The Bush Compass® – Award-Winning Technology

As a provider of rural and remote aged care services, we understand the importance of connecting individuals to their local communities, and providing access to vital health, wellbeing and social services. We have invested heavily in IT infrastructure to ensure we are able to deliver safe and reliable services to those we value most – our residents, our clients and our staff.

In 2014 we pioneered the development of the award-winning Bush Compass® programme as an innovative way to bring services to the wider communities, particularly the seniors living in those communities who traditionally faced barriers in accessing specialised services that are readily available in town centres.

The Bush Compass® programme utilises technology in the form of video conferencing and visual aides to connect seniors living in very remote and rural areas to Physiotherapists and Care Coordinators from the comfort of their own home.

By utilising technology that is familiar (TV’s) and video conferencing equipment, consumers are able to participate in physiotherapist appointments that include assessments, education, goal-settings and physical activities. The technology is supported by the McLean Care® Information Technology and Communications department, with access to specialist technical support being made readily available to assist and guide individuals through the platform. The Bush Compass® programme was an integral part in our organisation being awarded the Northern Inland Innovation Award for Health and Aged Care in 2015.

The results of this programme are unprecedented. The following case study is an indication of the effectiveness of this programme in delivering quality services to traditionally geographically-isolated individuals: 
Mr M is a client who suffered a stroke. Residing in a small town in a remote western regions of NSW, the physiotherapy department is 290kms away. Mr and Mrs M were considering admission to the local residential aged care facility due to the difficulty in managing Mr M at home.

The Bush Compass® programme commenced in May 2016, following a comprehensive assessment. Support is provided by the McLean Care® physiotherapy department for 30-40 minutes per week, with Mrs M providing assistance when required. Mrs M continues the exercises throughout the rest of the week. Weekly reviews, reassessment and evaluation continues to occur and as at September 2016, Mr M’s:
• Right shoulder range had increased to 135 degrees from 90;
• Right knee can now fully extend – improvement from flexion deformity;
• Sit to stand capacity is 59 seconds with minimal assistance – improvement from 2 mins 17 seconds;
• Left passive shoulder range has also increased to 50 degrees of flexion – improvement from 10 degrees;
• Left shoulder pain has reduced; and
• Staff standby transfer assistance can now be undertaken by a single staff member – an improvement from a two-person transfer.

The Bush Compass® programme enables the provision of responsive real-time services to seniors living in locations throughout regions that span large geographical areas. We understand the importance of providing technology that is not only user-friendly but also suitable to areas that traditional methods of access (such as Broadband and the NBN) do not favour, and therefore the Bush Compass® programme strongly focuses on providing these communication channels in innovative methods as suited to the consumers’ needs.