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Transforming the Aged Care Sector through technology

The aged care sector is undergoing a technological transformation. Technology such as management software solutions, smart home systems, building management systems, artificial intelligence, and robotic technology are being embraced to operate more efficiently and offer a higher quality standard.


The aged care sector is undergoing significant reforms following the 2018 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which unveiled a sector plagued by systemic weaknesses and deficiencies.


In addressing the challenges, the Federal government has dramatically increased the staffing requirements in residential aged care and mandatory daily care time to 215 minutes per resident per day.


The mandate, which will come into force from 1 October 2023, is much needed to overcome substandard care, yet most workers feel it is currently unattainable due to the number of administrative tasks they are also required to undertake.


Unlike many other industries, digital technology has failed to gain traction within the aged-care sector, with workers and nurses spending tremendous administrative time performing non-clinical care duties.


The stress of the increase in daily care minutes, coupled with administrative burdens, a shortage of skilled staff, low pay, and a lack of training, have left workers daunted, and they are leaving the industry in unprecedented numbers.


Embracing technology


With technology and digitisation at its core, a large–scale system transformation will be imperative to transform the sector.

Digital technologies can increase organisational efficiency, reduce administration, facilitate choice, and increase transparency — all the issues at the heart of the reforms.

If implemented correctly, technology can relieve carers of hefty administrative burdens, allowing them to attend to tasks requiring a human touch and meet quality care standards.

Digital technologies also facilitate connections and can address isolation and loneliness by connecting aged care residents with their families, carers, and the broader community. In addition, it can make a meaningful difference in increasing choice and dignity for residents by allowing information to be shared more readily, such as food preferences, resident concerns, patient conditions, and statutory reporting.

Technology is also crucial in managing risk and improving safety standards while enabling residents to lead more autonomous lives. According to researchers, this will enhance the well-being of Australia’s seniors, the quality of their care, and worker satisfaction.


Barriers to embracing technology


Despite the considerable benefits of automation and digital transformation, much of the industry is struggling to evolve with technology, making it more difficult to meet community expectations and quality of care standards.

A recent study conducted by aged care consultants, CompliSpace, found that despite more than half of aged care workers reporting that the implementation of new technologies had improved the quality and efficiency of their work, the take-up of technology was still low.


In some states, as low as 40% of operators have embraced digital technology to keep pace with compliance obligations. Changes in management, a lack of skilled workers, staff shortages, and training contributed to the low take-up of technology.


Facilities with inefficient systems requiring their staff to create audit trails manually are at a higher risk of failing to comply with their regulatory obligations, have cash flow issues, and lose their workforce when mandatory care times are increased in October.


How Urbanise fits in


Urbanise is a cloud-based Saas platform that integrates facilities, assets and workforce management into a single platform. Furthermore, our software integrates with many industry-leading solutions to provide even more automation and an integrated ecosystem.


Heavily burdened operators don’t just need software; they need a tech partner to work with them on their journey to optimise operations and fulfil compliance obligations relating to the built environment and associated reporting requirements.


Our tech and implementation team are Australian-based, meaning support is available whenever needed. We work closely with our clients to set up and tailor systems to how your business is run and provide training and ongoing support for staff at all levels.


Staff will no longer be scrambling to find records, let maintenance requests slip in a backlog of emails, or question whether servicing has taken place. Through Urbanise, managing and maintaining the built environment and its associated reporting can be efficiently automated. Deep AI and machine learning continually improve processes. At the same time, dynamic analytics allows for real-time reporting for stakeholders – such as planned or unplanned audits from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.


Urbanise significantly reduces administration time and ensures a chain of custody to improve safety standards and quality, replacing unrefined systems managed by excel or paper, which are often untraceable, require manual input, and are at risk of breaching reporting obligations.

Our robust document management system provides transparency and demonstrates operational optimisation to present and future consumers.


Operators will have a real-time and accurate picture of the physical environment and associated costs to upkeep it – from individual equipment to the infrastructure of existing and planned buildings.


Residents and their families will have a centralised portal to log and keep track of maintenance concerns and be kept informed of progress – making lost emails a thing of the past.


Urbanise even provides a platform to book personal appointments such as hairdressers, nail technicians, and dry cleaning, ensuring providers are quality checked and insured. Further, staff and site managers have complete visibility over asset management and maintenance schedules to allow for effective communication with residents and families.


With Urbanise, operators can utilise one platform to merge data, information and technology to:

  • Forecast the lifecycle of assets using asset degradation models, their service requirements and CAPEX expenditure.

  • Prioritise asset servicing or renewal and forecast the workload.

  • Create and manage industry-compliant 10-year asset management plans, including; asset register templates, recording and tagging assets, asset condition assessment, and maintenance schedules.

  • Provide visibility over all current and outstanding jobs, SLAs, and supply chains.

  • Log and track work order requests from residents, families and staff – providing them with updates on progress.

  • Record and track supplier compliance requirements such as licensing and insurance.

  • Help operational and governing bodies to understand costs, supplier performance, and asset failures with deep AI-enabled analytics.

  • Manage contractor insurance and qualification compliance – reducing the hours spent sourcing and liaising with contractors.

  • Ensure a chain of custody to replace many unrefined, paper-based systems that are often untraceable and are currently risking breaches in the safety of residents.

If you’re looking for a solution to simplify your operations and automate the asset management of your facility, one of our team members can provide you with a free product demonstration. Simply click on the button below to select a suitable time.


Source

CompliSpace Aged Care Workforce Report – Impossible Task: Workers’ Views on the Rising Demands of Aged Care, 2022.

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