A leading technology provider for the aged care industry has responded to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and is calling for collaboration across the sector to enable providers to adopt technologies that put residents at the centre of everything they do.
Amongst 148 recommendations of the Commissioners included the critical need for aged care homes to go digital before July 2022, by adopting technologies such as mobile clinical documentation systems, telemedicine and My Health Record.
Tammy Sherwood, CEO of Person Centred Software Australia, a leading provider of mobile clinical documentation systems to Australia’s residential aged care homes, has responded to the findings, saying that although the value of technology in improving care outcomes is undeniable, uptake across the industry remains slow and that providers should be working together to rectify this.
“As technology providers, it is our responsibility and an opportunity for us to truly collaborate and enable providers to move away from the one-stop-shop approach that we have seen traditionally.
I talk to sites every day who are wanting to break away from the old way of thinking and enable their care teams to transition to a more user-friendly piece of technology providing full transparency for all involved, but they are locked into lengthy contracts. As vendors, we need to reassess, and start putting the resident at the centre of what we do. By keeping the end-user in mind, and allowing carers using the technology to contribute to its development, uptake is likely to improve”.
Tammy says aged care providers should be actively supported to adopt new technology and to support older people to engage with technology that improves their quality of life, wellbeing and care. Providing the means to ensure that quality, choice and personalisation are at the forefront of service delivery, technology improves the day-to-day experience of those receiving and delivering care, whilst also providing homes with the opportunity to showcase their outstanding efforts.
In a post-COVID world, Tammy says this will be vital for restoring faith in the aged care service: “The Prime Minister has spoken of a complete paradigm shift - a cultural change that we can improve on immediately.
“It is our responsibility to reassure the public that not all aged care homes look like what they are seeing and hearing on TV. The general public needs reassurance that there are aged care homes that go above and beyond what is expected of them every day. We saw during COVID-19 that carers in Australia continued to care for our most vulnerable. As people who work in this industry, it is our responsibility to start the paradigm shift, recognise our challenges and start focussing on change.”
Aged care homes already embracing digital technologies include Southern Cross Care SA, NT & VIC, which has implemented Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring across all 17 of their sites and has seen a huge improvement in resident outcomes as a result. The resident-centric clinical care software allows staff to record care interactions on-the-go, with visual notifications and alerts aiding responsiveness and decision making, allowing carers to respond quickly to changing resident needs and preferences as well as instances of missed care.
Jo Boylan, Executive Services of Southern Cross Care said: “We implemented Mobile Care Monitoring as an opportunity to not only improve our documentation system but to improve our resident outcomes - and this has happened. When managed and monitored well, Mobile Care Monitoring is the answer to many of the failure to monitor scenarios outlined in the Royal Commission. We are delighted with what has been achieved already so far – it’s been an amazing journey.”
Currently, nearly 90 homes across Australia use Mobile Care Monitoring, benefitting over 6,000 residents. With more than 5,000 carers using the software, over 250,000 care notes are evidenced daily and in record-speed, saving each carer up to an hour each day in paperwork, which can instead be spent with residents.