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Advanced technology at forefront of care evolution


The interim report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has highlighted the need for aged care services that are centred around the needs of people and not organisations, and allow those who need care to exercise greater choice, control and independence, writes Emma Pate.

Emma Pate

While we now await the commission’s final report, there is no need to wait to implement solutions to help realise client-driven care.

Flexible, interoperable software solutions that excel far past simply gathering information are the ticket to adapting to shifting winds in Australia’s care services sector. Integration across the health-care continuum is fast becoming the new normal in our consumer-directed landscape – and organisations without the tools to innovate will be at a sizable disadvantage.

Technology solutions can be flexible enough to evolve along with any regulatory changes from the federal government and enable service organisations to handle a rising demand from clients.

Here are three key features of client-focused, interoperable software:

Streamlined budgeting support:

Consumer-directed care is the new normal. In Australia, clients are now entitled to select the services they wish to receive – and how they wish to receive them. Such flexibility and choice require a software platform that can quickly and efficiently disseminate information and break down each service and its cost (hourly or otherwise) in addition to any client information arising from each visit. Transparent, powerful data management tools are a must to gather and process information – and then to ensure consistent communication and delivery of care.

Advanced machine learning and RPM:

A platform should include remote patient monitoring and client portals that enable quick access and the exchange of data across a client’s entire health-care team. Technology can empower clients to select the services, schedules, and staff members that suit their needs. Tailor-made algorithms can be used to analyse data, predict future events, and identify hidden trends and patterns from an array of sources. This all helps clients feel secure in their care and keeps them safe at home, reducing the need to visit hospitals and acute care centres.

Optimisation:

To schedule efficiently is to deliver care well. In fact, numbers indicate that organisations can use modern technology to reduce their field workers’ travel time by over 30 per week and the amount of time spent scheduling and rescheduling by up to 35 per cent a week. Mobile care apps allow care workers on the road to schedule their days most effectively, automate their timesheets, and access a client’s up-to-the-minute information from wherever they are. Furthermore, advanced cloud-based scheduling capabilities pair clients and caregivers thoughtfully, promote consistent service, and provide transparency into all facets of a client’s care plan. All of these elements ultimately increase the quality and delivery of care.

Adopting advanced solutions can help organisations make strategic choices now about how they will operate in years to come. We’re at a turning point in our industry – and we all have the opportunity to make important changes in the lives of so many Australians.

Emma Pate is General Manager at AlayaCare



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