MED e-care Blog

There Isn’t Enough Time

By Jing Chen  |  08 February 2018

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The curse of today’s society! It is amazing how fast and complex things have become. Although people do not use “snail mail” as they used to, there are some pluses to that system – it took time for any request to get to you and you had time to respond based on your schedule. Now the expectation is almost instantaneous with everyone believing that their issue or request is your priority.

Retirement and long term care homes reflect this best. The demands and expectations come from every direction - the Ministries (Health, Labour, etc.), staff, residents, resident families, possibly unions, owners/boards, community, LHIN’s and that is not an exhaustive list.

Keeping a balance is challenging given that the majority of senior managers do not have secretaries or executive assistants and there are few if any “ward clerks” available for staff. There is no question that computers and the related software are valued resources. The days of doing “paper work” in the old sense has dwindled dramatically and will eventually be long gone.

There are few things critical to balance these demands:

1) Software – Not everyone has the same proficiency level when using software, especially clinical software. There is nothing more time consuming than a staff member using the “hunt and peck” method to find a feature or use a function, or worse, having another staff member show them what they cannot find. Now you have two people doing the job of one. Staff training today must include yearly clinical software training. Not an easy thing to make time and cost for given all of the repetitive mandatory training dictated by government Ministries. Short clinical software training videos are available. Creating a monthly schedule where everyone is required to refresh their skills is a minimal investment for a substantial return.

2) Review what is in place – we some times have a tendency to keep adding tasks on without removing what is redundant but still in place. When something new replaces the old (i.e. forms, documents, etc.), it is amazing when you find that some staff still use the old and others the new. A yearly review of existing practices to eliminate what has become redundant can save considerable productivity time.

Finding the balance in these changing times is not easy. However, if you want to be re-charged, find some time to sit a few moments with a resident. They will remind us why we do what we do.
 


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