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The Power of Data in Aged Care: Optimising Data Management in Your Organisation

5/02/24
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As we reported last year in our Aged Care Workforce Report, a staggering 30% of staff are considering leaving the industry within the next three years. To meet this challenge, aged care providers must innovate and adapt.

To do this, one factor stands out as a game-changer: the power of data. In this article, we explain the benefits of data in the aged care setting and how to harness data’s capabilities. After all, data-driven insights may be the key to retaining expert caregivers.

 

 

What Do We Mean By “Data”?

By "data” we refer to the information that providers collect about their operations, including information about care recipients, staff, visitors and supplies. Data takes various forms, including numbers, text and images. It is used to drive insights, decisions and improvements in care.

Although raw data may appear as numbers and words, its power only emerges after it is processed and analysed. Through data analysis you can uncover meaningful patterns, trends, and correlations to help you enhance operational efficiency and deliver a better standard of care.

 

 

The Benefits of Data in Aged Care

Below are just a few examples of how your facility can benefit from data:

 

Optimise Your Resources

Analyse data on staff schedules, about care recipients’ needs, and facility operations to optimise resource allocation, ensuring that staffing levels match demand and that resources are efficiently distributed.

 

Become ‘Audit Ready’

 Evaluate your performance against the Aged Care Quality Standards and assess the effectiveness of any improvements made. Digital self-assessments facilitate easy sharing among stakeholders, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

 

Save Time

Single-point data capture saves time, regardless of how many facilities you manage:

“We are able to save 32 hours a month from generating reports alone, as we no longer have the tedious task of drawing data from excel sheets or manually working out timings.”

Joanna Frati, Estate Manager at Precious Homes

 

 

Harnessing Data’s Capabilities

As it stands, more and more aged care providers are utilising technology. In fact, our annual Aged Care Workforce Report found that there has been a 6% increase in the past year, with 53% of workers adopting new technologies.

It’s essential to recognise that this uptick, while reassuring, doesn’t necessarily translate into organisations harnessing the full potential of technological capabilities. Here are some practical things you can do to get the most out of your data.

 

Optimise Care Plans

Continuously collect and analyse health-related data to detect changes or abnormalities early on. This allows for timely interventions and proactive approach when it comes to managing health issues. What’s more, analysing historical data can identify trends in health and behaviour, allowing for the creation of personalised care plans that dynamically evolve with the changing needs of each care recipient.

 

Predictive Analytics for Preventive Care

Use data to identify patterns that precede health issues. This allows caregivers to implement preventive measures, minimising the impact of potential health challenges. Predictive analytics, powered by data, enables a shift from reactive to proactive care.

 

Mobile Technology for Point-of-Care Access

Ensure caregivers ca access care recipients’ data at the point of care, on-the-go. This ensures that caregivers have immediate access to relevant information, supporting quick decision-making.

 

Interoperability and Data Sharing

Ensure interoperability between different systems used in aged care facilities. This allows for seamless data sharing among healthcare providers, caregivers, and other stakeholders, promoting a collaborative approach to care delivery.

 

Enhance Digital Proficiency Among the Workforce

The more comfortable your workers are with technology, the more likely they are to support its use. To this end, it is vital that you provide adequate training and explain the benefits of digital advances to your staff.

 

Use Data to Remain Compliant

There’s a huge difference between being compliant and proving that you’re compliant. Leverage data to stay compliant with regulatory requirements in aged care, especially when they seem to be constantly evolving. Ensure you establish robust systems for documenting and reporting, utilising data to demonstrate adherence to industry standards.

 

 

Conclusion

Data management, if done well, can bring enormous benefits to aged care providers and may be the key to retaining an invaluable workforce, especially when considering just how many tiresome administration burdens can be relieved by automated systems. By optimising resources, improving the use and understanding of technology, personalising care plans and incorporating data analytics, we can pave the way for a brighter and sustainable future for our ageing population.

Why not check out our expert-curated guide on navigating aged care obligations for further insights and practical tips.

 

 

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About the Author

Bethan Foston

Since joining Ideagen back in 2020, Bethan has helped highly-regulated businesses worldwide navigate their health, safety and compliance obligations in her role as Content Marketing Executive.

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