Aged care going digital a raging success!

Receiving emails from our clients who have made the transition from paper-based to digital give us a lot of satisfaction. One provider who had been under DHB monitoring after an audit that didn’t achieve as well as they could have said they saved $100,000 after implementing the HCSL programme.  They had been spending a lot of time researching, writing and submitting corrective actions to audit findings for quite some time.  This doesn’t happen anymore. They have no findings!

Comments which reflect how very easy they found the process of transition reinforce our concept of where possible we opt for one click instead of two in our design processes.  Some client had used other digital packages in the past which they described as cumbersome and clumsy.  Those packages didn’t integrate with other packages so to find all the information needed, staff had to use multiple sources of information.  This made some reluctant to try something new.  Arriving on site at a client one day Gillian was taken to meet two care staff.  Both were very excited to tell her how due to them both having dyslexia, neither had been able to write their own notes before.  Now with the simplicity combined with spell-check in the digital progress notes, they were able to write their own notes.

The co-design of solutions with our clients maintains the philosophy of simplicity being as easy to use as a basic mobile phone or Facebook.

Early on we identified inequity between the resources available to corporate owned multi-site providers and independently or small group owned aged care services. This inequity, in conjunction with shortages of staff led us to work alongside aged care, retirement village and community services to design a one-stop-shop programme and in 2015 HCSL aged care software  went LIVE.  It has continued to be developed since then to a fully cloud based solution.

Clients said they’d like everything in one place. Despite there being other options we were continually pressured to create a NZ specific product that supports not only benchmarking, quality and risk but also all aspects of providing care while incorporating compliance throughout each aspect of the programme.

The integration with Medi-map medication administration systems will further streamline access to resident care information for remote assessment and treatment planning.  More integrations are underway currently to support as seamless flow of resident information regardless of where those needing information to provide care are situated. Clinical records are now accessible and able to be updated from anywhere with an internet / wi-fi connection.

Having been appointed as the step-in temporary manager at Rosewood Resthome and Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak, Gillian Robinson was able to implement HCSL cloud-based software for telehealth support.  This programme was literally set up overnight and being used by staff with no training as there simply wasn’t time.  The great test for the system was to note the staff were able to successfully use the digital online care-planning and progress notes without any training other than to be supplied their login.  The uploading of a photograph of a wound for the doctor to review remotely was able to done easily after watching the 5 minute instructional video on ‘how to’.

Community, Disability services and mental health residential services along with retirement villages throughout NZ are now enjoying efficient cloud based records.  To find out how you can use this ready to use, NZ specific programme contact us.

Consumer Directed Services

Consumer directed services are core business for retirement villages. The aged care sector has been talking about ‘person centred’ care’ in health and specifically aged care services for a long time now.  Some services express a practice and philosophy of care based on residents being at the centre of all choices. Unfortunately sometimes when you ask the residents in those services, they may not share this view.

An increased focus on consumer directed care was part of the discussion at the Health and Disability Services Standards review workshop I attended recently.  Residents know what they want.  They are not always involved in service development discussions or asked what they need by service providers. When people set their own goals for clear reasons, they are more likely to engage and achieve. Where the support of others to achieve goals is needed, this is reliant on communication.

Retirement and aged care services are in a position to support not only the maintenance of health and well-being but also rehabilitation of those coming into residential based services. “We found that when you engage and motivate people, they do better,” said one of a study’s authors, Eric J. Lenze, MD, a professor of psychiatry.

In Australia “Aged care reforms continue to shift towards increasing choice, control and tailored services for older people and their families. To deliver more innovative and individual services, providers will need to think about their future workforce models and ask which industrial frameworks are best suited to their market and long term goals.”  To read more on this subject, click here.

As always with research, there are other views which should be considered.  These include individual preference for making choices and residents’ ability to make a specific choice in relation to one or multiple aspects of their health.   Read more here on this topic.  Regardless of what decisions are made, I believe we can be sure the time ahead will include challenges.  How those are resolved will be interesting and lead hopefully to more learning.