There has been a significant spotlight recently on the aged care sector in Australia, particularly since the Royal Commission into the Quality and Safety of Aged Care began, with a key point being how best to deliver aged care services to people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities, including younger people.
The commission is also currently examining how to best deliver aged care services in a sustainable way through the use of technology. While the commission won’t wrap up until 2020, there are difficulties within existing systems that are easy to spot.
Today we examine the issue further, and see how an NDIS-compliant Intranet can help benefit aged care providers by easing the strain on staff, thus helping provide better service to residents - both younger disabled people and the elderly.
How the NDIS fits into the aged care system
When we speak about aged care and the NDIS there is a distinct at-risk group that we are referring to: under 65’s living in aged care facilities.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme was created to help support eligible individuals under the age of 65 with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities.
The scheme allows those eligible to access services such as mental health care, education, housing, and other mainstream services to help maximize their independence, providing not only individual support, but to assist families and carers of those with permanent and significant disabilities.
Despite government efforts to reduce the number of young people with disabilities living in aged care facilities, there are still plenty of people under 65 who come under this banner. Why? Because the high level of care they need aligns with a similar level of care required of the elderly, despite the obvious differences in requirements. For those under 65 who have no other options, the NDIS pays care and accommodation fees at aged care facilities.
Technology based challenges facing aged care providers when it comes to NDIS compliance
Outdated technology solutions can be an issue when it comes to management of the disabled under 65 in aged care facilities, being shoehorned into systems that were not built to accommodate these needs.
1. Difficulty: Indistinct document management systems
Many providers will have a system in place that does not effectively manage NDIS resources, including:
NDIS registration details,
Current and former residents under 65,
Current pricing guides,
These resources may be mixed in alongside standard aged care resources, or simply lumped together inside generic locations within a network drive.
Solution: Clear distinction and identification of NDIS-relevant resources
For staff to be able to do their jobs more easily, and NDIS compliance more easy to assess, there needs to be clear document management in place.
With an intuitive, searchable, taggable, and versioned document management solution built into a provider’s Intranet.
This removes the poor document governance headache. NDIS resources can be neatly organized and tagged for clear distinction, with historical data available on demand, too.
2. Difficulty: NDIS information stored across various computers and physical sites, etc.
When there is no easy to follow guidelines of where, how, and when to store data and documents, it’s left up to the individual to decide what to do with it.
This can mean that important documents end up stored locally on a single computer, left in email systems for reference without being properly stored elsewhere, and that multi-site organizations may have different sets of information and data that should be shared.
Solution: Singular point of reference and information
Whether it’s an on premise solution or a cloud solution, there needs to be a single source of reference for staff to access NDIS-relevant resources.
This can be achieved with a modern intranet implementation, alongside staff training on how to use it to best keep information and documents up to date, available, and shared with the right people, including implementing access controls defined by users, group, and role.
3. Difficulty: Paper, fax, and phone based administrative NDIS tasks
Despite technology coming along in leaps and bounds, many providers still rely heavily on paper, fax, and phone based administrative systems. This means wasted human resources, the introduction of human errors, and a one-way, stop-start administrative pipeline.
While many systems are now digital, there is still heavy reliance across the industry on older administrative solutions and workflows.
Solution: Modern solutions that replace decade-old administration systems
Developing secure, modern solutions is now within reach of all organizations. The cost of ownership has significantly decreased, as well as the complexity of configuration and ongoing management.
A modern Intranet such as CentricMinds can encompass communicating with mobile staff members (nurses doing house calls, etc.), automated workflow management to remove the stop-start nature of manual administration, important NDIS updates via a personalized news feed, and historical team communication in the one place rather than via telephone.
4. Difficulty: Data security concerns
Computer systems security and the associated costs have played a major role in holding on to out of date systems, particularly in the healthcare and associated industries. As healthcare data is extremely sensitive, providers have played it fairly risk-averse by sticking to ‘tried and tested’ administrative methods where security is well understood.
Solution: Built-in HIPAA compliance
Modern Intranet solutions are built specifically to be compliant with provider legal requirements such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - for management of protected health information for assured safety. We can also help in configuring specific rules for NDIS requirements and compliance activities as well.
Partner with us
If you are an aged care provider looking to more effectively manage your NDIS obligations, then a CentricMinds Intranet could well be the way forward. It will not only make you a more capable provider for disabled under 65’s, but you’ll also find it assists heavily in the day-to-day administration tasks required for an organization like yours. Get in touch to learn more about our modern solutions for health and aged care providers.