Lasa Fusion: Coronavirus sparks digital revolution in aged care

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The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for aged care facilities that were previously reluctant to take the first steps on their journey to become fully digital, encouraging them to embrace technology and allowing them to transform the care they provide—and this is likely to remain. In particular, there has been a surge in aged care facilities adopting mobile digital care monitoring systems to record and track care, as well as options for supporting social connections remotely.

Person Centred Software—developer of an app-based Mobile Care Monitoring system that allows residential aged care facility staff to electronically plan, record and monitor the care of residents as it is given—has documented a 30 per cent increase in enquiries and implementations since the onset of coronavirus in March. Person Centred Software was quick to develop Mobile Care Monitoring in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the increasing need for safe and efficient practice for care staff, as well as a simple and viable way to increase connectivity and visibility between aged care facilities and the relatives of residents.

Updates included the addition of a function to their Care App, which allows staff to evidence any symptoms of coronavirus with the tap of a finger, while simultaneously alerting the facility manager. A new reporting tool shows organisations a summary of staff and residents and their current coronavirus status, while an icon-based system flags residents who are believed to be demonstrating symptoms, alerting carers to the need for extra precautions.

Person Centred Software also implemented the ‘Relatives Gateway’ campaign to provide a lockdown lifeline during the pandemic. Accessed via a URL through any web browser, family members and relatives can use the gateway to send secure social media style messages and photos within the portal. As part of the campaign, Person Centred Software decided to make the platform available to all aged care facilities free-of-charge for a period of three months, in a bid to keep relatives and residents connected through isolation. Over 500 residents and relatives across Australia and New Zealand used the Person Centred Software Relatives Gateway platform in April.

Further innovating to meet the current needs of the aged care community, Person Centred Software have now included a video link feature as an add-on to the platform, enabling residents to have important face-to-face time with their loved ones even if unable to visit in person.

Jo Boylan, Executive Services at Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) said, “When families know how to best get into contact with their loved one, how to see what care has been delivered to them, when they can see a picture of mum enjoying herself at this morning’s dance class, it not only helps everyone stay and feel connected but it removes extra strain placed on staff to individually update family members.

“The Gateway simplifies the process, and has been very beneficial at this time.” Jacky Bayly, CEO, Bayly Real Estate, was one of many family members with loved ones in aged care facilities using Person Centred Software who wrote expressing her thanks. Her father is a resident who jumped at the uptake of the platform. “I just wanted to say thank you so much for setting this up, it is so caring,” wrote Jacky.

Person Centred Software officially launched in Australia and New Zealand in May 2018 and is currently being used by 62 aged care facilities across the country with further plans for growth. Easily and remotely implemented, subscription to the digital care system, Mobile Care Monitoring, includes a dedicated support team providing the means and assistance needed to guide each facility through the implementation process.

Tammy Sherwood is Chief Executive Officer, Person Centred Software Australia. For more information visit www.personcentredsoftware.com/au

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