According to a report, less than 1% of care homes in the UK are rated as outstanding. If you are a care home manager, the figure should be concerning for you. Knowing key indicators of quality care can help you identify potentially problematic quality issues and determine critical areas that should be prioritised for improvement. Here are some insights on key indicators of care quality that you may find useful:
Excessive use of antipsychotics and tranquillisers, adverse drug interactions and medication errors are evidence of low-quality care. Medication errors are one of the most common preventable errors that are reported in care homes. To reduce medication errors, you must ensure that all caregivers stick to a standardised and consistent way of recording what medication has been administered to residents. If your care home is still using paper-based MAR charts, make sure records that are maintained are accurate and legible.
When documenting the MAR sheet, caregivers must ensure:
- Check medications that are prescribed to the resident
- Note the date and time for giving the medication
- Note the dosage instructed in the prescription
Many care homes in the UK are switching to EMR software to digitise their records so that caregiving staff have easy access to electronic records for each resident.
eMAR is a medication administration record software that can help your care home reduce medication errors by
- Offering complete information about residents at one place
- Sending alerts to caregivers when dosages is due
- Eliminating confusion that occur due to illegible writing
- Setting accountability as every change made is recorded in the system
2. Poor quality of care is the development of bed sores:
Bedsores occur when a person is bedridden or otherwise unconscious, immobile, or unable to sense any kind of pain. Bedsores are ulcers on areas of the skin that are under pressure from sitting in a wheelchair or lying in bed for a prolonged time. Bedsores are also known as pressure sores, pressure injuries, decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers. They can be a serious problem among older adults.
As a care home manager, you must ensure that your caregiving team is taking special precautions to prevent bed sores in the residents. This includes making sure that residents are turned regularly to avoid pressure on any one area of the body, providing cushioned support surfaces and keeping the skin clean and free of moisture. In addition, your care home should have a policy in place for managing bed sores that includes regular assessments of residents at risk and prompt treatment of any sores that do develop.
3. Dehydration among nursing home residents:
Dehydration is a serious problem for nursing home residents. It can lead to a decline in cognitive function, and an increased risk of falls and urinary tract infections. Residents are often unable to take in adequate fluids on their own and they may also suffer from medical conditions that increase the risk of dehydration.
As a result, it is essential for you to take steps to ensure that residents stay properly hydrated. This includes providing residents with easy access to water and other fluids, as well as monitoring residents for signs of dehydration.
4. Mental well-being:
Intellectual impairment and depression are the two most frequent diagnoses among residents in care homes, so it’s important that they have access to resources and support that can help them manage their mental health. There are a number of ways to promote mental well-being among care home residents, including providing opportunities for socialisation, encouraging physical activity, and offering counselling and other psychological support.
Malnutrition is one of the common problems among care home residents. It can lead to a host of health problems, including weakness, fatigue and immunodeficiency. It can also complicate chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In severe cases, malnutrition can be fatal. Caregivers should be trained to identify the signs of malnutrition and residents should be regularly monitored for nutritional deficits. As a care home manager, you must ensure that the food available to residents is nutritional and of good quality.