Traditional one-size-fits all Home Care Packages do not account for an individual’s preferences, and do not a lot of choice.
As the sector becomes more consumer-driven, market-based and deregulated, customers have greater control over their choice of provider, and can select from an expanding range of services. For providers, this offers an opportunity to innovate to increase the standard of care and range of supports for ageing in place.
Disrupting the model
Enabling Confidence at Home (ECH) is a South Australian home care provider focused on continuous improvement in care and service delivery, and a leader in the provision of cutting-edge technology to its clients and their families, and in the way it delivers this technology.
In 2020, ECH acquired Billy – one of Australia’s leading aged care start-ups. Billy uses smart sensors placed around the home to build a profile of an individual’s daily schedule which, if the individual allows, is shared with families and aged care professionals via a mobile phone app. Through Billy, families have clear visibility that daily routines of their loved ones are being undertaken. Monitoring of day-to-day tasks detects changes in everyday patterns and behaviours, which can enable preventative interventions to occur.
ECH has also made a significant investment in Mint Social – a digital platform that allows clients to connect with their family and friends via an app. ECH has rolled out Mint Social to all clients on a Home Care Package to help them stay connected. Mint Social takes its cues from other social media platforms where ECH staff, family and friends, can post text, photos and video updates into an individual client’s feed. The content can then be viewed, commented on and liked by everyone in the client’s network.
Other care innovations
ECH developed ECH Essential Care™ to improve the quality of care provided to Home Care Package clients. This involves a dedicated team of experienced staff – including a Care Coordinator, Clinical Nursing Consultant and ECH GP – who work with clients to develop a personalised care plan. The plans are reviewed regularly to make sure any changes to a clients’ needs are identified.
The development of the Neighbourhood Service Delivery Model – which has aligned care service staff to clients living in geographically defined neighbourhoods – has allowed ECH to better coordinate clients’ care and service requirements with a consistent workforce team.
ECH’s Care Management Model is an integrated and responsive care model that helps avoid hospital and residential aged care admissions. This multidisciplinary model includes input from allied health professionals, nurses and GPs, and can involve respite options, dementia support and care coordination. ECH Clinical Nursing Consultants are available to provide high level clinical support to those who need it, while ECH GPs can provide rapid community response and deliver palliative and end-of-life care. This approach has delivered demonstrated outcomes in better continuity of care.
Technology for better outcomes
ECH has been instrumental in challenging stereotypes and disrupting long-held industry ‘set and forget’ care and service delivery models.
While technology will never replace person-to-person contact, ECH is demonstrating that the best outcomes for older people and their families will be achieved through a tailored and individual care plan combined with cutting edge technology.
Through its own programs, investment and initiatives, ECH is making real and measurable change to the lives of thousands of South Australians.
ECH was a Finalist in the innovAGEING Increasing Care and Productivity Award 2020.