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The recently released Aged Care Workforce Taskforce report titled  'A matter of care - a strategy for Australia’s aged care workforce', recommends that to meet industry demand, the aged care workforce must almost triple, from 366,000 staff to almost one million by the year 2050.

Aged & Community Services Australia’s (ACSA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pat Sparrow, who is a member of the taskforce, has commented that “Workforce is one of the most pressing issues for the sector into the future,” she says.

Do care workers have the time to care?

Care workers are often reported as complaining that new policies and procedures leave them with less time to provide adequate care to their patients. There are hundreds of political factors that influence the future workforce planning of care-givers in Australia, and there is a constant struggle on a global scale to supply enough financing and staff to provide adequate care to our ageing population.  The key here is to be able to give some of the critical hours back to aged care workers so they can dedicate more shift hours to providing the best level of care.

What can be done to alleviate aged care worker shortages?

By placing a greater emphasis on technology in the planning stages, we can create a healthier, more human-interactive environment where it matters most, and RITEQ Workforce Management Software has the tools to help. If you have total visibility of your entire workforce, you can maximise productivity and efficiency. A cloud-based algorithmic system eliminates guess-work and cognitive errors when scheduling shifts and pay changes. This results in senior staff spending less time on scheduling.

‘Shift-bidding’ via SMS, operated through the Employee Self Service system ensures quickly-changing conditions are monitored and resolved, and staff can be found quickly for increased demand. And a fully transparent mobile app allows your entire workforce to review their upcoming shifts, update their timesheets and request time off. This allows them to plan their valuable leisure time and keeping them focused on patient priorities while in the caregiving environment.

There can be no substitute for the care of a registered nurse or qualified aged care support worker, but many cite their biggest frustration is the reduced time available for care.  Investing in technology to improve rostering efficiency and freeing up carers to do what they do best is going to produce the best experience for the patient. In turn, this could help reduce public spending and improve the outlook of a nation’s health and well being.

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