CEO and Founder of Checked in Care
Can you imagine the banking, retail, media or finance and insurance industries telling you that you can only contact them between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and if you can get through to someone, that the likelihood that they can answer your question is less than 50%?
Why is one of the most common complaints about aged care that the sector is confusing, and people do not know where to start or how to navigate the system? However, in reality, is the aged care system more complex than the numerous other industries that give you access to what you need to know, when you need to know it, 24x7?
Will we see in our lifetimes the aged care industry enjoying similar benefits from technology that other industries have been enjoying for more than a decade?
The good news is yes, with the major shift starting to be experienced is where technology is moving the power from the funders (governments) and the providers to the consumer.
Over the last 10 years, companies have started to focus on technology that drives the consumer experience, enabling first time users to be able to utilise technology in ways they never thought possible. However, adoption has been a major issue.
My company’s, Checked in Care (CiC), recent study with Queensland University of Technology, on the efficacy of CiC technology to reduce depression, showed very promising results in both uptake and the effect of technology in improving mood and reducing social isolation and loneliness.
The key to uptake is to design technology where the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is designed to that targeted market, that is first time users, and senior users with challenges such as sight impairment. This is achieved by designing multi-channel communications to suit the user’s technology preference (smart device, email, SMS, etc.), as well as enabling decisions to be made seamlessly between the senior and/or their nominated support person. By this approach, we have seen adoption rates significantly increase over the last seven years, with adoption rates now typically being:
- 90% in retirement living - 65–80-year-olds
- 70% in home care (where half the users are the family) - 70–85-year-olds
- 75% in residential care (where 95% of the users are family assisting with the informed decisions).
Such adoption rates have enabled the further emergence of customer (and staff) experience platforms, which are now helping the aged care industry to enjoy similar benefits of other industries. The typical benefits we are seeing are:
- Customer satisfaction (customer satisfaction score [CSAT] and net promoter score [NPS]) improvements are directly related to those customers using the customer experience solutions.
- Decrease in operational costs, as clients (and their families) can self-service, accessing the information they want 24x7.
- Increase in revenue per client, as the customer experience increases both actual budget as well as discretionary budget spending.
In summary, with the emergence of customer experience platforms in aged care, we are seeing similar benefits in aged care starting to emerge, that have been experienced by other industries for over a decade.
*The views and opinions expressed in Knowledge Blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ARIIA, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
About the author
John has 30 years’ lived experience in both the care and technology sectors. See linkedin.com/in/checkedincare and www.checkedincare.com.au