Improving resident experience through digital survey technology

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This article is part of our showcase of the 2019 Future of Ageing Awards. CarePage/Allity won the Consumer Experience category.  

Launched in 2014, CarePage is an aged-care-specific, data collection and analytics tool that was developed to equip aged care providers with tangible evidence of customer and employee experience.

With a network of 45 homes across the country, Allity made the decision to implement CarePage technology in a select number of homes in an attempt to better understand the needs of their consumers and staff to improve their operational processes.

Project Overview

A series of pilot programs that began in September 2018 have provided Allity Aged Care with information that has allowed the organisation to identify and assess operational deficiencies.

This has paved the way for the implementation of improvement plans that are based on fact and are currently having a positive impact on the lives of the people in their care.

How it came together

Allity realised that the only way they could uncover and implement ideas for improvement in its homes was through ongoing engagement with customers, families, employees, and referrers.

Currently, the approach taken to feedback by many providers is still reactive. They wait for consumers to provide feedback (often in the form of a complaint) and deal with problems as they arise. Others may operate systems that directly solicit feedback, such as a customer satisfaction survey, but often only on an annual basis.

In order to truly drive continuous improvement in aged care, Allity realised that it needed to shift from a reactive to a proactive approach. The CarePage platform provides factual, evidence-based insight into customer experience in real time. Data is collected and collated, and is accessible with the simple click of a button, giving providers the chance to identify and adapt to the changing environment within their workplace.

CarePage surveys are conducted online through the use of a handheld tablet or computer in the aged care environment, the results of which can be viewed in real-time on an online dashboard that can only be viewed by members of the organisation who have been granted access.

The dashboard provides organisations with detailed insight regarding their level of success on individual quality of life indicators according to the consumers that they care for, allowing users to better understand which workplace processes are in need of improvement.

Outcomes

Allity chose Templestowe Manor Aged Care as the test case for using CarePage technology.

After the completion of the initial training and onboarding process, the rollout of CarePage surveying began in the Templestowe home at the end of September 2018 and quickly provided an insight into consumer dissatisfaction regarding one of the key elements of the aged care experience.

Data that was compiled throughout late September and October found that only 68 per cent of residents in the Templestowe facility responded positively to the survey question “Do you like the food here?” which was both a shock and a cause for concern for kitchen staff.

The menu within the Templestowe Manor facility operates on a four-week rotating system that provides consumers with a wide variety of meals.

Staff watched with interest over the following three months to understand whether initial results regarding food satisfaction were part of an ongoing trend or more symbolic of a dislike of that particular menu.

Although data collected throughout the three month period between November 2018 and January 2019 did show a slight increase in consumer food satisfaction to 71 per cent, the staff at Templestowe Manor decided that this trend warranted a more in-depth discussion with their consumers.

The development of a resident focus group resulted in discussions between staff and 12 of the facility’s most forthright residents who provided valuable insight into the specifics of what consumers felt would improve their mealtime experience.

The Chef at Templestowe Manor worked closely with members of the residents’ focus group, surveying each of the individual residents with on a daily basis regarding their likes, and dislikes from the previous day’s menu.

Results from these discussions highlighted a number of minute issues, including having access to more condiments and having gravy in a separate jug that would allow residents to distribute the gravy themselves, as being some of the reasoning for the initial dissatisfaction. Kitchen staff at Templestowe Manor then set about implementing a number of improvement processes based on the direct feedback that they received from the resident focus group.

Data collected throughout February saw a dramatic increase in the consumer satisfaction with an overall score of 80 per cent, and the following month saw that positive trend culminate with a score of 100 per cent satisfaction for the month of March. May, June, and July were also extremely successful, with scores of 91 per cent and 100 per cent concurrently.

Allity staff at the Templestowe Manor Aged Care facility report that the vast majority of consumers enjoy the experience of being surveyed, as this assures consumers that their opinion is valued and presents an opportunity to interact meaningfully with staff members.

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