An innovative aged care IT project has received a prize from the national telecommunications industry.
Church Resources’ ConnectCare project won the Broadband Excellence award at the annual Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG) awards.
The 12-month pilot project, which began in March last year, enabled four not-for-profit facilities in regional NSW and Queensland to access hosted software solutions.
The project received funding from the federal government’s Clever Networks program and six industry partners including KPMG and Consult Point, provided technical support.
The CEO of Church Resources, Luke Kenny said the ConnectCare pilot demonstrated that all aged care facilities are able to benefit from the latest technology.
“By testing this broadband based solution in rural and regional areas with people who had limited IT skills, we have shown that you can do it anywhere,” he said.
“These people have paved the way and now we have a model that we can lift up and drop into any facility by customising the requirements. We are able to configure ConnectCare to any site in the country.”
The facilities involved in the project also used the high speed broadband connection to conduct video conferences with local GPs and residents’ friends and families.
“They are now starting to consider video conferencing as a viable communication tool,” said Mr Kenny.
“It means they can communicate more, effectively more often. Phones are good but if you can eyeball someone and get a look at their body language, it means you will be able to communicate better.”
Church Resources is now seeking further assistance to expand the project to other not-for-profit facilities in regional communities.
Mr Kenny said the general ConnectCare framework may also be rolled out in other service industries.