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Blue Care

Mobility strategy improves quality of care delivered to Blue Care clients

Video length: 3:05 minutes.

Australia | Healthcare | Digital Workplace

Mobilising staff members toward better care

Operating more than 260 centres across Queensland and New South Wales, Blue Care needed to equip staff with the tools they needed while reducing their travel time.

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Challenge

Blue Care needs to reduce their employees’ travel time by mobilising and enabling field staff to provide quality care and improve clients’ experience.

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Solution

With our help, Blue Care develops a mobility strategy that will mobilise over 800 field staff members and equip them to deliver better quality of care for clients.

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Result

The mobility strategy reduces Blue Care staff’s travel time, improves quality of care, motivates their employees, and improves client relationships.

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Challenge

Mobilising 800 field staff

Blue Care started as the Blue Nursing Service in 1953 and has grown into one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit providers of residential aged care, community care, and retirement living.

Operating more than 260 centres in 80 communities across Queensland and northern New South Wales, Blue Care assist more than 12,500 people every day. Blue Care is part of UnitingCare Queensland, a network of Uniting Church agencies dedicated to assisting individuals, families, and communities.

With over 800 field staff caring for and providing services to clients out in the community, the organisation not only wanted to reduce the travel time of these staff but also wanted to mobilise them and provide them with the tools and information they needed to do their job better.

Mobilising staff would enable the organisation to improve the quality of care at the point of care, thereby improving the client experience.

According to Mandy Morgan, Service Manager at Blue Care: ‘Our historic practice was that registered nurses (RNs) would go out and see clients during the day, and then at the end of the day they would come back to do paperwork in the office.’

‘Providing staff with the right tools would remove the need to return to the office to complete paperwork, allowing them to spend more time in the field with clients and also reduce their travel time.’

Patrick Lilwall, CIO, Blue Care said of the mobility project:

‘This is probably one of [our] most significant projects, where the business wanted IT to come out and really give them something. A lot of the focus has previously been around things like making the desktops and the printers work. What wasn’t on the radar was “what about the workforce out in the field”. So, there was recognition that we needed to provide them with the tools and information to do their job and from there we’ve started wrapping this whole project around how we actually mobilise our field staff to be able to do their job better.’

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Solution

A roadmap for mobility

Blue Care engaged us to develop its mobility strategy and provide a roadmap that identified the steps required for Blue Care to deploy its mobility solution. At the core of the solution are the Apple iPads that provide the tool for mobility within the field.

According to Brad Fussell, Client Delivery Executive, Dimension Data:

‘Blue Care approached Dimension Data to help select the technology that sits behind the mobile devices like the iPads. The iPad itself has a number of benefits over traditional laptop or desktop. It’s extremely mobile and it’s light, so that people can use it as a tool rather than a workstation.’

‘The Blue Care mobility strategy was developed together with Dimension Data. We understood their current environment and then identified the gaps between their current environment and where they needed to be to deploy their mobility project. We developed a roadmap and that roadmap provided Blue Care with the various steps that they needed to implement along the journey to deploying their mobility solution,’ said Gregg Sultana, National Manager, Network Integration, Dimension Data.

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Result

Happy staff, happy clients – great company image

According to Pat Lilwall, Blue Care CIO, the company’s mobility strategy is delivering the benefits and results in terms of travel time, reduced number of desktops and quality of care, but he also points out that the benefits expand beyond those which were expected:

‘There’s one benefit that is predominantly around reduced travel time and a reduction in the desktops that we need to be provisioning out in the field. Then there is also the quality of care. But it’s also about innovation – [the project is] actually getting us to start thinking differently. And then there’s the whole qualitative thing of actually giving people in the field access to the latest technology and that in itself has had quite a motivational effect.’

This is backed up by Steve Kynenburg, a Blue Care registered nurse in the field, who said:

‘Knowing that the bosses care enough to make your life easier by providing something like this [is significant]. Having all your information on hand really makes a difference, certainly when it comes to the clients. The iPad makes my day easier. It makes me happier. Happy staff, happy clients – it’s good for the image of the company.’

Lilwall said: ‘For clients, there is enhanced quality of care at the point of care where there is a quicker turn-around on information for them.’

Morgan continued: ‘[Staff in the field] are able to look up all different sorts of client information and they are able to access the internet and intranet. They are able to educate their clients with different sorts of applications that they can purchase on the iPad.’

‘[Staff] have access to email, they’ve got access to calendar, they’ve got access to care records. It has improved significantly the relationship we have with our own clients out in the business. We’ve had really positive response from people. In fact if you tried to take that from them, there’d be a staff revolt,’ concluded Lilwall.

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