Since March of 2020, COVID-19 has directed our lives; from where we go, what we do, who we see and how we communicate. Needless to say, all have been pretty limited. With more people being vaccinated every day, life is starting to resume some semblance of normality. For senior care homes, this means communications will begin to focus less on COVID-19 updates and more on regularly scheduled meetings and events.
While events and excursions are both great improvements in the return to “normal” life, all the external communication and coordination efforts required for each resident can be time-consuming for staff. The pandemic has also increased the rate at which resident family members expect to be communicated with as many facilities sent weekly, or even daily, updates over the past year. The increased transparent outreach is now expected.
So what are senior care staff to do?
Automating routine communications and reminders directly from a resident calendar could be part of the answer.
By adapting technology to your workflows and needs, customized instructions can be sent autonomously to ensure resident family members are informed and prepared for any event. The best part? Digital communication means everything is logged in the resident chart so you know what the message said, when it was sent, and if the recipient confirmed or cancelled. The response to the appointment can even trigger follow-up notifications like a secondary reminder closer to the appointment date, or an email to reschedule.
Here are some ways Routine Communications can benefit your facility.
Moving into a senior care facility is a big transition and can be overwhelming for all involved. There is a lot to do and a lot of information to take in. Sending a welcome message to a new resident and/or their family contacts on move-in day can help in the transition. A pre-written template can be triggered to be sent as part of the intake process.
Furthermore, a standardized PDF information package can be attached to help streamline the move-in process.
Annual Care Conferences & Care Plan Reviews
These recurring meetings are held for every resident in a care facility with the goal of helping everyone involved in their care (doctors/nurses/specialists/family)share information and work together to meet the person’s needs. Coordinating one for each resident, and the various members of their care teams requires a lot of time, effort and information sharing. Automating outreach saves time by ensuring attendance of all parties while also reminding them of details like conference room, dial-in information or zoom links.
Coordinate Off-Site Appointment Needs
Residents need to leave their care home for a variety of appointments, whether it’s the dentist or the optometrist, they often require a family member to take them. Not only will an automated reminder ensure their loved one is ready on the appropriate day and time, but any special instructions make sure they are fully prepared.
Arrange On-Site Visits and Events
While many senior care homes are choosing to hold visitations outside, changing policies and guidelines may need to be communicated to visitors. Adding this information to an appointment type makes sure visitors arrive informed and able to spend time with their loved ones.
In the future, when large events can be celebrated together indoors (Christmas festivities come to mind!) where specific details and information need to be dispersed (dress code, food and drink requirements etc.) instruction which are automatically included with each message means that not only will residents and their families enjoy a party, but staff can relax and join in on festivities too.
Keep Family Members Engaged And Staff Off The Phone
Life is busy. Remembering all the things you need to do, with whom, what to bring, it can all be overwhelming to remember. It can also be overwhelming to coordinate and send (and log) all that information. Manual outreach to let family members know about every update or event puts a further burden on staff. Providing updates that do not require a follow-up action on the part of the family member not only keeps them in the loop, it makes life easier for staff.
As 2021 continues and we all discover our new normal, let Cliniconex help get you back into a routine.