The 3 most important technology imperatives for your aged care organisation following the 2021 Federal Budget and the Aged Care Royal Commission

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Seize the day! Now is the time to act upon the reforms announced in the 2021 Federal Budget and the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission.

The final report from the Royal Commission outlined a range of critically important reforms that provide an immediate opportunity to work towards an aged care system that places people at the centre; underpinned by digital technologies that enable better aging.

Commitment to the recommendations can be seen in the 2021 Federal Budget reforms, and a boost of an additional $17.7 billion over five years is good news for older Australians because it will lead to major improvements across the sector.

This includes $7.8 billion to improve the quality, safety, and sustainability of residential aged care services plus $6.5 billion to deliver an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages – bringing the total to 275,000 packages.

Some of the reforms can appear daunting at first glance but are certainly achievable.

For example:

  • From 1 July 2022, residential care providers will be required to report and publish care staffing minutes for each facility on the MyAgedCare website, and providers will be required to report to residents and their families on care delivered.
  • From 1 July 2024, residential care funding will be assigned to consumers – not providers – focusing on improving transparency and giving older Australians more choice and control.

So how can providers achieve these? And how can this be done in such a short timeframe?

Ultimately, providers need to adopt intelligent software solutions. Health Metrics are experts in intelligent solutions for Health and Social Care and are already helping many providers leverage technology to be compliant with the new requirements and future-proof their business.

Health Metrics have put together the top 3 technology imperatives to get your organisation ahead of the curve.

  1. Workforce

The Royal Commission has highlighted workforce as one of five broad pillars, and is arguably the lynchpin of a successful reform built on respect and care. The importance of workforce is recognised in the Budget which includes $652.1 million towards growth and upskilling.

From 1 October 2023, residential aged care providers will be required to deliver an average of 200 care minutes per resident, per day. Intelligent technology can enable and empower a skilled, certified, and valued workforce is needed plus superior reporting and analytics.

Providers should be using a system that empowers workers to deliver quality services while minimising administrative burden. Health Metrics provides customers with sophisticated workforce management with an acuity-based roster for residential aged care and manage complex scheduling in-home care.

The best person, with the right skills and traits who is preferred by a specific client or resident, is scheduled every time. eCase’s machine learning is embedded in the rostering systems, ensuring that continuity of care is achieved.

eCase can auto-roster approximately 95% of all home care workers to greatly reduce time and stress while improving care outcomes. An intelligent, easy-to-use system like eCase can improve the everyday experience for workers so they can focus on what they do best – delivering care.

  1. Interoperability

Unfortunately, many aged care providers have acquired software systems over the years that are ‘siloed’ and do not support the use of data to deliver integrated and improved quality care. This is compounded by the industry-wide need for an ecosystem that allows data to be created and exchanged seamlessly across external systems and the continuum of care.

Interoperability is of critical importance to successfully operate and deliver quality care outcomes. The good news for providers is that the technology already exists.

For Health Metrics, interoperability is part of our DNA. Not only does eCase provide connectivity with external systems, eCase is an enterprise strength aged care system that spans across the entirety of the care continuum from residential aged care, retirement living, home care, disability support and primary & allied care.

For providers who offer more than one form of aged care service, this means a client’s eCase record follows them throughout their care journey and their data is safely kept as a single source of information that moves seamlessly across all services  –  just what the Royal Commission has recommended.

We also welcome the Government’s $45.4 million spend to introduce electronic medication charts in residential aged care facilities. This would improve the use and integration of My Health Record and make it easier for older Australians to transition between aged care and hospital settings.

  1. Data and Reporting

There are many providers who are collecting data, but they fail to harness the insights and stories that the data provides. Likewise, many providers are not managing data in real-time and have poor data capture with no mandatory fields, so they miss the opportunity to create insightful data analytics.

Providers will be required to lift their game as they become more accountable with prudential regulation, new governance, reporting, and financial oversight being demanded by the Government.  With the advent of new funding like the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC), reporting will be crucial for not only a sustainable but a world-class aged care system.

In addition, $200.1M was announced in the Budget to support ‘informed choices’ through the introduction of a star-rating system on MyAgedCare, and expansion of the Serious Incident Response Scheme to home care.

eCase enables superior data capture, in real-time, at the point of care. Mandatory fields can be created in the system, and at any given moment, Health Metrics can let you know how your facility is tracking in terms of compliance and adherence to the quality standards.

Sophisticated worklog functionality in eCase enables providers to report and analyse the day-to-day tasks and activities for each resident, and each one is linked to the appropriate quality standard. Worklog is an extremely powerful workflow management that can future-proof your organisation.

This is complimented by the eCase Business Intelligence (BI) module, an executive toolset designed to retrieve, analyse, and report on key industry metrics as well as any other information requirements of Health Metrics customers. It is specifically engineered to provide business insights for aged care leaders and workers via data science techniques.

The Royal Commission also recommended the establishment of a national aged care data asset, and Health Metrics already have the technology and the data the aged care sector needs to be able to contribute to this. Health Metrics have been collecting and protecting that data for more than a decade already – with a tried and tested framework in place – one that is backed by years of research, development, and expertise.

Now is the time to act

It is time to seize the day! It is time for providers to make strategic choices now about how the organisation will operate in years to come; to invest in better technology. The Morrison Government has recognised this. The Royal Commission has provided an opportunity for the sector to embrace digital change and Health Metrics knows this ecosystem arguably better than anyone as we span the entire continuum of aged care.

Contact Health Metrics today for a free consultation on how you can benefit from their intelligent solutions and get your organisation ahead of the curve.

Looking for more? Attend the upcoming webinar on Thursday, 1 July 2021 at 12:30pm

Watch this short explainer video for more information about eCase by Health Metrics