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7 Aged Care Software Must-Have's For a Post Royal Commission Era

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“Mere adjustments and improvements to the current [aged care] system will not achieve what is required to provide high quality care that is predictable, reliable and delivered through a system which is sustainable. A profound shift is required in which the people receiving care are placed at the centre of a new aged care system.1

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has made strong recommendations that will shape the industry we all operate in. However, there is arguably no better signal for the magnitude of change ahead than the above statement from the Chair’s Preface.

The upcoming changes are not a distant ideology; they will be immediate and significant.

By the 1st of July 2022, the report states that the Australian Government should invest in technology that facilitates “interoperability of information and communications systems to enable the sharing of data and information about people receiving care between aged care and health care providers and relevant government agencies.1

Additionally, Government-mandated improvements in system reporting are already on our doorstep.

Updated requirements for residential aged care providers claim submissions to Services Australia takes effect in less than six months. PKI authentication is being replaced by Provider Digital Access (PRODA). By the 13th of March 2022, you will need to use the web services compatible Business to Government (B2G) software to access the new Aged Care web services2.

Suffice to say, the software that your organisation uses and the vendor supporting you on your journey have never been more important.

Our PIMBRIC Framework, as outlined below, covers seven key criteria you would want to include in your aged care software evaluation process.

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In this article, I will provide a summary of each PIMBRIC element and links to further resources to help you take a practical next step in identifying your organisation’s software needs for the road ahead.

Purpose Built

Many aged care organisations use applications not specifically built for the Australian market or were not purposefully built as a senior living solution.

When you invest at the level required to procure and manage an aged care software application, you need to ensure its primary function is to help you be productive and compliant.

However, beyond industry compliance, business efficiency, or any other individual factor, your software should support your business to operate at its best in every way.

Click here for resources.

Industry Compliance

If your aged care software vendor has a demonstrated commitment to keeping pace with the Australian legislative environment and Medicare’s online claiming system, then you have much more time to focus on your core business activities.

For example, the Australian Government has strengthened its cloud provider requirements where Commonwealth data is processed over the last few years. Cloud computing providers that store Commonwealth data or process Commonwealth data must be certified and meet several strict requirements, including the data's location, the individuals who have access to the data, and how the data is stored.

The delivery of exceptional care requires focus. You can’t focus if you are bogged down performing compliance tasks that should be facilitated by software.

Click here for resources.

Management Efficiency

For aged care organisations, manual processes and ill-fitting software can cause errors, missed opportunities, and diminished productivity. Many providers have been able to get by with inadequate and fragmented systems, but that time is up. Your systems must instil confidence amongst internal and external stakeholders.

Productivity comes from agility, which is not possible when your software systems do not have a depth of capability across your entire operation.

Your aged care software needs to provide all the functionality required to manage your organisations' marketing, administrative, client, procurement, document management, and financial aspects for the decade ahead.

Click here for resources.

Business Intelligence

As more businesses harness technology that provides contextualised insights in real-time, commercial decisions are not made on instinct and intuition anywhere near as frequently as they were just a few short years ago.

In a fast-paced environment, you don’t have the time to analyse large quantities of raw data. Therefore, you need predictive analytics tools which support real-time decision making in areas ranging from occupancy to workforce utilisation and profitability benchmarking.

Developing strong analytics capabilities is no longer optional; it is a core requirement to operate successfully in the years ahead.

Click here for resources.

Resident Centred

Resident’s and client’s demands are increasing, and the higher level of competition between new market entrants and existing providers emphasises the need for forward-thinking business practices.

Aged care providers who succeed in this space utilise an integrated, technologically progressive CRM system built for the Australian aged care market. Such a system will provide one single client record across their whole aged care journey from different rooms to different location sites, to different types of care and medical needs, building a “true story.”

This 360-degree view of the resident’s profile provides a single source of truth for all required information and enables a proactive approach to care needs and effective business decision-making.

Click here for resources.

Integrate Everything

Given the pace at which change occurs in the Australian aged care industry, and the various mediums that are a source for updated resident information, organisations can no longer deliver the best possible standard of care with disconnected solutions.

As your organisation adds additional software tools to its ecosystem, failure to leverage the benefits of integration is likely to put pressure on staff to keep up with information management tasks which can be stressful and prone to human error.

Growth, profitability, and efficiency are not synonymous with disconnected solutions. You need a foundation upon which you grow your business without having to grow your software.

Click here for resources.

Cloud Deployment

The level of cloud adoption across recent years has continued to increase, in part due to the security improvements it delivers for businesses.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reports that financially motivated cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the aged care and healthcare sectors. These organisations' sensitive personal and medical information makes them lucrative targets for ransomware attacks and underlines the need for best-in-class security systems3.

However, beyond the security advantages that come from deploying in the cloud, the financial, efficiency, and scalability benefits combine for an extremely compelling value proposition.

As technology moves at the blink of an eye, the notion of being limited by a mode of deployment doesn’t suit the narrative of modern aged care.

Click here for resources.

PIMBRIC Framework Resources

In our experience, there are still many Australian aged care organisations that are severely constrained by their technology.

In a post-Royal Commission era, delivering truly great care just won’t be possible without the right software tools.

The resources available on our PIMBRIC Framework page will help you define what the right tools are.

 

1. Australian Government, Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Final Report: Care, Dignity and Respect – Volume 1 Summary and recommendations, 2021.

2. Australian Government, Services Australia, retrieved 9th September, 2021, from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/news/important-information-residential-aged-care-providers

3. Australian Government, Australian Signals Directorate, retrieved 17th September, 2021, from https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/advisories/2020-013-ransomware-targeting-australian-aged-care-and-healthcare-sectors

     

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