The aged care industry is under enormous pressure to respond to the recently released recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission to increase standards of care and eliminate the neglect and abuse of our elderly people.
The Commission laments the fact the industry has missed many opportunities for innovation, resulting in services restrained by systems that are inefficient, disjointed and lack patient focus. Less than 14% of aged care residential and home care providers are registered for My Health Record, primarily due to inadequate systems and a lack of interoperability.
The Commission calls for aged care providers to prioritise the application of technology to improve workforce productivity and care quality, and testing innovative and creative ways to improve the quality and safety of aged care.
The Commission made a number of specific technology recommendations, including some that it suggests should be implemented as soon as 1 July 2022:
- wider use of assistive technologies to improve independence (recommendation 34),
- access to specialist telehealth services (recommendation 63)
- the adoption of a digital care management system, including an electronic medication management system, that is interoperable with My Health Record (recommendation 68)
- the implementation of software systems to enable greater collection of data about both those living under aged care and the organisations that provide aged care services (recommendation 108)
- interoperability of information and communications systems to enable the sharing of data (recommendation 109)
- real-time and automated reporting within five years (recommendation 109)
For many aged care providers, it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to digital transformation, especially when research shows four out of five digital transformation projects fail to deliver the expected outcomes.
Planning for success
“Success starts in getting the fundamentals right,” says DB Results Co-CEO Andrew Dean.
“We begin by helping companies identify their current situation, what problems they’ve got, then explore the solutions and associated benefits with delivering those solutions for the company to come up with the most cost-effective strategy. We call that process from strategy to reality,” explains Dean.
While there are many companies that provide advisory or delivery services, too often there’s a disconnect between the two services that results in inconsistencies, scope creep and cost blowouts. Choosing a company with the breadth of experience to partner with you for the whole journey eliminates the blame game and ensures an end-to-end focus on building the right solutions for your problems, as well as being there to support your ongoing daily operations and system enhancement.
“If your project has stalled or failed to land, we’re equipped to rescue it and get you back on track,” says Dean. “We’re well known for rescuing faltering projects and turning something salvageable into something incredible.”
The right technology
As the Commission encourages, aged care providers should be looking for innovative technologies that can deliver more efficient, accurate and personalised solutions quickly and cost-effectively. Partners that offer a range of technology platforms and solutions are best placed to help aged care providers choose technologies that are best suited to solve their specific needs.
“We partner with a range of organisations to deliver disruptive technologies and solutions to solve our customers' challenges,” says DB Results Co-CEO Gavin Bunshaw.
“Advancement in AI, robotics, facial recognition, machine learning, robotic automation, low-code platforms and other technologies provides us with means to solve problems very quickly – often in a matter of weeks. It’s what we call speed to innovation,” explains Bunshaw.
The Commission emphasised the need to “place people at the centre” of aged care, in order to successfully focus on the safety, health and wellbeing of older people and put their needs and preferences first. Aged care providers therefore need to choose technology partners who are experienced in designing solutions from a human perspective, including capture and integration of relevant data, through to intuitive, seamless and easy to use digital solutions.
“An investment tool called The Design Value Index (DVI), shows companies that integrate design thinking into corporate strategy outpace industry peers by as much as 211 per cent,” says Managing Partner Chris Pearce. “At DB Results, design thinking is the foundation to all of our digital projects. It’s a mindset and group of techniques that challenges assumptions and deepens our understanding of the end user, leading to better outcomes, faster and cheaper, guaranteed for our customers.”
The Commission also focused on the lack of transparency, accountability and responsiveness within the aged care industry, recommending the establishment of an independent Australian Aged Care Commission to be the “tough cop on the beat”. As a result, aged care providers will need technology partners who understand the complexities of healthcare regulations and compliance, including data collection, storage and reporting, as well as privacy and cybersecurity.
“You’re not going to make a difference in aged care unless you understand how the health industry actually works,” says Bunshaw. “We’ve been instrumental in helping healthcare leaders navigate ongoing transformation in the industry. We have staff who are highly experienced in health and our health experience includes digital transformations for aged care providers, hospitals and organisations like the NDIA, the Australian Prostate Centre and more.”
For 16 years DB Results has been the go-to experts in agile delivery, digital and innovation. We focus our expertise on digital transformation that’s informed by data science and led by the best people.
We have a strong social purpose which underpins what we do and how we do it. We are a true partner who is there with you through every stage of your journey to help you bring your digital transformation to life. Most importantly, we deliver results. It’s in our name and it’s what we do: we’re a digital business that delivers results.
The Aged Care Royal Commission summary report is available for download here.