What exactly is an electronic nursing Kardex? So a nursing Kardex is a file used for summaries and overviews of residents’ or patients’ care in a facility. Nurses update it after every shift. It is a separate document from the patient chart, containing all relevant patient or resident information that a nurse may require. Prior to the move from paper records to EHRs and the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—which, according to The Balance, was a turning point in healthcare documentation—Kardex was a sheet of paper where resident information was written down and pinned in the resident’s room or nursing station.
Now, though, most facilities will use an electronic nursing Kardex. Thanks to the advancement of technology, there are now three ways in which Kardex can be integrated for use by nurses in long term care, as noted by the Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics:
- As a module within an EMR or EHR: A nursing Kardex module in an EMR could help nurses access resident medical information all from one place. The Kardex is a part of the care plan software, and its interface is dependent on the long term care software vendors.
- Through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs): An API is a script or piece of code that allows for external applications to work with a long term care EHR or long term care software system. For example, APIs allow custom applications such as a nursing Kardex application to be attached to an EHR or nursing home software system and share data.
- As a completely separate application from an EHR: Here, the Kardex application does not have access to the EMR database of a long term care software system. Instead, the nursing Kardex app has its own database of resident information. This method is inconvenient as the nurse has to update any resident information in the Kardex and update the resident’s information in the EMR as well.
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7 Benefits of Electronic Kardex Nursing
Long term care software and EHRs in general have the advantage of improving all aspects of care, such as safety, communication, and effectiveness. Further, when Kardex applications, or Kardex nursing modules, are included in long term care EHRs, they have the following benefits:
- Increased accuracy: Nurses are more accurate when it comes to data entry and retrieval. Electronic Kardex nursing makes it less likely that mistakes or omissions of crucial medical information will occur. However, NCBI notes that the evaluation of data from long term care EHR software, its completeness, and its accuracy should be conducted as an ongoing process and not merely become a one-time exercise.
- Increased speed: Records for residents in your long term care software can easily and quickly be retrieved. Additionally, it takes less time to write out resident care summaries in your nursing home software.
- Greater privacy and security for residents: In electronic Kardex nursing, only those with the necessary credentials can access resident information and update them. As Registered Nursing writes, one of the pros of EMRs and electronic Kardex nursing is that there are “fewer hands” dealing with records than with paper Kardex records, resulting in greater privacy and security of resident information when using your long term care software.
- Centralized database: A centralized database allows for centralized care. This means that all resident care summaries are in one centralized database in your nursing home software and can be easily accessed by other nurses in the same facility. This allows for more time to be spent providing better care to residents and less time spent in record keeping.
- Increased work productivity: The use of Kardex and other long term care software results in work productivity. Nurses can better manage their time and spend it improving resident care, as this is, ultimately, all that matters.
- Reduced cost: An electronic Kardex, unlike traditional Kardex nursing, does not require paper and paper machinery. This translates to reduced costs over time.
- Information backups: Electronic Kardex nursing in a nursing home software system allows for easy backup of resident information, preventing its loss in the event of equipment failure
Why the Experience Care Kardex System Is Exceptional
Experience Care recently announced its new and improved Kardex system and Point of Care (POC) system as part of the most recent updates to its long term care software. The Kardex system is included in our NetSolutions long term care software package free of charge. Hence, long term care facilities that already have NetSolutions will not need to pay for the Kardex system.
Intuitiveness: When in Experience Care’s NetSolutions long term care software system, users will not need to be concerned with how to write Kardex in nursing. Rather, clicking the Kardex button automatically opens a Kardex screen with the Kardex template already generated.
User-friendliness: Experience Care’s Kardex system is exceedingly user-friendly. While, in general, electronic Kardex nursing can be complex, especially to nurses who are not used to new technology and prefer the Kardex paper system of old, we have worked with our users to develop the current Kardex system. This revolutionary method for software development was considered such a major contribution to long term care software that Yahoo! News highlighted it in a recent article. And our users have let us know that they are quite content with the functionality of our Kardex system. Read here about how one MDS nurse saved her facility 500 hours a year in part thanks to the new Kardex.
“It’s easy to learn, and there are multiple ways to engage with information.”
Robin P. an LPN that specializes in Quality Assurance & Infection Control
Another advantage of Experience’s Care’s nursing Kardex is that it is customizable. Needs and requirements vary by state, which is why our Kardex system allows you to change settings appropriately. Further, Experience Care users can set and change priorities. For example, the medications and times to be administered have a higher priority than the TV show a resident likes to watch.
“You can create it how you want and include what you want to be on there. We use it as a workflow. It’s used for morning meetings. It’s used for follow-up meetings. It’s used for behavior meetings. It’s used for nutrition at risk meetings. We set up dashboard sections just for those meetings.”
Ayisha Bradley, Informatics Technician at Care Centers
Scheduled Alert Messages: Alert messages can act as a reminder at a specific time to provide care for a certain resident. These scheduled alert messages can be particularly helpful when a shift change occurs, when a new nurse has been assigned to care for a resident, or for administering medicine at particular times.
“It’s just great. As soon as your CNAs log in, they are alerted immediately if anything is wrong with a resident.”
Accessible History: Were alert messages sent? Who acknowledged the alert messages? Was a field value in the Kardex updated? Who updated the field? All these can be viewed in the history section of the Kardex. A Kardex’s history encourages accountability and enables the easy tracking of patient care in nursing homes.
Printable reports: Some nurses may still print Kardex reports as it may be a facility requirement. Experience Care’s Kardex allows nurses to download Kardex reports from their nursing home software as a PDF and print them.
Compatibility: NetSolutions works on desktop, tablet, and mobile. And, as the Kardex system is a part of NetSolutions’ long term care software, it also works on desktop, tablet, and mobile. This makes the job of nurses and other long term care staff easier as they can use their own devices or devices they are familiar with.
The Importance of Nursing Kardex
Nurses and physicians are increasingly relying on nursing home software and other data sources to effectively deliver care to residents in SNFs. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics notes that as of 2019, 89.9% of office-based physicians had adopted the use of eMAR software.
In keeping with this trend, the nursing Kardex has become one of the sources of resident information relied upon by professionals using long term care software. As long term care providers have moved from paper to electronic Kardex nursing, they have experienced various benefits such as increased data accuracy, greater information privacy, increased speed, and greater work productivity in nursing homes.
Just as nursing home administrators need to pick the best eMAR software and the best e-Prescribing software for their facilities, they must be careful in selecting a long term care software with a robust Kardex system. Experience Care’s Kardex system is unique in that it comes not as standalone software but as part of NetSolutions. Thus, nursing home software users can benefit from this Kardex system in terms of its reduced cost, configurable priorities, and customizable settings.For more on recent trends in long term care, read our blog and subscribe to the LTC Heroes podcast.