According to the American Census Bureau, in 2010, there were 40.3M seniors—individuals sixty-five years and older—living in America. By 2019, these figures increased to a staggering 54.1M. And the aging population will only continue to grow as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, impacting a long term care industry that is already overwhelmed.
With the rise of healthcare advancements, long term care facilities worldwide are adapting and modernizing their processes, increasingly turning to PoC care technology to manage the vast quantities of resident data via their long term care software.
PoC technology has developed to include new forms of testing that allow for rapid testing and results. During the COVID-19 pandemic, point of care testing became necessary to safeguard residents from the virus. The CMS also increased infection-control regulations, resulting in more government support in staff training, supplying more point of care testing devices, and allocating more financial support to facilities.
PoC care technology is fast becoming a necessity for nurses, CNAs, and other caregivers. On account of its capabilities of recording accurate documentation, decreasing paperwork, and reducing administrative duties, facilities find that its staff is saving thousands of hours every year.
PoC care technology has also demonstrated that it significantly improves the quality of care in facilities. Caregivers who use PoC care technology can streamline documentation processes to minimize workflow disruption, providing a higher quality of care to improve residents’ experiences, satisfaction, and quality of life.
What Does PoC Medical Abbreviation Stand For?
In healthcare, the literal meaning of PoC medical abbreviation means Point of Care. This means that caregivers provide PoC care documentation while being beside a patient, recording all treatments and medication via the care plan software. Below, we will discuss why PoC care documentation is so popular in long term care facilities.
Facilities that have adopted PoC care technology use handheld, portable devices that allow them to move throughout the facility while documenting care. Furthermore, facilities have also constructed PoC kiosks, wall-mounted PCs, desktops, or wall-mounted tablets, so nurses, CNAs, and other clinical staff can conveniently update residents’ data.
Some of the essential information that the clinical team needs to update includes:
- Resident’s vitals
- ADLs and iADLs
- Pain reports
- Quantity of food consumed
- Restorative nursing
- Mood observations
With so much vital information required for each resident, it is easy to understand why clinical staff needs to have portable, handheld devices and kiosk stations scattered across the facility. Failure to update resident information can cause medical errors, resulting in fatalities and adverse patient outcomes. Therefore, facilities should ensure adequate PoC technology training is given to staff to enter resident data accurately.
PoC care technology significantly improves the accuracy of data entry, as it minimizes the time that nurses must spend documenting care. Nurses, CNAs, and other clinical staff have busy schedules, often with a high nurse-to-patient ratio. That makes it difficult to accurately record resident data and provide adequate care, especially if the facility is understaffed.
In 2009, the University of Maryland conducted a study that revealed that poor communication among American healthcare providers costs the nation approximately $12 billion per year. The findings uncovered that the healthcare system was riddled with delays, failures, and unnecessarily long hospital stays, contributing to the inability to use the healthcare provider’s time and resources efficiently.
One of the most significant findings was that patient safety, care quality, and patient satisfaction increased with better nurse-to-patient communication. Furthermore, it also improved job satisfaction, accountability, and staff retention among the staff.
Better communication also supports a facility’s financial goals by reducing the length of stay, staff overtime hours, and decreased liability claims due to more transparent communication with patients and ensuring they understand their care plans.
When PoC care technology is integrated, the care plan software’s computerized processes—like the general financials, point of care, and physician orders—become synced to create an all-around efficient experience for residents. The different modules of a long term care EHR software system allow facility staff to communicate with other departments more effectively, allowing for better collaboration and optimum care.
Furthermore, because the PoC care technology is stored on a centralized database, it allows authorized staff to access the relevant data when needed. Because the data is digitized, communication becomes more open and transparent. The data is easily accessible via various devices in the facility, while the information is clear and concise, resulting in accurate documentation.
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How Point Care CNA Is Used
Meanwhile, it is essential to remember that the daily tasks related to caring for residents fall on the shoulders of CNAs. Point care CNA, or PoC care technology for CNAs, helps to guarantee their daily duties are carried out effectively while delivering a high quality of care.
Some of the most critical CNA responsibilities include PoC charting, which consists of, as the PoC medical abbreviation indicates, recording information at the point of care, or documenting real-time clinical information while interacting and delivering care to residents.
CNAs will need to enter the five most essential elements of residents’ data on a daily basis:
- Feeding, bathing, and dressing residents
- Taking residents’ vital signs (dependent on experience and qualifications)
- Serving meals, making beds, and keeping rooms clean
- Setting up medical equipment and assisting with medical procedures (dependent on the level of training and qualifications)
- Answering calls for help from nurses and physicians and observing changes in a resident’s condition or behavior
Clinical point of care is made easier with efficient long term care software systems that ensure better charting and easier updates. Studies show that PoC care technology systems allow CNAs and other clinical staff to harness the built-in support tools. Staff can utilize the electronic database and key diagnostic information to support their decision capabilities.
Additionally, more intuitive long term care EHR software systems also include capabilities to display pop-up warnings and alerts. This is an essential function when administering medication in the facility. Without these effective processes, clinical staff cannot guarantee that residents are given the correct medication and quantity, risking medication errors and overdoses.
The Future of PoC Care Technology
The future of PoC care technology will continue to develop and evolve to improve workflow processes making them even more efficient. While there may still be some challenges and unmet needs, the opportunities for enhancing PoC care technology will prosper as technological advancements continue.
A window of opportunity has been opened on account of instant testing and diagnosis, which directly impacts the decisions of physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel. End-to-end patient care has exponentially improved along with the speed of delivery and care.
Meanwhile, when factoring in the day-to-day workflow processes of CNAs, the significant improvements to documentation processes have seen facilities dramatically increase compliance by 96 to 100 percent daily. This feat shows the effectiveness of long term care EHR software systems and the boundless opportunities for improvement.