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Aged care turns to IT for targeted service delivery


Care of the ageing Australian population is gaining momentum as one of the key areas most concerning Australians.   

Diversicare, a not-for-profit organisation operating from 7 sites around Queensland, provides quality community based, coordinated in-home care for over 800 multicultural frail aged and carers, plus education and training, resources and projects to support aged care service providers and cultural communities. 

By their own admission, whilst they have access to sound IT systems support, the organisation does not have GIS (geographic information system) capability.    Diversicare identified that to further grow the business and optimise current services in a market that is not evenly distributed geographically, GIS capability needs to be explored.  It is expected this can help the company identify the best locations to site its facilities and reduce the current cost of operations.

With the help of CEED, Diversicare have recruited Mr KokPoh Lim, a Master of IT student from Queensland University of Technology to develop a draft specification of how a GIS capability could be used within the organisation, develop a needs analysis and take the project through to preparation of a business case, implementation and review.

Diversicare project - student KokPoh Lim with his academic and company supervisors 

 From left:  Dr Tony Sahama (QUT supervisor), KokPoh Lim (CEED
 student from QUT), Monica Benyk (Diversicare), Shantie Goonetilleke
 (Diversicare) and Graham Willett (CEED Program), at KokPoh's
 project plan presentation.  CEED's emphasis on solid planning
 and management helps students to achieve very good results - for 
 their project host, and for their own academic assessment.

 KokPoh commenced the project in July this year, during the last semester of his Masters degree.  He is due to complete the project (and graduate) in November.

KokPoh’s company supervisor is Mr Shanthie Goonetilleke.  Mr Goonetilleke recognised the potential for CEED to assist Diversicare, having witnessed CEED’s successful partnerships with his previous employer, Australia Post.  

He said CEED understood its industry partner’s needs and closely managed projects to ensure the company and student receive the best outcomes.   He was comfortable recommending CEED to Diversicare as he understood the processes and knew first-hand some of the benefits a not-for-profit organisation could gain from a CEED project.  

“Businesses particularly benefit by being exposed to emerging intellectual capital and technology straight from universities,” said Mr Goonetilleke. 

“Logistics is a key operational issue for Diversicare; this project will provide an opportunity for real innovation - to be experimental and open-minded about outcomes in a way which would otherwise be out of our reach.  It is a low-risk, affordable option to explore new business opportunities,” said Mr Goonetilleke.

Deidre Marczynski, CEED’s marketing manager said that only a small per cent of CEED projects per year were offered by not for profit organisations at the moment, “but more are now realising they can utilise ‘project’ funding available for taking on a CEED student, or they can have projects scoped and ready – so they can apply for ad-hoc funding offered during the year”.  

The types of projects offered by not-for-profits to date have all been IT-based and organisations have mostly been in the health care sector plus an interesting company who assists charities with their fundraising efforts and streamlines their corporate ‘giving’ programs”.

She said that this project with Diversicare was the perfect example of how CEED operated

“Once a company has worked with CEED, they see the value and we find that as people move on in their careers to different roles or companies they remain advocates of CEED and often introduce CEED to their new company, “ said Deidre.

 

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