Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Spt-Oct 2013 Contents TAKING THE OFFICE WITH YOU
A 3G-enabled tablet-laptop device gives
the on-the-road RDNS workforce access
to everything they need, more time for
clients with complex needs, and access to
automated tasks that save time for staff
"It's virtually like a mobile office
for them because of all that internet
connectivity and the suite of applications
they have on there," says Stelvio Vido,
executive general manager, projects and
"They can effectively communicate with anyone from their
laptop. They are all 3G-enabled. It's a live real-time connection.
They are communicating all the time," he says.
A key efficiency from the start of every work day is that staff
can log in and start work from home rather than having to drive
to an office to get their schedule.
Throughout the day workers have access to their roster, the
day's client visits including all client data, plus general computer
and internet applications providing clinical information and the
organisation's policies and procedures.
Staff can collect and record visit data and email and fax
directly from the device. It also has automated ordering of items,
Fewer payroll enquiries, improved productivity through
eliminating timesheets, reduced need for agency nurses
resulting in wage savings, and consistent and accurate
management of multiple workplace agreements, are
among efficiencies Bupa Care Services has achieved since
implementing a new workforce management solution.
Bupa moved from a decentralised industry-based payroll
and rostering solution to the Kronos Workforce Scheduler in
2010. The fully-automated centralised system provides real-
time visibility of all 60 Australian aged care facilities, which
house 4685 residents. Rostering for the 6500 workers is
based on staff qualifications and preferences, and standard
staff-to-resident ratios. The solution also covers the
management and development of Bupa's 5000 volunteers.
Helen Sims, payroll manager at Bupa, says with
Kronos' biometric system Bupa is able to accurately verify
employee identities and track their working hours without
burdening site managers with the paper-based timesheet
approvals, saving 833 hours in total.
"We have been able to eliminate the need for timesheets
for our 6,500 employees, saving 10 minutes per employee
each fortnight. They can now focus on their core duties and
ultimately improve quality of care for our residents," Sims says.
"What's more, the system helps instill confidence in our
employees that they are compensated for overtime accordingly
to their award level. Since the system has been rolled out,
we have seen a 20 per cent decrease in payroll enquiries."
Staff ratios are set centrally and implemented locally,
based on available resources. The system also promotes
work-life balance with staff able to put forward their
availability. Managers then use the system tool to assign
hours based on preferences.
"This allows management to ensure optimum staff-to-
resident levels while providing roster flexibility to best-
match employees to the available shifts, especially in cases of
absenteeism," she says.
As a result Bupa has been able to ensure in-house carers
are rostered as a priority and subsequently the need for
agency staff has reduced from 6 per cent of wage cost in
2008 to less than 1 per cent in 2012.
Bupa is also applying the system to its volunteer program,
which it says has resulted in a spike in volunteer applications. n
such as wound management products,
through the provider's preferred supplier.
RDNS has been arming its staff with
mobile technology for 12 years and
over time it has been able to improve
productivity, Vido says.
It has achieved this because the solution
saves staff and clients time, which enables
RDNS to put more time into client care, and
can be used as a learning platform for the
customer, he says.
"Some of the online ordering we can do
for the client in their home means it's very quick, efficient and
seamless. It also saves the client from having to do it themselves,"
"Apart from just using the device to record information for us, we
use it as a tool to deliver self management education to the client."
The productivity gains translate to a balance between an
increase in the number of clients workers can see in a day and
more time with individual clients, especially those with more
complex needs who require more time with that worker, Vido says.
RDNS is currently exploring the market for a new solution, the
sixth in 12 years. The wish list includes route mapping capability
to assist workers to transfer between jobs. But the key element of
this latest iteration is that RDNS is looking at deploying a variety
of devices, including smart phones, as an alternative to a laptop
computer or tablet, to meet individual needs, Vido says.
"We envisage going forward using a range of devices
depending on the staff member that's using it, the need or the
requirements they have and the complexity of the care that
As telehealth evolves, Vido says they see use of video
increasing in the field, which will drive the types of devices that
some staff use. n
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