IT knowledge gap in community care

Preliminary findings in a research project about IT applications for community care show huge variability and customer dissatisfaction.

There is huge variability in the quality and cost of computer-based care management solutions for community care, according to preliminary findings from management consultants Verso.

In a market scan 12 out of of 16 suppliers claimed their products included rostering functions, while only four said their programs linked to payroll systems.

Among the 16 products annual licensing fees ranged from $3,000 to $10,000 and start up costs went from $250 per user to $112,911 for implementations with unlimited work stations.

But 10 of the 16 suppliers refused to disclose their prices without offering an onsite demonstration of their product.

Verso is now conducting a survey of community care providers to gauge the level of satisfaction with IT applications.

And results from the first 20 survey participants suggest widespread dissatisfaction.

Data revealed at the TriState Conference in Albury showed that about two thirds of respondents say their care management software does not interface effectively with payroll and invoicing applications, while over 60 per cent  are unhappy with their solution’s care planning functions.

“Community care is not like other industries such as retail or manufacturing,” said Verso’s Managing Director, Mollie Sullivan.

“IT is a central component in delivering community care services and we can’t do without it.”

“It’s like a travelling salesperson trying to do their job without a car.”

However Ms Sullivan said it was crucial to gather more data.

“The danger is that we have only heard from the dissatisfied customers,” she said.

“There may be some good news stories out there and we would obviously like to hear them as well.”

To participate in the survey or find out more information, contact Verso on 03 9489 3233.

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