ICT key for the future aged care industry

August 5, 2014 | Aged Care Management

Businesses are adopting new information and communications technologies in droves, due to the considerable operational advantages and reduced costs that are gained as a result of implementation.

Communication devices, storage systems and financial management tools all present advantages that can no longer be ignored, especially within growing industries.

Aged care providers will need to begin considering these new technologies in the near future in order to ensure financial sustainability. By placing a small investment in ICT, providers will be able to see considerable savings, and be able to provide a higher level of service for residents.

"A simple and cost effective solution is for government to support the age services industry to enhance productivity without compromising care quality, with enhanced ICT capacity an essential component," said Patrick Reid, CEO of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).

At the resident level, new technologies can have a substantial impact on livelihood and wellbeing. New ICT monitoring technologies allow residents to monitor their own blood sugar levels and heart rate.

Telehealth systems

In the recent Winter Australian Hospital & Healthcare Bulletin, a user of the NBN Telehealth Pilot Program shared his experiences of using the latest health technologies. Telehealth pilots are designed to enable access to high quality healthcare services, all through new ICT technologies based within the home.

Kenn Wheatland from NSW is a user of the pilot program, and is able to use equipment to monitor his diabetes, as well as other health problems. If an issue ever arises, help is only a phone call away. It's easy to see how monitoring technologies could benefit aged care facilities.

A further focus on technologies is a certainty over the next few years, especially as facilities begin to see growth in the industry.

"Empowering the industry is best achieved in working with the industry to develop an approach that is centred on enhancing care quality and productivity whilst ensuring high quality services," said Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews.