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Kardex is a system of communication and organization used in nursing that helps long term care facilities document patient and resident care summaries. It was created by long term care professionals who saw the need for all relevant staff members to access important patient and resident data. Traditionally, Kardex is a paper system in which nursing staff write out information for each resident on a daily basis. As you can imagine, this process can be time-consuming and cumbersome, and it leaves plenty of room for error or for information to be misrecorded —or even left out completely.

We’ll explain how Experience Care’s electronic nursing Kardex tool works, list some of its benefits, and provide examples of how it has helped long term care facilities in their daily operations.

What is Electronic Kardex Nursing?

Electronic Kardex is a communication tool that allows staff members in long term care facilities to get a comprehensive picture of a resident’s needs and current status, all in a digital format that is easily accessible and easy to update.

kardex dashboard

Using an electronic Kardex in long term nursing care facilities allows for increased accuracy in patient and resident care data, such that there is less chance for mistakes or omissions. It also enables staff to document important information quickly and efficiently, meaning there is less time wasted writing out a care summary for each resident.

Electronic Kardex can be controlled by a facility administrator or by nurses who have access rights to the information so that changes can occur in real-time without any delay. It allows for enhanced communication between staff members, which makes patient and resident care more efficient and personalized.

Traditional Nursing Kardex Documentation and Communication Practices

male nurse with stethoscope and tablet
Electronic Kardex nursing allows nurses to spend less time on documentation.

Nursing facilities that do not use electronic systems still rely on a paper documentation system, which means they are spending more time updating resident information. If nurses have to update resident information by hand, it may be done once daily or every other day. But a resident’s care status can change quickly. With a paper system, just keeping up with writing down resident updates could be a full-time job on its own.

It’s also difficult to keep track of who is making updates when using paper forms; there’s no record of when information was updated or who updated it, so staff members may be unsure if the information recorded is accurate or timely. A long term care facility is a fast-paced environment, and often paper updates are written hastily or in handwriting that is illegible, making it difficult for other staff members to decipher the information.

As you can imagine, this traditional process is a bit antiquated and comes with a whole list of potential problems that could lead to serious errors in treatment for residents in long term care facilities.

The Absence of a Centralized Care Overview in EHRs

Even after technological advancements were made in medical recordkeeping, there was a glaring absence of a centralized care record or “cheat sheet” in a resident’s electronic health records. There was a recognized need for a place to store notes, record both important health data and resident preferences, share communication during shift changes, and provide an overview report that could be easily updated in real-time. This is no longer the case, as user-friendly electronic health records with a convenient point of care modules and a Kardex system now make documentation less time-consuming and more accurate and facilitate communication between nurses and the medical staff. 

The Beneficiaries of a Nursing Kardex

elderly patient lying in hospital bed
Electronic Kardex nursing allows for more time with residents.

The greatest beneficiaries of a nursing Kardex are patients and residents. By providing a centralized care summary, patient and resident care experiences are sure to improve, as nurses have important data all in one place. Not only does a shift nurse have a patient’s or resident’s important medical and health information at their fingertips, but the nursing Kardex also provides a space for additional information like the resident’s meal preferences, how the resident likes their room temperature, or what time the resident prefers to wake up in the morning. 

Nurses also benefit greatly from this electronic medical record system. Instead of spending the first several hours of their shift updating paperwork, they now have the time to spend a few extra minutes with their residents, making sure they are providing the highest quality of care. A Kardex-based data system opens up the time and capacity for nurses to utilize their shift interacting with their residents.

A Kardex system also helps to reduce the chance of error when reporting resident information. Nurses can feel confident that the information they have received about their residents is accurate and up-to-date in real-time.

Electronic Nursing Kardex Benefits

The most important benefit of using an electronic information system, like Experience Care’s Kardex, is accuracy in patient and resident care. Another important benefit, though, is the increased efficiency that it provides for long term care staff. All members of the staff, from CNAs to department managers, can quickly and easily update and view resident information as they go about their day.

Improved Accuracy of Information & Quality Resident Care

In order to provide quality resident care, nursing staff must have accurate and up-to-date information. Using an electronic Kardex greatly reduces the margin for error in recording resident information. No longer does a staff member have to use their judgment to decipher handwriting or guess when an update was made to a resident card.

When using an electronic information system like Kardex, a nurse has easy access to various forms of information for each individual resident. As you can imagine, sifting through multiple pages of a paper document can be time-consuming and inefficient. With the electronic Kardex, nurses have a quick reference not only for pertinent health information but also for preferences, like when a resident prefers to go to bed or whether they prefer to eat in the dining room or in their own room.

Efficiency in Workflow

According to a peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of Healthcare Information Management,  nurses who used an electronic Kardex reported improved access to resident information during shift changes. They were also able to more easily update their shift report in a timely manner.

Less Time Spent on Documentation

When using a paper nursing Kardex system, staff can spend hours each day updating resident medical records. By using an electronic nursing Kardex, the valuable time of qualified nursing staff can be more efficiently spent providing quality care for residents, rather than continuously updating the care summary documents.

Easily-Accessible Resident History

The electronic Kardex system can be used to review resident history and analyze trends over time. Any time data is updated in the information system, it gets logged in the resident history. So nurses and other care providers can view resident history to see what has changed in terms of the resident’s health or medical needs.

Backup Paper Systems

We know that change management can sometimes be difficult, especially with a system that has been used consistently over a long period of time. So for nurses or caregivers who still prefer to use a paper-based system, the electronic Kardex prints nicely into an easy-to-read PDF. The forms can be used as a backup system in the case of an emergency, or they can simply be used as additional information for a nurse who needs additional time to switch over to a different information system for gathering resident data.

Experience Care’s Kardex Integrates Seamlessly with NetSolutions

Experience Care’s Kardex system allows your staff to know your residents’ stories. It provides information about DNRs, resident preferences, and everything in between. And we’ve made it easier than ever to access a resident’s care summary right within NetSolutions.

  • You can quickly bookmark the Kardex with the NetSolutions quick links so you have easy access to the information you need most.
  • The summary screen gives you all the resident information in one place so you can easily glance at one screen to find multiple pieces of data.
  • Care summary forms are easy to update, with user-friendly form fields that can quickly be changed or updated as needed.
  • You can set priorities so the most important information shows up first. During a shift change, nurses likely need to see a change in fluid restrictions or fall interventions before a preferred bedtime or what a resident likes to do in their recreational time. All great information for a plan of care, but clearly some information is more important than others.
  • For really important information, there’s an alert function that triggers a pop-up that nurses and other staff members are required to acknowledge with the click of a button. The history tab will allow you to see who has acknowledged the alert so that supervisors can be sure that everyone has read the most important information.
  • As mentioned above, a change in process and procedure can sometimes be difficult, so we’ve made sure that the information can easily be printed as a reader-friendly PDF for those who still prefer to have the care summary as a paper document.
Worklist 1
Nursing Kardex documentation is now easier than ever.

We’ve made a ton of great updates to our Point of Care system, and the electronic Kardex is just one of the great features we’re offering. “We have given our Point of Care system a facelift and improved the workflow tremendously,” said Gina Barrett, chief operations officer and director of products for Experience Care.

  • We’ve enabled users to create a “session” where they can see all the residents that they’re going to work with that day. It allows the user to easily toggle back and forth as they go about their shift.
  • We’ve streamlined the workflow for documentation of activities of daily living, with more point-and-click options for quick and easy use. The screen moves as you go through the process. No more missing documentation!
  • There’s also a worklist section, where the user can quickly see what hasn’t yet been documented for each resident, and update the information accordingly.
  • Staff who manage a department can pull a report and view documentation by date or by a specific resident to get a quick snapshot of how things are going that day. They can see when edits were made and whether things are getting done as they should be.

The best part of our recent Point of Care update? There’s no add-on cost for the electronic Kardex feature; it is included, absolutely free, in the NetSolutions base plan.

We’re working on some other great updates that are coming soon, including an upgraded Point of Care experience on smaller, handheld mobile devices.

We think the addition of a Kardex system is going to save our customers a lot of time, opening up capacity for them to focus on the thing that really matters the most- quality resident care. Read more about our Point of Care system here.