With customers at the heart of their business Wesley Mission Queensland wanted to create a flexible, mobile and fit-for-purpose environment for staff and clients in the ever competitive and fast-changing care sector.
The Wesley Mission Queensland team had already identified Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, as a likely fit for its networking requirements, and visiting the Atmosphere conference as Data#3’s guest confirmed that it was the right technical solution to suit both current and future needs.
“Data#3 really worked to understand our business and to understand what outcomes we were trying to deliver, what mobility we needed, for now and the future.”
Selina Beauchamp, Chief Information Officer, Wesley Mission Queensland
As a provider of diverse care services (aged care, home care, disability and NDIS services, youth and family support, child care, emergency support and mental health services), Wesley Mission Queensland recognised the opportunity to use technology to meet the needs of its customers. The requirement for high quality, reliable and adaptable internet was identified as a key priority to assist the organisation as it strives to support and empower its clients living in aged care and supported accommodation.
More specifically, technology needed to be integrated throughout WMQ’s communities to improve connections, reduce isolation and improve quality of life for those in care facilities and enabling digital transformation to a fast, secure network was essential. Wesley Mission Queensland embarked on its Reliable, Enabled, Accessible, Defendable and Integrated (READI) program to modernise its network and core infrastructure at 45 aged care, disability services and mental health facilities.
Wesley Mission Queensland identified that its network and infrastructure was unable to meet the needs of its services or customers. It was, said Wesley Mission Queensland CIO Selina Beauchamp, time for a significant overhaul.
“We had grown organically, and the network didn’t cater for optimisation, resilience or best practice architecture,” said Beauchamp.
“We needed an environment to support business outcomes and help us to meet strategic objectives.”
With new regulations for the care industry, Wesley Mission Queensland prioritised information security.
“Security inevitably had to be a big factor in our decisions. It is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, particularly when talking about the internet of things,” said Beauchamp.
The project, though, went far beyond replacing the old network. Wesley Mission Queensland saw the update as an opportunity to establish new practices that would touch the lives of their staff and a more tech-savvy generation of residents.
“We’re seeing a lot of residents saying, ‘I want to skype my grandchildren and get on the internet securely, can you provide this?’ They want Netflix and Foxtel and we are focused on providing a positive and reactive customer experience.”
“We want to assist our residents to use technology to help them to feel connected, while reducing loneliness and boredom.” said Beauchamp.
Additional considerations included the ability to connect with residents’ medical teams and take advantage of eHealth initiatives.
“Travel can often be an ordeal for elderly and disabled clients, so consulting online with allied health professionals reduces stress and upheaval.”
Efficiency, too, was a driving force behind the changes.
“On large campuses, staff found themselves walking considerable distances to and from the office to dispense medication or update records, and the ability to connect on the go would give them more time for caring.”
“Poor connectivity hampered mobility, and dropouts led to a poor experience for staff,” she said.
The functionality and cloud networking management of Aruba made it ideal for Wesley Mission Queensland’s needs. Its built-in artificial intelligence (AI) gives enhanced security and seamless roaming offers staff and residents optimal experience throughout every facility.
“We were attracted to its flexible and high-performance wired and wireless capabilities,” said Beauchamp.
“We knew that the capability and scalability of the solution would be able to cater for our changing landscape, so that we can meet expectations now and going forward.”
Data#3 worked with Wesley Mission Queensland and Aruba closely, defining roadmaps and outlining technical updates through an account management team already in place for Wesley for end user compute and professional services. After previously collaborating on the deployment of a ‘Workstations on Wheels’ project that provided tablets to improve flexibility for nurses, the Wesley Mission Queensland team trusted Data#3’s expertise and judgement for this important transformation.
“Data#3 really worked to understand our business and to understand what outcomes we were trying to deliver, what mobility we needed, for now and the future,” said Beauchamp.
Among early facilities to experience the benefits of a technology makeover was the state-of-the-art Dovetree aged care community in Brisbane. With access to on-demand services like Netflix and easy connection to Skype, residents have been quick to enjoy the lifestyle that the Wesley Mission Queensland facility offers. Dovetree has served as a blueprint design for this new standard in residential care, and the Aruba solution can be readily repeated site-by-site at other Wesley Mission Queensland locations.
“We started off small but scaled up quickly, and can now deploy mobility and configure applications as we need. We’re now in a position to add other apps and services, and gain advantage from looking at our data around organisational efficiency. It is a foundational piece in modernising our systems,” said Beauchamp.
The end-user outcome for Wesley Mission Queensland’s aged care residents and their families has been significant. The investment in technology has created a residential care environment that WMQ can feel proud of, while strategically aligning with the organisation’s values and priorities.
“Market changes mean we must compete in a space where residents tell us what they want, and we must adapt and deliver,” Said Beauchamp.
“Our residents are seeking greater autonomy in how they access information, and we can tailor services to their needs – we have to be agile or be left behind.”
A key requirement for the solution was to have minimal support needs, so enabling residents to simply plug-and-play their devices without intervention was important.
“A resident doesn’t need to call us if they want to use their Apple TV, they just plug it in,” said Beauchamp.
“From an IT support perspective, we don’t hear anything because we have enabled our residents to do what they need to do.”
The ability to better work with data means Wesley Mission Queensland can gain a clearer understanding of residents needs at an individual level, and provide services designed to fit.
“Knowing which resident has specific dietary preferences or social needs, for example, can aid a sense of belonging,” said Beauchamp.
“If Jenny doesn’t like peas, our staff prepare her meals accordingly – we know what she likes.”
From an efficiency perspective, Wesley Mission Queensland is able to ensure staff spend less time on unnecessary administration and more time connecting with residents and fulfilling their needs.
“Nursing staff can get to equipment quickly, and provide care at the bedside,” said Beauchamp.
“It is a really exciting time – our digital transformation means we are really walking alongside residents and understanding them. This 360-degree view is really important as our digital vision is to connect when it matters most.”
As Wesley Mission Queensland continues the process of rolling out a new digital vision to each of its 45 sites, Beauchamp says strong IT partnerships are where success is built.
“When I look for a partner, I seek an organisation whose values align with ours,” said Beauchamp.
“We chose to work with Data#3’s as their core values are HEART – Honesty, Excellence, Agility, Responsibility and Trust.”
Whether helping staff make the most of other solutions or seeking out the wireless access point location that gets the best coverage, teamwork and shared direction made for the best results.
“Data#3 has worked with the best interests of Wesley Mission Queensland in mind and keeps us up-to-date in what is happening in the technology space. They genuinely want to provide the best outcome for us,” said Beauchamp.
“I’m a massive believer in words and actions – right from the get-go, the Data#3 team has taken time to understand us, we can call if we need anything and they are always there to help.”