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2018 ACSA Summit still the talk of the town

One of the aged care sectors most anticipated events - the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) National Summit - may have come to an end for 2018, but the hype and discussion around it still remains.

Professor John Pollaers, Chairman of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce speaking at the 2018 ACSA National Summit (Source: ACSA)
Professor John Pollaers, Chairman of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce speaking at the 2018 ACSA National Summit (Source: ACSA)

The event, which was held in Sydney from 3-5 September, brought together more than 1,000 attendees from right across the nation, over 150 speakers from Australia and overseas, as well as 90 unique exhibitor booths.

ACSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pat Sparrow says this year’s event featured an amazing variety of speakers and industry supporters on a number of significant aged care issues.

“This year’s ACSA National Summit was a huge success with over 1,000 registrations across three full days of rich learning, networking and discussion on ‘what’s next in aged care’,” Ms Sparrow says.

“The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive: not only did delegates leave with new information, learning and ideas, but the social events and networking opportunities were also a highlight.

“There were unforgettable moments throughout including a presentation from Dr Jordan Nguyen on human-centred technology, and reflections from Sir David Behan - the former Chief Executive of UK Quality and safety Commission on regulation - which was important with the advent of the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission commencing 1 January 2019.”

Aged care multi platform media company and the business behind AgedCareGuide.com.au and Talking Aged Care - DPS Publishing - had a number of representatives attend the three day event - including Managing Editor Margot White and CEO Mark Ogden.

“ACSA always brings together a great range of national and international speakers as well as exhibitors,” Ms White says.

“This year there was a excellent balance of aged care compliance and regulatory topics as well as insights from other countries and hearing about the wide variety of programs the many Australian providers offer their customers.”

Ms White says that it was interesting to hear a number of speakers - including Sir David Behan, CEO of Purpose Driven Group Bruce Mullan, and Kate Hoepke, Executive Director of San Francisco Village from the USA - noting that it was a “highlight” to see DPS CEO Mr Ogden also take the stage.

Mr Ogden spoke at the conference on the company’s latest ‘cutting edge’ initiatives - their Consumer Ratings, and Comparison Marketplace.

He says it was a great opportunity, and notes the high level of interest in what DPS presented, alongside Council on the Ageing (COTA), at the Summit.

“Co-presenting with COTA, I spoke about the new digital consumer journey that DPS has defined, how well consumers needs and wants are currently being met, where the gaps are and how those gaps are being closed,” Mr Ogden says

“We have presented this topic in a similar way previously, but this time we had some data from the pilot which meant we were now able to share some key insights with the audience, something that was well received by many.”

Some of the insights Mr Ogden shared around the ratings/review tool included:

  • The providers that are practically engaging with consumers on the digital platform offered through DPS are reporting a more positive experience compared to those who don't;
  • The platform is allowing providers to proactively respond to consumer feedback, work on quality assurance and to see a reduction in formal complaints;
  • As well as evidence showing the reviews and ratings - when positive and shared throughout the organisation - are helping with staff morale because the business, area and individuals are recognised.

When it came to the comparison tool, Mr Ogden shared that:

  • More than 4,000 leads have been generated through the pilot;
  • Providers engaging with the tool are proportionately receiving more visitations to their profile, more users, more website click and phone number reveals;
  • More consumers are using the tool in conjunction with what’s already available - helping to either speed up the sales cycle, or generate new qualified leads to providers.

“I had a couple of people come up to me after the talk to say it was the best topic of the conference so far, which made it all feel so rewarding,” Mr Ogden says.

“We also had some really good questions at the end - mostly about finding out more and a lot of interest in the data and what will be happening with it.

“It was great to see so many interested in the cutting edge work we are doing within the aged care industry.”

The Summit was also the venue for the announcement of the 2018 ACSA Aged Care Awards, which saw six category winners announced and awarded for their efforts in the aged care sector.

ACSA says their events staff has already begun planning work on next year’s event which is scheduled for 8-10 October 2019 in Melbourne.

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