Beginning of a consumer-driven decade: Aged care predictions from industry experts – Part 2

| 16 Dec 2013
Aged care predictions for 2014

This year is quickly drawing to a close and as we look back, 2013 has seen the aged care sector continue to shift dynamically, with new technology offering much potential to revive Australia’s aged care sector. However, the perennial challenges – funding constraints, compliance requirements, operating costs, workforce pressures and hefty demographic changes – remain in the spotlight, without any obvious sign of subsiding.

And so, with 2014 just days away, it’s time to set our sights firmly on the year ahead and see what is on the horizon for the sector. In order to find out what we can expect from 2014, we invited several aged care industry experts to share their views. (In case you missed it, you can read the first part of the post here.)

What challenges or objectives do you consider to be your highest priority for 2014?

Luke Greive, Chief Operating Officer, RSL Care – Support Centre

The next twelve months for RSL Care will be about designing a service which genuinely puts the customer at its core. RSL Care has been on a ground-breaking drive to transform into the organisation our customers want us to be. This will be the most exciting piece of work I have been associated with over my long career in aged care.

Tapan Parekh, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

I expect that we will continue to see capital trying to find good quality assets and management teams to deploy itself to. Helping these parties to find each other – which won’t necessarily be limited to the for-profit operators – will be paramount in advance of the expected investment that the sector will require over the coming 10-15 years.

In what ways do you see developments in technology playing a greater role in aged care over the coming 12 months?

Tapan Parekh, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Technology and its role in the sector will begin to be driven by the consumer. I expect that in the near term it will play a greater role in community care, but its role in a residential aged care setting from a business intelligence perspective, and a prospective and current resident management perspective, will not be any less diminished.

Rob Hutchison, CEO, McKenzie Aged Care Group

The entire industry will continue to need to invest in technology to support the continual demand for higher specialisation, scale, efficiency in increasing levels across aged care organisations.

Luke Greive, Chief Operating Officer, RSL Care – Support Centre

Technology has and will continue to be a major changer to the industry. As the workforce shrinks, becomes more disparate and our customers desire greater connectivity to a community, technology will be used to improve operating efficiency and customer experience.

At RSL Care, we have been exploring the use of technology for a number of years. We know the next big wave of consumers, the Baby Boomers, will be comfortable and adaptive to technology. We have already established a number of systems including digital roster and client information for our home care clients, and eHealth and telehealth in our residential care. We have been involved in a trial conducted by Griffith University, which uses robot technology to connect residents living with dementia and family who live a long way away. Innovative technology like this has so much potential for the way customers will be able to connect with their loved ones and the external community.

Furthermore, the greatest role for any organisation will be the introduction and development of a single client record. The challenge that seems to plague all providers is the interconnecting and interwoven multitude of one point solutions, not a single source solution. The greatest testament to a provider of scale will be partnering to deliver a truly integrated and single point enterprise system. Our customer research has confirmed time immemorial that seamless transmissions and continuity of service are king. Providers who can marshal data into useful information at points of inception will provide the customer with the trusted relationship they desire.

Now it’s your turn. What are your own predictions for the aged care sector in 2014 and beyond? Please share these below.

(Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti)

Tags: aged care, CDC, residential aged care, technology

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The iCareHealth Team


  1. Tony Rolfe

    In 2014 we will commence construction on our new 120 bed RACF in Brisbane’s southern suburbs. This will afford us the opportunity to take enormous advantage of technology and improve the way we deliver care, manage our facility and increase amenity for our future residents.

    • Ellie

      Thanks for your comments, Tony. Please keep us updated on your project and we look forward to learning more about the ways you will be using technology to enhance care outcomes for your residents.

  2. Dennis Plunkett

    We talk about consumer driven and have some great insights into what the providers are doing to assist in aged care.The aged care model is extensive and broad, containing both the residents, potential residents, suppliers, providers, families, labour forces and regulators and the three tires of government. Each has the power to impact the model.

    With budget deficit blow outs and many residents just on the cusp of affordability there may unfortunately be a period of normalization which could force another round or rationalization and white labeling. If such a process was acceptable to society then we would all be driving model T Fords

    If we are not careful and considerate to those whom we care for then we could end up asking do you want fries with that as providers focus energies into upgrade service differentiations.

    This is a time to blue ocean strategorise and identify clear differentiators and establish what clients (From all sides of the model) see as value add, value enhancing and base services and how best to utilse the regulations to reduce efforts and costs and provide these services to our client.

    At the same time we need to ask of our regulators and politicians, what are we doing now that will carry forward to solve the ever present issue of our aging, growing and longer living society.



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