Getting Back to Normal with Rouse Estates
Like many of our senior care customers, Rouse Estates was greatly affected by COVID-19, and needed to find new ways to care for their residents while maintaining evolving safety measures. Hear from their Clinical Informatics Specialist, Jessica Benjamin, on their journey back to a new normal.
Nurse to Informatics
Jessica has been in informatics for four years, but before that, she was a nurse for almost 11 years. Her experience prior to long term care was in critical care. What made her transition into informatics form nursing? “Actually, I transitioned into informatics in the acute care setting after I had done some informatics work at a local hospital. I was there for about two years and when a job opportunity opened up at Rouse Estates, I decided it was time to make the jump. It was kind of a leap of faith, but it worked out and I love my job now more than ever.”
Working at Rouse Estate
For Jessica, working at Rouse Estate has always been about the people and the residents. “I really enjoy working at Rouse, it’s such a wonderful environment and everyone here is a team player. All of the staff are so great to work with and especially in this past year, if we didn’t have that, I don’t know that I could still be weathering the storm.”
Rouse’s rural setting turned out to benefit the facility during the pandemic, not seeing a positive case until November of 2020. However, once it did get there, they were hit hard and needed to find ways to streamline processes and ensure the safety of their residents. “Once it started to impact our area, and we had to go into lockdown, we really needed to ramp up our safety efforts around the building. We immediately started taking things online and scheduled tons of virtual visits for the residents so they could communicate with their families and let them know they were okay. We also started doing virtual visits for doctors’ appointments too.”
Finding a way through the pandemic
To prepare for the inevitable, in the summer of 2020 even though they didn’t have any cases yet, Rouse Estates started to move all their paper-based processes to electronic forms with the Practitioner Engagement tool. “Going paperless has been a goal of mine for a while, and it was definitely given a push once COVID hit. When PointClickCare offered Practitioner Engagement with no implementation cost, we immediately got a trial and after we saw how much staff were using it and how helpful it was to our facility in the long run as well, we knew it was a great fit for our facility.”
Jessica mentioned that implementing the solution allowed them to cut back on their paper, which meant they had more time to focus on caring for patients. “Before the pandemic we used to keep our labs in these kind of archaic lab books. The way it worked was staff would get a lab order and they would input the order into PointClickCare, but then they had to go run down to the lab and fill it out. Once the pandemic hit, we knew this wasn’t going to work anymore.” After implementing the solution, Jessica said they essentially eliminated that process and now they can run the lab and diagnostic report in PointClickCare.
Going the extra mile
Throughout the pandemic, there have been countless heartwarming stories about people finding ways to go that extra mile to help those in need, and there was no shortage of them at Rouse Estate. Jessica told us that for her, the most remarkable thing was seeing how the staff at her facility pulled together to ensure that residents were taken care of. “Our director of nursing has been amazing throughout this entire year. If there was someone who had to call in sick, she was always willing to fill in. Same with our infection control nurse and our risk manager, whether it was the weekend the middle of the night, they were there to make sure our seniors were looked after.”
Jessica also mentioned that her activities staff were incredible about making sure that residents didn’t miss out on everything going on in the outside world. “There was one resident I remember who tested positive close to Christmas, and as we were moving him over to the COVID wing, he was really upset because he had a Christmas tree in his room, and he was really excited about it. So, our staff took the whole thing down and once he got to his new room, they put it back up for him and you could tell he was so grateful. Anything that we could do to make their lives just a little bit better, no matter how big or small it may seem to us, it was a big deal to him.”
A light at the end of the tunnel
Jessica also mentioned that it has been amazing to see how things at Rouse have been continually improving the last few months. “Things are really on the upswing right now. The best part is, we have visitation back and it feels so good after all this time to see the residents happy and laughing with their families.”
Another amazing return to normal for the residents at Rouse was the reinstated group activities. “The first day that they were allowed to have activities, seeing them all are gathered in our great room was just wonderful. They were just so happy, I swear I stood there for 5 minutes and just watched them play the games with a huge grin on my face. It was like a weight had been lifted just to see them out there playing having a good time interacting.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Jessica!
June 29, 2021