Care is virtually everywhere
FOR many aged-care organisations, the term “virtual office” may sound like something from a sci-fi movie.
But while paper is still very much a part of everyday business life in the 21st century, one Gold Coast provider is proving bricks-and-mortar offices do not have to be.
Feros Care at Coolangatta has been nationally recognised at the 2009 Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Aged Care, for its pioneering work in residential and community care.
Feros Care’s Gateway and Referral Centre uses everyday technologies such as broadband and GPS to deliver client services fast.
From Port Macquarie to Bundaberg, Feros Care has set up virtual offices with staff hooked up to the central Coolangatta office.
Feros Care CEO Jennene Buckley said it was a new way of providing aged care.
“When we grew so quickly it became obvious there was no way we could set up traditional offices in every area with their own administration staff and servers and equipment,” Ms Buckley said.
“We had to find another way of doing things.”
All its case managers and registered nurses are given a laptop with wireless broadband, allowing them to log in to the central server and access client information.
Feros Care general manager Gabriele Taylor said the organisation’s innovation had streamlined operational procedures.
“If I’m travelling up in Rockhampton and I need to check something out, I just have to log on to the system and I can see all the notes from that day,” Ms Taylor said.
“If someone rings me up on my mobile and asks me how their mum is going, I can log in and tell them from miles away.”
Ms Buckley said having one office saved Feros Care at least $500,000 a year, which could be put into better technology.
According to Ms Buckley this allows Feros Care to cater for many more clients than it is funded for.
“We work at about 110 per cent capacity all the time because we save so much in administration costs,” she said.