COVID-19 resources: aged and community care

Penelope case management

Athena Software has launched two new remote care solutions for its Penelope case management platform, including video session scheduling to simplify the client experience in requesting and managing video-enabled remote care sessions with their care providers.

Athena Software says Penelope customers can continue to deliver essential case management support services remotely while protecting the health of their staff and their clients during the pandemic.

The Canadian-headquartered company has also launched a new caregiver feature for its ClientConnect mobile client portal that works with Penelope. It enables an authorised caregiver or family member to access the mobile client portal on their client or loved one’s behalf.

To use video session scheduling, a client logs into ClientConnect and requests a live video session with their case worker or counsellor. The worker then creates a link using the video provider of the social service organisation’s choice and adds it as an appointment in Penelope.

The link is then displayed in the client’s account and accessed from their mobile device or desktop computer.

Athena says both of the enhancements are available at no charge to nonprofits and human service organisations in Australia and New Zealand already using Penelope and ClientConnect.

Athena Software Australia/New Zealand

Aged care COVID-19 assessment form

Telstra Health has developed a new assessment form to enable the early capture of information related to COVID-19 surveillance and monitoring for residential aged care providers. Available in Telstra Health’s Clinical and Care Management software, the assessment form was developed to help providers to monitor and document potential and active COVID-19 cases within their facilities.

The acute respiratory illness surveillance and monitoring form has been developed in line with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines and in consultation with aged care providers. Released two weeks ago, it is now being used by 40 clients.

Once uploaded into the client’s environment, providers can access the form within Clinical and Care Management along with their suite of standard forms. It allows them to view a report containing all residents for which the form has been completed. Staff can then filter the report by fields such as whether the COVID-19 diagnosis is suspected or confirmed, how the virus was transmitted, or the clinical treatment required.

Providers can also choose to link the new assessment form to their current infection report to provide a prompt to complete the infection report once the COVID-19 assessment is finalised. Staff can also create a dashboard report on the homepage to easily view how many current infections are present within the facility; whether it be COVID-19, influenza, or gastroenteritis.

The reporting components also enable providers to drill into relevant data so they can easily report to their local Public Health Authority if they have a confirmed case. A new diagnosis field will also be introduced to the software in the coming weeks.

Telstra Health Clinical and Care Management website

Consumer guide to digital health

The Australian Digital Health Agency has launched a new website providing advice to consumers on how to navigate the health system using digital tools during the pandemic.

The guide explains what to do if an individual or a family member has COVID-19 symptoms, needs medication unrelated to COVID-19, is sick or injured with symptoms unrelated to COVID-19, is seeking emotional support or general information on how to stay healthy as restrictions are eased.

The guide also explains how patients can update their online health information including allergies, medicines and how to access their pathology and diagnostic imaging results,as well as to book a telehealth consultation and get medications without a paper prescription.

COVID-19 consumer website

Community Helper

Case management software specialist Civica is offering its Community Helper software free of charge to organisations in Australia for the next six months.

Community Helper supports organisations in managing incoming requests for support in a secure way, and routes these to volunteer teams based on postcode area, type of help needed and level of vulnerability. It can route directly to specific organisations, to volunteer groups and to third sector agencies, tracking who has done what and when, so the organisation can see where help is most needed and where support has already been given.

Community Helper is a software as a service solution powered by Civica's iCasework case management technology. Civica says there is a minimal need for training.

Community Helper

Message Manager for RACFs

Telstra Health says its Message Manager software is enabling residential aged care providers to communicate with residents’ loved ones about changes or restrictions related to COVID-19.

The software combines SMS and email functionality, list management and historical communication records to ensure all elements of communication are captured and reported on from the one system. Historical communication records have been designed to enable staff to easily track what information related to COVID-19 has been communicated.

Message Manager allows providers to communicate with multiple families at once, either in groups such as per wing or to all facility primary contacts. Communications about visiting restrictions, health protocols, government changes, and the social and physical wellbeing of residents can be sent to residents’ families.

Message Manager has been developed as a tool within Telstra Health’s Clinical and Care Management solution, meaning all contact details are drawn from the clinical system to reduce data entry and maintain a single source of truth.

Message Manager website

Lighting the Spark

Melbourne-based start-up incubator Agnes Health has partnered with home care provider Lively and smart home developer Umps Health to launch a charitable initiative called Lighting the Spark which will provide up to 200 older people with support in their home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support package will include the installation of Umps' monitoring technology to to detect and respond to illness or incidents in the home, telehealth access to GPs and social calls and virtual activities to relieve loneliness and isolation, and help getting set up online to connect and communicate with others from home.

Lively Home Care puts young people together with seniors to give them help with technology and household chores, shopping, pet care and personal care, while Umps Health markets a discreet set of smart devices that fit between any appliance and the wall to measure when those appliances are used.

The company recommends plugging the device on appliances such as the kettle, TV, refrigerator, bedside lamp and microwave. The sensors operate in the background and learn the regular behaviour and daily habits of the home owner, so if there is a change in routine that could indicate a health issue, alerts can be sent.

The Umps smart home is particularly useful for people with dementia, as it does not require them to wear a pendant or personal alarm. It also runs on the mobile spectrum so no internet connection is required.

Agnes Health founder Chris Gray said the Lighting the Spark initiative was launched two weeks ago with philanthropic support from 5point Foundation and aims to optimise the health, safety and connection of older Australians through the pandemic. It will also provide employment opportunities for younger members of the community, many of whom have faced sudden unemployment.

Lively Home Care

Umps Health



CareApp is offering its communication and engagement platform to aged care providers and home care providers for free for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. The app allows occupational therapists and activity coordinators to upload photos, videos and audio as well as notes and newsletters to a secure environment, which the elderly person's family can then access.

CareApp describes the technology as being able to create a personalised and reassuring window into the care and wellbeing of a loved one in a secure, online environment. It also allows families to provide feedback to residential aged care facilities.

It can also be used in the community, including by home care providers and services such as Meals on Wheels to note and record safety and wellbeing checks. Meals on Wheels volunteers can do a wellbeing check at the time of the delivery, with the real-time information fed back to staff and made available to the family.

CareApp is available for iOS and Android devices and most web browsers.

CareApp website


AutumnCare has released a set of COVID-19 tools for use in residential aged care facilities that slot into AutumnCare’s clinical management system to aid in monitoring residents and staff against potential COVID-19 symptoms. This is done using charts that can be completed daily and automatically file into each individual's personal record. AutumnCare says the tools are already in use at a number of sites and continue to be rolled out nationwide.

In addition to providing COVID-19 specific documentation, AutumnCare is currently offering free access to its family communication portal AutumnCare Family. The portal allows care staff to share photos, messages, alerts and case notes with family members to keep them connected with their loved one.

It also allows for electronic signing of agreed care and service plans, which AutumnCare says is proving invaluable during lockdown where facilities are unable to accept visitors, as family members are able to sign the plans remotely and remain informed. It is available on the App Store and Google Play.

AutumnCare website

Posted in Aged Care

Tags: COVID-19

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