Facilitating Growth Through Software for Aged Care
Fostering growth for an aged care organisation in Australia has a unique set of challenges. Funding restrictions, attracting and retaining the right staff, and changes to government legislation are just some of the hurdles that you are likely to face on your path forward.
Therefore, when growth is high on the agenda, particularly if you are operating in a competitive market, you need everything working in your favour.
If we put aside human resources, technology is arguably the most important resource in your growth formula, so it is important to understand the potential impacts technology can have on your future success.
What exactly is growth?
When organisations identify that they want to grow, it is important they first define what growth means before they start working to achieve their own version of success.
Is growth measured by revenue, net profit, number of clients, number of locations, or some other factor? Clarity on this matter is particularly important when you are considering changes to your technology solutions, as each path will have different strengths and weaknesses when viewed with respect to your goals.
For example, if you are working to increase your presence in a new geographical market, then consistency in your IT systems across locations could well be a priority. If this is the case, your focus may turn to moving your aged care software to the cloud.
Aligning your team on this matter is extremely important as it allows your collective efforts to be more focused and more likely to generate success.
As we discussed in last week’s blog, due to Australia’s ageing population and projected increases in life expectancy, there are likely to be significant growth opportunities for aged care operators in the years to come.
ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research states that one in five people aged 65 and over, identify that they need care. Therefore, if your organisation can set the right platform for growth by adopting the right technological resources, then you can increase your capacity to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you.
A recent survey by Epicor and MORAR Consulting found that 45% of businesses found growth challenging. This same research also found 79% of businesses have made or are making investments in integrated IT infrastructure. With the majority of businesses taking proactive measures to improve their technology platforms, it suggests that those that don’t will be left further behind and can expect to have a harder time experiencing the growth they desire.
Selecting the right aged care software
When you work with various software applications on a daily basis, you get a pretty good idea of what will make your life easier. Whether it is the functionality in the application, quality of support from the vendor, or your internal capacity to get the most out of the platform, we all have our wish lists.
In our eBook, The Australian Aged Care Guide to Facilitating Growth Through Software, we identify the value of creating a must-have list and separating it from your nice-to-have list. Doing so gives you an objective tool to evaluate how well your current aged care software is performing and what you can benchmark future aged care software platforms against.
Assuming you will have already developed your team alignment for the organisation’s growth objectives, you can now be methodical about defining your aged care software requirements and establishing the capacity to achieve this growth with your current application.
Not every organisation will have unique objectives, yet adopting an aged care software platform that is flexible and scales to meet your aspirations should be a common requirement. In a marketplace that expects continuous improvement, your aged care software should open the door to third-party integration capabilities, greater user collaboration and productivity, and flexible deployment options.
The successful aged care organisations of the future are likely to be those that have the ability to use senior living resources that add value to their organisation through allowing them to be innovative.
This capability is not only derived from the software itself, it is often facilitated by the strength of the vendor’s support services which augment your organisations capability to get the most out of its investment. Conversely, when you lack confidence in your software support, you may feel constrained to think innovatively about how you can drive efficiency and develop creative solutions.
Therefore, if you are evaluating potential new aged care software solutions, you should consider the capacity for each platform against the vendor’s total product offering.
With an understanding of your requirements and a considered evaluation framework in place, you stand a much better chance of selecting an aged care software solution that is a good fit for your organisation’s requirements both now and in the future.
Posted by Lee Robbins, Senior Product Manager, Senior Living Solutions, Epicor Software