Quality improvement a central theme at industry’s technology awards

A medium-sized NSW home care provider that transformed compliance and quality through IT is among the winners of this year’s Information Technology in Aged Care awards, Natasha Egan reports from the event.

A medium-sized NSW home care provider that transformed compliance and quality through new software is among the winners of this year’s Information Technology in Aged Care awards, which also honoured two industry veterans for their contributions to IT uptake in the sector.

Quality improvement was the central theme of all the winners announced at the ITAC conference gala dinner on the Gold Coast last night for projects big and small from both known innovators and organisations new to technology.

One of the latter, Adssi Home Living from NSW’s Central Coast, picked up an IT implementation award for updating its manual process with a new quality management system using Thoughtware’s I.On.My software, making it the fifth ITAC in a row a client of the vendor has won.

Mark Porter
Mark Porter

Adssi’s quality manager Mark Porter said that as a one-man band in the quality and risk department, the software had transformed the once labour intensive manual systems to enable continuous quality improvement for the not-for-profit community aged and disability provider with 85 staff.

He said the solution covered governance, risk, safety, quality and human resources and the implementation followed a very poor compliance audit in 2012.

“Within 18 months we have been able to turn that around and achieve a high level of compliance but also improve quality and they are two different things,” Mr Porter told Technology Review.

“You can tick all the compliance boxes but the proof on the ground is you are continually improving your processes and other aspects of the business.” 

Elsewhere among the provider winners, small Brisbane-based not-for-profit home care provider Flexicare won an implementation award for its home care infrastructure IT solution that provided tablets to case managers and podiatrists to provider them remote and real time access to client information.

Competition was tough in the large organisation category, according to the judges, who awarded the winning prize to Wesley Mission Brisbane for its new technology to make clinical information mobile, along with high commendations to Feros Care and Ozcare.

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast provider Sundale picked up two awards — the infrastructure implementation award for its data centre move to outsourcer  NEXT-DC as well as a high recognition award for good corporate citizenship.

Digital continence organisation Simavita was also formally commended for its efforts in growing company overseas.

The highly coveted ICT Company of the Year Award, which is open to vendors that have designed and implemented outstanding and innovative products, went to Webstercare for its medication management chart software for residential aged care RxMedChart.

However, the judges said this was another category where the committee had difficulty in selecting just one from the many great entries and therefore awarded Villa Maria Catholic Homes and LeeCare Solutions high recognition for its Out and About app and integrated IT solution respectively.

Anne Livingstone and the Community Resourcing team behind the Community Care Smart Assistive Technology Collaborative, won the ICT Innovative Entrepreneurial of the Year Award, which recognised successful non-business start-ups which had developed innovative and marketable technology-driven products or services.

Suri and Rod
Suri Ramanathan and Rod Young

Closing off the accolades was the Hall of Fame award, which recognised an individual who has made an enormous contribution to ICT uptake in in aged care.

Aged Care Industry IT Company veterans Rod Young and Suri Ramanathan were both inducted into aged care’s hall of fame for their “outstanding contribution to ICT learning and adoption in the aged care Industry.”

Mr Young said the award was fantastic recognition and something that he would honour for the rest of his life.

“What we do in the innovation and IT space and how it impacts upon our industry has been a crucial and passionate part of my engagement with the industry for the last 15 years. 

“To see the award winners tonight and to see the change that has happened in our industry over the time since I started in 2000 is in itself reward enough,” Mr Young said.

Mr Ramanathan said he was humbled to win the award but added that it was only possible because of the people in the room who he called upon to continue to innovate and improve aged care through IT. “If I could something to inspire you in a little way it is that history recalls and admires the wise, but it elevates the brave,” Mr Ramanathan said.

Primary award winners

  • Best Implementation of the Year (facilities with <$5m income): Flexicare Inc – Home Care Package Infrastructure
  • Best Implementation of the Year (facilities with $5m-$30m income): Adssi Home Living – Quality Management System
  • Best Implementation of the Year (facilities with > $30m income): Wesley Mission Brisbane – Clinical information made mobile (QLD – Brisbane)
  • Best Implementation of the Year for Infrastructure (hardware/software): Sundale’s Data Centre Move – NextDC (QLD – Sunshine coast)
  • ICT Innovative Company of the Year: Webstercare – medication management chart for residential aged care homes (RxMedChart) (NSW – Sydney)
  • ICT Innovative Entrepreneurial of the Year: Community Care Smart Assistive Technology Collaborative (national)

Photos: eventphotgrapghy.com

Tags: aciitc, adssi-home-living, anne-livingstone, flexicare, itac, mark-porter, rod-young, smart-assisitve-technology-collaborative, sundale, suri-ramanathan, webstercare, wesley-mission-brisbane,

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