New technology supporting in-home care for thousands of Kiwis, finding suitable carers for last-minute shift changes
New Zealand Health Group is leading innovation in the home and community healthcare sector and ensuring thousands of Kiwis are instantly kept up to date with last-minute changes to their care with Aotearoa’s first support worker AI-powered scheduling assistant.
The technology manages the time-consuming task of urgently finding replacement support workers to fill last-minute shift changes and is saving our busy Customer Care teams around 30 hours every day and finding cover for more than 750 shifts every week.
New Zealand Health Group CEO Jane Kelley said it’s a game-changer for the thousands of kiwis, and their whānau, who rely on in-home care.
“Within seconds of a support worker either calling or logging into the app to say they’re unable to come into work, our technology will identify and contact alternative carers based on their location, availability, qualifications, and suitability to the person we support. A replacement carer can then accept the shift via our app.
“Given the size of our workforce on an average day, we can have up to 250 support workers call in sick and each of them can have up to ten clients on their roster that day. Before we implemented the new technology, our Customer Care team would spend hours working through the list of suitably qualified staff who are in the right location and calling them to check availability and then confirming the new carer.
“Very importantly, it means the person we support is kept up to date almost instantly on any changes to their care.”
Ongoing investment in leading technology
New Zealand Health Group has recently finished rolling out phase one of the technology across its two largest organisations – Geneva and HealthCare New Zealand – and expects it to deliver an improved customer experience as more features are implemented over the next year.
The scheduling assistant is part of the Group’s ongoing investment in new technologies that support their teams in getting on with what they do best – delivering over 10 million hours of in-home and community care each year to over 30,000 New Zealanders.
“The introduction of our scheduling assistant is a win-win – the people we support get the care they need while our team can focus their efforts on ensuring the specialised in-home support and care that is needed is well coordinated, consistent, and responsive to the needs of vulnerable Kiwis,” says Ms Kelley.
Ms Kelley acknowledges the growing demand for home and community services combined with the significant sector-wide staffing shortage has made delivering consistent in-home care to thousands of Kiwis challenging and when a worker calls in sick or is unexpectedly absent, this only exacerbates the issue.
“We are committed to solving these challenges and delivering meaningful, targeted care and support through innovations such as this leading-edge technology. It will mean more vulnerable kiwis can continue to recover and thrive in their own homes,” says Ms Kelley.