to Avoiding Incidents
Major or minor incidents that occur in a care home is a topic on a lot of registered managers’ minds. How do we best avoid them and get rid of poor sleep for care staff involved when things don’t go as you expect or want them to?
An incident is a kind of “event” that occurs when something unplanned and unforeseen happens in relation to the health, safety or wellfare of a resident. Reporting is the next step following any incident type contributing to quality assurance and development of the residents' health. But only to a smaller extent does it help prevent or reduce the amount of incidents that happen, as these are a part of the natural ways of working – in a very busy environment.
What really contributes here is changing the way you work, enriching every transaction with information to support the care staff involved.
Regulation 18: Notification of other incidents
CQC owns the regulatory body to ”specify a range of events or occurrences that must be notified to CQC so that, where needed, CQC can take follow-up action”. Meaning that providers must notify CQC of all incidents that affect the health, safety and welfare of their service users.
But how does this reporting instrument satisfy the kind of rehabilitative thinking that supports a service to become outstanding?
No matter how well-meaning the regulation may be, it relies on an almost unnatural ability not to fear the potential prosecution following reporting of any kind of incident. Another way of dealing with incidents could just as well be not to report them handling those situations locally, to avoid further regulatory action. As such the good intentions of the regulation may be lost, and the statistics are not showing us if a) or b) happens.
The full list of incidents can be found here.
92% decrease of serious incidents
When incidents is an important topic on our minds, it is because we experience that Sekoia clients are able to change how they operate in a simple manner, as an example improving medication processes that ultimately better residents’ state of health. At the same time giving the care staff a well-deserved pat on the back.
To shorten the general course of an illness through optimal nursing and by providing the staff with an adequate tool in the care situation, is a standpoint only to be achieved with a full focus on workflow that take into account the complexity of the (individual) care. Worst case scenario the incidents are fatal or so painful that no reporting can ever restore such events.
In this article a special needs care village has reduced their amount of serious incidents involving medication by 92% (compared with the same period of time the year before). A colossal achievement bringing enthusiasm to the care village; from staff and management to residents and relatives.
How did they do it? They altered parts of their workflow to reflect how their care staff really operates putting the right information and care notes in the hands of the nurses and carers to use where needed in the care delivery, as opposed to having the information somewhere in the office. Allowing the care staff access to information about medication, even reminding them about this in the point of care ensures transparency and a more precise treatment. Anne Christensen, who is the manager at one of 14 living units, explains:
”The tablets help us to document our work throughout the day instead of bulking the documentation to the end of the day, entering information into different paper docs and systems. It reduces the risk of making mistakes and makes our work entirely more efficient"
Best practice: reporting an incident
As part of the Care Skillsbase the Social Care Institute for Excellence, along with Skills for Care, has prepared a format for incident reporting, which can be used to train and improve incident reporting.
The format and guides can be found here.
The main focus is on Quality Assurance measures and how these are best implemented in every care home to ensure that staff are well trained and supervised in all aspects of care-giving ensuring their ongoing competency to deliver 1:1 care to the residents.