Care teams across Ireland are in crisis mode. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) report that Nursing homes account for 50% of coronavirus deaths in Ireland. Additionally, residential care settings account for 4,363 cases of coronavirus, of which 3,457 are in nursing homes. In nursing homes alone, there have been 593 deaths. There is a range of residents in nursing homes, from those that are relatively independent to those that require full support and care with all activities of daily living. Depending on their dependency levels, chronic illness, and for some dementia and frailty, these residents can be more vulnerable should they contract any viral or bacterial infection. There is no doubt that the challenges and stresses care providers are facing will force the sector to think and act quickly to safeguard those they care for and employ.
The toll this pandemic will take on the residential care sector is not apparent yet. It is imperative that, where possible, owners and managers write up and execute action plans. Furthermore, they should record their decision-making processes throughout the crisis. They will need to show why they took the actions they did, under what circumstances and with what guidance.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Chief Inspector of Social Services have recognised that Ireland’s health and social care services are facing unprecedented challenges in their response to Covid-19. All inspections will be announced by telephone the day before visits during this time. Inspectors will cancel inspections where any suspected or confirmed incidence of Covid-19 has occurred. However, they will eventually be carrying out their routine work again. When it is safe and appropriate, they will be looking to find how each nursing home has responded to this crisis. How are you going to confirm that you have kept staff and residents safe? Are you able to demonstrate that you were effective in your planning, responsiveness and your leadership? How will you show that you were forward-thinking in terms of managing your team and residents?
Now more than ever, implementing a Covid-19 digital care management system is a necessary step in the right direction.
In times like these, ‘one day at a time’ is the mentality we hold. It is difficult to focus on the future when the present demands all of our attention. However, it is important to be mindful of the following:
The decisions you make now, and in the weeks ahead will have one of two outcomes. They will either help or hinder your ability to operate and grow beyond the crisis.
For many care providers, the need to make services more efficient, less paperwork heavy and more data-driven has always been there. The coronavirus pandemic has simply put a spotlight on it.
Sign up today for your free-14 day trial of the HIQA Covid-19 Nursing Home Protocol system. If you’d like to speak with Blocworx sales team email info@blocworx or call +353(86)3850363. A member of our team will be happy to answer your questions.
Isobel Hogan, Marketing Executive at Blocworx