The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently introduced a new framework for the care industry, which will be rolled out between now and the end of 2023.
This framework has been designed to help care providers ensure that they are delivering high-quality care and meeting the necessary standards.
As part of the new framework, the CQC has developed a set of quality statements and key questions to help healthcare providers and organizations assess and improve the quality of care they provide.
The CQC quality statements are based on evidence and provide descriptions of what high-quality care should look like while the key questions are used to evaluate the quality of care provided by healthcare providers.
The 5 questions are:
For example, part of the quality statement relating to the Question “Is the service safe?” relates to Infection Prevention and Control and states: “We assess and manage the risk of infection. We detect and control the risk of it spreading and share any concerns with appropriate agencies promptly".
Here are 8 digital tools within a single CMS that will help you achieve the required standards regarding the Infection Prevention and Control statement
1. PPE Checklist
One of the ways in which care providers can ensure that they are meeting the standards is by utilising a digital PPE checklist. It is shared directly with the carer mobile app. The PPE checklist can include questions about the availability of PPE, such as gloves, aprons, masks, sleeves, and wipes, and any other specific requirements. Carers can record stock levels, make notes and even take a photo which is shared in real-time with the office
This will ensure that carers have the necessary PPE, orders can be placed in a timely manner, and management can evidence an effective process.
2. Monitoring Staff Vaccinations
Care providers can digitally monitor the status of staff vaccinations including recording expiry and recheck dates with reports, and additionally being able to retrieve records for all selected staff easily and quickly when required. This will ensure that care providers are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infections.
3. Training Matrix
Care providers can also ensure that they are meeting the standards by recording and monitoring staff training together with expiry and reminder dates and reports. In addition, training can be deployed (where applicable) via documents and videos directly to the carer’s mobile phone covering relevant training topics and providing evidence of this to the CQC.
4. Client Reviews
Care providers can also integrate a series of questions about Infection Control into a digital Client Review. This will help care providers assess the risk of infection and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
5. Spot Checks
Care providers can also conduct digital Spot Checks based on Infection control questions, such as whether gloves are changed between different tasks, whether the correct disposal procedure is followed for pads and food, and other relevant questions. These Spot Checks (and Client Reviews) can be generated as a one-off by acre coordinators at any time or scheduled on a regular basis, whilst management can generate a Spot Check directly from their mobile app to provide the necessary evidence to the CQC that the care provider is meeting the necessary standards.
6. Detecting and Monitoring
The Electronic Care Delivery Report (eCDR) is a comprehensive timeline of care recording that is shared with Real Time Information (RTI) allowing management to improve the early detection and monitoring of Infection.
7. Risk Assessments
Infection Prevention and Control Risk Assessments can be created to suit your organisation’s needs. It can be conducted digitally, remotely, and shared with your care team including the carer mobile app.
It reduces the time and errors inherent in typing up handwritten notes and uploading them to a computer. A full audit trail enables management to retrieve the original Risk Assessment, the date it was created and added to the management system, and any subsequent updates.
The Risk Assessments are easily retrieved and can be shared with the CQC and other agencies as required.
8. Sharing information
Cloud-based technology enables Risk Assessments, Client Reviews, eCDRs, Spot Checks, PPE checklists and Safeguarding Alerts to be easily stored, retrieved, and shared with the appropriate stakeholders when required.
Electronic technology can play a significant role in ensuring that care providers in all adult social care settings are meeting the standards of the new framework introduced by the CQC.
By creating a digital PPE checklist, tracking staff COVID vaccinations, providing digital training, and conducting a digital client review, or spot checks, care providers can ensure that they are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection and maintain the safety of their patients and staff.
The electronic tools used in this process are not only more efficient than manual systems, but they also provide clear evidence and are easily accessible for all actions taken to maintain infection prevention and control.
By implementing these systems, care providers can not only demonstrate their commitment to meeting the standards of the new framework, but they can also be prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of any infection outbreaks or other incidents.
By having a clear and comprehensive record of all actions taken, care providers can quickly demonstrate their compliance with the CQC and other regulatory bodies, and be confident in their ability to provide safe and quality care to their patients.
The gradual process of implementing the new framework by the CQC provides care providers with an opportunity to adopt proven technology to ensure that they are meeting the standards of safety and quality of care.