One of the components of documenting long term care is Kardex nursing. Traditionally, nursing documentation consisted of handwritten resident charts, which were updated daily, sometimes on multiple occasions. But the paper Kardex system was flawed on many fronts.
The reality is that resident care documentation—medical records, patient safety requirements, physician notes, and concise notes about care treatment—can be overwhelming. Each resident has treatment charts specifying their personalized treatment, needs, and current condition, all of which is vital information needed during a shift change so the next nurse can administer adequate care.
Nurses, though, are busy people, meaning they can record only so much accurate information given the high number of residents and their other responsibilities. In short, the paper Kardex system was inefficient, time-consuming, and error-prone, leading to medical errors with fatal consequences.
Fast forward to the present day, when documentation in long term care has shifted to using electronic devices and long term care software that allows nurses to document care more accurately, more efficiently, and much faster. Nursing home EHR not only improves the communication and organization of resident care documentation, but also enables better accessibility and workflow efficiency.
What Is Kardex?
At this point you may find yourself asking what is Kardex and how does it impact the long term care industry today? While long term care is slowly but gradually adopting what is called long term care EHR (Electronic Health Records), the industry lags behind other healthcare areas.
One reason behind the lag is a lack of funding from CMS’ (Center of Medicare and Medicaid) Meaningful Use Program. The program provides financial incentives to eligible healthcare facilities that use certified EHR technology in “meaningful” ways to improve quality, safety, and efficiency. However, long term care facilities often do not meet the CMS requirements, thus making it less likely that they adopt long term care software or nursing home software.
Nonetheless, research shows that the implementation of long term care software improves a facility’s clinical documentation management, leading to better decision-making and improved quality outcomes. Furthermore, when electronic Kardex nursing is implemented, it improves workflow by making more accessible important resident information. For example, this advanced Kardex tool provides daily alerts for ADLs and a helpful summary screen showing residents’ treatments and preferences.
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Aiysha Bradley, an MDS nurse at Care Centers in Johnson City, Tennessee, shared that Experience Care’s Kardex allows her team to update their notes while documenting care plans on the spot. This improved efficiency saves her team hours every day. “Before, they had to push aside some of their daily work,” she said. “But now they can focus on getting out there in the hall with the residents and the nurses are being a bit more hands-on.”
Read more about how Care Centers used an electronic Kardex to work more efficiently here.
Why Is Point of Care Software Important?
The purpose behind Point of Care software for long term care facilities using a long term care software system is to improve workflow, efficiency, and job satisfaction. The most desirable POC systems in long term care software are user-friendly, require minimal time for staff training, allow for accurate data entry, and are accessible. Filling out and regularly updating resident charts can take up to three hours every day. But electronic Kardex nursing reduces that time and allows nurses to spend more time with residents.
Long term care software also provides greater privacy and security for residents, a centralized database, and information backups. Kardex nursing is integral to the smooth running of a facility so long as it is easily accessible to all authorized staff.
Nurses and other facility staff are the primary users of long term care software. It is, thus, worthwhile for long term care software vendors to have a thorough understanding of their needs. Experience Care, having listened to the valued opinions of their customers, developed an innovative Point of Care system that improves the user experience considerably. Some of the features are:
- An electronic Kardex – Above we answered the question what is Kardex with general information. Here we will add that Experience Care’s electronic Kardex nursing tool has an advanced series of warning signs to notify nurses as to urgent resident information. All information is conveniently displayed on the Point of Care screen, making it quick and easy to access the correct information.
- An automated worklist – This gives regular updates on resident care. This feature records both activities that have been documented, so nurses can tailor their care to meet the resident’s current needs.
- Improved documentation reporting – This feature helps nurses streamline their documentation workflow. It is convenient for nurses to select any activity of daily living (ADL) they want to observe. By clicking on a specific ADL, it will be displayed at the top of the screen, drawing the nurse’s attention.
- Date and resident selection – This tool tracks submitted documentation according to date. It allows all authorized staff to see how, when, and what care is given. This is particularly important during a shift change so nurses can see past treatments to monitor any unusual changes in condition.
The Future of Kardex Nursing
The move towards using electronic Kardex nursing was born out of a necessity to overcome the cumbersome and time-consuming task of manually inputting resident data. While electronic records are more efficient, when facilities adopt a new long term care software, they need to include an adjustment period to overcome initial challenges like transitioning from a hybrid (paper/electronic) system. If records are not correctly inputted or updated, this can interfere with staff communication, particularly during a shift change. However, because electronic Kardex allows nurses to access all resident information, they can backdate the Kardex to view past treatments, avoiding medical errors.
The future of electronic Kardex undoubtedly includes further technological advancement, as the long term care industry continues to modernize. Further improvements can include better communication with hospitals and pharmacies so data is shared more fluidly, giving facilities a more comprehensive record of a resident’s treatment, consequently improving the quality of care.
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