Care home residents will be allowed to spend Christmas with their families despite being in the midst of a lockdown. For a select few who fit the criteria, this may mean visits to family homes. But even for residents who can’t go to family, being able to enjoy visits from family will come as a huge joy.
Of course, this comes at a price, with the risk of infections being brought back to care homes, the government is asking those care home residents who do visit family only form a bubble of one rather than three.
With the year 2020 has been for us all it’s a necessity and a privilege to allow families the chance to have a Christmas together. Infectious outbreaks can cause your home to lockdown certain residents or the whole home causing huge disappointment.
The government has promised greater access to testing in care homes but this can be effectively supplemented with an early warning system that highlights outbreaks to help keep your residents safe and happy this Christmas.
How infection data shows you what you’ve been missing
Tracking infection data helps a care home understand the probability of an outbreak through regular comparison of daily data inputs. By tracking certain symptom rates, you can start to predict whether or not your home may experience an outbreak.
This gives homes a much greater opportunity to respond accordingly to potential outbreaks, for example; seeing a rise in pyrexia and diarrhoea may indicate that your home is going to experience an outbreak of norovirus without proper intervention. This then means carers and care home managers know what they need to put certain process in place or order in more PPE to fight infection.
This knowledge is a powerful tool in the hands of the carers as it gives them an early warning in the fight against infections amongst residents. For carers to be able to see a potential issue and act on it appropriately before it has a chance to manifest not only saves time and resources but can saves lives.
Keeping residents safe through tracking your infection data
With the opportunity to give care home residents a much-anticipated Christmas break with their loved ones, it’s the responsibility of the care homes to ensure any residents leaving don’t affect the health of the ones that stay.
Although the government has limited the bubbles of care home residents to one over three which does help, it’s the tracking of infection data that will really help when looking after your residents.
Tracking infection data will allow you to validate whether there is potential for an outbreak or not and if there is, you will be able to see exactly when this occurred. Which gives your care home an idea of where a potential infection may have come from allowing you to designate care and outbreak responses.
With the year it’s been of course we want everyone to have a break and see their families without thinking of the possible repercussions, but when working within the medical industry the well-being of residents has to take priority. Even if that means restrictions on Christmas for care home residents.
“Our Carers find the Gather Care app easy to use and as a Care Home Manager, I’ve been able to see what’s happening with residents much quicker to stay ahead of infectious outbreaks”
However, being able to allow some of your residents the break they deserve with their families is an amazing opportunity that care homes should allow if proper precautions can be taken. Adopting a data focused culture within your care homes can be just the precaution you need to allow this to happen.
If you’re interested in reading more about how data can help keep your residents safe this Christmas then why not read our blog on Care home data collection: Why a months’ worth of data is worth so much more.
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