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Senior man using a smartphone in an aged care home

New Business Models in Aged Care

Aged Care operators are pursuing new business models, out of necessity. This is in response to changes to the financial position and social expectations of the Baby Boomers generation.

A brief look into the new business models in Aged Care reveals the following trends:

  1. The move to ageing in place / multigenerational living, where two or more generations co-habit: a 2013 report cited by Choice stated that 27% of residents living together do so for “care arrangement and support”
  2. Designing for disability, including dementia, and their carers
  3. Vertical villages and the support of couples for whom age-related disease is occurring at different rates

Why is this happening?

  • These changes are in response to changing demographics of the population.
  • Fundamental economics show that Baby Boomers are asset-rich, but cash-poor
  • The shift in business model reflects the consumer-style expectations of people as they age and the availability of cash (or work) to fund their retirement

People born between 1946 and 1964, the Baby Boomers, are heading into retirement at a rate of about 10,000 a day.

 McCrindle, a social researcher.
2020, when

This generation is one of the richest ever, estimated to peak at about $54 trillion in assets by 2030. Yet, in 2016 GoBankingRates published research conducted with 1,504 adults in the US over the age of 55 (4.3% margin of error): approximately 30% of the respondents age 55 and over claimed to have no retirement savings and less than half (46%) of the respondents had sufficient retirement funds.

The Center for Aging & Work at Boston College found a mismatch in the retirement expectations of older workers and their employers: their research suggested 64 percent of workers would like some kind of “phased retirement.” When Center researchers asked employers whether they accommodated such “phased retirement,” about half said they did for top workers, but only 10 to 20 percent offered it to all workers.

New Business Models

As such, operators are seeking alternate revenue sources through the provision of:

  • Access to onsite and offsite medical and health-related services
  • Offsite lifestyle retreats
  • Additional advancement services, such as onsite education, employment and volunteer advisory centres
  • Repurposing retail / mixed building developments, with some levels within the building now dedicated to aged care

Periop Partners offers a state-of-the-art platform and service design for medical and lifestyle care. We uniquely enable care coordination across multiple locations, mobile teams and virtual consultations. To see how we can assist your aged-care development, call 1300 799 438 to talk to our consultants.

Aged care nurse taking care of recovering elderly man

Scrutiny of Workforce Management in Aged Care Report

Workforce management came under scrutiny in the Senate’s report into the future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce, released on the 20th of June, 2017.

The Senates recommendations have raised questions regarding the compliance to oversee the management of such a diverse workforce.

The media has provided intense scrutiny into the education, incentives and remuneration of the aged care workforce. Also of particular concern to the senate committee was the management of the workforce, with the following relevant recommendations:

  1. Recommendation 4
    25 The committee recommends that, as part of the aged care workforce strategy, the aged care workforce strategy taskforce be required to include:… “mechanisms to rapidly address staff shortages and other factors impacting on the workloads and health and safety of aged care sector workers, with particular reference to the needs of regional and remote workers including provision of appropriate accommodation;” and
  2. Recommendation 6
    31 The committee recommends that the aged care workforce strategy include consideration of the role of informal carers and volunteers in the aged care sector, with particular focus on the impacts of both the introduction of consumer directed care and the projected ageing and reduction in these groups.
  3. Recommendation 7
    34 The committee recommends that the national aged care workforce strategy includes consideration of the role of medical and allied health professionals in aged care and addresses care and skill shortages through better use of available medical and allied health resources.
  4. Recommendation 8
    41 The committee recommends that the government examine the introduction of a minimum nursing requirement for aged care facilities in recognition that an increasing majority of people entering residential aged care have complex and greater needs now than the proportions entering aged care in the past, and that this trend will continue.

Why is this significant?

An aged care workforce has diverse skills, which can be difficult to manage. Add to this, volunteers, carers and patients with different needs, levels of mobility and disability and medical requirements and you have a very complex scheduling problem. Any inefficiency of such a diverse workforce will add to the cost. Finally, the requirement of compliance, eg maintaining a team with a required (or enforced) skills profiles and ratios, behoves such a system to have the ability to track and create alerts – a workforce management “super-duper” interface.

Leading Aged Services Australia CEO, Sean Rooney cited the 2011 Productivity Commission Report, Caring for Older Australians, which highlighted ‘superficial attractions’ to mandatory staffing to care recipient ratios was a ‘blunt instrument’ that is unlikely to be an efficient way to improve care’. Like a domino, for a margins-based industry, it will have knock-on effects on quality and cost of care, and ultimately impact profitability.


What can be done?

Scheduling and correct coordination of the aged care workforce is of top priority.

Aged care providers should look for a system that allows proactive profiling and management of this style of workforce, across multiple locations and teams of healthcare issues. The autonomy for some elements can be distributed (eg patients request a visit from a particular type of provider, if part of their care package), whilst others can be centrally controlled (eg accreditation of the home-care staff).

It is very likely, given the focus on the complexity of chronic disease management, and the feedback from key organisations, that aged care teams will be physician led. The AMA continues to advocate to secure medical and nursing care for older Australians, particularly as the population ages.

As such, a detailed understanding of each worker’s skill set, documentation of past client contact, as well as a system to monitor and manage the location of the patient.

Finally, a rules based self-scheduling engine, accommodating volunteers, carers, staff and medical professionals, will allow aged care organisations to see whether they have all roles, functions and locations covered – and manage for the times when they are not.

In summary:

  • Anticipate the need to manage your aged care staff and workforce closely, with the ability to match the needs of the patients with the ability and past history of the staff, volunteer or medical team member
  • Begin to build a profile of your people’s skills sets, with a tool like Jobs for Periop Partners
  • Begin to automate management tasks and scheduling of locations and jobs: Mobiliyo can assist in this process
  • Ask us how can be used as an internal site to schedule care in your patients’ residences, or within a residential village.
  • A super-user platform that oversees all aspects of workforce management.

Want to find out how Jobs, Mobiliyo, MedicRooms and the Periop Partners platform can help you manage your aged care workforce? Call us on 1300 799 438 and ask to speak to one of our consultants.

Our Advisory Service

Starting your Practice? Consider using our Advisory Service.

When thinking of starting your own practice, you may realise that the business of medicine was not something they covered in medschool.

In fact, very little time in our training, either at basic or advanced levels, is dedicated to how to run our own practice or the business of medicine.

There are a number of courses on practice management run from a “owning a practice” point of view – but often, they are geared for General Practices or Specialists – and worse, few are run by people who have owned, or let alone, are experienced in running a practice. Few fellow doctors open up their business and teach other doctors to set up a business.

There is a better way.

Navigate your way through the challenging maze of compliance, people and processes and run your own practice.

For Surgical Assisting and Anaesthetic Practices

It’s relatively straightforward:

For free advice, please read the Periop Partners blogs, or subscribe to our Podcasts.

If you still have questions, or would like step-by-step guidance on how to set up a business, book in for an Advisory Service session:
Sessions are intended for surgical assistants and anaesthetists starting up practice. They cost $200 (+ 10% GST), run for 30 mins and include a copy of our book, Medical Business Management, published with Wiley.

Agenda for Advisory Service sessions

During a 30 min session, we will assist you with the following:

Checklist for legal and statutory requirements & accounting services
Credentialing process with AHPRA and Medicare Australia
Accreditation with private hospitals
Selection of billing companies
Accounting and bookkeeping services
Coordination of surgeons and lists coverage
Marketing practice
Answer your questions!

For Surgeons, GPs and Allied Health Practitioners starting a Practice

Our Group Practice Partner is Medical Management Group, an experienced consultancy that specialises in more complex medical businesses and new business model development. Ask them to call you here.

To order a copy of the book, Medical Business Management, and access written for practitioners starting business practices from scratch, please visit the Medibusiness site.

Periop Partners Podcasts on the Business of Medicine

The Periop Partners “Business of Medicine” information series for 2017.

Tell me when it starts

Periop Partners helps small to medium business owners in healthcare navigate the “business of medicine“.

As practitioners ourselves, we’ve heard all the platitudes of business people trying to teach us how to run a business – without their compassionate understanding of what it’s like to be a patient-first organisation.

To this end, we’re building a library of resources to help healthcare business owners like us build their knowledge and practice of the business of medicine – and to future-proof their companies in light of the technology-led disruption in healthcare.

The Arc Podcasts

We have a remarkable line of speakers, with expertise in running and advising healthcare businesses from around Australia and New Zealand. The podcasts will address issues such as:

  • setting up practice
  • overcoming the challenges of hiring, running a business (and having a life)
  • growing to the next level
  • the impact of technology on medicine.

We’re also partaking in a special event with Dr. Peter Diamandis, an international thought-leader in the space of entrepreneurship & the future of medicine.

If you haven’t heard him speak, and want to be inspired: register here for the webinar run by SUCCESS (ends Thursday 19th January).  

We spoke with Dr Diamandis about his predictions of the future of healthcare and running an Exponential business in Health on Friday 20th January. Watch the replay.


The Book: Medical Business Management

Medical Business Management provides owners, operators and managers of health-related businesses with the tools and advice they need.

Published with Wiley, this book is a brief summary of Leanne Boase and Grace Lai’s individual experiences in setting up, running, growing, selling and advising businesses in healthcare: from solo surgical practices to GP practices to radiology companies.

Leanne is now in a business building hospitals and GP practices and Grace works with business owners to build future-proofed, multi-location practices.

Buy your copy here.

What Makes a Great Surgical Assistant?

Surgical Assistants are core to the identity of Periop Partners. After all, it’s where we started as a business.

Dr Grace Lai, Founder, writes: “I had the idea for building an online services marketplace for healthcare in July 2014 with the first development team engaged in August 2014. I envisioned a software platform where it was easy for users (surgeons) to request a supplier (surgical assistant) “just in time”.

After a number of mistakes (no group of users to work with, nor a dedicated team that understood the problem), I course-corrected. I was still fulfilling orders by email and SMS, but by July 2015, I had 11 assistants and 5 surgeons using my services and a wonderful group of IT collaborators working on the software. That same month, a Radiology service working at multiple gym sites wanted us to build an online booking and scheduling software system, based on the Periop Partners software model. This gave us the confidence to believe our solution was needed by more than just us and we incorporated.”

Periop Partners’ business principles come from the lessons learnt from working with our very first assistants and surgeons, all the way to first organisation. We ask for our members, team mates and partners to be:

  • Reliable
  • Intelligent (socially and intellectually)
  • Intuitive and efficient (“appropriate anticipation”)
  • Details oriented, yet elegant in functionality
  • Easy to work with
  • Vigilant for opportunities to improve constantly and to grow from lessons learnt

We started as a group of surgical assistants who wanted more and better jobs. Together we form a reputation for delivering high quality, reliable and trustworthy surgical assisting. We make the operations smoother, we help out the whole perioperative team and we’re pleasant to be around.

Call it our Code of Conduct. It’s embedded into the company’s DNA.

This post was also shared on LinkedIn. Periop Partners launched its Surgical Assisting Pilot in September 2016 and the software is now live.

Join as a Surgical Assistant

patient education software tablet

Periop Partners Builds Platforms for On-demand Patient Education

We build patient education platforms to help patients and health providers overcome challenges in the communication and comprehension around complex medical processes.

Challenges for a Patient:

  • Going to the doctor for a diagnosis (“crunch-time”) is scary
  • Fear can stop any calm, clear and rational thinking
  • Stress can impair recall and comprehension of information

… yet at their most vulnerable, they are expected to make rational health, financial and lifestyle decisions.

Challenges for a Health Providers:

  • As educators and deep learners in a particular area, you address the same kinds of questions from patient to patient
  • You commonly have to repeat yourself
  • Patients and family members require similar information at different periods of the care journey

… so we developed a Clinical Support and Education Platform

Why a Patient Education Platform?

An innovative Neurosurgeon asked us to develop a patient education multimedia solution, to help him communicate with his patients and their loved ones. He wanted the solution to be engaging but also efficient.

We interviewed the health provider and the patient community extensively.

Their requirements, their challenges and their requests have been uniform:

Give me an online platform where we can get information anytime that my doctors (or health personnel) have assessed to be safe and satisfactory, and that I can share that with my support people?

Click here to read more about the result: Clinical Support and Education Platform

Patient experience

One of the main findings of the patient experience research has been that there is no “one size fits all” approach to improving experience and that what works really well in one setting might not work so well in another.

There are however, some key factors and themes that are important to consider, such as the need for an experience programme to be embraced by leaders throughout your health system, the role of staff experience, the power of stories and the need to make the experience strategy central to your core organisational vision, strategy, quality reporting and service improvement work.
Patients and referrers look for authority figures in times of uncertainty. Almost as a reflex, they will look for a physician’s reputation or a word-of-mouth recommendation with an online search. Who you are and how they find you matters.

To view the collection of articles and advice from Periop Partners, visit our Facebook page.

Clinical Support and Education Platform

Our Clinical Support and Education Platform is currently under limited release for select clients in the health industry.

Why a Clinical Support and Education Platform?

Working with clinicians and interest groups, their request has been universal.

Give me an online platform where we can get information anytime that my doctors (or health personnel) have assessed to be safe and satisfactory, and that I can share that with my support people?

the brief for the Clinical Support and Education Platform

What does it do?

The resulting Clinical Support and Education Platform performs:

  1. Online multimedia education and clinical information
  2. Day-to-day or event-based support for professionals, patients and their support community
  3. On-demand and longitudinal timed reminders

Consequently, to support the adoption of this unique platform, we have developed:

  • a rapid content development platform
  • role-specific access to information
  • analytics and link tracking
  • sharing and collaboration features
  • whitelabelled front end (ie, your company branded)

What’s the benefit?

Clinicians engage in focused conversations addressing specific concerns, leading to better communication with patients.

Patients and their support community access curated, customised information at any time.

Especially in the Clinical trials arena, stakes are high: a failure to obtain informed consent or follow protocol could lead to the decimation of the project.

You’ve built the first one for one surgeon. Now you’re looking to expand it. Who are you looking for?

Groups who are running a Clinical trial, an Education project in healthcare, or run an interest group: if the efficient and tracked distribution of health information is important to you and your project, please contact us to discuss further.

Currently under limited release