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[GET CONNECTED] Technology key to dignity, connectedness in LTC

Australia's RMIT University and Cisco Systems' Health Transformation Lab has released a report, "Transforming Aged Care: Towards a future in which digitization clasps hands with respect, and connection drives improvement." The report responds to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and contends that the deep and systemic adoption of technology presents a profound opportunity to transform Australia’s "aged care” (long-term care, or LTC) system into a respectful, responsive and high-quality one. It's an interesting read with messages for the active-aging community in North America and globally, as well.

The report emphasizes how using technology to automate and streamline non-care duties will improve the quality of care by freeing up caregivers' time, much of which is spent on non-care tasks. It will also streamline the achievement of the Royal Commission’s recommended 200 minutes of staff time per resident, per day and enhance overall staff satisfaction.

Importantly, the report also details how technology can be used to drive the increased connectedness of older Australians – to each other, to their families, to their caregivers, and to the broader community -- to improve their wellbeing, the quality of their care, and the satisfaction of those who work in the system.

The report highlights the current digital mismatch between Australia's aged care sector and the tech-savvy senior, noting that while more than 61% of older people use the internet, very few aged care providers offer wireless internet access as standard for residents. Meanwhile, 42% of providers have no digital strategic plan, less than half use any smart technology, and only 14% are using fully integrated software systems.

The report recommends a much deeper and system-wide adoption of technology and provides specific recommendations for infrastructures and products.

To download the full report, “Transforming Aged Care: Towards a future in which digitization clasps hands with respect, and connection drives improvement” (July 2022), click here

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