How to Take the Stress out of Taking Patient Notes as a Support Worker

Enjoy a post from our friend, Kerry Provenzano, helping her friend discover TextExpander for work.

A friend of mine, after getting home from work, was stressed because he’d fallen behind with his patient notes.

“They’re just so laborious to type out”, he said, “so I end up leaving them until the last minute”.

He works as a Mental Health Support Worker, and has to complete patient notes for each session. I introduced him to TextExpander, and he was thrilled. I showed him how a snippet expanded with a magic pop! and he immediately saw the value.

“That’s great! There are so many things I type repeatedly. Can I put them all in TextExpander?”

I told him he could. We came up with a system for tackling his patient notes in a way that didn’t cause stress or take away his downtime. Each patient requires very similar, but slightly different, notes. By putting customizable chunks of text into ‘snippets’, and expanding those snippets with a brief abbreviation, he was able to reduce the time it took him to complete his notes – and make sure they were error free.

How He Did It

Here are some of the ways he, and other Mental Health Support Workers, can use TextExpander for stress-free, comprehensive and consistent client notes:

  • Creating snippets for details of consistent settings.
  • Creating snippets for details of patient activities.
  • Using fill-ins, customizable “mad-libs” areas, to create notes for patients with routines with one or two variables. For example, one of my friend’s patients often requests trips to the grocery store, but it may be a different grocery store each time.
  • Ensuring industry jargon is right by auto-correcting incorrect terms to preferred ones. For example, my friend’s patients are referred to a ‘clients’, but in some companies they are called ‘service users’. A snippet can correct these errors.
  • Information on medication administration can be input without spelling errors and with accuracy using the time and date features so Support Workers never accidentally write the incorrect date.

For that last example, the initial snippet looks like this:

%filltext:name=Patient Name% was administered %filltext:name=Medication% on %m%d by %filltext:name=Staff Name%

Then he created snippets for medication names to expand in the ‘Medication’ field.

He’s also joined the free public Medical Abbreviations snippet group for commonly used abbreviations.

Stress-Free Notes, Faster

Setting up TextExpander to complete patient notes can save oodles of time. My friend has been using TextExpander for a couple of weeks now and he’s delighted with how fast he’s able to complete notes. He said:

“I used to spend ages typing notes. I’ve made even more snippets and my notes are complete in a few minutes – and I don’t put them off anymore. I honestly love TextExpander.”

What’s your work story? Let us know how you’re using TextExpander at work in, our group on Facebook.