Increasing pressure on aged care providers is fuelling a rise in technology adoption in the sector, reducing some compliance costs while boosting security.
IT provider illuminance Solutions Chief Executive Officer Nilesh Makwana said growing regulatory requirements on aged care providers meant they needed effective record-keeping and audit systems in place.
He said it was changing rapidly from a human capital-intensive sector to one that used automation to deliver better and more efficient services to people.
“There was a lack of process automation and not relying on technology too much,” he said.
“That has been changing since the aged care reforms and the safety commission requirements for record-keeping.
“There are a lot more auditor requirements on the sector. That puts pressure on the sector to say you need to have proper systems in place.”
A recent survey of aged care providers found less than 15 per cent of industry respondents had integrated software across their operations.
One in four used software for procurement and requisitioning, but more than 80 per cent used an IT service for accounts payable and rostering.
Mr Makwana said when the systems were in place and the workforce enabled to use it correctly, it could reduce costs up to 60 per cent.
“[Information technology] should be a cost-saving centre, not a cost centre,” he said.
The developer of the AvantCare system, a Microsoft cloud platform-based system, said software could process and integrate scheduling, rostering, case notes, compliance management, volunteer management, document management and plant management.
He cited an example of a care worker recording real-time case notes using voice-to-text into the AvantCare app while on a home visit.
Should there be an incident, that could be recorded into the client’s record, a notification sent to a care coordinator or complaint and a report lodged.
Mr Makwana said there were also time and cost savings for audit requirements.
“You can see the efficiency it can drive in terms of time-saving for the care worker out in the field,” he said.
“When it comes to auditing, if you have all the right record-keeping when the auditor comes they don’t have to cancel their holiday and start preparing for the audit. Everything they need, for the planning or caregivers’ notes, or goal-setting, complaints or incidents, everything is in one place with a self-auditing trail.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has moved significant workforces to online platforms, highlighting the benefits and transformation possible quickly and efficiently with technology.
Illuminance Solutions has also delivered software for NDIS providers and recently announced a deal with the SaaS company Wiise on their AvantCare packages for registered not-for-profit providers.