While other industries are only just now starting to feel the weight of swimming in data, in Aged Care environments the data trail has always been significant. With record keeping going back many many years, across hundreds to thousands of people, Aged Care providers know just how much paperwork can be involved in running a business.
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However, this glut of documentation can be difficult to easily manage and navigate. How long does it take you to find files, track certain incidents across multiple care recipients, or check how many people in your facility have had a vaccination? What about if that file is five years old?
2020’s audits by the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission found that the third most failed standards requirement by residential Aged Care sites (after personal and clinical care) was Effective Governance Systems. Introducing better document management can help with this significant requirement for quality care.
To navigate a huge amount of documentation quickly and with modern search tactics, you need an enterprise file management solution that is up to the task.
No matter whether you run a residential center or meals on wheels service, you’re private or public, whether you’re part of a larger group or a sole operator, as an Aged Care provider, you will have records upon records upon records.
Aged Care providers are required by law to keep extensive and up-to-date records on care recipients, staff, volunteers, and vaccinations. This is not even to mention other record-keeping.
In Australia, this includes facility certificates, advice on aids and equipment, care plans and management, progress notes, performance monitoring, patient transport, support services for carers, visitor registration, and grounds maintenance. For a full list, take a look at the Record Retention Guide for organisations funded under the Service Agreement (2019).
Aged Care providers can often be classified as healthcare organizations, too, or at the least provide some healthcare services, which is important for record keeping regulations.
In Australia, providers are required to keep records on patient care recipients who received a health service for no less than seven years, and up to even 25 years. In the US, it’s a recommended five years for patient file document retention. This can be difficult when records are across different systems (i.e. paper-based as well as digital).
Most providers will need to keep different types of records for a number of different regulatory bodies. Knowing the right records to keep for the right auditing can be confusing.
Better funded and more modern Aged Care providers will likely have digitized all their systems. However, those who are a bit behind the times, or simply don’t know how to convert paper-based records to reliable, secure digital copies, will still rely - at least somewhat - on paper files.
With paper-based filing systems, this means that only one person can access files at a time. For legacy electronic medical records, you may not be able to have multiple users accessing and editing the same file at the one time.
An enterprise file management solution is the answer to the documentation difficulties faced in Aged Care. With the right solution, you’ll save a significant amount of time, storage space, training, and navigation complexity.
You’ll be able to:
But choosing the right solution requires taking a serious look at both your needs, as well as the capabilities of current technologies.
CentricMinds enterprise file management has been designed with Aged Care providers in mind. We’ve consulted within the industry to uncover the most wanted features in a solution.
Make sure that your files are kept secure, with zero-touch from outside software or locations. A native enterprise document management solution like CentricMinds is deployed in your own cloud and does not share data outside of this zone. This means all the management and organization is done only within your cloud space.
This helps with privacy compliance, as well as ensuring data is not exposed to outsider attacks.
If Google only returned results that had the search words in the link, we wouldn’t be able to find what we wanted very easily. The same goes with enterprise search functionality.
Say, for instance, we wanted to find a care recipient that really enjoyed the floral arrangement class performed by a particular volunteer. We could search for the volunteer’s name, and/or floral arrangement, and hopefully the care recipient’s name would pop up, with a note on their file saying how much they enjoyed the class. You need to be able to search within files to get this greater depth of information discovery that’s essential in a modern Aged Care environment.
Our enterprise search capability, CentricMinds Search, will search inside the content of Office and PDF documents and highlight keywords and phrases for the user. This way, you’ll be able to find what you need quickly.
Within the aged care sector the tracking and management of documentation such as resident care plans, medication records, and incident reports is fundamental to operational performance. CentricMinds provides an effective way to keep track of documents across their entire lifecycle. Document authors can create content lifecycle guidelines that are unique to their organization.
With CentricMinds you can choose which documents to keep, archive, or delete based on criteria that you define.
For instance, you can decide which documents to keep based on the folders or subfolders they are contained within. You can also choose to keep files based on custom keywords, document type, metadata, and more. CentricMinds makes it easy to manage your documents by giving you the power to choose what happens to them.
You can decide to keep documents based on their location in specific folders, or based on the tags and metadata you’ve applied to them. You can also set time rules for retention, such as keeping files for one year after the last time they were accessed by a user.
Once you save your Content Lifecycle Guideline in CentricMinds, it will search through all files within CentricMinds Drive and automatically archive, keep, or delete content that matches the rules that you’ve set. This helps you stay organized and ensures that important documents are kept safe and secure.
CentricMinds provides a safety net to recover accidentally deleted files. You can even set retention periods for deleted content, giving you the opportunity to restore files before they are permanently deleted.
CentricMinds makes it easier to manage your aged care documents. You can easily keep important files, delete obsolete or unnecessary documents, and recover deleted files. You can relax knowing that your files are safe and easy to manage.
You want your file systems to be automatically compliant with existing healthcare rules and regulations for data storage. File management for healthcare and Aged Care providers requires heightened security and configuration to stay within the law.
CentricMinds supports regulatory compliance by conforming to an AWS HIPAA-approved cloud stack. The platform must be run in standard or high availability mode to remain compliant.
Other security features include multi-factor authentication, a granular security model, and session timeouts. If you choose for us to manage your CentricMinds infrastructure, we can take care of security audits, penetration testing, and antivirus.
To be able to sort and categorize documents more efficiently, CentricMinds uses a metadata tagging system that allows for detailed, heirarchical taxonomy. This way, files can be organized, surfaced, and categorized quickly, easily, and by anyone within your organization. Add tags such as care recipient’s primary caregiver, facility, level of care needed, and more.
It’s well known that documentation is a key part of giving personal and clinical care to people in aged care. Anything that could affect the quality of care for residents or just make them feel uncomfortable needs to be documented so that it can be properly evaluated and taken care of.
Yet, despite the importance of documentation and sharing that knowledge. In such a fast-paced and dynamic environment, it can be hard to keep it up and share it efficiently with staff.
Now it’s more important than ever in aged care to demonstrate what is happening daily so that providers can meet the Eight Aged Care Quality Standards and comply with a quality review conducted every three years.
Some procedures and policies must be kept up to date. Writing and reporting are only two aspects of the job.
Communication is equally important. This means making it easy for staff to find documents and use them as part of their training. And also, sharing that information through announcements, news, and digital messaging engages staff.
Many aged care providers recognise the importance of documentation. However, many fail to realise the true value of this humble task.
Here are the top reasons for good documenting
Documentation is one of the most important parts of working in aged care. It's a way to make sure you follow best practices and give the best care you can to your residents.
Documentation can include:
Check out the Glossary to help you understand industry jargon and ideas