A week in the life of Sarah, Quality & Development Lead
Tuesday 28 March 2023
When Sarah Jennings, Quality and Development Lead at Majesticare was approached by the NHS for their ‘Week in the Life of’ Blog series, she jumped at the opportunity to talk about Majesticare’s passion for digital innovation and advancing technology in social care.
I’m Sarah Jennings, and my role at Majesticare is Quality and Development Lead. This role is wide and varied and includes innovation and technology that improves the outcomes of the care delivered. I am usually prepared in some way or another for the week ahead having already booked in any pre-planned appointments and knowing which home I will be visiting on what day. However, the care sector is a fast-changing landscape on the ground and my pre-planned week can shift suddenly due to a specific event that has happened. Thankfully technology has also moved fast over the last few years and being able to monitor data from remote locations has meant that I can access information swiftly and accurately without taking up the time of people working in the home, allowing me to make informed choices and prioritise my work.
I usually start my week working remotely on a Monday. I look at each home’s electronic care planning system and filter reports regarding nutrition, fluid, falls, and general well-being. This is usually a starting point; I can then further look and compare against the previous weeks or months. Having the data at my fingertips allows for me and my team to swiftly create action plans based on this data to make changes to ensure our residents’ care is person centred and specific. This way we can reduce risks and put procedures in place to preserve positive outcomes and promote well-being.
Today I am visiting Cavendish Park Care Home in Evesham with my focus being on the home and spending time with the residents and the team. I conduct any visual checks required on-site to ensure safety. Although technology assists me in my role, getting to know the residents and team is still a very important aspect. I am always open to gathering feedback from residents and the team directly.
Following my visit, I now use the same technology that the homes use to gather further information. Starting with the care planning system, I can identify new people living at the home and introduce myself. The system we use integrates with General Practice (GP) Connect which means we have a medical history and vaccination status immediately accessible without the need to request from the GP. This helps develop the care planning in these early days and enables the home to implement essential care processes on an individual basis. The medication system in use is also electronic and is integrated with the care planning system which gives me a clear visual by showing when medicines have been administered, or not, alongside any alerts I need to be aware of. Being able to access the electronic medication administration record (E-Mar) system enables me to check low stock, Pro Re Nata (PRN) protocols as well as PRN medications administered and monitor any reasoning as to why medications may not have been administered. Electronic pain assessments used in the home enable me to view results remotely and carry out any actions with the need to be in the home.
Majesticare are proactive in adopting technology to enhance the independence and well-being of our residents, and to help make our team’s duties more efficient so that more time can be spent doing what really matters – spending time with the residents. We take a continuous improvement approach to this so today I am meeting with our project team to discuss the implementation of new technologies within the home.
This includes our Alexa smart properties project where residents can request many of our offerings via voice prompts. We’re checking how this is going and what the next steps will be to ensure our resident’s independence is being promoted and our teams’ workloads are being improved.
Also, we look at the digitalisation of our maintenance systems, creating a more efficient and transparent way of ensuring safety and compliance within the home as we work towards being a paperless home. I also look into the success of our previous technology projects as well as scoping new technologies which could assist our offering to residents and teams.
I will look to catch up with the rest of our team on any issues and update them with this week’s success stories. I usually do this remotely and make use of technologies like video conferencing – this way we can all collaborate from our varying locations.
Digital technology certainly enhances my role and therefore the care we can offer to our residents. We use digital technology in combination with face-to-face care to promote the independence of our residents, improve our residents and teams’ well-being through digital alerts and analysis and also improve the efficiency of our team’s roles – allowing them the time to do the really important stuff – like spending time having a cuppa with our residents. Digital technology certainly has a place within Majesticare, its job is to enhance not replace our face-to-face care offerings.