The elderly care sector is facing major changes in the coming years that need to be understood and embraced by elderly care providers in order to survive.
The combination of the changing demographics of the resident base and their support families combined with information and infrastructure technological changes go hand in hand with the current serious environmental problems in reforming the design and activities of aged care.
The future of Aged Care will very soon evolve into a form more like that of a resort, and this form is inevitable as we will be in aged care for the next 20-30 years. The availability of more resources, social, family, legislative and market needs of residents for less institutional housing styles will ensure that information technology systems and sustainable results are rapidly integrated into key criteria for the elderly care center of the future.
Design and operating procedures will change significantly during this period, offering great opportunities for IT and Change Management to stand out and be noticed.
Competition in care for the elderly will ensure that a noticeably increased demand ensures that the provider who looks ahead and who is willing to think outside the circle gets a competitive advantage.
There is a very important link between sustainability and information technology in this process.
Sustainability is about ‘doing more for less’. It is a win / win situation.
Sustainable design combined with sustainable business operations and the smooth integration of information technology go hand in hand. It is only natural that they are connected to each other. The benefits to an Aged Care Information Technology Center are limited only by our understanding of its capabilities and as the technology becomes more widely accepted and used, it will only improve, while the numerous benefits for residents and operators alike will stand out.
Designing and operating a sustainable facility has many advantages. Compliance with current energy efficiency legislation (Section J, Building Code of Australia, BCA), which will only become more difficult in the coming years, will provide a competitive advantage. While it is a necessary requirement and may seem expensive at first, the benefits of meeting Section J will be repaid in a short period of time (usually around 5 years) due to lower energy costs.
Through sustainable design, we can also greatly improve the comfort of the resident and the quality of the internal environment. Certainly a great advantage for all stakeholders!
This sustainable approach benefits greatly from the application of integrated information technology. For example, modern nurse call systems can be linked to the building’s mainframe system, providing a full analysis of the resident’s lifestyle. This can then of course be used to design efficient and appropriate care programs for individual residents that can be monitored and adjusted as needed.
What this does is significantly improve staffing and operational efficiency so that staff can be better used by spending more time with residents, wasting less time and paying less attention to resident attendance and caring for the inhabitants.
This, in turn, will result in improved staff productivity, reduced absenteeism and improved posture.
Another win / win situation.
This concept of an integrated IT system fits perfectly with our sustainable design approach, which gives us a significant reduction in environmental impact. As current energy, water and labor costs rise significantly in the coming years, the smart operator will achieve significant costs, marketing, amenities and operational benefits.
Information technology plays an important role in improving these technological environmental issues by assisting in environmental monitoring while improving the design and operation of sustainable practices and equipment.
In the long term, building management systems will be included in the nurse call system, which is currently also linked to security and telephone systems.
This allows a smart supplier to monitor all building design and operational systems, personnel and patient management and maintenance programs through one integrated IT system. This in itself is a great sustainable result.
As we develop this concept further, the information collected from operational assessments, building management and residential care programs (all in the building management system) can be downloaded to the design parameters and form a smart foundation for future design results that are sustainable and intelligent. Lesson learned is not lost.
This approach provides the following benefits for your Aged Care project.
o Greatly improved operational efficiency
o Significantly improved comfort for residents
o Reduced environmental impact
o Significantly lower business and life cycle costs
o Improved design quality
o Improved construction techniques
o Improved quality results
o Less maintenance and rework costs
o Improved marketability
o Less absenteeism.
o Improved staff productivity
o Improved overall efficiency
o Significantly improved profit
The future of Aged Care is about to change in many ways: it is important to embrace what technology has to offer or we risk falling behind.
The more we engage in smart practices, the more efficient we become and the less we waste. No company can survive if it wastes money. And no company can survive with its head in the sand.
Not even Luddites!