Computerised care plans vs. paper – what’s best?

What is a care plan?

Care plans detail the type of support and care that individuals need. The best ones put those who need care at the centre of the plan and involve them in creating a routine that suits their individual needs. Whilst every care plan is different, just as everyone’s needs are, what’s important is that the individual is at the centre of the care planning process, and the carers can use the care plan to help them deliver outstanding care.

How does a computerised care plan differ from a paper one?

Traditionally, paper care plans and notes are checked and written up by hand. This can become a bit time consuming and rifling through filing cabinets of notes and trying to decipher other people’s handwriting is never fun (trust us, we’ve been there as well). A computerised care plan is different from paper as all care notes and plans are stored digitally. This means that they can be accessed and searched easily with care management software. Everything is stored in a standardised format, which makes it easy to search and read – no filing cabinets necessary!

What does this mean for care delivery?

The main difference between computerised care plans is that they can be updated in a matter of seconds and on the go. It means that carers don’t need to spend a lot of time writing up notes away from those who need care and that time can be better spent delivering outstanding 1-2-1 care.

With computerised care plans, managers can also get a better overview of care delivery within the home. For example, care plan software such as Log My Care allows you to create some really clever looking (and informative) charts that help with care analysis across the whole home. It means that the computer does a lot of hard work and thinking for you, which also saves time for managers.

There are benefits to both approaches

Care management software has been specifically designed with carers in mind to eliminate the challenges that come with paperwork. Time spent writing up notes, balancing the easy accessibility of data for carers with keeping it away from prying eyes and having back up copies are all problems that computerised care plans can help mitigate. Whilst care home software should never charge you to access your data, there can be some initial financial costs with hardware and smart devices that are needed, so it’s important to watch out for that!

It can, however, be a big change to move from paper to digital, especially for those who aren’t as tech savvy as others, or for the care homes that have always done things a certain way. Paper care plans can be simple and reliable – after all, the paper never runs out of battery – but it can also be less secure and more difficult to manage in bigger care homes with multiple residents and lots of care plans.

What’s best for your care service?

We think that computerised care plans will make your lives easier, but at the end of the day, you shouldn’t feel pressured to change. Make sure you consider whether computerised care plans could actually help you better meet your care aims, or if paper care plans are more suited to your care home and the way it currently operates. Every care home is different and a has its own unique set of needs and making the move to ditch paper and switch to computer care plans is a big decision that you shouldn’t feel rushed into.

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