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Change management identified as key to successful tech rollout

Aged care organisations need to focus on change management processes when introducing new technologies to best support all staff during the implementation phase, a provider tells Australian Ageing Agenda ahead of their appearance at an upcoming industry conference.

Program manager of West Australian aged and home care provider Amana Living, Caroline Elliott said it was important staff are sufficiently supported throughout the process with information and training when organisations roll out new technology.

“When projects are implemented, the focus needs to be on change management,” Ms Elliot told AAA.

Ms Elliott will tell the Innovation and Technology in Aged Care conference next month how providers can learn to embrace all forms of technology and best implement it in their facilities.

Amana Living recently introduced a mobile expense application and email system to all its frontline workers to automate submission processes and improve communication within the organisation.

The organisation worked closely with staff to ensure they were fully supported, Ms Elliott said.

She said it was important to consider how information was presented to staff when implementing new technology as staff have varying abilities.

“There is such a broad range of ages within the workforce, so something might work for one age group of staff, but you might have to change tack on how you present it to another age group,” Ms Elliott said.

Ms Elliot said a current challenge in the aged care sector is that it is being bombarded by technology companies saying they’ve got the best products.

At the same time, some aged care providers may still fear implementing new technologies in the workplace, she said.

“It’s the fear in a not-for-profit industry where money is tight and it should be focused on the care of clients.

“Then, it’s the fear of getting the best value for money because there is so much technology out there,” Ms Elliott said.

However, Ms Elliott’s advised her counterparts in the sector to be informed about different technologies rather than afraid, and to focus on the desired outcome when looking for a technological solution.

“Understand the problem you are trying to solve and don’t over complicate it with technology.

“Don’t dismiss existing technologies that may be useful for others, and understand who your audience is and cater for them,” Ms Elliott said.

The Innovation and Technology in Aged Care conference will take place at Dockside Cockle Bay Wharf in Sydney on 13-14 March.

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