Many commentators within the Aged Care Sector are saying that the complex aged care regulatory environment could be a risk to innovation – but alternatively, it could bring with it a raft of possibilities and opportunities for those with vision and leadership capability.
A quote from leading Management Consulting firm, McKinsey:
“For 21st-century organisations operating in today’s complex business environment, a fundamentally new and more effective approach to leadership is emerging. Leaders today are beginning to focus on building agile, human-centred and digitally enabled organisations able to thrive in today’s unprecedented environment and meet the needs of a broader range of stakeholders.”
The acute health sector has seen extraordinary innovation and change over the last 40 years; the average length of stay for public and private hospitals is now 2.6 days due to a significant increase in innovative surgical practice leading to many more day presentations.
Make no mistake, people needing the services of an aged care sector 20-30 years from now (many of us!) will be looking for a very different service offering and experience than that being offered today. We continue to innovate as a sector, or we wither on the vine.
I am privileged to now be working with BESTMED, an e-MMS innovator. Seven years ago, two pharmacists with a vision built a software solution to automate the needlessly manual medication tasks. They made the process safer, and more efficient with greater regulatory compliance whilst reducing stress on all the care team in trying to keep up with the latest information. User acceptance has seen the company grow to over 650 aged care facilities and 70,000 aged care consumers. The benefits are significant, with clients experiencing a 45% reduction in medication complaints and reduced errors and nurses reporting a reduction in their stress levels.
It can be done but it takes vision and courage to innovate.
We must continue to review and implement Best Practice both here in Australia, and overseas – and there should be a clear expectation that, despite the challenges (or perhaps because of them), our health and aged care leaders continue to innovate.