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Southern Cross Care (Vic)

Technology enhances quality of life for residents

Background

Southern Cross Care (Vic) is a respected not-for-profit aged care provider that has been providing residential and community care services for older people throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria for more than 40 years. There are separate Southern Cross Care organisations throughout Australia, all of which join as a Federation to promote and support innovative and holistic care and support for older people nationally in line with Southern Cross Care’s (Vic) principles of valuing every person.

The Challenge

SCCV was looking to implement an enterprise wide wireless network across their nine residential homes and 11 community offices. With a total workforce of 1300+ employees they were also looking to standardise network access across all sites and simplify access for end users.

As SCCV had also commenced a large program of works rebuilding five of their existing residential homes, there was an opportunity to pilot a program of technology provisions which could be rolled out across all homes into the future. A new home in Keon Park with rooms for 96 residents, chapel, gym, café, hairdresser and a community office, completed in August 2013, was the pilot site.

During construction, SCCV wanted to equip the new home with leading edge networking technology to support:

  • Residents’ and visitors’ wireless communication needs
  • Integration with current systems used by staff
  • Planned new IT systems, such as a resident management system
  • An IP TV delivery platform
  • Future-proofing for the communications needs of the home, which has an expected 25-30 year life.

“We’ve had a working relationship with Data#3 for many years. They understand our technical capabilities and provided training and handover to our internal team for ongoing maintenance.”

Cameron Smith, ICT Operations Manager, Southern Cross Care

The Solution

Southern Cross Care (Vic) is leading the way in the provision of this type of technology in residential aged care homes, which meant that there were no reference projects to benchmark against, so it was important to find a vendor and systems integrator who shared the vision for their homes.

The process to design the best solution for SCCV needs was very consultative. It included a series of workshops with SCCV to understand the practical details of how the solution would work for staff, residents and visitors. Following this, Data#3 workshopped the requirements with Cisco, taking into account SCCV’s existing investment in Cisco technologies, the skillset of its internal resources, Cisco’s technology roadmap and how evolving technologies might contribute to the ongoing development of SCCV’s solution.

Southern Cross Care chose Data#3’s proposed solution firstly on the basis of its technical capability, and also taking into account the degree of support for planned IT infrastructure changes and future-proofing. As a not-for-profit, Southern Cross Care was price conscious, but committed to implementing the technical solution that best met its project objectives.

Data#3 provided a wired and wireless, mission critical voice-grade network which both leveraged SCCV’s existing Cisco Unified Communications Manager system and provided a standardised platform across their multiple sites. The staff at Keon Park were provided with wireless Cisco phones, which are also linked to residents’ in-room nurse call points, fire alarms and security systems. This allows staff to be more responsive to residents’ needs, and it also replaced outdated pager and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications phone systems.

Residents and resident’s guests at Keon Park are able to securely connect to wireless services as easily as they would at a private home. The network provides residents with high quality voice and video communications options for contacting friends and family regardless of location. With the proliferation of technology devices in the market there is a strong trend for new residents to bring devices from multiple platforms and form factors, and now with the availability of high-speed fibre Internet access SCCV could meet residents’ expectations and technology requirements.

Family and friends can contact residents by phone, Skype, social media and other online methods. But also when they are visiting onsite, all visitors have fully secured wireless access.

The Outcome

Data#3 worked with Southern Cross Care’s ICT Operations Manager Cameron Smith to finalise the design of the system. Data#3’s Project Management Office then worked extensively with SCCV’s internal ICT team to ensure that equipment was installed in line with the construction schedule, and tested and ready for operation when the home opened.

The technology has been well received by residents and their family members and visitors, who find it easier to keep in contact with their loved ones. “We find we have a bigger uptake among our newer residents, who were regular users of technology at home,” says Cameron Smith. “But the technology is available to all 96 residents and visitors, and is used daily by our staff.”

For Southern Cross Care, this was not purely a financial decision, but one driven by the project’s benefits to the quality of life of residents. However, the new system has simplified administration, reduced the amount of equipment in use and lowered the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the network and associated devices.

Data#3 will be working further with Southern Cross Care as it undertakes the redevelopment of its four other residential homes.

Download the Case Study – Southern Cross Care (Vic)

To learn more about how Data#3 can assist your organisation, call 1300 23 28 23, or Enquire Online.

Tags: Cisco, Cisco Unified Communications, Healthcare, Mobility, Wireless Network

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