The Role of Carers in Communicating with a Healthcare Provider

Posted: 24th October 2018 09:48

There was a time when a resident’s primary doctor or specialist was the ultimate authority that residents and their family looked up to. However, times have changed and with the massive amount of information readily available online, residents and their carers can be much better informed and more involved in their own care. Having said that, the doctor really is the ultimate authority on a resident’s diagnosis and prescribed care treatment plan. However, when there is a carer on the job, it falls to that carer to know who to contact and what questions to ask to ensure their residents get the care they need and deserve. In this post, we are going to look at how communication between carers and healthcare providers has changed.

A B2B Relationship in the Healthcare Industry

One way of looking at the importance of communications between doctors and carers is in light of their B2B relationship. If you think for even a moment that healthcare isn’t big business, you are sorely mistaken. Just as the food you eat is the product of big business, and the clothes you wear on your body or the roof over your head are all products of big business, so too are the essential services provided in the healthcare industry.

One way of looking at the relationship between doctors and carers is in terms of a B2B networking relationship. The fact is, the system is so overburdened that this is a symbiotic relationship that must learn to communicate effectively for the well-being of residents. Doctors and carers rely heavily on each other for the mutual benefit of residents and this involves finding effective ways of communicating. So then, what would effective communications involve?

Carer as Liaison Between Doctor and Resident

Whether you are a paid professional carer, or a family member tasked with caring for a loved one in the home, it often falls upon you to be the liaison between the resident and his or her doctor. You will be tasked with understanding the diagnosis and any prescribed medications or treatments for their care. It is up to you to ask appropriate questions when that resident visits the doctor and to fill the gaps between what the resident is able to comprehend and what needs to be done to ensure proper care.

This liaison helps both the doctor and the carer ensure that each resident gets exactly what they need when they need it. Of course, in the interest of privacy rights, you will need permission to speak on behalf of the resident, but that is another matter for another time and best dealt with by a qualified solicitor.

Electronic Records and Care Management Software

In recent years, a great deal has come to light on the issue of electronic medical and health records. Much has been written on this subject and how keeping digital files not only reduces paperwork but also provides what amounts to a clearinghouse where all that resident’s  records are kept. When needed, other providers can access that information and residents can log onto their EHR platform to access their own records. With proper permissions, carers can be granted access to those records as well, which works on two levels.

The primary reason for accessing a resident’s records is to ensure proper care for their diagnosis and treatment plan. However, those records also enable a carer to question anything they don’t understand or need further clarification on. Messages can be sent online without disturbing a doctor working with another resident and the carer will be given a timely response. If the question is urgent, the resident’s provider will be notified and a return call will be forthcoming. It’s just one more way to open the channels of communication between carers and providers.

Taking Communications to the Next Level with Care Management Software

Once a resident signs on with a home care agency, all those medical records can be accessed and transferred to the resident’s file. The best care home management software can then better delegate carers who are well versed in the care each residentneeds. Everything happens in the cloud and carers can log on to see their assigned duties and/or those tasks can be sent to their mobile devices whilst out in the field.

One innovative company, LogmyCare, has developed a home care management platform that is web-based and as user-friendly as they come. Office managers can assign residents and tasks and carers can pick up those ‘jobs’ as they are assigned. Also, this particular software enables carers to take notes on the go, recording them to resident charts; the information can then be easily shared with providers.

At the end of the day, resident care relies heavily on effective communications between doctors, carers and residents. Once the channels for communications are established, better outcomes result and that is what resident care is all about anyway. Keep the lines open and everyone benefits.