Determining NDIS Service Provider Readiness
To determine NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Service Provider readiness for the full roll-out of the scheme, a key area that needs to be examined is their capability to effectively support and interact with both the Participants of the Scheme and the NDIS itself. Given that there has been an extended period of relative stability in health care funding in Australia, the ability for organisations to adapt to a completely new way of operating has been grossly underestimated and brings into question how capable Service Providers are of transitioning successfully.
On one hand Service Providers need to understand how to go about transitioning from the existing system of operating to functioning more like a business and then they need to have the capacity to do so.
It is without question that Disability Service Providers want the very best outcome and desire the best quality of care for their clients. However, this industry is already time poor at every level. We all know that changing the way we do things can significantly increase anxiety levels and consume our mental, emotional and physical effort. Perhaps the introduction of such change has indirectly provided the catalyst for much needed internal operational changes previously ignored or put in the too hard basket. Now there is little choice but a lot to gain.
Maximising available Time
If you want to join the ranks of the highly successful, you must learn to maximize, not manage, time.
Jason Selk (Forbes) identifies 7 ways you can maximise your time. Initially this is beneficial to the individual but collectively it is also beneficial to an organisation. Creating rituals (consistent, repeatable processes) prioritizing tasks and being more intentional with your time are some examples he gives. This is probably the first area NDIS Service Providers need to concentrate on given the very low levels of time available to assign to the process of getting ready for the NDIS.
The primary area within an organisation that can provide a quick win with regard to maximising available time can be achieved through eliminating the duplication of effort. Duplication is commonly found where there are siloed departments and the use of multiple different systems (digital or manual) across an organisation. Demographic and identifying information is collected & updated separately for the same client and there is a lack of effective communication across the whole organisation. Review of individual areas can often simply add new processes and new systems that create complexity rather than simplify it and reduce effort.
The best way to maximise available time across an organsiation is to re-engineer the entire service delivery process. Given that the roll-out of the NDIS requires a complete change in cultural practice, this would in fact be the perfect time and place to start the change process. Adrian Munro, Executive Manager of Operations, RFWA said at the 2015 National Disability Summit “History shows that if you want to stay in business you must also change. Your change must at least match the magnitude of the change in your external Environment. It requires an all organisation approach”
Re-engineering Service Delivery Processes
Re-engineering service delivery processes into Smart Seamless Systems ensures services can be delivered in a timely and efficient manner and remain viable and cost-effective. Being able to free-up time (through automation & deduplication of tasks) can enable the conversion of unbillable hours into billable. Utilizing smart processes ensures a high level of quality, consistent customer service not to mention the potential increase in employee satisfaction.
The re-engineering process is a big deal. It requires a level of expertise beyond that of a Disability Service provider. After all, it is enough to think about what kind of services are viable moving forward let alone how the information and processing of those services will occur. In addition, a business approach is now essential, requiring a new level of competitiveness, something that has generally been absent from this industry historically. Current services will need to be aligned with new NDIS definitions and requirements and staff will need to be trained in how to integrate these into their daily work.
Staff need to be adequately trained for a person-centred, individualized (rather than block funded) world. Reduction of duplicated tasks is paramount to enable the freeing up of time required to manage the cultural changes the NDIS brings. For example, staff need to be trained in a new funding language. They need to understand the new definitions and how they relate to the services they provide. Employees will become more accountable for the allocation of their time. Consequently staff will need to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and smart technology to do their job efficiently and consistently across an organisation.
Customer service will take on a whole new look where every staff member becomes a walking promotion and needs to know products inside out. After all, if customers are not happy with the service they are receiving they will look elsewhere and choose a different service provider. Having a system that provides excellent marketing tools, ongoing in-service training capability and reliable effective communication tools (both internal and external) will definitely contribute to the success or failure of staff being able to cope with these changes.
Tracking Service Expenses against Funding
Services will need to be mapped to clients, and occasions of service captured against service line items and their funding source . These must align with the NDIS funded support plan as well as any other funding sources such as medicare, Fachsia (especially during the transition period) or from private funding.
Tracking service expenses against funding will require the ability to calculate and produce a variety of reports by employee, client and service line item and funding source. To achieve this requires an integrated system that enables the generation of invoices, the ability to track and record interventions, in-house expenses, funding source and also be able to estimate future earnings. The ability to integrate with existing payroll systems such as MYOB is another variable to consider.
The ability to talk to NDIA software for reimbursement purposes will further reduce un-funded time and effort.
NDIS Service Provider readiness requires the implementation of a Smart Seamless System
Choosing the right solution will determine future success or failure. Our experience has shown that the introduction of new technology tends to magnify existing issues. Mistakes in choosing the right system will be costly in terms of both time and money. Delays in moving toward becoming an NDIS – ready organisation will only serve to increase the already high levels of stress. On the other hand, if done well there is much to be gained immediately and the cultural and technological transitions required can be relatively smooth and self-sustaining.
Implementation of the right technological solution such as a Smart Seamless System will enable NDIS service providers to adopt the required radical change to an organisations’ systems, processes and procedures that reflect the new NDIS funding model. Staff will be able to remain up to date with ongoing changes within the industry and be able to adapt accordingly. The efficiency of internal operations will be at a high level of accuracy & reliability making services cost efficient. Effective communication tools will encourage and elevate best practice, eliminate time chasing information & updates and enhance customer service, positioning an organisation for future success. It will also provide credibility of the organisation through evidence based practice, demonstrating how interventions impact on clients, their families and the community at large.
Contact us today for assistance to get ready for your NDIS rollout.