The Data Farm Series with A Farmer: Customer Data

May 6, 2020 | Aged Care Management

“I have been fascinated by the interest, impact and importance of data. Around the world.

There is a recognised cliché in scientific circles which says “In God we trust, others must provide data.” Our world’s governments and organisations such as the World Health Organisation have been desperate to gather data, analyse and model it in the hope of finding answers or at least to support their decision making and preferably in real-time.” A Farmer, The Data Farm Series.

This is the 3rd post in a series from a presentation I gave at the ITAC2020 conference in March.

In the 1st post of this series, I shared a simple model that explains the importance of building activities into systems and structuring the data to produce reporting and insights.

In the 2nd post, we looked at the potential (and limitations) of clinical data. Of course, clinical data is a core system that has been capturing data for a very long time. On the other hand, there is an interesting conundrum that a system is limited by its purpose because that drives the data it collects and therefore the insight it can produce.

In this post, we revisit the three (3) core types of data in Aged Care which are Clinical, Customer and Financial and in particular Customer data.

Customer data is a growing and exciting focus for Aged Care. During the Royal Commission there was widespread criticism for our industry which left organisations wondering whether it is better to market itself or lie low for awhile!

While we have held data on the customer (resident) in care systems and in Medicare for many years, a wider view of customer has been relatively unsophisticated compared to many other industries. Aged Care has not until recently kept pace with a digital age, where knowing your customer is so sophisticated that it tips the balance into the unnerving and sinister with privacy fears and scandals amongst most of the worlds multi billion-dollar digital behemoths. For most industries including retail, entertainment and even finance, a significant and increasing spend is being directed towards designing a customer experience around a product or service.

For aged care, a relatively new problem of declining occupancy has caused waitlists to disappear and has put even more pressure on financial sustainability. This has several factors and complexities but the rise and rise of desire, funding and service options for aging at home has been the biggest driver.

To address this, many Aged Care operators are not just complying with customer centred care directives or even standards but are thinking much more widely about the customer journey. Whether before and after residential care but also the integrated experience between respite and homecare to ILUs and finally residential care. This longer view of the customer should enable the industry to track demand and the customer preferences from much earlier in the journey. As residential aged care is often the last step in the aged care process, each resident has certainly engaged in many care services and our challenge is only to seek visibility of this. The opportunity particularly for providers of multiple services or those in networks of providers, is to use this data to forecast demand and even preempt the needs of these customers so that the right services can offered at the right time.

To broaden our thinking at Mirus Australia and with our clients about the customer experience, one framework we like to use is the 5 Es framework which has many references with a simple Google search. The important part of using framework such as this is two fold:

(1) Think about the customer’s needs much earlier and even later in the process or before or far after any customer has engaged with you. Start to think bigger about how your organisation can position itself in more meaningful ways.

(2) It will help to highlight quite clearly where you have missed an important opportunity earlier in the process to engage with your customer and why the result of that lack of engagement may become a problem later in the process.

As our industry considers the outcomes of the Royal Commission later this year (of course, if not significantly delayed by the most recent crisis) the opportunity for the best in the industry to promote themselves is critical. Critical to show that the best parts of the industry are good, but also to continue to make it better and to gain control of the supply-demand curve as it continues to shift for providers.

Connect with Andrew Farmer, Chief Executive Officer Mirus Australia on LinkedIn who is an expert in managing transformation and technology projects in Australia and Internationally for the past 20 years – to continue this conversation.

Change may suck, so we’re not going anywhere. To find out how we can make a difference please contact us here.