The possibilities associated with broadband and information technology (IT) are the subject of much discussion. They are seen as a way to help residential aged care facilities cope with increasing demand and rising costs. IT resources and applications can also contribute to the quality of life and safety of residents. Some of the benefits that have been identified include:
- improved ways to collect and share information about the resident's care and clinical issues
- ready access to online information and evidence
- tools to communicate with other health professionals who may not be onsite
- enabling residents to talk or videconference with family who cannot visit
- assisting in the management of business processes
- providing opportunities for education and training.
However, taking advantage of these potential benefits can be challenging. Barriers include:
- lack of sector specific and integrated platforms and solutions
- costs associated with introducing, maintaining and upgrading systems
- availability of IT management and support
- staff knowledge and interest in technology, and
- resistance to change.
Personally controlled electronic health record
The Australian government is funding the development of a personally controlled electronic health record. eHealth records will allow residents (or their families) to access information online and to share information with the health professionals involved in the resident's care. Find out more from the My Health record website.