Readify re-architects iCareHealth key system to enrich the experience of community and residential aged care.

The aged care sector is undergoing significant change as the ageing population drives increased demand, the new Consumer Directed Care (CDC) regime comes into place and emerging technologies reshape service delivery. To support this change, iCareHealth moved its software to the cloud and developed a more user friendly interface. iCareHealth is the most trusted aged care software provider in the country. Its products are used in the provision of care to more than 50,000 residents for clinical and care management and more than 30,000 residents for medication management.

Situation

The ever-increasing demands placed on aged care services, new client acquisitions and the need to increase its offering was putting pressure on iCareHealth's systems. To cater for clients operating large facilities, to host more data and to allow a large number of concurrent users, iCareHealth's software needed to scale up ten fold.

Built a decade ago, the company's software was ageing and its server capacity was stretched. This meant releases took the time to build and were slow to get to market, making it harder to react to changing market conditions.

In addition, the interface needed to be more user-friendly, support the latest browser releases and reduce the number of clicks to navigate the system.

Craige Pendleton-Browne, CTO at iCareHealth, said the company wanted to involve its clients in the development process to ensure the new system would be relevant to them.

“The people using our system have a growing exposure to technology. It was crucial for us to build software that was easy to use and transparent to our clients, allowing nursing and care staff to get on with their job.”

Craig Pendleton-Browne, CTO

Solution

iCareHealth engaged Australian software developer Readify in an initial two-month engagement.

As Readify explored the best way to implement a stable and scalable solution, it became apparent it would be far more beneficial to redevelop the software rather than apply fixes. From that point, six Readify consultants were embedded within iCareHealth, becoming the primary source of development capability for the whole of 2014.

To ensure continuous delivery of software and provide transparency and predictability, Readify used a scrum methodology involving key stakeholders at iCareHealth. Readify developers then built the new software from scratch on the cloud and migrated iCareHealth to Microsoft Azure.

Readify streamlined processes and improved the layouts and responsiveness of the software. iCareHealth also engaged a design agency, Navy Design, to create a new product identity, which Readify implemented as part of the new release. This brought more clinical information to the fore, supporting iCareHealth's focus on consumer-directed care.

In addition to the standard information about medications, allergies, and care observations, iCareHealth introduced a resident's profile page for them to see at a glance a resident's interests, from their footy team to their favourite treat.

Readify's agile approach meant the software was beta tested by clients along the way, which helped gather feedback.

Benefits

The new software has helped improve iCareHealth's saleability and marketability.

“We are having conversations with prospects we previously wouldn't have had, and have already won significant new clients from our key competitors since implementation.”

Craig Pendleton-Browne, CTO

“Nursing and care staff's take up has been strong. We have seen an increased engagement and a decrease in the training time required”

Craig Pendleton-Brown, CTO

The software also works on mobile, which means nursing and care staff can access and capture information at the point of care, rather than back at the nursing station.

“Readify's continuous delivery approach resulted in a higher level of client satisfaction, and enabled us to evaluate changes and incorporate feedback before a new release hits the market”

Craig Pendleton-Browne, CTO

“The feedback from clients has been positive. They appreciate being involved in the development process and seeing their ideas taken into consideration.”

Craig Pendleton-Brown, CTO

The move to Microsoft Azure has also improved iCareHealth's continuous integration, providing automated unit and automated functional testing. The organisation's speed of development is much faster, enabling it to use multiple environments to go to market sooner.

“We recently moved a client to Azure. The whole process took only a couple of days, with the actual upgrade process taking just 45 minutes. The cloud allows us to move with that kind of speed.
Many of our clients don't have dedicated IT people to manage infrastructure and the cloud also means they get access to upgrades much quicker. Their backups are also managed centrally in the cloud.”

“Readify have been instrumental in helping us re-architect our system to enrich the experience of community and residential aged care.
The partnership has enabled us to accomplish exactly what we needed in the right timeframe. The Readify people are incredibly knowledgeable and are great at engaging with our clients.”

Craig Pendleton-Brown, CTO

Moving its systems to the cloud has improved iCareHealth functionality and marketability to such an extent that it helped the company complete an acquisition by Telstra Health in November 2014.

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