This week is #CareHomeOpenWeek a week in which care homes are encouraged to throw open their doors and let people in to see the work that they do.  At Careis, we believe every day should be an open day…. but what do we mean by that?

One of the truisms we have seen emerge from our mutual COVID experience is the value of friends and family and the important role they play in the wellbeing of everyone, oh and that includes care home residents.  With permission from the resident, where they have capacity, many digital care plan management systems, like ours at CAREis, enable family and friends to follow the care of their loved one in real-time through a password protected portal.  This means family can virtually visit their loved one in their care home every hour of every day of every week, and see what they have been doing and the care they have engaged with.  Such portals are a great source of sanity and comfort for families, especially during the issues we all experienced with COVID-19.

Talking about their access to their loved one’s notes, one elderly gentleman told CAREis:

It was great being able to check on my wife whenever I wanted. I sometimes logged in several times a day, especially when I was lonely, so I could see what she had eaten and drunk and which of the care staff had given her a wash that day. It meant I did not have to disturb the staff and because my wife [who had advanced dementia] cannot talk anymore I was able to feel a part of her care.

Being open all hours does not therefore have to be a burden, in fact quite the opposite it saves staff time and is comforting for families.

We can’t really blog about something like this without considering what this means for compliance and what the CQC might say.  One of the fundamental standards of care states:

“Registered persons must be open and transparent with service users about their care and treatment (the duty of candour).”

What this identifies is how sharing access to care records, as in a family portal, enables the care home to meet a fundamental standard to a level which might meet the criteria for being outstanding.

So what we are saying on this #CareHomeOpenWeek is why not take the message of this week forward with you and ensure you remain open to family and friends all of the time, at least virtually if you cannot in reality.