Pervasive Applications in the Aged Care Service

Pervasive Applications in the Aged Care Service

Ly-Fie Sugianto (Monash University, Australia), Stephen P. Smith (Monash University, Australia), Carla Wilkin (Monash University, Australia) and Andrzej S. Ceglowski (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-611-4.ch015

Abstract

This chapter presents a case study about the adoption of a wireless handheld care management system at an aged care facility in Victoria, Australia. The research evaluated the motivation for adoption and usefulness of the system in collecting patient data. It employed a qualitative technique to gather insights from two perspectives: operations staff as end users and management as strategic decision makers. These findings indicate conflicting views in terms of the usefulness of the pervasive application by the operations staff and the significance of this IT investment by senior management. Based on the understanding that IT investment often cannot be measured solely in monetary terms, the authors propose the use of the Balanced Scorecard approach to systematically evaluate the performance of the pervasive application in aged care facilities as such.
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Context Of The Study

The context of this study is aged care in the state of Victoria, Australia. We limit our study to one state because, while health care is a federal responsibility in Australia, each state in the Commonwealth has their framework for administering health. With this limitation aside, the study may easily be extended to many other countries because the issues faced are similar in situations like ours where there is a mix of private and public options for aged care.

In the context of this study residential aged care services are public-health funded residential options for older Victorians who need care and can no longer stay in their own homes. Care may be high or low (as assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Service). Low care includes accommodation together with services such as laundry, meals, cleaning, and personal care services that help with daily living activities. High care additionally includes 24-hour personal and nursing care, and medical equipment. Services may specialize in low or high care, or offer both. The latter means that low care residents do not need to transfer to another facility when they are assessed as high care. This is referred to as ‘ageing in place’.

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