What the Australian aged care industry looks like
The Australian aged care industry currently provides services to over 1.3 million people. This number will continue to grow as our aged population increases and the demand for more support will grow with it.
Research shows that on average an aged care recipient requires 4.3 hours of care per day. Currently aged care support recipients are receiving less than half of the support they require.
So why are we so far off the mark?
There are many factors that contribute to our broken aged care system. The largest barrier we face is the lack of Government Funding. It is estimated that an additional $621 million in government funding is required just to meet ‘Basic Standards’.
Aside from the clear lack of adequate funding, another down fall in the industry is their reliance on manual work. Manually managing the delivery of support services is still very prevalent across the industry. Some organisations having more than 50 full time schedulers completely dedicated to managing the rosters of the out bound support workers. Ignoring available tools not only means having large teams where manual planning or required, but also leads human error.
What can we do to fill the gap?
Unfortunately, getting additional funding is something that we don’t have a lot of control over. However, there are things that can be changed within an organisation that will improve the quality of service that is provided to our ageing population.
The use of automation tools will help to ensure all clients are reached on time, every time. Automation software takes all requirements of a client (The support type they require, assign a support worker who is correctly qualified, calculate more efficient route, clients preferred support worker and much more) and then provides a roster that is 30% more efficient than what can be delivered through manual creation.
What are the key benefits of automation for the Aged care industry?
Reduce the need for large teams of schedulers: There will always be a need to have some manual scheduling, but through the use of automation you can see a significant reduction in the amount of staff needed. Automation tools will help manage the forward rosters, so that schedulers can focus on the day to day management of sick and unexpected staff leave.
Stop human error: When managing hundred of support workers and clients, it is easy for human error to come into play and some of the mistakes can be detrimental. In recent examinations of the industry a reoccurring mistake was sending a worker to provide support to a client that they did not hold the correct qualifications for. Automation tools will remove chances of human error and improve the overall experience for the clients and support workers.
Ability to reach more clients: Automation tools use advanced mathematical software to provide the most efficient routes. This means that it will increase the amount of clients that an organisation can reach. In most cases, organisations will be able to reach 30% more clients. This is a very important benefit of automation. The ability to reach more clients, means an organisation can take on more clients and get more government funding.
As someone who has worked in the industry, I unfortunately witnessed first hand the downfall of the aged care industry and although there are many things that are out of our control, there is a lot that we can be doing better. During my time in Aged care, automation tools would have significantly improved the overall functionality of the organisation and lives of so many of my clients.