Recent years have seen the care services sector undergo a significant change, driven by environmental pressures and the introduction of new capabilities from technology.
Care services specialist, IT Integrity, sat down with WARDY IT Solutions and MOQdigital, long-standing Microsoft Solutions Partners, working across industries to help businesses drive growth through better access to data, to discuss the drastic changes they’ve seen in the way that this technology is used in care services, particularly now as the industry faces new pressures.
Michael Hugo is a Business Development Manager at MOQdigital. In the past two and a half years with MOQdigital, Michael has worked primarily with clients in the aged and health care space, designing solutions to bring their businesses into the future and enable compliance to changing regulations.
WARDY IT Solutions Peter Ward is a long-standing figure in the Australian technology sector, with 15 years of tech consulting experience, working with a variety of clients in the care services industries to design tech solutions for better patient and customer care.
With our collective insight, we discussed technology in care services as it currently stands, where it’s going, how businesses can get there and what the future looks like for CIOs.
Care Services Current Landscape
The care services industry is currently in a state of transformation. In the last few years, there have been changes to NFP statuses, how the NDIS awards funding and the Royal Commission into Aged Care was established. Customers and clients expect services and results within a millisecond, and the agencies of the care services sector are soon to demand the same.
It’s been disrupted, especially from a regulatory compliance perspective and the Aged Care Royal Commission is going to continue to accelerate.Peter Ward
To provide better care outcomes, organisations need better data. This requires new technology which enables care services providers to be able to access and understand their data. To be compliant with industry changes, care services organisations need frameworks, risk management, and to work with existing solutions that have proven to meet similar needs in the industry.
There are many workflows and automations that can be created to provide care services providers with the peace of mind to let them focus on what their core business is.Michael Hugo
How Technology is Being Applied in Care Services Today
Technology is an enabler. WARDY IT demonstrates this perfectly in a recent case where they were engaged to examine the cause of morbidity within aged care. They used technology and data insights to understand the issue and make informed decisions to improve patient care.
They knew the primary cause of morbidity in aged care is broken hips. When someone breaks their hip, they lose mobility, which dramatically increases the risk of morbidity. Analysing information about these cases, WARDY IT found that the primary reason for someone breaking their hip was incontinence. These individuals wanted to go to the toilet themselves, they have tried to get out of bed, and as a result, they have fallen and broken their hip.
Using this information, systems were introduced to capture simple data points so that nurses and other staff could share when somebody last went to the bathroom. Data sharing between shifts transformed the care services organisation away from being siloed — where one caregiver provides an isolated service that others are not always aware of, to being holistic — where all staff are aware of the care strategies in place for each patient. Through this, the facility could improve its overall service.
Traditionally, clinical care was something that was the responsibility of the individual practitioner, and that was treated in isolation for one patient. Now we’re rolling that together, allowing us to see data holistically and being able to identify patterns and trends.Peter Ward
Moving Care Services into the Future
The technology for care services organisations to move forward is already available through Microsoft’s Power BI Dashboards and cloud platform options, which provide a much-needed source of truth for care services data.
Motivated by disruption from a number of different angles; regulatory compliance, the Aged Care Royal Commission, and demand from customers, the care services sector is currently facing significant environmental pressures to adapt, and this new technology presents an opportunity to alleviate some of the challenges.
The immediate future requires care services organisations to:
- Learn the importance of data; how to track it, read it, report on it and use it to make better decisions
- Implement systems that allow for better communication and ease of reporting
- Lean on experts to put these systems in place, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel when best practice is already known.
Microsoft is the provider helping to make this shift. Already the most used provider within the care services industry, Microsoft has been investing heavily in the care services sector. They have a clinical physician that works inside of the business in Australia to help guide them and provide direction and input into product development for the industry.
Microsoft can react and provide solutions that might take competitors years to do. Customers can be a greenfield site, a brownfield site, or have legacy systems, it doesn’t matter because finally, we’ve got this ecosystem and toolset that pretty much can be all things to all people.Michael Hugo
These tools, whether Power BI, SharePoint, ShareFile, or a CRM system, help care services providers to get a single point of truth with seamless integration, within one ecosystem. Eliminating costly exercises in designing bespoke solutions to make systems connect, these modern data platforms are more cost-effective and efficient, as well as easier to read and report on.
5 Things CIOs Should Consider Today
CIOs will see increased pressure and responsibility for taking care services into the next stage of tech adoption, introducing tools that enable better decision making to increase the quality of care for patients and ensure regulatory compliance.
To effect this change, CIOs need to consider:
- How to remain flexible and face environmental pressures (NDIS, data reporting requirements, and the Royal Commission)
- How to resolve issues and identify opportunities to improve data use
- Reviewing the current underlying technology footprint of their company
- How to help the executive team make data decisions with new technology
- How to make data a key part of organisational goals and conversation
CIOs are finding ways to use technology as a core pillar of the business to help it find its sustainability and its turnaround.Michael Hugo
At ITAC2020 Microsoft, IT Integrity and MOQdigital hosted the Executive Data Masterclass.
Our masterclass panellists provided in-industry examples of data platform adoption, proving that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to modernise your data and meet changing compliance standards.
We believe the information presented in the masterclass gave many attendees the confidence to start thinking about their own data strategy, as well as actionable strategies to implement in their businesses.
If you would like to start your journey towards a modern data strategy, you may be interested in IT Integrity’s service Instinct to Insights: Develop a Data Driven Business.
This service for care service organisations offers a roadmap to adopting modern Microsoft data platform and data analytics tools. These tools are the key to efficient data management and data driven decision-making in the care service industry.
How does Instinct to Insights: Develop a Data Driven Business propel care service organisations into modern data management?
IT Integrity can assist you in your adoption of Microsoft SQL as a Service:
- You don’t need to upgrade your system
- We’ll work with you to understand the data components needed in your organisation
- Gain greater operational insights
- Ensure your organisation meets baseline compliance and accreditation standards
- Start improving resource productivity with actionable reporting
Book your initial data assessment and recommendation workshop with IT integrity
This Microsoft stack is already helping businesses in care services. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to data management. Start making data-driven decisions and improving your operation. Contact IT Integrity today to find out more.
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