A nationwide survey of residential aged care staff has found almost one in ten works in a facility reliant on paper records for care management, while “critical digital systems” are yet to be widely implemented in a sector in “dire need of disruption”.
Conducted by the Aged Care Technology Consortium, the survey highlighted frustration at staff shortages, poor shift handovers including for “deteriorating” residents, time consuming compliance reporting, and digital systems that don’t integrate.
One respondent said: “No [digital] system talks to each other – even from the same providers! Whether it’s clinical care systems, finance systems, incident management systems, HR systems – nothing talks to each other.”
Another commented: “Paper based systems are not acceptable in this day and age.”
The Consortium’s founding companies – MEDrefer, Webstercare, Extensia, Foxo, Visionflex and Humanetix – have joined together to integrate their technologies to help prevent unnecessary transfers to hospital emergency departments, and provide early identification of health needs, improved services in rural and remote areas, more staff time for patient care, better engagement with families, and health record sharing.
“Aged care providers can find it confusing to choose digital systems, and often their systems don’t connect or share information. We have taken some of the frustration out of the digital transition process because, ultimately, aged care needs to modernise. Our older Australians deserve better,” MEDrefer founder and CEO Brian Sullivan said.