Case notes are service delivery reports including the progress status of the participants towards their goals, a.k.a' progress notes or support logs in NDIS. It is an important part of daily tasks for all NDIS service providers , aged care facilities and other allied-health professionals in Australia.
From the perspective of an NDIS provider there are three big reasons to ensure you’re getting case notes right.
- It’s a requirement of your NDIS registration
- It makes it easier for your whole team to coordinate care for each participant
- It helps ensure that you’re identifying and addressing ways to help clients achieve goals.
Why keep case notes?
To implement your service agreements with participants, you’ll need to deliver services over time. That means multiple appointments and meeting both short and long-term goals. It will also require building up your knowledge of—and relationship with—each client, over time.
It makes sense that you’d need notes or records of some kind to help you stay focused. It also helps to assess each client’s ongoing needs and monitor and refine how you are helping participants’ achieve their goals. Research has shown that poor record-keeping can adversely impact client outcomes, due to poor decision-making.*
Capturing case notes is a significant part of reporting after service delivery (to): - To assess each participant’s ongoing needs,
- To monitor and refine how you can help them achieve their goals
- To go back in time and refer to them in future for further support deliveries
- To establish responsibility among the staff to their actions and deliveries.
- To report episodes, incidents or allegations about injuries, abuse, neglect or harassment to the NDIS Commission.
- To document the participant’s improvement towards the goals while reviewing the plan.
Effective documentation creates a good impression on auditors and makes your life easier. This can be achieved by using a NDIS case management system like Comm.care which auto-populates all the important fields so you just have to enter your notes on-the-go.
The NDIS Terms of Business state:
A Registered Provider must keep full and accurate accounts and financial records of the supports delivered to NDIS participants, along with records of service agreements. The accounts and financial records must be maintained on a regular basis and in such detail that the Agency is able to accurately ascertain the quantity, type and duration of support delivered.
When to capture case notes/documents?
Professionals, after every NDIS service delivery should be ideally documenting notes manually or electronically for the upcoming staff. It is to refer as a part of shift-handover and justify the time spent in service delivery towards achieving their goals. The service providers should enter the progress notes: - After every service delivery
- When the participant has episodes or injury
- Incidents or emergency
- Plan review
- Service agreements
What do you need to include in case notes?
Case notes are factual accounts of what happened during each instance of service delivery. At a minimum, according to the NDIS Provider Toolkit (Section 7), records should include:
- Participant’s name
- Date/s and total hours or quantity of the support delivered
- Support type.
It’s also important to be clear about who created each note.
While providers need to be vigilant about writing and retaining case notes, the notes themselves do not need to include every detail of a session. It just needs a summary of the relevant events and outcomes.
Depending on the service you are providing your case note might include information such as:
- What activities, interactions or communications occurred?
- How did the session contribute to the participants’ goals?
- Did anything happen during the session to trigger concerns?
- Did the client display changes in behaviour, resilience or mood?
- Any event that was cause for celebration or joy?
- Did something happen that will affect what needs to occur in the next session?
- Any event/situation that increased risk for this client?
- Did the client raise a question, issue or complaint of a legal or ethical nature?
Consider the fact that if a dispute or issue arises where your service’s actions or quality of care comes under scrutiny, the details included in your case notes may provide important evidence.
How to capture great case notes?
There are no hard and fast rules about how to capture and store case notes. You can store notes electronically or on paper. But remember that the NDIS requires you to have information easily accessible at all times if they ask for evidence of support delivery.
The NDIS Terms of Business state that records must be retained by providers for ‘a period of no less than 5 years from the date of issue.
Many organisations find that for security and peace of mind. An electronic system to record and store case notes is always preferable.
The advantages of a cloud-based case management system are many;
- data is protected, actions and notes can be associated with specific users and clients,
- information can be easily managed at the organisational level, and
- is accessible at any time online.
Case management software that has been designed to work seamlessly on mobile devices, like Comm.care by Pnyx, means case notes can be recorded as soon as possible while information is fresh in your mind. Learn more about how to use Comm.care on your mobile device.
Being able to collect case notes via care management software with integrated care coordination features helps you manage your business with greater ease.
The collaborative interface within Comm.care means other users involved in a person’s care can easily see and comment on notes to provide further context. They can also ask for clarification—that keeps everyone accountable and informed.
Also, the progress/case notes recorded for a specific client via Comm.care can be automatically collated by the system to enable you to generate a support log or invoice that you can share with clients or plan managers—which is a requirement of the NDIS.
Progress notes within Comm.care also form the basis of bulk NDIS upload reports that can be exported from the system and uploaded straight into the NDIS myplace portal. That allows you to streamline your processes and get paid for agency-managed clients promptly.
Case notes are an important part of managing your business and your obligations under the NDIS, as well as helping clients achieve better outcomes. Adopting a fully-featured case management system such as Comm.care by Pnyx can help achieve great case notes more easily.
Comm.care is a comprehensive platform designed to seamlessly streamline care management, invoicing, rostering, and compliance process. Comm.care offers a unified platform for organisations to collaborate with other care institutions and manage care for the elderly, people with disabilities, along with their families and friends.Visit Author