Telstra Health was recently an exhibitor at the 2019 Aged Care Services Association (ACSA) National Summit in Melbourne. With the theme ‘Purpose | People | Performance’, the conference explored how providers can best navigate the influx of government and industry changes sweeping the aged care sector, whilst embracing their own transformational change.
Embracing transformational change
In the last eighteen months, the Australian aged care sector has undergone significant changes, influenced by the establishment of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, increased news coverage, workforce shortages, and a new Minister for Aged Care.
Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, spoke at the Summit about the cycle of transformation driven by government changes and community demand. Minister Colbeck highlighted the potential need for further regulations around the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Package (HCP) program, and spoke of how practical and appropriate reforms may be driven by the findings of the Royal Commission.
Working with the Royal Commission
The Royal Commission was a hot topic throughout the Summit, with a panel discussion drawing on sector knowledge and panellists' experience in presenting at a Royal Commission hearing.
While the final report is not due until November 2020, panellists recommended organisations review the 31 October 2019 interim report, as well as the many publications that are available on the Royal Commission website. These resources may be helpful for aged care providers seeking best practice recommendations to make proactive organisational improvements.
For organisations attending a Royal Commission hearing, panellists in the session highlighted that planning and preparation is key and spoke of using it as an opportunity to assess all practices across the business.
Aged care providers were also encouraged to submit examples of best practice to the Royal Commission. While the Royal Commission has examined many challenging issues for the sector, it is important the positive stories and examples are communicated publicly too.
Highlighting positive news stories
Sessions throughout the ACSA National Summit explored ways providers can highlight positive stories to local news outlets and in organisational newsletters to ensure the commentary about the aged care sector reflects the sector as a whole. Providers also heard how meeting the Aged Care Quality Standards will build confidence from the local community about the services that are being provided to care recipients.
One benefit of increased media attention discussed at the Summit is that many older Australians and their families now have an added appreciation of the financial and workforce resources required to deliver high-quality care. Attendees commented that as a result, some families were now happy to pay higher charges as they understood the costs associated with staffing and care services.
Recognising industry leaders
Telstra Health would like to congratulate Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI), who took out Provider of the Year at ACSA’s Aged Care National Awards. The honour was awarded for RFBI’s focus on rethinking care and continuously improving services and processes to enable residents to live their lives to the fullest. RFBI are a long-time user of Telstra Health’s Clinical and Care Management and Medication Management software solutions.
Innovating through technology
The benefits of technology were a recurring theme throughout the Summit, with sessions looking at how effective software solutions help to streamline processes, safeguard care delivery, and reduce time consuming documentation.
A panel session on the third day looked at how technology is being used to innovate throughout the aged care sector. The panel discussed the benefits of digital technology, robots, big data and AI, and looked at how providers can transform and improve their care through the application of smart technology.
Telstra Health was proud to be an exhibitor at the 2019 ACSA National Summit. We would like to thank the many aged care professionals who met with our team and look forward to working with many of you into the future.