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A CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) working in a long term care facility plays a critical role in assisting residents with their daily needs. A typical day involves engaging with residents, monitoring changes to their physical or mental states, and maintaining accurate treatment records for all residents in their personalized care plan charts.

For CNAs to provide high-quality care to residents, they must use their facility’s point of care device. A nursing home software system allows CNAs and other facility staff to easily access resident records in their long term care EHR when necessary, ensuring that the quality of care consistently remains high. Also, the documentation in long term care software that is produced by a point of care device helps minimize the occurrence of medical errors and inefficiencies while sharing vital information.

Some, though, question the efficacy of point of care software, arguing that it is an unnecessary expense. Further, they say, it compromises the nurse-resident interaction by distracting nurses and diverting their attention away from residents. However, the benefits of using point of care software far outweigh the negatives. Below, we will discuss the key benefits of using point of care software and its impact on a CNA’s daily routine. 

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Four Benefits of POC for CNA Use

  1. Integrated Technology 

One of the critical features of point of care software is the integrated technology designed to help provide caregivers with accurate treatment records when using their long term care software system. This gives CNAs and other staff a well-rounded understanding of what care services were provided to residents. 

An intuitive and advanced Kardex tool conveniently displays everything from critical information like DNRs and fluid restrictions to ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and resident meal preferences. This gives CNAs a comprehensive overview of a resident’s condition in real time.

Male doctor using a point of care device
A point of care device improves communication.

Furthermore, in a Kardex, resident data is readily available on an easy-to-access, color-coded screen with helpful icons. Using this tool, CNAs can effortlessly view relevant resident data, saving them both time and energy due to less scrolling and faster access to the correct information.

  1. Improved workflow

For point of care software to be efficient, it must be multi-functional to address administrative and clinical tasks. For example, CNAs need to enter accurate treatment records in their long term care EHR to ensure proper documentation when calculating government reimbursements. However, they also need easy access to resident care plans during their shifts to administer proper treatments, thus preventing medical errors. 

By having a centralized software system, POC for CNA use has never been easier. Its dynamic processes help to streamline the workflow of nurses while enabling the access of resident data on multiple medical devices throughout the building at different times. 

This increases the quality and quantity of information charted by CNAs, resulting in more efficient workflows, real-time records, and less paperwork. Hence, CNAs have more time to care for their residents.

  1. Better Communication 

Poorly written handover documentation causes unnecessary risks resulting in high mortality rates. Currently, long term care facilities face numerous medical transfer problems, the biggest of which, according to an article published by BMJ Open Quality, is poor communication of patient issues

One of the advantages of using a point of care device is better communication between residents, facilities, and other healthcare providers. The sharing of relevant resident data ensures a smooth process during resident transfers. Therefore, having an efficient point of care system helps support all relevant medical staff with the critical information they need to make the best care decisions.  

  1. Sufficient Training

Point of care software can be intimidating. This is especially true for new users who are not familiar with the software interface. Hence, facilities need to incorporate sufficient staff training to maximize the software’s processes and full capabilities. 

It is important to remember that some facility staff will be more tech-savvy than others. Therefore, facilities should tailor and personalize their nursing home software training to meet the needs of their staff.

It is worth noting that some point of care software systems come with free training courses that enable facility staff to level up their knowledge and make the most of their care plan software. As we know, CNAs have busy schedules. Therefore, having access to training modules means they can study anytime, anywhere, giving them the freedom to learn at their own pace and convenience.   

What to Look For in Point of Care Systems 

Ultimately, the purpose of using point of care systems is to replace paper charts with a more efficient long term care EHR (Electronic Health Records) system. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the technology found in each point of care device. This is because of its ability to provide cost-effective solutions that meet the current demands of long term care providers. 

Staff using POC for CNA streamlines workflow processes
POC for CNA use streamlines workflow processes.

Hence, point of care software providers need to incorporate features that will fulfill the daily needs of POC CNA users. These features may include:

  • Visual and textual cues for any treatment that has or hasn’t taken place
  • Alerts and pop-up warnings
  • Customized data and resident preferences
  • Seamless integration with long term care software 
  • Fast processing speeds between residents receiving care and arriving at the nursing station
  • Minimal risk
  • Maximum compliance

Research published by the IEEE Public Health Emergency Collection states that point of care (POC) technology has enhanced healthcare facilities by allowing them to focus on clinically-actionable information while in the vicinity of the patient. A point of care device, then, allows healthcare professionals to access critical information as they provide care for the patient. So during treatment, they can view instant results for tests and act immediately. The impact of this technological advancement is advantageous on many fronts with reduced costs, better access to medical care, and fewer office visits and follow-up phone calls. 

What a Point of Care Device Will Look Like in the Future

Staff using point of care systems to replace paper charts
Point of care systems have come to replace paper charts.

Point of care software is rapidly advancing to capture critical electronic diagnostic data. The current point of care systems include reliable decision-support capabilities with helpful alerts and warnings to ensure healthcare facilities provide high-quality care while optimizing their resources. 

As more healthcare providers adopt and integrate eMAR software into their facilities, the technology found in a point of care device will continue to advance with further improvements in daily treatments, better administrative processes, and a stronger focus on resident-centered care. 

The bottom line is that with better documentation and communication, CNAs and other facility staff will be able to adjust and tailor their care on account of access to the real-time conditions of residents. This will allow them to make adjustments to provide better care, achieve greater efficiency, and avoid medical errors. 

For more on recent long-term care trends, read our blog and subscribe to the LTC Heroes podcast

Cindy Wong
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