Senior, or aged care, systems around the globe are struggling to provide higher quality care for one of society’s most vulnerable yet often overlooked groups, the elderly.
Last year, we witnessed the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives to meet unprecedented challenges and disruption. Despite being one of the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, senior care was largely left behind. In 2021, it’s critical that the sector looks to the role technology can play in improving senior care systems and, most importantly, the quality of care and life for elderly populations.
One evident opportunity for senior care systems is to develop more defined technology strategies moving forward, particularly as they look to rebuild post-COVID. Major limitations with the current technology infrastructure and architecture for senior care include patchy use of digital record keeping and a lack of interoperability between systems across government, senior care services, hospitals, and other health care providers. These flaws are not only inefficient but increase the risk of errors.
But senior care providers don’t just need a better system — they need smarter, more efficient, future-proofed systems built upon digital technology that will improve every facet of the way care is delivered and managed.
Improving the resident experience
So what does that look like in practice? Technology, specifically the unlocking and integration of data through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), can unlock greater transparency by showing how senior care providers perform. This, in turn, can help older populations make informed decisions about which care to choose.
Leveraging technology to streamline processes will also give time back to stretched workforces. Integrating software solutions can automate caregiver workflows, reducing manual administrative tasks to allow more time for patient care.
Further, accelerating the adoption of digital technologies will provide access to more innovative care solutions, such as remote patient monitoring, powered by a single view of residents’ health history, to make sure residents receive adequate care.
Better systems alone won’t be enough. It’s important to be aware that a philosophical shift is required to put the resident at the center of care. It’s a question many industries have had to answer: How do we re-architect our systems to put the consumer, or in this case the patient, at the center?
Connected care in practice
MuleSoft passionately supports the role that technology — such as APIs — and data can play in the quick improvement and modernization of the sector, for the benefit of our older people and future generations. Australian not-for-profit senior care provider BaptistCare’s use of APIs and connectivity shows how digital initiatives are positioning the company to move faster to provide more personalized care programs for its residents.
An integration strategy has helped BaptistCare move away from paper-based processes and manual handling of data processes that are common among senior care providers.
MuleSoft helps provide the scaffolding for its embrace of customer-facing web apps that can feed directly into line of business systems. For example, BaptistCare has made its systems easier to access and navigate by integrating its CRM system with digital websites to provide a more user-friendly experience for people who have never dealt with the organization previously to enter their personal details and make a guided decision about their care needs.
Technology can also empower innovative care solutions. BaptistCare is working on exciting projects, such as speech-to-text, cognitive services, telehealth, and more, which have the potential to significantly enhance the carer-resident experience and streamline overall resident interaction. With its modernized tech stack, underpinned by APIs, it’s able to deliver more resident-centric projects at greater speed and scale.
Senior care systems around the world have an urgent mandate to deliver solutions that pioneer positive change for residents, their families, and, ultimately, the sector as a whole. Grounded in connectivity, technology can be the tool that ensures the health, wellbeing, and quality of life our elderly and vulnerable communities deserve.