Senior service: data set to drive improved aged care outcomes

General 1 March 2019

This year will see a new focus on Aged Care, with a Royal Commission into the sector – announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last September  – set to get underway in February.

 And with the Productivity Commission predicting that 3.5 million Australians will be accessing aged care services every year by 2050, its findings will be of national importance.

 One of the issues facing Aged Care as an industry is the slow uptake of many digital solutions - often due to a misunderstanding of what they can offer.

 “Currently you would find that for many Aged Care operators everything is very much still done manually and paper-based,” says John Rutledge, CEO of MyHub and CFO of SapphireCare Holdings.

 “What people in the Aged Care sector need is easy-to-understand, real-time data for clinical care and oversight and governance from the management and boards of those operators,” he adds.

 Now a new technology called MyHub - developed by carers, clinicians and technology experts from Sapphire Holdings Group, a Digital Health CRC industry participant - is offering a solution to these issues.

Wendy Fergie, Strategic Partnership Director at Emprevo and an industry consultant, says MyHub effectively represents “care operations in a box”.

  “It’s designed to help aged care operators ‘free’ the clinical and operational data from their existing systems and so bring about improved outcomes for both clients and staff,” she adds.

 SapphireCare Holdings is a major Australian Aged Care group, operating more than 3000 residential aged care beds and also providing in-home care services to more than 1000 families.

 BlueCross SapphireCare’s Barry Johnson explains that in the past six years SapphireCare has examined “all major systems available in the Australian market to address the shortcomings in assessing the clinical health of its residents”.

 SapphireCare, he said, has been operating the system for more than a year in a Beta testing phase across 10 aged care residences with about 800 active staff using the platform.

 It was imperative to have an objective data analysis tool “to assess and identify, in a highly automated and responsive way” the wellbeing of its residents.

 “This imperative ensures that doctors, allied health professionals, nurses and personal carers can be responsive to the needs of our residents.”

 Key modules within MyHub include Clinical, Policy and Procedures, Quality and Safety, Audit, and Human Resources.

 Fergie says it provides “an intranet-like comprehensive aged care management solution covering critical clinical care analytics, medication management, risk assessment, frailty index, automated clinical audits and action-focused workflows for staff”.

 “The outcomes have been outstanding for residents, who are now receiving improved care aligned to their specific needs. And an important outcome for operators is that it helps to meet compliance and audit requirements.”

 Rutledge and Fergie are “very excited” to be a Digital Health CRC industry participant.

 “We are hopeful this partnership will help to deliver the continued improvement of aged care services in a sustainable way.”

 SapphireCare will work with the CRC to research the impacts of data to identify and manage residential aged care metrics like falls, behaviour management and reporting on standards.

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