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At St Vincent's, we're always trying to get better

From the way we conduct care face to face with residents all the way through to the way we email families, St Vincent's is always looking for ways to innovate and improve.

With this has come multiple opportunities to be nominated for and win awards for improvement and innovation within the aged care industry.

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Our Awards at St Vincent's Care

St Vincent's Care Awards 2022

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Consumer Experience Team Excellence Award Finalist 2022

The St Vincent’s Care Services Consumer Experience Team is recognised by Hesta for reimagining the resident and family experience of aged care.

The Consumer Experience team has undertaken the following projects between November 2019 and July 2022 in line with the strategic objectives of SVCS’s Consumer Experience mission.  

 

Zipline  

Implemented an award-winning visitor booking system in March 2020 called Zipline - a unique, 100% Aged Care Quality and Safety compliant visitor management system incorporating visitor sentiment tracking and analysis on how to operationalise feedback given by visitors. During COVID-19, SVCS adapted the software further and moved towards in-person kiosks, managing data from both visitors and staff members at the facility itself, before they walked through the door.  

 

Call centre  

Established a 7-day-a-week call centre as the front door to business for new and existing residents, including standing up a crisis hotline when needed. This team now takes 75,000 calls per year.  

 

Website  

Launched a new website on 30 June 2022 that was created from consumer insights and feedback on what they wanted and needed to make their lives easier. In one week of the site going live SVCS has seen the bounce rate drop 18% and engagement with the site increase 38%.  

 

Communications team  

Established a dedicated communications team from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 to keep families up to date with the latest information. Key changes have included:  

  1. how and what we communicate with families and residents   
  2. updated monthly newsletters based on audience requests  
  3. created a ‘can I visit’ website page showing visitor access to each site during COVID-19 from family feedback  
  4. created social media channels to reach further into our community  
  5. introduced SMS two-way chat with customers to make it easy for them to get in touch with SVCS during the height of COVID-19.  

 

When families were asked about SVCS’s COVID safety measures, 93% families said they were ‘just right’ and no complaints were made about communications during this stressful time. 

  

Centralising admissions through a dedicated team  

Prior to the Consumer Experience team, there was no central location or process for new resident admissions. Each of SVCS’s 23 aged care sites had their own processes which led to inconsistencies in turnaround times and consumer experiences. Over the past two and a half years, SVCS has built a dedicated sales and admission team to support and guide customers through the process of moving into an aged care home. 

  

Customer Relationship Management system   

Introduced a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system based on feedback from residents and staff about the pain points in their admissions experience. The improvements included: electronic signing instead of asking customers to print and sign paperwork; same-day admissions for urgent cases five days a week – previously it would take a minimum of three days to admit a new resident with admissions only operating three days a week. This has resulted in less paperwork and no repetitive questions as the data captured during the admission is copied into SVCS’s clinical system.   

 

Engaging with hospitals  

Developed a closer relationship with hospitals, based on ‘how they like to hear from us’. We now have a dedicated number for hospital referrals which are urgent. SVCS also sends updates to our referral network each week with information on each facility, plus a feature customer story to share so they can use this information when talking to customers who are often stressed in a hospital setting and worried about entering aged care.  

Every aspect of SVCS’s consumer experience is now monitored through its new RateIt insights program and reported on monthly to SVCS’s leadership team. The power of this report is that it tells the executive exactly where SVCS should collectively focus its attention to drive improvements. Focusing on what matters to SVCS customers will ensure we provide exceptional experiences.  

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Enhancing Consumer Experience Finalist 2022
With early findings of the Royal Commission, SVC identified consumer pain points requiring new thinking and a more strategic approach. The key pain point was a lack of consumer insights to support strategic decision-making and an inability to look at feedback holistically to connect decisions makers with investments.  This problem escalated during COVID which kept executive and management teams away from facilities and distant from front line staff, consumers and families.    

 

There needed to be a better way for management teams to analyse consumer trends holistically and use these insights to drive consumer centric decision making.  Many of SVC’s challenges were similar across multiple facilities and by bringing the voice of frontline staff and consumers closer together with decision makers would ensure better outcomes for those we serve.  

 

SVC mapped the journeys for each consumer type and then introduced a survey tool for each moment that mattered.  The tool enables SVC to know exactly which part of a customer’s journey requires improvement because insights are tracked by touchpoint and reported via a portal with automatically generated weekly and monthly email summaries.   

 

Every aspect of a consumer's journey is now monitored through the RateIt/Zipline insights tool with reports sent regularly to the senior leadership teams. The power of these insights is that it tells all senior decision makers exactly where the business should collectively focus its attention to drive improvements. Metrics such as our NPS have seen an increase by 28 points over the two years of implementing this CX program. 

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Increasing Care and Service Productivity Experience Finalist 2022

In 2021, SVC’s 13 residential aged care facilities in Queensland had a combined shortage of 42 full-time equivalent Registered Nurses. This was a significant staff shortfall when considering staff needed to cover existing roster gaps, maternity, sick and annual leave, and clinical leadership leave. Historically this gap has been filled by agency staff which is more costly than employing and supporting a pipeline of new graduates. SVCS estimated that it spent a total of $2 million on agency nurses across its Queensland facilities in 2020-21.   

 

SVC recognised that not only were these graduates becoming a growing part of its nursing workforce, but that as an organisation, it did not have a structured program to support their transition and soften the learning curve between leaving university and commencing their first clinical role. 

The team identified three core objectives for the ASPIRE program: 

  1. to optimise resident health and safety and their care experience 
  2. to equip graduate nurses with knowledge, skills and competencies in a supported and structured way  
  3. to encourage these early career nurses to continue in the aged care industry and nurture them to be future leaders. 

Queensland’s second cohort of mentees will commence in late 2022. The first cohort will step up and buddy up with the new graduates to orient them and share their program experiences before the new graduates commence their training. 

The program has been so successful it is now being rolled out to SVC sites in NSW and Victoria from the end of August 2022. 

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