Ben Sturzaker said he believed having a native app in each of the three apps stores was a first for residential aged care in Australia. Other vendors have web-based products that can run on mobile devices but they are either not native apps or all three operating systems are not catered for, he said.

While the apps can be used on tablet computers, Mr Sturzaker said they were optimised for smartphones.

“You can always install and run them on mobile tablets but at this stage we have designed the layouts for phones, because what we find is that smaller phone devices are better for nurses because they can put them in their pockets,” he said. “You need your hands when you are a nurse.

“Our main focus is the care workers who are working with the residents and want to capture or chart a behaviour code for ACFI or a bladder or bowel information. They may want to take a blood glucose level or observation and quickly pull out their phone, put in the data and sync it back to the main database. It will also work offline so if there is no WiFi or they are out of range, they can still use it.”

At present the main features of the apps relate to the Manad Plus care module, including progress notes and clinical charting needs. There are also some read-only views of patient data so nurses can look up someone's care plan and what intervention is recommended as opposed to having to go back to a computer or carry around paper charts.

Nurses have access to each resident's current interventions on a read-only screen, but also built in are contact details so if they need to call a family member or the resident's doctor, they are linked to the person being attended to.

Mr Sturzaker said his team had also added in some features for managers, including the ability to view current ACFI funding levels.

“There's a bit of a dashboard to give you an overview of data that is going into your system, but one thing that most of our clients will love is we have an evacuation item in there,” he said.

“It gives you your current evacuation list and their room numbers, so if you ever need to evacuate you just grab your mobile device, mark people off as you see them leaving the building, and keep a log to show you have accounted for everyone. You then also have access to family and GP contact details and the evacuation aids that you may need.”

Enabling the software in the cloud is on the future roadmap but Mr Sturzaker said there was no large demand for cloud services as yet.

“It depends on your definition of what is cloud,” he said. “A lot of our larger clients technically host their own cloud environment anyway in that their servers are all hosted somewhere, not necessarily on their premises, and all of their facilities technically remote in to the server.

“Most clients are running Terminal Services or Citrix so it's basically a private cloud structure. We just don't have a web front-end.”

Management Advantage has also waited before integrating with the PCEHR, which it will do eventually. “It was one of those things where until there was a major uptake, and there were enough hospitals doing discharge summaries and information that we could retrieve, we didn't see the benefit,” he said.

“We'd rather put the time into things that would benefit our users and we've been more than happy with our decision considering the issues that have happened. Until it becomes a bit more mainstream and hospitals are providing discharge summaries en masse, and the residents have their own records and information we could extract, we'd prefer our development resources go into requests from our clients.”

The company has commenced rolling out Manad Plus version 5 to clients and has developed a change management program for them.

“We are taking them through that because the interface is changing and it's important that we go through a proper process of change management to make sure that staff understand that you still can do a progress note but you use a different screen and it looks slightly different.

“We have a lot of analysis stuff in there for managers as well but we have kept it as simple as possible, which is one of the benefits of our old version for care workers, that it is easy to use.

“But we have added some extra analytics and being able to drill down into the data for the managers so they can see trends and what things are happening, so managers have a bit more analysis on their data.”

Posted in Aged Care

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