Simplifying Aged and Healthcare Digital Transformation
Aged and Healthcare are two of the fastest growing industries in Australia but also the most complex in regards to documentation and compliance to legislation. There is a myriad of document requirements, all of which can dominate valuable staff time but also become costly consumers of your business’s capital. While the aged and healthcare industries have moved strongly towards electronic storage, printing remains a requirement. Those documents can include:
- Aged Care facility contracts
- Patient admission documents including government records and support applications
- Medication records and medical instructions
- Medication dispensing approval forms and records
- Incident/accident reporting
- Pension documentation and authorisations
All of these have a front and back end process that can also create unnecessary and expensive paper duplication and/or time consuming staff delays in retrieval. Whilst governments are working towards digital health records systems and better methods for interacting with authorities, they ALSO still require original paper archiving of key documentation and have introduced the Mandatory Data Breach Notification Laws which apply to all health care providers.
This complexity of documentation and internal/external interconnection has also required stronger IT networks to enable rapid interfacing between government authorities, medical specialists and facilities as well as staff, patients, and relatives with many of these interfaces becoming Cloud based.
At Pivotal Group we have worked with Aged Care and Healthcare providers to minimize this complexity whilst reducing capital outlay.
A MULTI FOCUS
Here at the Pivotal Group, we help our customers design and deploy processes to improve workflow and document management. Our first aim is to understand the key processes within your business by understanding the key tasks and what best practice would look like. This may bear little relationship to how you are currently doing things as the objective is to determine the gap between current and future state. The discovery process also encompasses business, group and individual document management requirements.
We have worked with a number of service provider organisations to improve the way in which essential documentation such as accident reporting is managed. We regularly hear the “hard copy nightmare” stories where an incident required paperwork that was not easily accessible from an incident location, was out of date, once completed required multiple duplication and urgent distribution and finally adequately filed for future access and archived to comply with the prescribed regulation timeframe.
Our process redesign allowed for staff to access version controlled documentation, both in hardcopy or digitally on smart devices, complete and store in hard and/or digital copy and then distribute digitally for instantaneous availability in the workflow. This is a valuable capability where there is a large department or multiple sites. This also creates an instant archive that is automated for compliance with legislative timeframes whilst still providing instant digital retrieval if required.
These systems allow flexibility and can be developed to cover other processes such as:
- Medication management. Imagine a system that allows you to not only store the medication instructions for a patient but can also alert you when the script is due to expire so another can be proactively requested
- Automate processes that require authorisation such as accounts payable
Through a staff authorisation system on the digital multifunction devices, using either a pin code or access cards, data is protected to minimize the possibility of the right document getting into the wrong hands.
Our second aim is to understand the current state of your IT infrastructure and its ability to meet the demands of both your current and future requirements. Pivotal’s Strategic & Operational Technology Audit will identify the current state and the areas where you are vulnerable. In recent technology audits for prospective customers we were able to identify a large variety of issues such as:
- Missing security patches leaving vulnerability to virus attack and data loss
- Multiple devices with expired support licenses even though this was still a part of their current supplier IT support agreement to maintain
- Poor password strength and also set to never expire
- Multiple active users with no log in for last 30 days (staff who have left the business who still have access into the network)
- Multiple inactive devices that could have been redeployed
- Multiple resources running at maximum capacity and likely to have critical failure
- Failed or inadequate backup for disaster recover (refer previous disaster waiting to happen)
- Account lockouts disabled
Many of the items listed are the key entry points for data loss which, with the new government legislation, can result in fines into the $100s of thousands.
The most consistent item we see is not having a documented Long Term IT Plan sitting parallel to the core business objectives. In many instances this is the result of limited IT resources having only enough time for a Break – Fix strategy. This keeps things operational but ultimately becomes capital intense as system failures limit time for cost effective purchasing.
A Pivotal Group Network Discovery Audit results in a Technology Report and Plan that sets a course of action, through Partnership.
Through the audit we develop a report of your current state and develop a recommendation of actions to:
- Provide immediate cost affective resolution to security and technology failure vulnerabilities
- Define a plan of action to cost effectively narrow the gap between current and desired technology efficiency. These can include
- Decommissioning of redundant devices and license fees
- Upgrading of key hardware to prevent fail/fix and optimize network performance and maximise staff productivity
- Upgrade key infrastructure items such as NBN connectivity to maximise network performance and maximise staff productivity
- Deploy key business process improvements utilizing technology to bring efficiency, security and mobility with alignment to the Business Plan
- Outline key emerging trends that will impact the business in the future
- Present the Technology plan based on 6 Key Pillars:
- Proactive Management
- Current Technology
- System Documents
- Monitoring and Remediation
The Protection of Capital
A key issue we determine as part of our audit is the amount of capital expenditure that is invested into IT and associated technology. Within aged and healthcare a new building that increases capacity to generate income for decades provides a far better return on equity than back end administrative technology that. Even though it is essential to keeping the business running, IT technology generates no income and is quickly out of date due to the speed of technological change.
At the Pivotal Group we aim to free up capital through the providing of technology as a service rather than consuming capital.
The Pivotal Group
The Pivotal Group has over 40 years experience in servicing the technology needs of businesses in the Newcastle, Central Coast, Hunter, New England and Port Macquarie regions of NSW. Our expertise covers Managed Print Services, Business Process Design, IT Technology supply and support, Collaborative Conferencing and Digital POS Systems.