– PainChek® becomes the standard tool for assessing pain and evaluating pain management strategies in residents with dementia.
– Significant improvement in pain management and behaviours, together with a significant reduction in psychotropic prescription and administration as a result of PainChek® assessments.
– An increase in staff awareness and staff confidence when dealing with pain in residents with cognitive impairment or dementia.
– Ease of access and administration – with easier access to stored assessments and electronic charts, there has been increased and more effective input from GPs.
Situated in the fertile agricultural region of the NSW Northern Tablelands, the McLean Care® Residential Care facility is a 160-bed home located in picturesque Inverell. The facilities at Inverell offer many options to suit the individual needs of those seeking aged care help.
Specifically, the Hector Wing at Inverell provides a 17-bed state-of-the-art, purpose-driven facility for seniors who are living with dementia. This is strongly supported by their 24-hour dedicated dementia care team.
8 residents living in the Hector Wing were all on a course of regular psychotropic medication for their behaviours. PainChek® was subsequently introduced with the aim of more accurately assessing and recording residents’ pain levels, so that pain relief is adjusted, and psychotropic medications are reduced, which would also result in improvement in their behaviours.
Thorough education and training in pain assessment facilitated the widespread use of PainChek® by staff across the facility, which now becomes the standard tool for evaluating pain management strategies in residents with dementia.
Scheduled (4-hourly) use of PainChek® during daytime, with PRN assessments overnight supported effective pain management for residents. Residents’ behaviours have been recognised as a response to pain as a result of using PainChek®. Significant reductions in psychotropic medications (for example, risperidone) were evident among all residents, as a result of effective pain relief. This has also produced significant improvement in the frequency and intensity of residents’ behaviours.
PainChek® assessments and reporting enabled the staff to more accurately treat each resident. The usage, accuracy and positive outcomes of PainChek® assessments have increased staff (including personal care workers) awareness about pain and pain signs (for example, agitation and aggression) in residents with dementia, and enhanced their confidence in dealing with residents’ pain. These benefits have also improved communication with registered nurses and GPs.
PainChek® functionalities (such as the pain assessment log and pain chart) allowed better tracking of residents’ pain over time. The ease of administration and electronic reporting of PainChek® (for example, access to stored assessments) enabled greater and quicker accessibility of pain scores to GPs to allow timely and more accurate medication adjustments.