eHomecare - a leading provider of innovative home care services
Consumer Directed Care
The industry of disability & aged care, of which home care is part of, is driven mainly by government and non-for-profit organisations. The industry is experiencing their biggest change in history, transforming to Consumer Directed Care (CDC), and many incumbent providers are struggling to make the CDC change. The future aged care reforms will:
have a clear focus on consumer choice,
providing support for informal carers,
ensure an open and competitive market, and
be sustainable & affordable for all.
The CDC challenges and opportunities was the main driver for eHomeCare to see if they can help transform the industry and better support the consumers of care services. When we found out that not only the incumbent providers (90% non-for-profit and local government) have some serious challenges in the CDC, it is the consumers that could benefit from a fresh, innovative approach. Consumers currently have:
very infrequent contact with case managers and their high turn over inhibits relationship & trust building
poor responsiveness to service requests; call waiting times are long & requesting online require technology interaction that they are uncomfortable with
still a low understanding of the CDC parameters for decision making and autonomy, resulting in a low confidence in themselves and in providers
difficulties with CDC planning or goal setting
little understanding of unit costing and reason for charges
to learn the different service options, ability to compare providers and understand service brokering
to develop self advocacy & health literacy
trouble adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) like wearable technologies & smartphones
challenges in finding a balanced partnership in selection and evaluation of services (or providers)
The Consumer Directed Care opportunities
Experiencing related challenges as children of aging parents we came up with the idea of eHomeCare. Creating opportunities by infusing our knowledge and leadership from different industries into the home care market is a strength that should lead to benefits for our clients.
eHomeCare brings innovation by using new technologies, leading to improved services and efficiency, hence value for money for the consumer. It can provide day and night supervision, social interaction, reminders, and response to alarms. Innovation is also required as the aged care workforce faces its own challenges with a current shortage of trained aged care workers and registered nurses. The demand for aged care workers will continue to surge as the number of older Australians requiring personalised care and support increases. eHomeCare is enabling home-based care workers, using technologies, working part time, regionally or remotely, creating careers for nurturing, caring people in the community (mums, recently retirees, ex-family carers).
Managing client relationships
CDC enables clients to shop around. Statistics indicate that within a period of 3 years up to 80% to 90% of clients will be new consumers for the provider. They will be choosing the providers that will meet their needs and will be choosing based on a variety of reasons with an increased focus on good value for money. This enforces all providers to be really good at managing customers' relationships
Inspiring the workforce
How will the industry deal with the global workforce trend towards independent contracting? Self deployment has become an inspiration; more fulfilling, more flexible, more rewarding, and can be more secure deployment. This might require different corporate models but definitely will require a change in leadership. Leadership of self employed care workers need to be inspirational. Leaders will need to motivate, empower and lead the workforce through the changes in different ways as employees used to be lead. This requires focus on workforce planning & training.
Taking reasonable risk
Last but not least, the new era requires a different approach to manage risk. The duty of care will not change, making reasonable steps to ensure the consumer is not being reckless. Also the minimum standards and safeguards have to be met, like police and working with children checks, key qualification checks, reference checks, insurances, as well as complying with privacy regulations. However the Consumers right-to-Choose does not mean "eliminate all risks". We have to take reasonable risk: balance between empowering people to a positive risk-taking approach for making informed choices about services that will meet their specific needs, and ensuring that there are also reasonable safeguards to prevent harm, abuse or neglect.
eHomeCare, your provider of choice
Shortly, eHomeCare will make the difference being an independent Companion & Home Care Services Provider that assist living safely & independently at home and in the community. We intend to offer diverse, flexible and responsive home care services that:
are appropriate to meet the (changing) needs of the recipients of those services in a familiar environment & the carers of those recipients; and
facilitate the independence of, and choice available to, those recipients and carers.