Feedback system adds Indigenous languages for NT residents

Tell Touch is rolling out its feedback management system in four First Nations languages to several aged care homes in the Northern Territory.

Tell Touch is rolling out its feedback management system in four First Nations languages to several aged care homes in the Northern Territory.

Tell Touch went live in 2020, two years after co-founders Diana Cooper and Christine Brodrick came up with the idea.

“Tell Touch is a feedback management system that enables residents and their families to have a voice, but at the same time it provides meaningful data to the management and the providers of aged care,” Ms Cooper told Australian Ageing Agenda on the sidelines of the recent Aged & Community Care Providers conference in Sydney.

Tell Touch is in 50 aged care homes nationally. It is also available in over 80 languages, with the latest addition being four Indigenous languages.

“We are about to roll out to First Nations people in the Northern Territory … and our product is being translated into four First Nation languages,” Ms Cooper said.

These four additional languages have come at the request of aged care provider Australian Regional and Remote Community Services, which has seven aged care homes throughout the territory plus four facilities under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program. “We’re going live with that on 13 June,” Ms Cooper said.

Homes can add as many of the 80-plus languages as they want based on the needs of their residents. The multi-language capability is a focus at Tell Touch to give people whose first language is not English a voice, Ms Cooper said. “And we know very well people lose English as they become more cognitively impaired or they age. So they now have the opportunity to give feedback.”

On how it works, Ms Cooper describes Tell Touch as a risk-management tool that identifies the areas where people are raising issues. “We say that to focus on the unhappy and the very unhappy because they’re the ones that get you on front of the paper, not the happy people.”

The data is divided into categories drawn from the most prevalent issues identified by the aged care royal commission, such as food, communication, care and activities. On top of that is a consumer activity report, Ms Cooper said.

“We’re now focused on consumer engagement so you’re able to drill down significantly on a consumer and look at where they’re unhappy or where they’re very happy. The most exciting thing is that once people air all their views, and they have been resolved, they start giving positive feedback.”

To understand the effectiveness and usability of Tell Touch from a proprietor perspective, the team commissioned Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Melbourne last year to undertake a pilot evaluation of the software. The final pilot evaluation report shows positive results. “Most people found it very, very easy, simple to use, a very intuitive system, and it gave them the data that they wanted and their time was cut in half,” said Ms Cooper.

The time-saving aspect is in part because the system uses artificial intelligence to read the feedback and generate an internal note with a list of actions to complete in response.

It is “a game changer,” said Ms Cooper “because this is going to save them so much time, which is really good when you’re a busy manager,” she said. “The prompts are there for them, they can use it, or they can delete it. They don’t have to use it.”

The AI features can also generate feedback responses and correct the spelling and grammar of communications that managers write themselves, added Ms Brodrick.

“Because a lot of our managers, English is their second language, grammatically they might have some issues. So with this, we’ve got a polish button so they can write what they want to write, and then press polish. Then it will fine tune and fix all the grammar and things like that as well.”

Main image: Tell Touch co-founders Diana Cooper (left) and Christine Brodrick and chief technical officer Raef Akehurst (right)

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