medication errors in home care

Human errors, digital solutions

Recently, the CQC has released a report investigating the dangerous errors which can arise during medication administration. The report, ‘Medicines in health and social care’ was conducted using findings from a variety of service types, including both the NHS and independent care providers. It highlighted a number of issues relating to manual and paper-based procedures, which technology solutions, such as those provided by Unique IQ, can help to counter.

Solutions to scribbles

One of the CQC’s findings highlighted the increase of incorrect administration when MAR charts were hand-written or included additional hand-written notes. When a care support worker has limited time to complete their notes, the information can sometimes be perceived as scribbles or rough shorthand, which can cause difficulties to read or understand.

Using a software solution such as our IQ:timecard MOBILE app prevents care support workers having to create hand-written notes. Instead, carers can send notes and communication straight back to the office via text or voice input, meaning information is received in real-time, in a format that everyone can understand.

Reduction in field staff risk

A significant concern for the CQC is ‘forgetting to administer the medication’. This risk is especially high for remote care support workers who do not always have a physical reminder to administer medication. Our IQ:timecard MOBILE app automatically reminds care support workers to complete all PRN medication tasks, and they are prevented from clocking out of their visit until all necessary responses have been conducted.

The CQC also found instances where when medication had been administered but the MAR charts were often not updated, leading to mistakes where a second dose had been delivered. Using our eMAR software solution ensures all MAR charts are updated electronically, keeping information accurate, up to date and precise.

Keeping staff competent

Throughout the report, there are consistent mentions of risk and how the most common occurrences are due to staff competence. In the past, both NICE and the CQC have recommended annual reviews of staff knowledge, skills, and competency.

Using IQ:careplanner can help to track yearly appraisals and send reminders to office staff to arrange these meetings. 

Here at Unique IQ we also offer in-depth training, and extensive support for our products, ensuring staff remain confident and competent when using technology to manage people’s care.

The future

The CQC is a strong supporter of ‘digital transformation’ within the care sector. It has also confirmed ‘technology can support good and outstanding person-centred’ care, as part of the five key questions asked during the inspection.

Why not find out more in our free guide to using technology in home care.

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