How an EHR can help improve processes for resident activities.
Annie Bumgarner, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Cedar Creek Assisted Living
My name is Annie Bumgarner and I am the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at Cedar Creek Assisted Living. My professional background has been primarily in psychiatry and chemical dependency, in fact, it was never my plan to work in senior care. However, when I took on the responsibility of caring for my parents I learned a lot. I began to research the different senior care resources available to me and during this process I discovered Cedar Creek.
I was in touch with the team at Cedar Creek quite a bit and became familiar with the entire community. Eventually they asked me to interview and I accepted. Not too long after I began working at Cedar Creek, my mother moved into the community and had the wonderful opportunity to live at Cedar Creek for 10 years. It’s been 14 years since I began working with the team and I believe that its philosophy of compassionate care and making seniors the centre of everything we do, is truly what makes Cedar Creek a special place.
Managing resident activities manually versus electronically.
At Cedar Creek, our activity department consists of three individuals, myself included. We’re a small team working different shifts, myself being a part-time employee, so having a clear understanding of what is happening in our department at all times is extremely important to us. The move from paper-based documentation to electronic has made a world of a difference for our department. Not many people realize how important activities are for seniors, and so knowing which of our residents are attending activity sessions regularly is essential when it comes to understanding our residents and their overall care plan.
Prior to PointClickCare, our department tracked everything in a notebook, so as you can imagine, information wasn’t easily accessible. Not only was it difficult for us as a team to stay coordinated, but it also proved to be even more difficult when it came to communicating information to family members. When we first implemented PointClickCare our department was using the attendance tool, which allowed us to track which residents attend our various activities sessions. It was very simple and straightforward, and it did help us to streamline our processes quite a bit simply because we were no longer using paper to document everything. But, the tool wasn’t quite living up to our expectations for the simple reason that it just wasn’t detailed enough for our needs.
Personalizing care with the help of PointClickCare Resident Event Calendar.
Recently, we’ve implemented PointClickCare’s Resident Event Calendar tool, which has been amazing for our team. We have the ability to assign residents to particular activities, add detailed notes about each resident right within the system, something we weren’t able to do before, and pull detailed reports for each activity, as we need them.
As a part-time employee, having a tool in place that allows everyone on the team to capture the most amount of information and pull details, as we need them, is extremely important to us. In my case specifically, if I’ve been away for a few days and I want to know whether a particular resident is attending his or her activity sessions, I’m able to pull a single report for a glimpse of everything that has been happening within our department.
A common issue in any Assisted Living community is that staff members often have a core group of residents that they interact with, and without intentionally realizing there are some residents who don’t participate a as often as others. This is something that worries me because I want to make sure that every one of our residents is engaged at all times. With PointClickCare, our team is able to create one-on-one programs to ensure all residents are interacting in some way.
There are residents who enjoy specific activities more than others or who may not be comfortable in larger groups, and with PointClickCare we can create specialized programs that work for each individual. Our level of care has become much more personalized as a result, and our team members are able to foster stronger relationships with our residents.
Achieving real-time results for your activities department.
Cedar Creek hasn’t been using PointClickCare for long, but in the short time that we have I can confidently say that our activities department has seen real-time results. Everything has improved for us, from how we communicate with each other and with family members to how we are able to interact with our residents.
Activities, whether they be exercise classes, cooking classes, team outings, or even a simple card game, are so important for our residents, so having a system in place that allows us to track, trend, and communicate more efficiently is, in my opinion, essential to any Assisted Living community.