CIO50 2020 #26-50 Daniel Pettman, Baptist Care NSW and ACT
Aged care has had a seriously hard time of it the past 12 months, facing the fierce scrutiny of a high-profile Royal Commission, and the brutal impact of a wide-spread COVID-19 breakout across the sector.
Daniel Pettman, chief information officer with Baptist Care NSW and ACT had been driving a digital transformation agenda since joining the organisation in 2015, which certainly held it in good stead when the going got tough.
Among the key initiatives was development of a ‘digital home care business’ which has transformed how Baptist Care operates and provides care to its clients.
Its includes a custom build app allowing clients – and their families - to make and manage their own care choices, following the recent deregulation of the aged care sector.
A Canadian care management system (Alayacare) was also brought online, introducing new technology supporting individual customer portals and integration with telehealth.
Real-time integration build between the YouChoose, care management system and rostering / SMS engines facilitates a complete digital experience for customers and staff, while a rostering engine sourced from the logistics industry is supporting better management of home-care staff in the field.
Faced with a growing shortage of staff, especially those with specialists skills, Pettman also drove development of an automated onboarding platform for staff and volunteers, incorporating data around psychometric assessments in hiring systems and digitising processes across the entire organisation.
“As the technology rolls out to all sites in the organisation fruitful discussions have been had regarding the complex trade-offs between efficiency and customer experience and a new appreciation for analytics informing decisions have been gained,” he tells CIO Australia.
Removing slow and inefficient paper-based systems and processes – as well as upgrading legacy technology – was a key driver.
Pettman and his team completely digitised practices across such diverse services as no interest loans, counselling services, street work, domestic violence support services and others.
The result has been higher levels of service and care for Baptist Care clients, while the growing volumes of data now being collected are helping to reap further improvements, as well as providing powerful insights for the broader industry.
“In a sector which is traditionally averse to data-driven thinking, enormous progress has been made by dashboarding key business areas including financial metrics, operational performance, care provision and reporting related to covid-19 and Royal Commission items,” Pettman notes.
In March 2020 BaptistCare’s nursing home Dorothy Henderson, Lodge was the epicentre of the first widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia.
“The challenge to the organisation and the business technology department was enormous with extensive media coverage, staff initially frightened to attend the workplace and families deeply concerned about their loved ones in the home,” Pettman recalls.
As the crisis unfolded, he and his team played a key role in the response, enabling evacuation of offices and mobilisation of work from home equipment and collaboration software (Microsoft Teams) for hundreds of staff in corporate head office and remote offices across the organisation.
Visitor sign-in and checking systems were deployed in quick time, along with specialised communication systems across the organisation keeping residents and loved ones connected throughout the lockdowns.
“The leadership lesson is one of being prepared for the worst and of reaping what you sow in a crisis situation,” Pettman explains.
“If you have spent the time and the focus investing in your people, your culture, your capability and developing leadership skills from the management team right through to the technical experts in your department you will be able to withstand and even thrive in the most challenging of crisis situations.”