Leecare takes out ITAC top award

Aged care software specialist Leecare Solutions was named ICT company of the year at the Information Technology in Aged Care (ITAC) conference in Melbourne late last week.

Leecare, which launched its web-browser based, open standards Platinum 5.0 clinical and care management software in December 2010, has won previous ITAC awards for implementations at a number of aged care facilities, including the 2009 award for best software implementation for a facility of over 150 beds with its leetotalcare software program, and best implementation of the year for a facility with between 150 and 650 places in 2010.

Leecare launched its first electronic care planning system in 1997, followed by a complete care management software program, leetotalcare, in 2002. It upgraded leetotalcare to an enterprise level MSSQL/C#.net system in 2005 and created leecareplus in 2006 by adding an interface to all four aged care accreditation standards.

The new platform also includes a complete care management software program along with quite a few extras, Leecare's founder and CEO, Caroline Lee, said. “Platinum 5.0 is a whole clinical, lifestyle and management package,” she said. “We have incorporated all of the HR, the continuous improvement, hazards and incidents, maintenance and supplier management and education [requirements].

“Effectively, in an aged care space, it is all of the aged care accreditation and community care standards. It also has all of the ISO standards in relation to managing an organisation and a person's healthcare.”

Platinum 5.0 is interoperable with medical and proprietary medication management programs and finance packages. It uses a technology called IntelligentDesign that enables the software to be used on any browser, device or platform. IntelligentDesign is a world-first in aged care, according to the company, as it contains open source technology to allow users the choice of operating in either Microsoft or non-Microsoft environments. It has also been designed to support touchscreen devices such as Androids and iPads.

“Because it is web browser-based and we have developed it so it fits and works within all browser types, it doesn't matter whether it is a mobile phone device, iPad or an Android device,” Dr Lee said. “Some clients have iPads, some of them have Toshibas, Motorolas, Samsung Androids – the whole gamut. You have to have that point of care device so you are not wandering back and forth to the nurses' station.”

Leecare also offers a number of hosting solutions for Platinum, important to all aged care providers who are looking to reduce costs. It can be fully installed on the client server network or it can be hosted in Leecare's or the NEC cloud, which was set up to give smaller aged care providers access to a range of aged-care specific software.

The company has designed a pre-installed and pre-configured appliance that acts as a Leecare server. “If organisations don't have sufficient access to the internet or experience with managing a server, which obviously includes managing their back-up, monitoring service functionality 24 hours a day, making sure that back-ups are retrievable, they can instead licence the appliance on a monthly fee,” Dr Lee said.

“That gives them all of the support and the back-up. They can do it on a cloud – NEC's cloud or our cloud, anybody's cloud – they can have it installed on their internal network or they can contra-licence our appliance and then they don't have to worry about managing a server. The whole point of this was to completely reduce everybody's total cost of ownership by ensuring they had affordable software – with no requirement to pay for additional operating system licenses or client access licences (CALs) if they didn’t wish to. It has been built using open standards, so aged care organisations can select their operating system, installing the software in for example a Linux or Windows server – it’s their choice.."

She said licensing fees have increased significantly, adding an even larger burden on struggling aged care providers. “Operating systems and client access licences and a whole range of costs have increased over the last couple of years, so this removes that cost from the equation.”

Leecare's solutions are installed in about 350 sites, some of which have already migrated from the previous platform to Platinum 5.0. The others will slowly migrate this year, she said. “This is an accreditation year for aged care so we are doing it slowly based on people's coping mechanisms.”

Dr Lee said the company would be adding more functionality this year, including connections to the PCEHR and the Healthcare Identifiers Service, which is part of the company's roadmap for the next few months. “We have started development and we will have access to the HI Service and the PCEHR by 30 June. We've been working on that for a long time - this was all a forerunner to making sure that that would be possible as well.”

The other winners of the ITAC awards were:

  • Best Implementation of the Year under 150 beds/places
  • Winner: Thomas Holt Villages
  • Commendation: Star Gardens
  • Finalists: Amaroo Hostel, LifeTec Qld and Star of Sea Home for the Aged
  • Best Implementation of the Year 150 to 650 beds/places
  • Winner: Sundale Gardens for its Atlassian JIRA implementation
  • Finalists: Sundale Gardens for its comprehensive intranet implementation, Feros Care and Carrington Centennial Care.
  • Best Implementation of the Year over 650 beds/places
  • Winner: McKenzie Aged Care Group
  • Commendation: Salvation Army Aged Care Plus
  • Finalists: Azzuri Communications and Bethanie
  • Best Implementation Infrastructure:
  • Winner: Jewish Care Victoria
  • Finalists: Holy Spirit Care Services and Sundale, which again was a finalist for two implementations: its XenApp 6 deployment and its BCP Solution.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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