Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Mar-Apl 2016 Contents Victorian provider Benetas has achieved a 70 per cent
cost saving and improved ways of communicating
with staff and filling vacant shifts by replacing SMS
with secure messaging app Konnective at several of
From an Australian company of the same name, Konnective is
a secure messaging app for businesses used in a number of other
industries including health, education and mining.
The device-agnostic smartphone app is free to download for
staff and enables users to receive messages from their workplace
targeted to their role or location.
Benetas information technology and communications manager
Arpi Cseh says the key benefit is the significant financial saving to
"The alternative to Konnective is the traditional SMS system
and compared to this, we're saving approximately 70 per cent,"
Cseh tells Technology Review. "Any efficiency we can achieve in
back end and administrative processes is a plus for us."
The other main benefit is being able to target messages to key
groups, he says.
"It's a more efficient form of communication and means staff
receive the information that is most relevant to them in the
timeliest way possible. It also decreases the load on our email
server, ensuring our systems operate as efficiently as possible."
At Gladswood Lodge, which is the smallest of its facilities with 65
staff, former residential manager Paula Gibb says they determined
Konnective would save them more than $15,000 per year. However,
it resulted in further savings through reduced staffing costs.
"The computer-based SMS system was costing $44 per day
and increasing as we added more staff. But with the introduction
of Konnective we also saved $13,000 on average a month in staff
She says the targeted group messaging has improved
communication, reduced office staff time and effort and enabled
Benetas staff to respond quickly about vacant shifts.
"If a team leader shift is needed, you use Konnective to
only message team leaders. If a kitchen-hand shift is needed,
messages are sent only to kitchen hand staff. In the past, staff
used to receive irrelevant messages," Gibb says.
Benetas has rolled out the Konnective app to nine of its 13
facilities over the past 18 months. Cseh says it is continually
assessing its effectiveness and benefit to staff, which will inform if
and when it is rolled out to additional sites.
Cseh says the most significant lesson the organisation learned
is that whole of team participation is required.
"As with any innovation, you need to make sure staff are
kept fully informed about what's happening along the way and
supported to access the technology. We've had very positive
feedback from Benetas staff at residential homes and they agree
it's made a big difference." n
Apps making a difference
GIVING AND RECEIVING APP
Not-for-profit organisation GIVIT has launched
the GIVIT Charity app after receiving $70,000
in funding from the Australian Government.
This app enables over 1,000 Australian
charities registered with GIVIT to search
a virtual warehouse of donated items and
request items most needed by vulnerable
people in the community.
SERVICE APP HONOURED
The Australian-developed National
Relay Service (NRS) app has won
at the Best M-Government Service
Awards at the World Government
Summit in Dubai.
The app, which won in the
international Social Affairs category, allows people who are
deaf or hearing or speech impaired to use the phone via a
wide range of devices.
APP AND WEARABLE
A new smart listening system
Soundhawk is aimed at those who
want to hear better in specific
situations but are not ready for a
It includes a scoop Bluetooth
earpiece and microphone, which are
unified by a free iOS and Andriod app for mobile devices
that can be used to personalise the earpiece to specific
environments, such as indoors, outdoors or in the car.
A user can personalise the earpiece to listening
preferences and environment. The the microphone, which
can be placed on a table or worn by someone else to deliver
sounds directly into the earpiece, can pick up sounds from
up to 10 metres away.
Soundhawk is available at Australian Hearing
Switching to app
improves bottom line
Replacing SMS with a secure messaging
app is saving an aged care provider money
and improving staff communication, reports
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