An ageing population is an issue in which everyone has an interest. In the next four decades, it is estimated that the proportion of our population aged over 65 will be at around 25%, so future aged care needs in Australia will significantly impact our society and our government.
With this level of market growth ahead, technology and innovation will play an increasingly critical role in the sustainability of our aged care industry.
The Flinders Medical Research Institute on behalf of the ACIITC has created the Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia. The roadmap illustrates how technology will be the foundation on which aged care services will be delivered in the future. It outlines how a technology-based aged care market will increase consumer choice and decision making when it comes to the exact type of care they receive, as well as where, when and how it is delivered.
How technology is shaping the future of aged care
Technology is disrupting every industry in our day-to-day lives, including the aged care market. Despite being, in some respects, slow to adopt technological change – many aged care providers are now embracing technology and partnering with technology vendors to make their care services more efficient and competitive.
Innovations over recent years have already improved ‘connectivity’ for residents in aged care and improved the quality of the services available to them.
On a personal level, broadband technology, tablets, smartphones, and UX web design have given aged care consumers far greater access to a wide range of resources. They can do their own research, make highly informed decisions and stay alert and connected to their communities at the swipe of a screen.
On a patient care level, innovative point of care software gives care providers greater access to patients’ medical and care profiles, allowing them to deliver a higher quality of care and leaving less room for error.
As the aged care sector is one of the largest growth industries in Australia, there is a more urgent need for providers to deliver bespoke, efficient care. Understanding the level of technology adoption, usage characteristics and innovation readiness in your organisation will be crucial for providers to optimise any strategic business improvement approaches.
Diagnostic tools such as Bentleys Aged Care Technology and Innovation Maturity Assessment assist providers to measure business value propositions for future growth. With a measured technology and innovation plan, providers will be in a stronger position to deliver the highest quality of care to older Australians for many years to come.
Getting ahead of the technology and innovation curve
Understand your current maturity levels
Many organisations jump into the strategy development without understanding their current maturity levels of technology and innovation. Consider a maturity assessment to identify the levels of technology adoption, usage and readiness. This will allow you to understand key strengths and weaknesses, along with recommendations for improvement.
Align technology and strategy
Use the recommendations from maturity assessments to develop business strategy aligned with key technology and innovation goals. Adoption of technology can be justified if it’s related to your overall business goals and strategy. Consider how innovative technologies can support your business in the short term as well as the long term.
Develop an implementation plan
Develop an implementation plan based on your strategy with milestones and success imperatives. This will allow you to establish goals, project requirements, key tasks and responsibilities in achieving the strategies. The implementation plan should consider agile projects where projects are executed within a short period of time to understand the success and/or feasibility and adopt any changes to improve.
Continual service improvement
Develop a continual service improvement plan to keep on top of the changes and to support your staff/clients in adopting changes. Regular assessments and evaluation of service improvements will assist in developing a change management strategy and a plan to continually improve your service offering with technology.
Every organisation has a different level of maturity in technology and innovation usage. An assessment of the technology usage, adoption and readiness will provide a strategic roadmap that is customised to your organisation. Bentleys’ Technology and Innovation team has specialist expertise in aged care. We work with aged care providers and suppliers to understand the level of technology adoption, co-develop strategic plans and facilitate the design of business improvement projects.