How Eldercare Technology Makes a Difference for Caregivers

by
Sage
November 23, 2022

Burnout plagues caregivers. A 2021 Kaiser Family Foundation survey showed one-third of caregivers had considered leaving the healthcare industry entirely.

Lack of time, onerous paperwork, and staff shortages all contribute to caregiver burnout. Many of these factors are a direct result of the antiquated technology and processes even the most modern residential care facilities rely on.

Sage’s platform is the solution to modernizing care and preventing caregiver burnout because it puts vital information at the fingertips of caregivers and their managers.

Prioritizes Resident Care

Caregivers feel better about their work when they know they are providing quality care. However, the systems that are currently in place largely keep caregivers in the dark when responding to a resident call. They must be alert and constantly roam the facility. Even if they are alert and respond to calls quickly, they don’t know if they’re providing care in the most efficient manner based on residents’ needs.

Take the current nurse call system as an example. It involves a string near the bedside that residents must pull. That string triggers a light above the resident’s door. A caregiver has to walk by the hallway and see the light to know there is a problem. If the caregiver is already on the way to another resident’s call, they have to remember the light and respond later.

In contrast, when a resident places a call on Sage’s platform, caregivers get information about who is making the call and what the reason for the call is. If one caregiver responds to the call, everyone on staff is informed the call is being handled. So staff can triage and prioritize the residents who need the most support.

Effective triage saves staff time because caregivers aren’t providing redundant care. If other staff members are taking calls, that frees caregivers from the mental burden of thinking about those calls potentially going unanswered. Instead, they can focus on the resident they are caring for at the moment.

Modernizes Recordkeeping

The solution to inaccurate, inaccessible paperwork is digital records. Even modern long-term care facilities largely track data manually. Staff fill out paperwork about the care they provided at the end of their shift. That information is stored in filing cabinets.

This leads to two problems. First, recordkeeping is relying on a caregiver who is tired at the end of their shift being able to remember the details of every call they responded to that day. Second, that new information isn’t easy for the next caregiver to access before they respond to that resident’s next call.

Sage digitizes recordkeeping on its app. Basic information about what the resident needed and how the caregiver responded can be entered into the resident’s file with just a few taps. That information is then readily available to the entire staff.

Caregivers can respond more confidently to resident calls knowing the information about the resident is updated and accurate. And it saves stress and extra work on the back end by making recordkeeping easy.

Empowers Managers to Staff Effectively

Facility managers need objective data to make appropriate staffing decisions. They need information like how long it takes staff to respond to calls and when the volume of calls ebbs and flows during the day.

The current nurse call system doesn't provide any of that information since it is just a string in a room that triggers a light outside the door.

When managers don’t have the information they need, they can’t accurately set schedules. Then the facility is at risk of a staffing shortage during heavy call times. With not enough caregivers on the floor, nurses have a hard time answering calls based on the order they were made or the urgency of the need. Chaos ensues.

A 2019 study of nurse call systems explored the connection between staffing shortages and a breakdown in quality care. Researchers found the period just before and just after a meal had the highest call rate, and staff failed to meet administrative expectations for responses half the time. Staff even canceled one in 10 calls because they were too busy.

Staffing shortages cause more stress for both caregivers and care managers. And it affects high-performing caregivers the most since they are likely responding to the most calls and providing the most beneficial care.

Sage makes it easy for facility managers to see call response times at a glance. With information in hand about the busy hours at their facility, managers can set schedules that ensure higher coverage during high call times.

Lower the Possibility of Caregiver Burnout with Sage

By making use of a technology platform like Sage, residential care facilities can ensure their employees are more effective and less stressed.

Sage connects the entire facility on one platform, which makes communication easier. Camaraderie is an important ingredient in the fight against burnout. Plus, a team with tight communication provides better care for residents. Learn more about how to streamline your staff communications with Sage.

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