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at odds with job security and the ability to necessarily provide
regular hours in a sense. I would, not for a second, argue that
customer flexibility should not be at the forefront of care but it
can bring with it some yet to be resolved issues," he says.
SUNDALE'S GROWTH AGENDA
Sundale is building in other directions with expansion plans
that include six new retirement communities currently in
development on the Sunshine Coast that will bring the total
number to 10. Bunney explains the Sunshine Coast has always
been a strong retirement destination "propelled by a growing
population keen to settle in the area."
In-home care is the epicentre of Sundale's planning as the
service model for the future. Bunney describes in-home care as
"the aged care of the future" which already outstrips residential
care and "is the core of our organisation and justifiably getting
the attention it deserves." Another Sundale residential care
centre has just received the go-ahead and Sundale is adding to
its affordable housing program expanding services to a broader
spectrum of the community.
Rehabilitation is another area with potential for growth and
having been involved in this space for over 25 years Sundale is
looking to integrate more allied health facilities into re-building
plans, to satisfy short-term rehabilitation options for people
in retirement communities, residential care and in-home care.
Sundale was the first to co-locate a childcare centre with a
residential facility in 2006. "As well as offering intergenerational
connections Sundale employees are able to access flexible
childcare. It has dual purpose and works exceptionally well.
"As a standalone organisation Sundale is probably the largest local
provider given its scope," says Bunney. With its 52-year history, the
organisation has a solid financial position, low employee turnover, a
high proportion of long-term employees and some 350 volunteers.
However, finding team members in some disciplines, like allied
health, is difficult, he says. "Physiotherapists and occupational
therapists are in high demand. Not a choice of six or seven, just
one. We keep hearing about unemployed nurse graduates but
we struggle to find them. This glut of nurses we are supposed to
have -- I wish I knew where they were," he says.
Sundale claims to lead the way in technology innovations with
some big-picture thinking. Heading the list and a contender for an
ITAC national award is the in-house Government Portal created
by the IT team at Sundale. Set up in June, it was developed to
centralise interactions with government portals into one easily
"It's unique," says Sundale chief information officer Gavin
Tomlins. Sundale has been approached by other organisations
about the technology that centralises all the government portals
and simplifies access to whole-of-government infrastructure.
"We have removed all the complexity
in managing security issues around
government portal access such as
misconfigured computers and lost USB
keys via one login path," Tomlins says.
He says accessing the Aged Care
Gateway takes one click. The portal can
be easily and quickly updated for all users
-- within 20 minutes -- and is accessible
on mobile devices. "The beauty is in its
simplicity because it is directing all traffic
and information into one location. All
the security and credentials are handled
at the back-end, which is completely
transparent to the end user. It brings
everyone and everything together for our
entire business operations."
During initial trials, the set-up of three
users across government portals took
six hours on the traditional method, but
now takes five minutes as all logins sit
on one landing page. "When it comes to
saving time this is significant when you
attach it to 50 people. All up, the portal
took about 150 hours to develop," he says,
adding that "there is no reason why other
organisations cannot do similarly to what
Sundale has done."
Sundale is rolling out its My Care portal
in collaboration with Telstra Health Connex.
This provides a centralised portal for
Sundale customers and families to check
on schedules and see what is happening
in their home. As well as integrating video
conferencing for customers seeking social
interaction with family and friends, it is
coupled with the ability to access telehealth
for receiving patient health related data,
services and information.
Sundale chief operating officer Matt
Sierp is clear about one thing: "With Sundale
providing all this new technology and
support to customers in their homes using
mobile technology the sky is the limit."
The next step will depend on what the
customer or family needs and prefers,
Sierp says. "Not everyone wants the
Kaye Coates, NPC;
CN; Joyce Howes,
Right: On site --
www.australianageingagenda.com.au | 37
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