Ensuring Patient Safety in a COVID World
As we look to celebrate World Patient Safety Day on September 17th, the world is so much different since COVID and now more than ever agencies need tools that can assist in management of safe, quality and ethical care and service delivery in the new world. Ensuring front line staff have access to an electronic point of care documentation solution has the potential to make patient safety even better by supporting standardized care delivery practices and implementation of new practices; making supply management easier; facilitate integration of new models of care and optimizing risk management in home and community care.
We are creating new knowledge at lightning speed and that information must be translate to the front line to use in care provision. Information from sources such as accrediting and regulatory bodies like the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Health Care Organizations and Accreditation Canada; new funding models such as Patient Driven Groupings Model and Ontario Health Teams (Canada); best practice guidelines outlined by the Institute of Medicine and associations such as the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Institute of Safe Medication Practices and now standards for virtual care models all highlighting the criticality of ensuring patient care is safe and care provision optimizes the patient experience and outcomes.
With the ultimate goal of ensuring patients can stay at home, safely for the longest time possible, integration of a comprehensive point of care solution allow staff and the agency to be looking at both patient level results and aggregate results to modify the care plan can to improve patient outcomes, reduce unnecessary readmissions to hospital and reduce unnecessary emergency department use.
Early warning signs of change in patient condition, such as COVID 19 signs and symptoms or acute respiratory illness, can also be documented by all care disciplines using tools such as “screeners” and reports and alerts draw attention to patient change that requires intervention. In the past the time gap between a patient change occurring and time that a response occurred was lengthy, now with the CellTrak solution we are seeing transformation to real time intervention rather than retrospective care and supervision.
Communication, collaboration and coordination of care among the patients’ health care team is streamlined where all members of the health care team have access to both historical information and current patient health information to make the most informed decisions. By ensuring that all patient documentation is stored electronically rather than in the patients’ home the risk of missing care information at the care delivery site is reduced.
CellTrak integrates risk management elements such as identification, analysis, planning and action along with integration of control and monitoring mechanisms in their technology solution that can position an agency to manage risks such as: acute respiratory illness, COVID 19 signs and symptoms, patient falls, medication errors, management of high risk medications, transitions in care and miscommunication between the health care team. An electronic point of care documentation system will ultimately improve patient safety and care which is number one priority of health care agencies today.
Incidents of potential missed care or visits that are shorter or longer than duration can also be quickly and easily identified, ensuring that the patient has the right care at the right time in the right place.
Workflow of the staff providing care is integrated into the application reducing potential human errors in navigation, interruption in care sequencing and reducing the overall change management experience of the users. CellTraks’ risk management portals, Operations Team Portal and Care Team Portal provide the necessary tools to monitor, control and manage for risks that are or could be occurring regarding the patient. Awareness and prompt response can divert an otherwise critical patient safety incident.
The CellTrak solution not only supports patient safety but also staff safety. Staff working in a decentralized environment are confronted with many actual and potential environmental safety situations everyday. COVID 19 transmission, individual patient environmental risks, road hazards, inclement weather conditions, widespread fires and acts of terrorism such as gun shootings are all potentially part of the staff experience. GPS, phone access to 911 and immediate access to supervisor assistance are critical tools in the toolbox of each staff who works in the community.
Remember, safe and satisfied staff mean better care, better patient outcomes and better overall patient experience. 😁😷