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Laneways.Agency

Elder Onboard: Aged Care for the Future

In 2018, and aged care software and solutions company was established (Elder Onboard) with the aim of creating a state-of-the-art software solution that would provide HR, roster, payroll and resident billing solutions to smaller medium sized age care facilities across Australia.

Elder Onboard | Laneways.AgencyThere was a clear requirement for a system that was simple to use yet infinitely scalable, allowing the client to grow exponentially by adding more aged care facilities over time, as well as increasing/modifying functionality at short notice. Elder Onboard already understood that the Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Cloud Computing Services are the leading, most scalable cloud based solution available. This was one of the key reasons for choosing

Laneways.Agency – as and official AWS Partner we have a advanced knowledge of the AWS platform and access to support and advice directly from AWS. Elder Onboard had a fixed budget and tight timeline, whilst requiring the flexibility of a start-up still defining its product offering.

Problem

Problem | Laneways.Agency

The aged care industry is experiencing upheaval on a scale never before seen. Tighter Government regulations, stricter oversight, increasing complexity of medical and general care and many other factors are making the operation of aged care facilities more and more complex and demanding. Aged Care software solutions can be confusing to use, requiring a lot of ongoing training – especially when staff change roles.

These systems may be time consuming to administer an ultimately add to the administrative burden of already overwhelmed staff. 

Worse, they often provide little to no real-time data. Much information is only gleaned after the fact, making it impossible to predict trends or estimate many of the key operating costs before they are incurred.

With easy access to predictive data in real time (for example to predict staffing ratios or occupancy rates in advance) facilities would be able to better manage their resources and improve their service, whilst reducing stress for staff and residents.

Financial Solution

Firstly, it was agreed to use Laneways.Agency’s Flexible Team Billing service. You can learn more about this (we think much better) method of costing and developing your software solutions here.

The flexible billing model meant that:

  • Elder Onboard is not tied to any long-term, fixed financial commitment upfront (think what that means in the time of Covid-19 type disruptions, for example).

  • They can change their specifications as often as required, even daily, to meet client expectations and beta-user feedback

  • They have macro+micro level visibility on their spend, so they know exactly what each function and tool cost them to build

Best of all, in our experience, this model works out much cheaper. That’s because with fixed cost budgets:

  • Developers require a financial ‘buffer’ to protect them from unanticipated costs – pushing the estimate up

  • Any changes are exponentially more costly because they must be costed separately and formally approved (an administrative burden (man hours = money) as well as new legal fees that the client has to bear

Technical Solution

Laneways.Agency designed and built the entire solution from concept. AWS was chosen as the preferred platform, providing all the functionality and scale the project might require. This ensures scalability and functionality needs can always be met affordably and quickly. Further, it ensures costs on scale with use, rather than having to host internal systems at great expense.

Development began with the design process, which was carried out in a three step process:

Technical Solution | Laneways.Agency
  • Create a development plan that identified each of the functions that the system would ultimately be expected to provide

  • Draw up wire frames and sketches to lay out how the site was expected to work from a visual perspective.

  • Create finished designs showing what would actually be created, and load these to an online platform that allows the client and their investors to experience the future build in a virtual environment. This allows them to click through all of the pages and simulate use of the system.

In person User Testing was carried out at the Lanewways.Agency offices at various stages. Compared to remote tests, in-person tests provide extra data points, since researchers can observe and analyze body language and facial expressions.

This is a great way to help ensure that you’re building something people actually want, that it meets their needs effectively and to gain early commitment from beta-testers and first clients or early adopters.

The MVP functions built were: 

  • HR suite managing employee records etc. This includes many innovative aspects such as built-in compliance features to help protect facilities against failing government audits.

  • Roster, variations, timesheets and payroll – fully integrated with ‘any-device’ based time-clock.

  • Single + Multiple Facility functionality (for companies operating multiple facilities) with all beds/rooms information and financial information associated

  • Resident Billing, including management of all resident, family and carer details. Photo security and unique-user access adds new levels of security for better compliance

MVP Functions Built | Laneways.Agency

By the time the build began, the client already had a pipeline of committed and potential new clients to use the software. Better still, the client was able to focus their priorities based on feedback from these entities. In fact, some intended functions were delayed or dropped altogether, whilst others were added – all helping to ensure that the business would be viable.

Summary

This ability to instantly change direction of the project is a key differentiator of the Laneways.Agency working model. Our clients can make changes with as little as 1 hours notice. The new system is fast, simple to use and accessible anywhere an internet connection can be found.

Built on AWS, it is infinitely scalable and provides world class security too. Our client can quickly implement AWS based advanced features without having to build them, such as photo and video facial recognition software to improve security or Machine Learning to continuously improve performance and drive down costs.

Do you feel that Laneways.Agency could help you make your software development the best it can be?

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