Technology, specifically software, has had an impact on just about every industry on the planet. The aged care industry has certainly been quick to adopt software and be at the forefront of the technology curve. To help them with their operations, many aged care providers have been adopting residential aged care software.
With the onset of COVID, it is evident that technology has become a necessity for the Aged Care industry.
In this article, let’s run through common residential aged care software categories. We will also discuss a little more about the requirements of each of these software types.
Residential Aged Care Software Types
Let’s explore the range of residential aged care software available for aged care providers in two main categories. These are:
- Residential Management System; inclusive of
- Medical management
- HR management
- Finance management
- Catering management
- Visitor Management System
Let’s now go into each of these areas in some more detail.
Residential Management System
Residential aged care facilities have frequent residential aged care software needs when it comes to actual residential management. These systems are software designed to manage residents and support the daily operation of a residential aged care facility. They also store all relevant resident information in one central location for easy access.
With the onset of COVID, residential aged care management has become more challenging than before. Aged Care providers face rising pressures from market volatility, complicated government funding models and visiting restrictions. They are also faced with an aged care workforce that is seemingly always shrinking.
With so many complexities, let’s dive deep into the different elements of the Residential Management System.
Medication management is a residential aged care software solution that enables staff to better facilitate the medication process. It is a spectrum of patient-centred, pharmacist-provided, collaborative services that focus on medication appropriateness. It also helps with medical effectiveness, safety, and adherence with the goal of improving health outcomes.
Residential aged care facilities have significant medication requirements. According to a 2010 study, Sommers et al. identified polypharmacy (concurrent use of 5+ medicines) in 91.2% of the residential aged care facilities residents in their study, with an average of 9.75 medicines per person (source).
Medication management is an essential residential aged care software as it simplifies the way providers manage medications. Moreover, it helps enable clearer communication between care staff, pharmacists, and GPs, helping to reduce the likelihood of medication errors.
Residential aged care facilities have crucial human resources software requirements. A human resource management system is a robust software that combines core and strategic HR functions into one. It helps to automate the manual and tedious administrative process, streamlines recruiting and lowers the turnover rate.
It is an important residential aged care software as it helps with staff rostering, payroll management, and stores employee records. HR management helps aged care organisations ensure that attendance and schedule of the staff are planned and accounted for. Further, it helps to record and monitor staff health, vaccinations, and incidents.
A finance management system is a software that helps organisations to stay on top of their finances, specifically, managing assets, employees’ income and organisation expenditure. It performs various functions: reducing accounting errors, maintaining audit trails, and ensuring compliance with applicable accounting standards.
Residential aged care facilities also have many financial management needs. With finance management systems, finance admin and tasks get automated, reducing any possible errors. Some of the functions of a finance management software include automated payroll generation for staff, budget setting, and management, medicare claiming, supply chain management as well as funds optimisation. With so many crucial functions, finance management is a necessary residential aged care software.
Besides the above, residential aged care facilities have catering needs. Some of the important functions of catering management include: ensuring that food and hygiene is up to standards, making sure that organisations stay within budget and to meet residents’ expectations.
The catering management system allows aged care facilities to organise and customise their catering options in the way that best suits the needs of their residents. Given that aged care organisations need to provide for a wide range of dietary requirements and preferences, catering management is an indispensable residential aged care software. With the catering management software, it helps aged care organisations manage the complexity of providing adequate and nutritious meals for their elderly residents.
Visitor Management System
Enough about Residential Management Systems, let’s now talk about Visitor Management Systems!
Besides Residential Management Systems, Visitor Management System is also an important residential aged care software. Most residential aged care facilities are constantly receiving visitors. Even with this pandemic, it is important that RACs continue to allow for visitors (of course, while still following the government restrictions!). Even though the elderly are one of the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19, RAC providers and aged care authorities alike have consistently recognised and agreed that visits are inherently beneficial and crucial to residents’ wellbeing.
This is further affirmed by the Aged Care Royal Commission interim report, which argued that “Visits from family and friends are critical to the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of people living in residential aged care and also their friends and families. Visits are also an integral part of health, enablement and happiness”
In order for visits to still continue safely during COVID-19, visitors will need to be tracked, both when they arrive, who they see and when they depart. Not only that, but RACs also have to ensure that these visitors have had their flu vaccination and make sure they are not running a fever during the time of their visit. This is where the Visitor Management System comes in!
Visitor Management Systems, such as Zipline, have complex features that allow aged care providers to manage visitor pre-bookings, scan visitors before entry, guarantee 100% AQCS compliance and ensure that visitors, staff, and residents are happy and safe.
When looking at Visitor Management Systems, Aged Care providers should look for the following features:
Seamless visitor pre-booking and sign-in process
Visitors are eager to spend time with their loved ones and the last thing they want is a sign-in process that takes ages! With visitor timings being restricted by all if not most of the RACs in Australia, a complicated and time-consuming sign-in process will only cause visitors to become impatient and unhappy. The easier and faster the sign-in process, the happier your visitors will be!
Automated temperature scanning
The use of manual temperature ‘guns’ are less accurate and with your staff needing to be in close contact with the visitors, it puts your staff at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. With an automated temperature scanner, visitors can walk up to the scanner and get their temperatures taken accurately.
100% compliance guarantee
Given that there are different types of visitor restrictions in different states, RACs, especially those with multiple facilities in different states, face the daunting task of keeping updates with the changing restrictions. This can sometimes cause miscommunication between facilities or visitors. RACs should look for software that is constantly updated with the restrictions in different states to ensure that all facilities are compliant and reduce the risk of incurring fines.
100% protected data
As it is now compulsory for all RACs to collect flu vaccination documents from visitors. It is crucial that these documents are kept safe. Further, with visitors signing in and out of the facilities, they would need to provide their names and numbers, which are also important for RACs to keep private. The last thing visitors want is for their numbers to be leaked everywhere!
Post-visit sentiments management
With so many visitors going in and out of the RACs, it is important for RACs to understand how visitors feel about the whole visiting process for further improvements. RACs can take this valuable feedback and actionise them so that they are aware of what is going on with the whole visiting process. Happy visitors = happy residents!
Ability to integrate with Residential Management Systems
As mentioned above, Residential Management System is a crucial residential aged care software. Thus, it is important for both systems to be integrated together.
Aged Care providers should also look for Visitor Management Systems that are specifically designed and created for the Aged Care Industry. These software are also specifically catered to the needs and requirements of the Aged Care Industry. While mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on the RAC sector is difficult, having a visitor management system will definitely make things easier.
Along with the problems that the pandemic has ignited, it has also shed light on the limitations of the aged care industry’s traditional systems, heightening the need for the 2 different residential aged care software: Residential Management and Visitor Management Systems.
RACs will need to embrace and adopt technology in order to maneuver the impacts of COVID. When choosing the right software for your Aged Care facility, you need to consider your specific organisational requirements.