West Australian aged care provider Juniper is using cloud technology to improve services and operations for aged care residents and facility and head office staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

In just three days and around the same time the COVID-19 restrictions commenced, Juniper rolled out Amazon Web Services’ Amazon Chime to connect 1,880 employees, residents, doctors, and family members across 26 facilities.

The communications platform enables staff to meet, chat and place business calls inside and outside the organisation in a single application.

Residents can use it to connect with family members and health professional via video calls using tablets in every facility. Allied health professionals can use the platform to deliver care to residents.

Juniper information communications technology manager Dan Beeston said they move quickly to implement the technology when the state commenced a lockdown.

“COVID came quickly and we did have some time up our sleeves around being in little old Western Australia, so first thing we did was focus on our residents and ensure our residents were safe,” Mr Beeston told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Dan Beeston

It involved organising and rolling out the technology for facility staff and for the corporate team.

“We wanted our corporate team, payroll and human resources teams to be able to work from home to align with the messaging coming out from government,” he said.

Mr Beeston said Juniper already had a strategy in development for the office to test and scaled up the technology.

The platform also enables facility staff to stay connected with corporate staff, he said.

“Staff could regularly ring the same numbers they’ve always have,” Mr Beeston said.

Juniper CEO Chris Hall has used the platform to make company-wide calls to provide critical updates on how the company is responding to coronavirus.

Mr Beeston said this and other features are benefitting staff.

“From a staff perspective, it has kept the focus on being connected and being sure they’re aware of what’s going on,” he said.

 “We’re trying to maintain some business as usual.”

Staff can continue to provide high quality care for residents through telehealth functionality and help residents remain connected with their loved ones, Mr Beeston said.

The organisation benefits by being able to scale up or scale down as needed and continuing to meet residents’ needs, he said.

“Staff have been able to continue business as usual and it adds to the quality of care to our residents,” he said.

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