Proper care and support naturally produce quantifiable outcomes, right? Although this is true, practical setting and documenting of these outcomes is not always so apparent.
Recent quality inspection reports of health and social care settings across the U.K and Ireland have shown that organisations often receive lower-than-expected ratings. Many times, this is not because the standard of care and support given is low but because the impact of this care is just not evidenced accurately. Often, the outcomes achieved as a result of the support has not been tracked in terms of “impact”.
The age-old saying: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time”, could not be more relevant when it comes to health and social care. To am at nothing can be detrimental not only to the person supported and their life aspirations but also to the organisation as a whole and the assertion that care provided is of a high standard.
What is an outcome?
Outcomes track a person’s quality of life, with the focus on how to improve a person’s overall life progression rather than solely on basic care needs. When we understand outcome management in terms of Health and Social Care there are two important areas to consider. 1. Outcome setting; which is central to map the progress of a person’s life. 2. Outcome measurement; how organisations evidence the value of the care and support they provide.
Overall issues with outcome setting?
Over the years, we have noted that many providers don’t seize the opportunity to devise, write and plan outcomes as effectively as they could.
A significant worry is “missed opportunities”; elements of support that really should be noted as outcomes are dismissed. On a daily basis this could be captured and evidenced in the bigger picture of a person’s life.
Observing outcomes in this context, it’s easy to see how effective planning strategies can make all the difference. Often, it is time constraints that can lead to organisations not achieving care goals for those they support.
Within the Aspirico team, we have the advantages of technical and sector experience. This experience derives from our work with organisations to implement digital solutions. Many of our client managers and trainers have also previously worked directly within the health and social care industry.
How can technology help?
Outcome setting is far from novel. Paper-based processes for planning, recording and optimising support outcomes have been in effect as part of person-centred initiatives for many years. Aspirico help providers drive the efficiency and effectiveness of these methods. We help providers manage the activities which drive delivery of a person’s care and outcomes.
A configurable, online care management system like Aspirico’s “iplanit” can help to plan and record all types of support. When you digitally create a plan in iplanit, the care plan is not compartmentalised. Instead, this plan, includes both urgent personal care needs and pre-set care outcomes. As a result, actions can be put in place and tracked online for completion on the iplanit system.
This simple, effective system while seemingly obvious can often be complicated and time consuming when using paper-based recording methods. Progress for each person supported at various stages can be checked at any time by managers. This can then quickly be translated into progress reports to provide to inspectors or funders.
Imagine as a manager, opening your laptop to check on every individual under your care at the touch of a button? People without set outcomes for their care would quickly be flagged and addressed straight away.
Consider as a support worker, knowing that those day to day support tasks are adding up to help improve a person’s quality of life?
Visualize as a family member, you know that not only is your loved one supported, but their life has meaning beyond basic care needs.
Envisage as a person supported, you have an input into your life goals and the ability to track them on your own terms.
Leading providers are now putting these ideas into action…. with the help of iplanit!
Want to learn more? Check out our recent webinars here.