INsite looks at how technology is transforming the services offered by retirement village operators and aged care providers.
Participating in integrated electronic care plan pilot
Bupa Care Services are working with the Health Alliance (HA), the support agency for three Auckland district health boards, for three care homes within the Auckland region to participate in an integrated electronic care plan pilot. This pilot will see the National Health Shared Care Plan CCMS being integrated with Bupa’s CCMS ‘Aotahi’, Bupa’s centralised client database, bringing together the health information of those high users.
This multi-disciplinary approach will see an optimal integrated care delivery supported as electronic health records become accessible to primary, secondary, and tertiary providers. It will mean improved resident health information being transferred in a reliable and secure manner. It will also enable Bupa to see regional lab test results, medication lists, and discharge summaries.
The architecture of CCMS is technically similar to Microsoft Dynamics CRM used to develop Bupa’s Aotahi. Bupa is the first private aged care provider in New Zealand to be part of the Regional Shared Care programme.
Fibre to the home: Laying the groundwork for technology boom
In 2007, Summerset was planning to build our village in Hastings and realised we needed to look at ways we could build smarter infrastructure and technology to enable our residents to ‘age in place’. The ageing in place idea is in line with New Zealand government policy, which encourages people to stay in their homes for as long as possible. This includes retirement village residents, as they are in their own homes when living in a village.
We decided to introduce Fibre to the Home (FTTH) into all of our new villages, starting with Hastings.
The idea is to use it to harness technology that would allow people to stay in their own villa, in the village, longer, without having to move to the care facility. Now, all of our newest villages have FTTH.
FTTH allows for a full data connection into each dwelling. Currently, it enables Summerset to offer services such as phone and data, but this is only the beginning of what could be introduced.
We envision in the future we will be able to provide Internet Protocol TV and health services such as remote doctor or nurse visits done over the data network and even passive monitoring of our residents done by exception, if desired. This would mean staff in a village can receive alerts when a fridge door hasn’t been opened, or the hot water not used for a specified period of time, indicating an independent resident may be in trouble. We also have the ability to place pressure plates on the floor that can alert staff when somebody has had a fall.
The possibilities for this kind of technology are endless. Villages can be completely networked, so staff can access information on the spot and enable residents to live more independent lives, while being monitored without it being intrusive.
In aged care, there is real potential for extraordinary technologies to make a real difference to the lives of staff and residents. FTTH is our first step in accessing this; we believe it’s laying a solid foundation that will set us up for the future.
By Joe Byrne, IT Manager, Summerset Group Ltd
The Selwyn Foundation
New client records software
Hilda Johnson-Bogaerts, The Selwyn Foundation’s general manager for residential care services, says new client records software is transforming the way Selwyn operates.
“Last October, the Foundation appointed Leecare Solutions to provide an innovative client records software package for use by our managers and clinical staff at our 11 care facilities,” says Johnson-Bogaerts.
“Australia-based Leecare are the market leaders in providing electronic care planning systems to the aged care industry, and we chose them as our preferred providers after an extensive review of the software products on the market. We compared the programmes that are generally available against our requirements and compliance obligations, the match with our philosophy of work and effectiveness of care planning, as well as the overall cost, time-saving benefits to users, and the general fit with our organisation.
“The Leecare software will allow us to automate all resident clinical and care management documentation. It will enable us to track and record vital resident details from admission, review care plans and progress notes, sort data, and generate reports, providing staff with timely access to accurate and up-to-date resident information. It also improves communication of information and alerts staff to events coming up.
“The software uses a web browser interface, therefore, it can be used with all types of Android touch screen devices and iPads etc., so staff are familiar with its look even before they start using it. Much of the functionality replicates what they see in other websites and programmes – from selecting residents, to uploading documents and resident care-focussed videos or pictures onto the resident home page or into their assessments and care plans.
“Staff training has been under way since the start of this year, and we’re in the process of introducing the new system in a phased implementation for all client records across our facilities and sites. There’s been an excellent response from our RNs, as they can see the benefits with regard to assessments and a reduction in time spent on documentation.
“Ultimately, the Leecare system will improve the resident experience by having well-communicated and planned care at staff members’ fingertips.”