Church Resources commences aged care IT pilot

A group of rural aged care facilities will have access to IT applications through a pilot program being launched by charitable trust Church Resources.

The ConnectCare program will see a suite of technology applications and infrastructure rolled out in four not-for-profit rural aged care homes in NSW and Queensland.

The four homes are Nambucca Valley Care in Macksville, NSW; Sawtell Catholic Care of the Aged in Toormina, NSW; Churches of Christ Care in Toowoomba, Queensland; and Caloundra Catholic Community Homes in Caloundra, Queensland.

Partners in the federal government-funded project include Telstra, who will supply the broadband infrastructure that a suite of integrated aged care applications will be delivered over.

The IT applications will include an integrated aged care resident health record that can be accessed by GPs; and a suite of integrated residential care management applications including care plans, assessments, financials and payroll.

Basic IT infrastructure and software will also be implemented including broadband access, network connection, security, firewall, Microsoft applications, mobility, wireless LAN, email and filters, IP phone, VoD and video conferencing.

Telstra business group managing director Deena Shiff said the implementation of infrastructure and software will allow aged care staff to spend less time on administration.

“Telstra hopes the pilot will help us create off the shelf solutions, including network-hosted software, making it affordable to roll out similar equipment more widely in rural and regional nursing homes and aged care facilities,” she said.

“This is very important as our population ages and more resources are needed for aged care.”

Ms Shiff said the residents will also be able to use the resources to keep in touch with friends and family.

“While they may be unable to live independently, our elderly are just as keen to take advantage of social networking as younger Australians,” she said.

Nambucca Valley Care chief executive officer Stephen Richards said the project would improve the health of residents by enabling faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment and easier access to specialists through the use of technology.

“People living in aged care facilities are older, frailer and have more complex medical needs than a decade ago,” he said.

“With increasing demands on our limited health resources doctors and specialists are being stretched pretty thin, especially in rural and regional areas.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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