According to Juniper Aged Care in order to improve efficiencies and transform its operations, it undertook a whole-of-business IT refresh, and while the first step of the strategy included shifting to a cloud-first model and replacing over 10,000 items of technology equipment across the organisation, a number of disparate business-critical applications had to be integrated for the desired benefits to be realised.
Dan Beeston, ICT Manager at Juniper, said the core driver behind the overhaul was to enable greater efficiency across its operations so more resources could be invested in caring for residents and clients.
“As a not-for-profit organisation, every dollar we save is another dollar we can invest in our residents and clients’ health and wellbeing, giving them the best possible quality of life,” he said.
“We were previously reliant on on-premise infrastructure which required heavy capital expenditure, but by moving to the cloud and digital technologies, we shifted our IT spend to operational expenditure, so we have more capital to invest in building better facilities.”
Beeston says that one of the key issues he and his IT team had to overcome was that Juniper’s critical business applications were disjointed and relied on manual integrations which were extremely complex - and resident and incident information was also duplicated across multiple systems, making it difficult and time-consuming for Juniper’s team to locate and extract data to inform business decisions.
Beeston said Juniper ultimately chose Boomi’s integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) due to its ability to easily break down data silos by integrating on-premise and cloud applications with a simple drag-and-drop user interface.
“One of my key concerns was that I didn’t want the solution to require a dedicated integration developer – not only would this be a significant additional expense, but it would severely impact business continuity when they left the business,” Beeston said.
“With all our critical data in a single platform, we’re ensuring governance and regulatory compliance across the organisation and slashed the time it takes to generate reports. This means we can more regularly keep our board members up to date on any risks in the organisation.”
Beeston said that since successfully completing the integration, it has improved productivity across the business and devoted more resources to resident and client care.
“We’ve been able to drive efficiencies and free people from manual administrative tasks,” he said. “Prior, each of our ten key systems had its own set of credentials so carers would have to log in 10 different times, remember ten separate passwords, and enter the same data multiple times. This has all been replaced by a single sign-on.
“With the shift to web-based applications, we’ve now replaced thousands of desktop terminals with mobile tablets so our carers can spend more time interacting with the residents where they are comfortable rather than behind the scenes at nurse’s stations doing data entry.”
Beeston said the next phase in Juniper’s journey was implementing Boomi’s Master Data Hub to gain 360-degree visibility across its ecosystem, ensuring consistent data throughout the business and a single source of truth to enable data analytics and business intelligence projects.
“Our previously-isolated systems meant data was entered differently in each separate system which made it impossible to run any analytics or gain any insight from our data,” he said. “With consistent data in a central source, we’ll be able to deliver even greater value to the business.”
Nicholas Lambrou, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) at Boomi, said there was enormous pressure on the Aged Care sector in the wake of the current Royal Commission, and digital technologies had a pivotal role to play in ensuring the best possible care.
“Emerging technologies such as IoT and smart devices can help ensure residents receive the exact care they need, the moment they need it – whether that’s through connected monitors, blood pressure devices, or even AI-driven fall detection,” he said.
“But beyond these critical care aspects, and perhaps counter-intuitively, data plays a pivotal role in personalising the experience for residents. Carers can know straight away what a resident’s preferences are – from their favourite music to the activities they like to do each day, to how they like their tea or coffee – all with a swipe on a mobile device.
“These are all exciting possibilities, but integrating these new technologies with legacy systems can be a handbrake on innovation. Juniper is setting the standard for aged care and ensuring it can take advantage of all the benefits digital technologies have to offer.”