Why a new automation mindset is critical for aged care

Wednesday, 03 July, 2024

Why a new automation mindset is critical for aged care

Following the royal commission into aged care in 2018, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) was formed, replacing the former Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, and rolling them into a single regulator. This helped eliminate information boundaries across systems and marked a significant step towards a more unified approach to protecting and enhancing the safety and wellbeing of people accessing aged care services, writes MARKUS ZIRN, Chief Strategy Officer at Workato.

The ACQSC works with a number of agencies that are charged with different tasks, making it particularly important that they can rely on a tech ecosystem to administer their programs.

At the forefront of this shift is Tristan Cox, Chief Digital Officer at the ACQSC, with whom I had the opportunity to speak during a recent podcast. Cox’s vision for the ACQSC is deeply rooted in fostering a new automation mindset for the commission, as well as innovating the use of automation to move towards organisational goals, streamline processes and increase efficiency in the aged care sector.

Government entities must be able to move quickly and react to events or changes in regulatory posture — but this is not possible with systems that are very clunky and antagonistic towards organisational objectives, and that do not match architectural settings. According to Cox, with continuous development of legislation and regulatory posture, changes in processes become inevitable, and are hard to foresee.

Not only that, but when changes are made within government, new and existing agencies deal with technology stack barriers. A lot of these systems are typically passed down from predecessors, and under these circumstances, it can be challenging to determine the appropriate platform for processes. When organisational objectives do not match with the capabilities of the infrastructure in place, this creates a problem that requires an agile build process to rapidly effect change.

With the future in mind, many have begun adopting the new automation mindset. But what exactly is this automation mindset, and why is it so critical?

The new automation mindset

The emerging automation paradigm defines the fundamental principles guiding automation strategies in the modern AI era. For example, the “system thinking” approach, also known as the process mindset, emphasises the automation of complete end-to-end processes, rather than focusing on isolated tasks. In contrast, the growth mindset characterises companies that welcome and adapt to changes and challenges with their processes — opting for flexible and adaptable automation solutions rather than rigid, unchangeable ones.

With this mindset, government bodies will be able to better determine the appropriate technology needed to enhance daily tasks and streamline processes more efficiently, and teams will be able to quickly identify the pain points during the mapping journey to determine which areas need to be improved.

The next important piece is decomposition, which is right at the centre of our enterprise architecture. Organisations need to utilise the products that will connect the whole process together in a smooth transition, making it easy for data transfer between systems. This is pivotal, especially for the aged care sector which manages a vast amount of sensitive patient data.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is a front-runner among public sector organisations, largely due to the fact that Tristan Cox and his team prioritise three fundamental aspects:

1. Process mapping

Cox’s approach involves streamlining workflows through process mapping, and it starts by thoroughly mapping out workflows to gain a deep understanding of the processes, as well as identifying areas where improvements can be made. This first step is essential for boosting efficiency and achieving clear operational insights.

2. Low-code, no-code platforms

Next, Cox believes in enhancing agility using low-code platforms, which will require equipping the necessary teams to adapt swiftly with low-code, no code platforms. These intuitive tools facilitate rapid development and deployment of solutions, bolstering the organisation’s ability to respond promptly and flexibly to changes.

3. Flexibility

This last point relates to securing the future of the operations with composability, by creating systems and processes that are flexible and adaptable. By embracing modularity, Cox is able to ensure that the ACQSC seamlessly adjusts to changes, even as the landscape evolves.

Looking to the future

Although the roadmap is clear for the aged care sector, it will take time to implement and adapt to these changes. And where there is an increase in process complexity, it is crucial to be guided by the process mindset. End-to-end processes are inherently intricate; as automation takes on more tasks within a process, the complexity reflected in this data naturally grows.

Organisations that enhance their processes over time exhibit both the process mindset and the growth mindset. Similarly, with this mindset the aged care sector will be able to transform and revolutionise its processes and systems, ensuring quality care all around.

Under Tristan Cox’s leadership, the ACQSC is not just responding to the mandate set forth by the Royal Commission — it is redefining what it means to be a regulatory body in the age of digital transformation.

Markus Zirn is the Chief Strategy Officer at Workato.

Image credit: iStock.com/jittawit.21

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