ARV becomes the largest aged care provider to implement a clinical, care and medication management system
“We had an easy time justifying the software based on efficiency metrics alone. However, iCareHealth was also the only provider in the market to offer an integrated software solution for clinical, care and medication management” – Mark Aros, Quality and Development Manager.
Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) was founded over 50 years ago and during that time, it has grown to become a leading provider of accommodation and service options to over 6000 residents and clients. The organisation prides itself on providing high quality care and services to older people in a manner consistent with Christian values.
In line with the organisation’s commitment to high quality care and service delivery, ARV commenced the search for an innovative and scalable solution that would support the amalgamation of clinical, care and medication management across multiple facilities. ARV’s Quality and Development Manager Mark Aros said there were a number of reasons why iCareHealth’s Clinical, Care and Medication Management software was the obvious choice for the organisation.
“We had an easy time justifying the software based on efficiency metrics alone,” Mark said. “However, iCareHealth was also the only provider in the market to offer an integrated software solution for clinical, care and medication management, and their client base already exceeded more than half of the addressable market. It clearly demonstrated to us that they understood the real issues and requirements of the aged care industry.”
“In addition, the size and structure of the organisation suggested to us that they would be with us for the long-term, as well as provide us with the ongoing support that we wanted,” he said.
The decision to invest in iCareHealth’s Clinical, Care and Medication Management software marked the start of a comprehensive implementation process, which incorporated a series of key phases.
Development of the Implementation Planning Study (IPS)
The first significant step in the implementation process was the development of an Implementation Planning Study (IPS) – a guiding document tailored exclusively for ARV. iCareHealth’s implementation consultants conducted in-depth research to gain an accurate understanding of the organisation. The research focused on business objectives and processes, clinical and management practices, staff management and administration, as well as existing technologies.
With these valuable insights, the IPS was developed to outline possible risks and challenges, recommendations, opportunities, success factors, map out key milestones and critical paths – right from the onset.
Consultation with stakeholders
In any case, the successful implementation of new technology is not possible without a dedicated change management approach that considers communication, collaboration and support strategies for all stakeholders. For ARV, the requirements of thousands of staff members and residents across 16 residential aged care facilities called for thorough consideration.
“With guidance from iCareHealth’s implementation consultants, we adopted a change management approach focused on complete transparency,” Mark said. An extensive stakeholder consultation phase commenced, which included widespread discussions with staff, residents and their families, as well as external health professionals.
“Successful implementation of the software depended on buy-in from all stakeholders,” Mark explained. “Our consultation efforts with stakeholders ensured they understood some of the challenges of implementing new technology at this scale, and importantly, the widespread benefits an integrated, electronic system would provide to them.”
Establishment of a project management team
Another key enabler in the success of the implementation was the establishment of a dedicated project management team. This team provided the necessary governance to support the organisation through the transition, while ensuring there was minimal disruption to the organisation’s capacity to deliver quality care throughout the transition.
“An external consultant also worked in conjunction with iCareHealth’s own implementation consultants to ensure the project management team remained disciplined in its approach, and that key milestones were consistently met along the way,” Mark said. “An additional Steering Committee was also formed – made up of high level stakeholders including executives and management – who collectively provided guidance on key issues and decisions throughout the implementation process.”
Training the team
iCareHealth training consultants worked closely with the staff at ARV to create a tailored software training program.
Training sessions were tailored according to the skills and responsibilities of the staff, with a select group of employees participating in iCareHealth’s ‘Train the Trainer’ program.
“At the close of the program, these staff members were in a position to deliver the training to the rest of the staff within the organisation,” explained Mark.
“Working with the iCareHealth throughout the process has been invaluable. The level of support, responsiveness and willingness of the iCareHealth team to work with us and guide us through the implementation is what made the process so smooth” – Mark Aros, Quality and Development Manager.
The implementation process spanned a total of 19 months, commencing in early 2011 and concluding in September, 2012. Mark attributes the successful implementation of the software to the positive working relationship with iCareHealth.
“The implementation process was intensive but the outcome was very rewarding,” he said. “Working with the iCareHealth throughout the process has been invaluable. The level of support, responsiveness and willingness of the iCareHealth team to work with us and guide us through the implementation is what made the process so smooth.”
“Following the implementation of the software, we have also remained vigilant in getting staff to maximise their use of the software,” Mark said. “With the right support in place, we can continue this uptake as new staff come on board as well.”
Today, ARV operates about 1850 beds and manages well over 20,000 medications using iCareHealth’s Clinical, Care and Medication Management software. More than 2000 staff including registered nurses, carers, doctors and external health professionals are actively leveraging the software to achieve widespread benefits.
“We believe that our residents and staff are well served by the system,” Mark said. “The integration of our clinical, care and medication management has meant that day-to-day processes have become significantly more efficient.”
“As a result of having a complete electronic record for residents, our staff now have access to improved information, which enables them to make better clinical decision and improve care outcomes for our residents,” he said.
The key benefits that ARV has experienced since the implementation of iCareHealth’s software have included:
- Additional time for resident care
- Improvements in quality of care
- Enhanced management of medications
- Increased efficiencies and transparency across facilities
- Improved clinical governance
- Reduced clinical risk
Curious to find out what iCareHealth’s Clinical, Care and Medication Management software can do for your organisation? Contact us today.