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Why You Need Purpose Built and Industry Compliant Aged Care Software

The social, economic and health impacts that will forever define 2020 are going to present aged care organisations with a unique set of varied and complex challenges. Navigating and overcoming these challenges will require strong leadership and robust systems. To that end, I believe that the organisations that will best adapt to “The New Now” will be those that are supported by software that helps ensure seamless industry compliance, and more broadly, is purpose-built for Australian aged care.

While these two factors have always been important, aged care organisations who have been operating without such software may be inclined to maintain the status quo in the view that avoiding change does not disturb current operations. That may well be the case, initially. However, I want to present an alternative view, one that emphasises potential impacts and considerations in favour of, shall we say, the ‘best-practice’ approach.

The importance of purpose built aged care software

In addition to the social, economic and health impacts I touched on earlier, the already well established financial pressures on the aged care system may result in providers needing to operate with proportionally reduced funding in the years ahead. Couple all this with increased market competition and you end up with a set of conditions which calls for increased efficiency, accuracy and agility to operate a commercially viable operation.

When I think about what makes a successful aged care organisation, I envisage a business that is focused on delivering high-quality services specific to their customer’s needs and wants. They don’t offer accommodation to backpackers, and they don’t employ obstetricians. Well, of course they don’t, such a concept is nothing short of ludicrous. But, it emphasises my point; if you are running your organisation on applications which were not specifically built for Australian aged care, then you are using software which is not focused on you.

Software which was not intended for use by Australian aged are organisations, or catered for the industry as an afterthought, presents several potential risks. Here are some hypothetical examples.

  1. Due to your unique configuration of the software, you need to maintain ongoing documentation and training to ensure you are not inappropriately reliant on a small number of people to operate key systems.
  2. Custom developments you have created within the software to meet industry requirements could be adversely affected by software updates, causing business-critical functions to stop working.
  3. Due to a lack of automation, the manual workarounds you need to perform do not scale with your business, which magnifies issues and cost over time. The challenge that is magnified in the “New Now” with majority of global workforce forced to work remotely.
  4. Processing and submitting online claiming events to Medicare for client entry, discharge, leave, and oxygen usage, is driven by manual, time-consuming tasks which are more prone to human error.
  5. When you need technical support to perform specific functions required for aged care, instead of insightful and expert guidance, you receive vague responses and links to generally irrelevant knowledgebase articles.

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

The importance of aged care software that aids industry compliance

Maintaining compliance with the industry’s wide range of requirements takes considerable time and effort. We have already emphasised the importance of focus, so I will simply pose a question at this point. Why would you add complexity to your obligations surrounding industry compliance when your software can do a fair portion of the heavy lifting for you?

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.

As an Australian aged care organisation navigating “The New Now”, you need a software platform that:

  • Facilitates Medicare claims
  • Allows flexible reporting capabilities
  • Facilitates adapting to varied funding structures
  • Meets the industry’s extensive governance and compliance requirements
  • Delivers software updates that cater to legislation changes

One could reasonably expect that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will bring forth a suite of legislative changes in the not too distant future. In this case, your organisation will already be busy adapting to extraordinary changes to other legal, social, health and economic factors. Juggling all these requirements without any support from your software vendor would add further complexity and strain on your organisation and is likely to put you further behind your competitors who leverage software-driven support for legislative adherence.

Having a network of reliable business partners to support your success and longevity is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Your aged care software vendor should be one of those integral partners, which amongst other things help you to efficiently ensure compliance so you can focus on what you do best; providing high-quality care and support for older Australians.

The PIMBRIC Framework

Fit-for-purpose software solutions will be the base requirement for success in the decade ahead. Our PIMBRIC Framework, as outlined below, covers seven key criteria you would want to include in your aged care software evaluation process.

Purpose Built

Industry Compliance

Management Efficiency

Business Intelligence

Resident Centred

Integrate Everything

Cloud Deployment

We explore and discuss each of these elements in our latest eBook; Aged Care in Australia Beyond 2020; Empowering organisational growth and agility through software.

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