Although nothing much is certain in the current climate, one thing is clear, on top of the usual duties involved in caring for residents, care homes are now also responsible for keeping families informed of changes in visiting policies or infection control measures.
Current methods of resident family communication include:
- Manual phone calls
- Group emailing
- Posting updates to your website or social media
- Paper notifications by post or by poster
- Text Messaging
Some care providers have set up new processes such as weekly family webinars to reduce the strain on the frontline workers and ensure that families are kept up to date.
However, pressure is building once more with an increase in infection rates and local lockdowns coming into force. With restrictions differing per local area, care homes need to ensure that their communications strategy can adapt to their ever-changing needs.
Here is an outline of some pandemic specific updates that are vital to communicate, not only for regulatory compliance and risk management but to reassure and support resident families.
Infection control measures
In the UK, care homes are doing everything possible to prevent further outbreaks within their communities. In line with government guidelines, these measures include warning and informing resident families of:
- Suspected cases in the care home
- Confirmed cases in the care home, and
- Changes in visiting hours, policies and processes
As tests become more widely available, care communities may implement testing procedures for staff and residents. Communications can include how procedures will work in specific care homes, including:
- Who will be tested
- Frequency of testing
- Testing protocols
Update on current or suspected cases of COVID-19
Uncertainty around whether there are cases of COVID-19 within a care home can cause anxiety and worry for resident family members. Continued messaging can reassure that:
- There are no new presumptive or positive cases
- The current cases have been resolved
- Procedures and protocols are being strictly adhered to in an effort to limit future cases
Information is a powerful tool, especially in a time of constant change. Knowing that key updates will be communicated in an efficient and timely manner has the power to reassure and empower residents, families, and care staff. Cliniconex can help you communicate and stay compliant in any situation, especially at a critical time like now.