Ash View House scores outstanding results with Invatech's PCS

Ash View House based in Kingswood Bristol has achieved 'outstanding' status from CQC following a recent inspection. The care home implemented PCS to help with its medicines management and Joe Holmes, Assistant General Manager, told us of his experience.

About Ashview House
Ash View House was established in 2004 and provides care to residents with Asperger Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorders and co-existing mental health conditions. Many residents will have other, related conditions, and may present challenging behaviours. People in the care home receive nursing or personal care and the service has been developed in line with best practice guidance. We have a dedicated and experienced team committed to high standards of medicines management for our residents.

What’s your goal for your Care Home?
I want to provide best practice on medicines management to care homes; I sought to implement medicines management for Ash View House by implementing PCS technology because it helps improve resident safety and mitigate harm. I want to reduce any risk of harm to residents. When I did the research into PCS, I really liked the compliance checks, the barcode scanning to ensure right medication and right time, the safety and layers of checking surrounding it.

What challenges have you faced at your Care Home?
We implemented PCS in September 2017. Prior to this, I visited other care homes who used the PCS device. I met with senior members of staff to get a better understanding of the device and how the technology behind PCS has benefited their care home medicines management, especially regarding compliance and safety. My team and I then made an informed decision based on feedback we had to implement PCS here at Ash View House. Prior implementation, we had a lot of recording errors and/ or errors where staff were not completing paper MARs correctly. Sometimes it would have taken two members of staff to check medicines and administer them. The highest percentage of errors were recording ones, which then led to more management response time and why these errors occurred.

How did you come across Invatech’s PCS solution?
I did quite a bit of research exploring different systems and solutions for medicines management. I liked the management and auditing features PCS offers. I liked the idea of a login portal to pull off information and access content surrounding medicines compliance in a smarter way. My team had some questions about how PCS would fit into and meet CQC criteria. We met with another care home service who had a CQC inspection wherein PCS was being implemented for medicines management. PCS was a positive aspect of their inspection. PCS helped them highlight to the CQC how technology has helped to support medicines management better, especially compliance and safety. I then approached Sajid Ramzan at Invatech Health who provided me details of how to go forward.

What’s been the outcomes?
Support and communication through Invatech has been excellent. Quality is important to us at our care home – we liked that PCS helps speeds up process and doesn’t compromise compliance. We liked the idea of an electronic system where we could oversee compliance checks a login to provide better care, especially regarding safeguarding and recording. Using PCS means that I do not physically have to be in a medicines room in the care home to check administration and issuing. Using PCS has freed up time; staff have more time to spend with residents providing more care.

I like how you can manage medicine stock levels through PCS. This helps free up time wherein before it would involve a member of staff going through every single paper MARs sheet - this was tedious. We can now check and order medicines accordingly. We can then print off a secondary copy of this list and hand this into local GP/ Pharmacy. Relating to medicines administration, I can login on the Invalife website and see what medicines a resident is being administered and taking. We now have a smoother process. We have a lot more staff members engaging with the technology now, which highlights that it is user-friendly and transparent. PCS is a touch screen and interactive, like an IPad. PCS device allows staff to type in comments where appropriate and the refusal code stays the same. There are preset codes that staff can select from drop-down menu. This makes auditing a lot smoother. Using paper MARs before was a challenge; lots of recording issues and just more room for error. The PCS device helped us achieve the rating we needed in our recent CQC inspection.

In the July 2018 about Ash View House, CQC stated: "Medicines were managed safely in line with national guidance by well trained staff. People told us they were involved in working towards managing their own medicines. One person had written their own medicines risk assessment with staff support. This was an excellent way to fully involve people in their own care. The person told us it was much better following their own risk assessment and made them more independent. The provider had invested in a digital medicines management system. This was linked to the pharmacy and the staff told us this was a very safe way of managing medicines. They said it gave them a better overview of stock, improved the audit trail and provided more accountability. There was also a reduced risk of mismanagement and better oversight. Medicines recording were accurate".

Where do you see yourself going from here?
Our service has improved, and I have been in communication with various members of the Invatech team. I would give Invatech Health PCS technology 10/10. PCS has helped with efficiency and time. I have provided details of PCS at a Care Provider Conference. I am hoping to introduce PCS to other homes we support and manage so that it streamlines our services across sites, making it a better experience for both our staff and residents. Using technology gives confidence to our clients/ residents that we are safe and responsible. PCS will also help with integration, so we do not have to use several systems for medicines issuing auditing, tracing and recording.

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Invatech Health Ltd

442-450 Stapleton Road

Tel: 0117 2140315