Digital transformation in aged care and disability services is generating efficiencies and savings for businesses and, in turn, improving service to customers and clients. Stretched by soaring demand and intense scrutiny over processes and standards, providers have been fast to catch on, as Telstra Health reports that 90 percent of residential aged care beds are managed using digital information systems.
With Australian consumers ever more aware of their costs, staying competitive in a saturated market has become crucial in the industry. Companies have clearly targeted their administrative costs as a way to drive down price and attract more clients and improve efficiency. A 2018 report found a 20 percent drop in admin costs over a two-year period in home care with those still charging high fees for administration “exiting the market”.
Here we delve into how new software and smart technologies can support aged care and disability support businesses to save time, reduce costs, up customer satisfaction and stay competitive
The benefits of software for the aged care and disability support sectors
Implementing and changing your aged care and disability support provider digital strategy does require an investment of time and cash, but it is exactly that: an investment. Programs that are revolutionising the way the aged care and disability support sectors function are providing companies with many benefits that make the switch very much worth the while:
reduction in time spent on administrative and back-end tasks, freeing up staff for client interaction and care;
improved communication with clients and their families for greater satisfaction and retention;
avoidance of rostering issues and a streamlining of the process;
a faster and easier invoicing process for both the business and the client; and,
an overall reduction of costs, time spent and greater efficiency.
Integrated systems are helping companies tackle issues they face when it comes to administration and management of staff with great success. Below we outline six clear ways that you can digitise your aged care and disability business for greater efficiency.
1. Improve document management
Doing away with the filing cabinets and going paperless requires a strong digital system to manage documentation. New software designed specifically for the aged care and disability support industries has reached this level and allows for paperless administration, more organised teams and a complete management of files.
Greater organisation means that files won’t go missing, oversights are easily avoided and staff can manage their own filing, reducing the workload of administration staff.
Digital document management provides smart solutions to common problems as platforms like ShiftCare allow users to set up email reminders when files are due to expire, or action is required. Expired documents are also handily displayed in one location for easy access.
What’s more, cloud-based systems have fast become the new norm for companies, reducing costs and allowing teams to work collaboratively.
In sectors such as disability support, this is clearly beneficial, as staff tend to be working from many locations spread across vast areas. Cloud storage of paperwork and documents means that a support worker can be with a client at their home and access their records to view past notes and data as well as upload any new files during the shift, all without having to step foot in the office. Care plans, client progress notes and goals and forms can all be accessed and updated quickly and from anywhere.
The photocopier can also take a break, as sharing and distributing documents with staff, clients, families and third parties is just a click away.
Without a doubt, all parties involved benefit from more efficient document management, which frees your team up for client interaction, reduces overheads and provides a better service for customers, with a system that’s easy to set up and navigate.
2. Avoid rostering issues and boost efficiency
Staffing requirements and responsibilities of companies to provide standards of care to clients are critical in aged care and disability support making rostering critical for companies and clients. It is also a significant cost for businesses as traditional rostering methods require large amounts of time and overhead, as well as being prone to errors and oversights.
Solutions tailored to the specific needs of the industry and its clients target headaches such as:
- double booking of disability providers and aged care workers;
- no shows;
- oversight of staff leave blockouts; and,
- clashes in rostering and schedules
The technology automatically detects and flags discrepancies before they impact the client (and your wage expenditure), freeing up admin staff and saving on overhead as preparing rosters and integrating new clients and staff become a breeze.
3. Scheduling management with a single click
Features such as drag and drop changes, simple group bookings and easy repeat schedule creation make upgrading systems a no brainer. The technology also creates simple view rosters so that everyone can clearly see their bookings and shift times no matter where they are, and the integration of the system quickly pays itself off with the savings it delivers.
Greater organisation is also achieved with automatic reminders and notifications sent to carers and clients when new sessions and set up and whenever changes are made.
4. Automatic time and attendance management
Industry professionals recommend care worker self-rostering as a way of improving scheduling and reducing staff stress as the process is streamlined and easily accessible.
With ShiftCare, care provider paperwork becomes easy to input and view, with staff able to fill in their own digital timesheets from their job site, block out leave periods and submit their expenses and mileage. This eliminates paper copies and the need to enter information from paper files into digital systems.
5. NDIS payments and paperwork processed swiftly
Working with clients receiving NDIS payments creates opportunities for businesses (for example up to 19,400 extra full-time jobs were anticipated in Queensland alone from the launch of NDIS) yet at the same time creates complications for your business. Extra funding puts care in reach of more people (meaning more business for care agencies) but also means additional paperwork and processes.
Recipients of NDIS across Australia have been impacted by blow outs in wait times and delays in payments, causing problems and dissatisfaction for both providers and clients, leading the government to inject more funding and work to speed up payment.
Your business can make it even easier for clients with streamlined, automated claim processes that enable bulk claims to reduce both wait times by up to 90 percent and expenditure on administration. This boosts cash flow and frees staff up to focus on core aspects of the business, generating greater efficiency and profit.
Reports are simple to generate and process, and smart integration with accounting software such as XERO and MYOB through ShiftCare makes the whole invoice and payment process even easier.
6. Secure data for businesses and clients
Aged care and disability service providers handle a large amount of sensitive data surrounding care providers and care recipients. Managing this is a big responsibility that companies face and is naturally an area of concern when changing systems.
ShiftCare’s software ensures that strong privacy measures are in place to protect user data. Use of personal information is limited to only to essential function of the software, as is the case with any sharing with third party. Users always have the right under law to request access information stored about them when their files are sorted with ShiftCare.
Improve your time management and profitability with ShiftCare technology
With rapid technological and software changes making care providers in aged care and disability support more efficient and cost effective. Many companies are already providing easier onboarding and invoicing for clients and efficient rostering and administration for staff, and as such the companies that don’t make the switch will find themselves left behind.
As overheads lower and admin times reduce, teams can focus on providing the best care and ensuring customer satisfaction, leading to a more successful business.
Transitioning to new systems can be easily achieved with progressive implementation of the software affording staff and clients the time to adjust and familiarise themselves, and is easily managed.