I presented at the 2014 Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) national conference on the importance of IT integration to drive efficiencies in the aged care sector.
The presentation covered:
- The change drivers that are restructuring the aged care sector
- The importance of well-implemented IT systems in improving efficiencies and remaining competitive
- Current IT trends affecting aged care
- Why a holistic view of IT is essential for EVERY provider
- 10 tips for an effective IT strategy
Rapid change is occurring in aged care
A key structural change is occurring in the Australian aged care sector. Driven by the implementation of the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) funding model, there is a need for significant operational improvements within both community and residential aged care organisations to remain competitive.
Already we have seen significant trends to private providers, with the private sector growing from a 26.9% share of the residential market in 20071 to 35% in 20102.
In part, this is private enterprise identifying a growth market opportunity, but also, private enterprise being more equipped to grow within a competitive environment through access to resources and importantly, more efficient processes.
IT is the biggest driver of efficiency
Information Technology (IT) systems remain a key driver of efficiency across all industries.
“50% of labour productivity growth can be explained by IT investment.” – London Economics
Whilst most organisations recognise the importance of technology, unfortunately too many are making key decisions in isolation based on a specific department, process or staff member that makes the most noise. This is leaving many organisations with disjointed solutions, in which MS Excel has become the core business system, with manual and duplicated data entry rife.
Holistic chunkification and aged care
“Chunkification” (an approach by which organisations identify business process “chunks” and implement the most appropriate system for each) is the new software industry buzzword, but a big picture holistic view remains critical. The key is capturing data at the source and using integration of the “chunks” to eliminate the repeated entry of data.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2008.
2 Department of Health and Ageing. “Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997: 1 July 2009-30 June 2010.”