Significant changes to NDIS Agencies
Though it’s been two years since the initial roll-out of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), the teething problems have not ceased for the NDIS agencies who are still facing major challenges in making the cultural and structural shift.
The major shift NDIS brought with it is the person-centred approach to disability care. Now the disabled person or, depending on the severity of the disability, their guardian now receives the funding from the government, where each item has a predetermined costing. This is significantly different to previous situations, where everyone was essentially bulk funded. That meant that the individuals had no choice or control where their money went.
What this means for the 2000+ care NDIS Agencies is that they must become client-centric. Within this they must improve their quality of care and reporting, proactively look out for the best interest of the needs of the clients. From a business stand point they now have to increase the efficiency of handling admin. Plus marketing has become far more important as they quantity of specialist NDIS Agencies have increased significantly.
Many NDIS agencies are nonprofits which are now having to adjust to a market where people with disability now have the voice, choice and control over selecting the service providers for their housing, care, physical, recreational and social needs.
What this means for the NDIS agencies is that they’re under market pressures. Like any private enterprise they need to constantly improve their service standards to remain competitive. Many smaller service providers will end up joining the larger providers as they don’t have the systems or the know-how to work with NDIS. This will mean that the NDIS technology that’s currently being used by NDIS agencies must be scalable to accommodate an influx of new staff and clients. Plus all systems will need to be user-friendly so that they can be used with minimal training to keep the services going without interruptions. Any interruptions in the care sector could lead to serious human consequences.
NDIS Agencies are struggling to be efficient
Currently, NDIS agencies are still struggling to integrating their systems with the NDIS. Operation staff are failing to ensure that all of the data is available to staff. Plus training recourses for newcomers is few and far between.
As smaller agencies join larger ones, the larger agencies are having to migrate data without having a stable NDIS technology or CRM in place.
Any client information that’s missing from the CRM or isn’t readily accessible can have dire health consequences to care recipients. NDIS technologists, who can set up these specialist CRM systems, must resolve information flow in the care sector.
Another major issue that’s impacting the health and sustainability of the NDIS agencies themselves is that they are unable to connect to the NDIS portal to check on their client’s funding. This causes them significant cashflow problems because they provide services without a means to be paid. This can have fatal consequences to the NDIS agency’s operations as they now function as a business with profit and loss statements.
Automated payment systems are another missing piece of the puzzle, where a business can automate invoicing and reconciliation payments. Again this is due to the fact that NDIS agencies now have a multitude of different service they could provide, all with a a particular cost, required skillset and possible amount of funding. Unfortunately there are no systems, be it NDIS technology or manual, in place to manage these new products.
There is a high staff turnover within NDIS Agencies
A symptom that’s exacerbating the existing issues is the high turn-over of staff within the disability sector, particularly in high level executive positions. Many of these executives are working long hours, stretching themselves thin in order to make up for the lack of technological infrastructure to support the operations.
Productivity drops, when these high level executives are burnt out due to 10-12 hour days. In extreme cases agencies face absenteeism and eventually resignations take place which is demoralising to the whole agency. Without the support of a key management team the systems and processes that may be in the process of getting set up end up being delayed or scrapped completely. The NDIS agency then starts a downward descent, struggling between making sure care is provided and ensuring the health of the business.
Specialist NDIS technologies are needed to keep the management teams in place are. They can provide staff with key high-level information and allow them to concentrate on care, rather than repetitive admin tasks which can be automated.
Off-the-shelf (OTF) solutions are not working as appropriate NDIS Technologies
While many NDIS agencies look into off-the-shelf solutions to migrate their data into a centralised location, what’s missing within their agency is a dedicated IT team. What they need is to customise their tools inline with the business needs. Unfortunately OTFs are often too generic to provide the solutions that are really needed.
OTF solutions, which are made for the old disability enterprises, don’t have the functionality that a new NDIS care provider needs. This often leads to the NDIS agencies wasting time adapting an inadequate project to their very unique needs.
Some NDIS agencies fight this issue by using multiple OTF solutions at the same time, each aiming to solve one business issue. They then end up with many expensive systems in different parts of the business. Whats worse is there is no ability to integrate data across departments and technologies. This creates even more tedious admin work which causes staff to burn out.
The virtual CTO for NDIS Agencies
Devwiz can help because we have the capacity to adopt a virtual CTO (Chief Technology Officer) role. Our background in both business and technology means that we can analyse the agency, services and staff needs to build a custom piece of NDIS technology. Plus it will allow businesses to scale up as demand for services increase. As of Dec. 2016, more than 60,000 Australians were on an NDIS plan. In the next three years more than 400,000 Australians are expected to be moved over to the NDIS, meaning that scalability is hugely important to NDIS agencies.
Devwiz are NDIS technology specialists, who speak your language and can support you through every step of the way. Here’s an example of a project that we are especially passionate about. We are motivated than ever to work to help people with disability live more fulfilled lives.
In the short term, our technology will allow you to adapt to the changes caused by the NDIS. In the middle term you can use our NDIS tech to get back onto the road to success. Finally in the long term it will allow for growth as more and more people become NDIS participants.
Get a custom piece of NDIS Technology for your agency
- Create a CRM that will make a difference – health plans, medication, behaviours, client needs, funding
- Manage staff with a mobile app
- Streamline your ops with automation and integration
- Providing customised solutions as affordable as the OTF solutions
So if you’re looking to lead the disability sector as an NDIS provider and see the value of innovation to deliver better services more efficiently, we’d love to hear it and help you build your systems and processes.