With the Royal Commision into Aged Care calling for urgent and drastic change within the sector, digital care management platform Lookout offers a way for care providers to revolutionise the quality, provision and delivery of their in-home care services.
Lookout — the result of more than four years of research and development by Australia’s first technology-enabled home care provider Five Good Friends — offers an end-to-end ‘software as a service’ digital care management solution.
Lookout’s intuitive technology enables remote health monitoring which gives unparalleled oversight of a client’s ongoing care. One of its groundbreaking features is that it prompts workers to leave notes after care visits which are then analysed to detect risk and changes in a client’s health and wellbeing.
Case managers are then alerted to changes in real-time so they can respond quickly, adjust care plans if necessary, and notify care workers and loved ones about relevant interventions that have taken place.
Experience with a personal touch
Lookout’s chief technology officer Tate Johnson was inspired to build and nurture a team to develop Lookout after becoming the primary carer for his grandmother. It quickly became apparent that many other team members were in or had been in similar positions. This helped bring insight and empathy to the product development process, drawing on lived experiences of the aged care and disability services sector. The team’s guiding principle was to put the client at the centre of everything.
“The experience we had with my grandmother was satisfactory, but it wasn’t great,” Johnson explains.
“So when it came to thinking about building Lookout, a lot of decisions that were made came from the perspective of what it was like for us as a family when we needed help.”
Johnson says he was driven to provide transparency throughout the entire care process — for the provider, care worker, client and their families.
“Providing the right people with the right information at the right time is critical,” he says.
“When you see all of its elements working together end-to-end across teams or between staff and family — that’s the real power of Lookout.”
Record keeping and machine learning give an additional edge
The Royal Commision into Aged Care called for improved digital record keeping — recommending all approved home care providers adopt digital care management systems by July 2022. Lookout ensures its record keeping system is focused on improving the quality, transparency and experience of care.
When analysing care workers’ notes, Lookout’s software can interpret context using two complex algorithms to draw care managers attention to important, but possibly overlooked, areas for investigation. The first utilises keywords which can trigger an alert when certain words or phrases are used in reports, and the second algorithm is used to evaluate their context.
“We found that natural language processing tools were becoming more accessible, so we leveraged pre-trained models based on Google’s BIRT and overlaid it with our extensive records to teach it the contexts that were important to home care providers,” Johnson explains.
“Now, both of those algorithms run concurrently over all the data that comes in — that’s a good use of technology in terms of trying to assist caring staff to best prioritise their efforts. Without these tools, it can be easy to get lost and overwhelmed in the noise of thousands of notes and customers.
“I see tech’s role as a friendly, helping hand behind the scenes that can assist people to make good decisions and stay informed.”
Safeguards ensure high level of security
A recent cyber attack on a healthcare provider shone a spotlight on the need for increased security of data collected by hospitals and aged care homes. Johnson says Lookout includes security features that minimise data breaches including two-step authentication for case managers and automatically expiring permalinks protected by a one-time passcode for sharing sensitive information with third parties like Allied Health professionals.
“We’re constantly striving to be up to date with best practices and the highest standard of security on Lookout,” he says.
“We try to focus on the details of doing the right thing. We ensure every data transfer is fully encrypted and secured via TLS/SSL. We have robust permission controls and the capacity to identify and revoke malicious access quickly where required. We’ve also got logging and auditing as well, so we can see what changed, who changed it and when it changed. We’re constantly improving and have dedicated engineers working on maintaining our security standards.”
Task management systems to scale workloads
Lookout’s innovative task management system can also ease case managers’ workloads and reduce double-handling.
“For staff it’s all about collecting information, waiting for something else to happen, and then actioning it again,” he says.
“When you’re supporting 100 plus people, you need a sustainable way to prioritise certain issues, so we’ve integrated a task management system into Lookout. The task management ticket tells the story of how changes happen and what prompted them. Also, when a case manager goes on leave, all the context around certain directives is there.”
Johnson says information can also be rolled into reporting tables or graphs to help management teams stay on top of their KPIs, too.
“Ultimately, for care providers this is an end-to-end solution that does rostering, comprehensive planning, customer management, and produces reports for audit, and has all the finance information,” he says.
“It lets you check worker verifications, the ticketing system plays a huge part in supporting businesses to scale their workloads. It’s all harmonious and works together.
“There’s a lot of flexibility within the system to map it to what works and is practical and reasonable for different organisations too.”
Lookout is the first truly customer-focused digital care management platform designed and developed in Australia. Lookout was created based on the experience of operating one of the country’s fastest growing home care providers, Five Good Friends. Lookout has been designed for the post-Royal Commission into Aged Care era with customer satisfaction and health outcomes at its core.