Aged care needs to embrace a digital futureBy Patrick Saundry, Head of SMB on
People are taking better care of themselves and living longer which means there are significantly more elderly people entering permanent residential aged care.
By 2055, the proportion of Australians over 65 will increase to 22.9 per cent (8.9 million) of the total population and the number of Australians receiving aged care is projected to increase by around 150 per cent over the next 40 years.
Against this backdrop, aged care is currently undergoing a shift towards consumer directed care. With their assets, superannuation and retirement savings slowly accumulating, the lifestyle expectations of people entering aged care settings in the next two decades will be vastly different from their parents.
The traditional retirement village with only basic services won’t be sufficient, as many retirees will soon have the resources to expect services similar to a resort or a hotel when they enter a care environment. The success of aged care providers in this evolving market will increasingly depend on their ability to run their business efficiently, while providing market-leading services to their customers.
To stay competitive aged care providers will need a scalable system in place for workforce planning, recruiting personnel, and retaining talent. With one in four new jobs expected to come from the healthcare and social assistance sector over the next five years, aged care providers could easily be dealing with high turnover costs without the right systems in place.
The growing demand for improved customer service also requires aged care providers to leverage digital transformation across their entire business. Embracing a digital future will allow providers to attract new clients and employees, improve communication with carers and better manage the health of their customers, while innovating their service models across the board.
We know that tracking the sheer volume of data is already a major challenge for providers. Improving services begins with greater accountability so it’s important to be able to make sense of data, measure the quality of care and make appropriate and timely improvements. Unfortunately, the interoperability of legacy systems hinders the ability of service providers to leverage the full capabilities within their data.
Those providers who can build a full 360° view of their clients will be at a significant advantage as caseworkers and program managers can achieve meaningful collaboration by all having access to a single, unified source of information. SAP is particularly sensitive to this, with user-friendly processes, second-to-none systems’ security and accessible support. When an aged care provider has between 1000 – 5000 customers to look after each day, it cannot afford system outages.
The success of individual aged care suppliers now depends on having the right technology platform to enhance their quality of care, improve financial sustainability and achieve long-term patient-provider loyalty. SAP is well placed to support the aged care industry, as this has been an area of extensive research and development in recent years.
One of the unique ways that SAP supports its clients in the health care and aging industry is with simplified, reliable access to accurate data, resulting in more informed decision making. Through data consolidation into a single system, providers can leverage instant data access for the streamlined workforce management and service delivery that will provide a long term competitive advantage.
About the Author:
As the Head of SMB at Oxygen, I partner with you to determine your business objectives before designing the solution to deliver those outcomes and supporting you over the long term. As your business grows and changes, so do your requirements. We recognize that and plan for it – allowing ultimate business agility by leveraging world-class SAP software.
If you’d like to learn how we can help your health and aged care business grow and keep pace with this evolving market, please do not hesitate to contact us.