Take a deep dive into digital transformation

An upcoming webinar aims to help aged care organisations boost their digital capabilities.

Develop a plan. Stay the course. Appoint local champions for technology and change. Do better or someone will come in and do it for you. 

These are among the pieces of advice industry leaders have for aged care providers regarding their digital transformation journey.

It’s an ongoing journey that governments and business are on alike, but one the aged care sector has been notoriously slow to embrace. Indeed, as the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council’s recent and inaugural report on the sector’s digital maturity found, the level of self-reported innovation among providers “was very low.”

A lack of investment in IT and innovation is the sector’s biggest weakness, said Gary McDonald – senior account manager at software vendor Epicor.

Gary McDonald

And while the focus areas will likely differ for individual organisations, digital transformation is an enterprise-level ongoing initiative requiring multiple stakeholders and strong leadership that all providers should be prioritising, he said.

“It is important that you build a clear plan that aligns to the business,” Mr McDonald told Community Care Review. And providers should take a planned and staged approach, said Mr McDonald, who has spent 40 years in the technology and digitisation space.

“We have seen many organisations start but never finish that journey. Instead of undertaking smaller bite-sized projects, companies try to do it all at once. And while dreaming big is fine, the chances of the project finalising effectively are often very low.”

Mr McDonald – who helps aged care organisations improve operational efficiencies, financial reporting and integration across systems – will speak at next week’s webinar hosted by our sister website Australian Ageing Agenda about how aged care organisations can boost their digital transformation.

This free online event – Deep Dive into Aged Care Digital Transformation – will involve a robust discussion on how the sector is tracking and the areas provider should focus their energies.

Other speakers include LPA managing director Lorraine Poulos, who calls out digitally immature workforces, few plans for how organisations will embrace technology and software programs that don’t talk to each among the sector’s weaknesses.

“The first thing providers should do is develop a robust digital roadmap, undertake a stocktake of all current software systems, assess the digital literacy and skills of the workforce and do user acceptance testing on current and future applications,” Ms Poulos told CCR.

Lorraine Poulos

Ms Poulos is a registered nurse and educator with over 35 years of experience in the health and aged care sector. In her current role, she and her team provide tailored advice to care practitioners and providers and undertake projects for local, state and federal governments.

She said many organisations lacked a designated information officer or team and suggested they “appoint local champions for technology and change” among strategies for the quickest and easiest wins.

“Providers should put the most focus on assessing skill levels, testing whether current systems are fit for purpose and if the workforce is utilising all capabilities,” she said.

The third speaker is Mirus Australia founder Rob Covino. He wants providers to know about the role that artificial intelligence – AI – has to play in digital and business transformation.

“We see AI leading business transformation and organisational restructuring, growing revenue and holding or reducing head counts – similar to what is already happening overseas with listed companies,” Mr Covino told CCR.

Rob Covino

“Providers who don’t start now will be the ones absorbed into the more efficient organisations who are augmenting manual tasks and reducing their costs on non-direct care time,” said Mr Covino, who has over a decade of management consulting experience in aged care.

In his current role, Mr Covino develops tailored strategic service offerings and the associated methodologies for aged care organisations. The sector has always been slow to innovate and adopt technology but with the reform wheels now in motion, providers need to “do better or someone will come in and do it for you,” he warned.

On what to do first, Mr Covino recommends providers take a step forward, regardless of however little it feels. “Take that step. Put in a meeting. Make it a board discussion item, get talking about it. Motion creates emotion.”

George Margelis

Joining them on the panel is guest George Margelis, a trained medical practitioner who has been deeply involved in technology for the last 30 years.

Dr Margelis has been independent chair of the the ACIITC since 2019. Among other inside information, Dr Margelis will share the findings and learnings of the peak body’s digital maturity report – which includes a toolkit to help providers make improvements.

Please join us for the discussion – facilitated by Community Care Review and Australian Ageing Agenda editor Natasha Egan – on Wednesday 13 March from 1pm – 2.30pm AEDT.

Find out more and register for Deep Dive into Aged Care Digital Transformation here.

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Tags: aciitc, deep dive into aged care digital transformation, epicor, gary mcdonald, george margelis, Lorraine Poulos, LPA, mirus australia, rob covino,

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