Technology has become an indispensable tool in healthcare, ushering in a new era of care delivery and management. One prominent example is long-term care software, a suite of applications designed to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and ultimately enhance the quality of care provided to residents in long-term care facilities.
Long Term Care (LTC) software is a specialized category of health information technology designed to manage and document care delivery in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living centers, ICFs, and even home healthcare agencies.
At its core, long-term care software is about simplifying and enhancing the quality of care for residents while allowing caregivers and administrators to work more efficiently. Long-term care software offers several benefits, such as
- Automating time-consuming administrative tasks
- Enabling seamless communication between care teams
- Ensuring accurate, real-time documentation of resident care
- Helping teams meet regulatory compliance
- Facilitating decision-making through data-driven insights
In the next section, we will delve into the specifics of different types of long-term care software and how they contribute to optimizing the operations of long-term care facilities.
5 Senior Living Software Systems That Improve Operations
The landscape of senior living software is vast and varied, capable of catering to diverse needs within the sector. By knowing of the different types of long-term care software available to them, long-term care leaders can choose the tools that align with their specific operational needs and care objectives.
1. eAssignment software
This long-term care software offers robust communication capabilities and acts as a hub for messaging, notifications, and task management. eAssignment software’s advanced internal communication system streamlines interactions, allowing for the seamless transfer of alerts and critical information.
Not only does eAssignments make communication smoother, but it also facilitates efficient task management. Whether assigning tasks to others or managing your own tasks, this tool provides a detailed, real-time overview with features such as due dates, task status, and differentiation by color.
Of course, eAssignments isn’t a standalone tool. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with other software, like Experience Care’s state-of-the-art Electronic Health Records (EHR), enabling:
- Real-time scanning for updates, alerts, and options based on user preferences and events, promoting comprehensive healthcare management
- Versatile alerting capabilities, tailored based on the job position, location, shift, or custom groups
- Triggered alerts by changes in Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), such as updates in care levels, infections, or pending lab and x-ray tests
With eAssignments, you get remote access, which means notifications can be received, tasks assigned, and messages sent from any location. Equally impressive is the degree of customization that allows users to adjust their notification triggers and choose how they wish to receive alerts: via pop-up notifications, SMS text messaging, or email. And it gives you straightforward forwarding options to keep every team member in the loop.
2. Physician orders software
This long-term care software system expertly manages orders within residents’ Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), significantly enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of maintaining such orders and consequently improving resident safety and reducing medication errors. Some of the benefits of the physician orders module are
Robust functionality and a rich feature set: Experience Care’s physician orders seamlessly integrates with other applications within the NetSolutions ecosystem, enabling the sharing of medication and treatment orders across different long-term care software, including eCharting, ePrescribing, and Clinical Decision Support.
These features ensure a cohesive approach to resident management, eliminating the risks of conflicting information. Additionally, the system boasts a comprehensive array of features designed to optimize resident order management:
- A summary page for displaying resident information, adding or editing orders, checking drug interactions, and documenting results
- eSignatures for secure order review
- The ability to reconcile medications
- A dashboard with key performance indicators
Streamlining Data and Order Entry: The software addresses the potential pitfalls of manual data entry by leveraging National Drug Codes (NDC) when adding medication orders. This step reduces data entry errors, ensuring accuracy and resident safety. Moreover, the system simplifies the process of entering and maintaining orders by:
- Allowing the setup of standard orders and order sets that can be entered via codes
- Accommodating direct entry of critical telephone orders, which can be reviewed and signed electronically
- Providing additional features such as adding order date, code, and text, creating pre-defined groups of orders, and entering partial orders that can be completed later
Comprehensive Order Management: Physician Orders covers all aspects of order management, such as:
- Facilitating lab and x-ray orders by auto-faxing them to the respective companies and requesting results receipt
- Documenting medication reviews and reconciliation at admission, during care level changes, and at discharge
- Organizing residents’ immunization status on a centralized page
- Automatically entering new medication orders or reorders in the NetSolutions’ order processing system
Extensive Reporting: Finally, this long-term care software can generate various on-demand reports, such as physician orders, lab and x-ray orders, reviewed orders, pending orders, and medication reconciliation status. This enables you to access data when and how you need it, making for informed decision-making and effective resident management.
3. eMAR and eTAR
The electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR) system, paired with electronic Treatment Administration Records (eTAR), is used in senior care facilities to administer medication accurately and improve nursing documentation. This software includes
eMAR/eTAR integration: Experience Care’s eMAR/eTAR system is part of the comprehensive NetSolutions Electronic Medication Management suite, including ePrescribing and Clinical Decision Support. Its features include
- Real-time updates of medical orders that ensure timely treatments and medication administration
- Color-coding of new orders that facilitate quick identification and order tracking
- Integration with eCharting that makes resident information instantly available to Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
- Portability that allows the system to be accessed on handheld devices connected to the facility’s network, enhancing efficiency in charting medications, treatments, and vitals
- A user-friendly workflow that includes building a list of residents, displaying resident orders that meet specific criteria, documenting administered medication/treatment, reordering low-supply medication, and completing the medication/treatment session
- Enhanced security that protects sensitive resident data through software passwords and hardware devices like biometric thumbprints and card scanners
The advanced features of eMAR and eTAR are
- Quick navigation links that facilitate seamless navigation through the system
- One-step procedures for holding all medications for a resident
- Automatic alerts about missed orders
- Connection with Physician Orders and ePrescribing software for medication reorder requests
- Electronic photo linkage to illustrate a resident’s condition
- Automatic date stamping and session summary preparation for complete record keeping
4. Clinical decision support software
With Clinical decision support software, users are provided with complete access to pertinent information on medications, ensuring the safety and efficiency of drug prescription, administration, and monitoring processes. It accomplishes this through
A comprehensive drug information database
Experience Care’s Clinical Decision Support software offers a rich resource in its DrugPoints system. This comprehensive digital pharmaceutical reference covers essential aspects of various medications, such as:
- Dosage guidelines
- Contraindications and warnings
- Potential interactions, and adverse effects
These features empower healthcare professionals to make well-informed decisions while administering medication.
Intelligent interaction checker and allergy alerts
The system automatically cross-checks information. Whenever a new medication or allergy is entered into the Physician Orders, the tool performs comprehensive checks for potential drug interactions, encompassing drug-drug, drug-allergy, drug-lab, drug-disease, and drug-food. It also provides screenings for therapeutic duplication and ingredient duplication.
The interaction checker tool all resident allergies as contraindications, necessitating override information to continue with an order that contains a potential allergen. This serves as an adequate safeguard against allergy-related medication errors.
Emphasis on education
Experience Care’s Clinical Decision Support is top of its class. The Clinical Teaching component provides healthcare professionals with key talking points to discuss with residents during medication administration, facilitating resident engagement and mutual understanding.
In addition, the Resident Education function offers easy-to-understand medication information directly to residents. This includes
- Usage instructions and brand names
- The purpose of the drug
- Storage and disposal guidelines
- Substances to avoid and precautions while using the medication
- Potential side effects
This feature empowers residents to actively participate in their healthcare management, especially during discharge or upon demand.
5. Electronic Kardex
The electronic Kardex system is a versatile long-term care software designed to optimize interdisciplinary communication, improve documentation processes, and streamline resident care information.
Experience Care’s Kardex system addresses the challenges of interdisciplinary communication in long-term care, especially those posed by high nurse-to-resident ratios. The software improves the documentation process to save time and helps nurses and CNAs keep resident care information up-to-date.
An electronic Kardex provides a complete resident summary, encompassing everything from code status to interventions to personal preferences to the level of assistance required. This information can be easily updated, prioritized, and supplemented with alert messages, keeping everyone in the loop.
Some of the features of the Kardex’s user-friendly interface are
- A Single-Page Summary: The Kardex summary screen shows crucial resident information on a single page, including data like code status, activities of daily living (ADLs), dietary and fluid restrictions. So all vital data is readily accessible.
- Prioritization and Alerts: The Kardex system offers prioritization features for data and the ability to color code information based on its importance, making critical information is clearly visible to nursing staff. Moreover, daily alerts flag specific resident items requiring acknowledgment, ensuring all authorized staff stay updated with vital care information.
- Easy-to-Fill Form Tab: This helps organize information, such as code status, preferred language, dining preference, and bedtimes, leading to personalized and efficient care.
- Kardex History Page: The page provides a chronological overview of all Kardex activity, enabling users to track updates and changes by specific terms or by the user. This ensures transparency and accountability in care delivery.
- Printable Summaries: Kardex summary pages can be printed in a PDF format for easy offline data access.
- Point of Care Integration: A good Kardex system integrates with the Point of Care sessions criteria for quick access and efficient workflow management. This includes selecting and updating ADLs for specific residents and promoting real-time care adjustment.
- Worklist Feature: This enables easy review and tracking of completed and pending tasks. Direct links to relevant screens facilitate quick navigation, enhancing productivity and reducing administrative burdens.
Contact us here if you would like to test drive our user-friendly long-term care software.
How To Choose the Best Elder Care Software for Your Facility
With a wide array of elder care software available in the market, making the right choice for your facility can be daunting. Understanding your facility’s specific needs, workflows, and objectives is key to making an informed decision when choosing long-term care software.
To help you choose the best long-term care software for your facility, perform the following:
- Identify your needs: The first step in choosing the right senior living software is to identify your facility’s needs. Do you need a comprehensive solution that covers all aspects of long-term care, or are you looking for specific functionality, such as billing, care planning, or medication management? Understanding your needs will help you narrow down your options.
- Ease of use: The best senior living software should be user-friendly and intuitive. Staff members should be able to use it easily without requiring extensive training. A complex system, meanwhile, could lead to errors and inefficiency.
- Integration capabilities: The software should seamlessly integrate with other systems in use at your facility, such as EHRs, billing systems, and pharmacy systems. This integration capability allows for smoother workflows and better data sharing across the board.
- Customization: Customizing the software to suit your facility’s specific workflows and procedures will greatly increase efficiency. So look for software that offers a high degree of customization.
- Scalability: As your facility grows, your software needs may change. Therefore, it’s important to choose software that can scale with your facility and accommodate future growth.
- Security and compliance: Given the sensitive nature of healthcare data, the software must comply with all relevant data security standards and regulations, most prominently HIPAA.
- Vendor support: Consider the level of support provided by the software vendor. This includes technical support, training, software updates, and assistance with implementation.
- Cost: Consider the cost of the software, including the upfront purchase price and ongoing costs for maintenance, upgrades, and support.
Always remember that while each type of software has its benefits, the ultimate aim is to enhance care quality and operational efficiency. So you must be intentional in choosing long-term care software that aligns with your objectives, fits well within your workflows, and offers a good return on investment.
Up-And-Coming Technological Advances in Long Term Care Software
Technological advancements are reshaping the long-term care industry, improving resident care, streamlining processes, and making facilities safer and more efficient. These advancements, which are now being included in various long-term care software, include
- The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), which refers to the collection of medical devices and applications that connect healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. Long-term care software integrated with IoMT can manage vast volumes of real-time data to provide more accurate diagnostics and personalized care plans.
- Cybersecurity measures that protect sensitive data in long-term care software. This data includes personal details, health histories, and payment information. Needless to say, robust cybersecurity systems and protocols, along with strict adherence to data privacy laws, are critical to maintaining trust and ensuring data’s safe and ethical use.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), or, technology that allows patient and resident data to be collected outside traditional healthcare settings. This can be particularly beneficial for seniors who may need continuous monitoring but prefer staying home.
- Big data, meaning the enormous volumes of data generated in healthcare, from electronic health records and imaging data to information from wearable devices. With advanced analytics, this data can be analyzed to identify trends, improve care, and even predict health issues before they become severe.
The digital transformation in healthcare, epitomized by the above trends, is ushering in a new era for long-term care. By embracing these advancements, we can expect a future where long-term care is not only more efficient and effective but also more patient-centric and personalized.
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