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Case Study Ability Options

How Ability Options is empowering support workers to embrace technology

Client

Disability Services Provider

Ability Options enlists Tendable to engage staff in transforming their quality programme

Ability Options first piloted Tendable's mobile solution back in early 2020. The objective was to replace their time-consuming, manual spreadsheets, previously used to conduct quality inspections with this new technology. The results of the pilot were so impressive a contract was drawn up and Ability Options became Tendable’s first customer in Australia.

The main benefits for Ability Options are:

  1. Highly customisable and offering great flexibility, Tendable can readily accommodate the complexities of monitoring a broad range of health and quality inspections, while giving the management team complete control over quality improvements across 95 sites.
  2. Transparency enables frontline staff to monitor their performance and see how they are actively contributing to the quality agenda. Ability Options believes this promotes a greater sense of involvement and increased accountability that will ultimately create positive outcomes for the people they support.

Making the switch to digital

For over 40 years, Ability Options has been proud to serve some of the most vulnerable members of the community, offering increased opportunities for people with disabilities to live the life they choose with the support that meets their needs. The organisation’s 1200 staff provide a wide range of employment, accommodation, supported living and other NDIS services. To ensure everyone receives the same consistent level of high quality, safe support across the entire portfolio of accommodation houses, regular health and quality inspections are vital. Up until recently, these inspections were carried out manually, using a series of spreadsheets.

Support Worker using Tendable on a tablet
Support Worker using Tendable on a tablet

Simplicity engages staff in the quality agenda

In 2020, Ability Options turned to Tendable to simplify their inspections and to actively engage frontline staff, empowering them to become accountable and own quality improvements across their services. During the pilot, support workers praised the simplicity of the app, citing the ‘no hassle’ factor as a key motivator for using the technology.

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“During the pilot, we found the Tendable solution to be modern and invigorating. Staff have embraced it. It is extremely easy to use, people just grab the tablets or smartphones and get on with their daily work. Meanwhile, it’s a powerful staff engagement tool that increases their accountability. Frontline staff can see how they are performing and have immediate feedback on how their inspections compare with other homes. They are beginning to truly understand the value they bring to maintaining quality standards and that’s going to create positive outcomes for the people we are supporting.”

Michelle Hodge Chief Practice and Outcomes Officer, Ability Options

Making life better...

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“We are supporting people with quite complex requirements. We need to make sure their daily needs are being met. As everything we do is about making life better for the people we support, and this starts with a fast and efficient inspections process. Historically, we created a number of spreadsheets for the same type of inspection, but they didn’t necessarily talk to each other. We often had to collate the data manually to give us visibility of what was happening in our group homes. The whole process was time-consuming, and a real challenge for us. The time had come for us to go digital.”

Michelle Hodge Chief Practice and Outcomes Officer, Ability Options
Michelle Hodge, Ability Options
Michelle Hodge, Ability Options

A birds-eye view of quality provides greater assurance for management

One of the biggest benefits of using Tendable is the improved visibility it provides, offering managers the ability to monitor and act swiftly upon the different types of activities from a participant’s perspective. This 360-degree view of quality gives the management team confidence that the correct safety and quality procedures are in place and that any red flag issues are being addressed promptly.

“Time savings are also a huge bonus. It used to take hours to assemble inspections spreadsheets and then analyse the data. Now, we have everything on one app and that is super helpful. In the pilot we saved 2.5 hours per week per area. When we are live across all 96 areas we are looking at a massive time saving (which we estimate is over 100 working days per month). This is valuable time released for more proactive work to ensure people’s goals are met, where we can check if there are any inconsistencies, errors or trends that can be addressed to provide an improved service, at any time and from anywhere,” Michelle Hodge added.

Flexibility adds business value

As an organisation with multiple services and multiple funding streams, the flexibility of the Tendable solution is beneficial to all aspects of Ability Options’ business. It supports the most common inspection areas, such as health and safety and record-keeping, while facilitating the introduction of new inspections to adapt quickly in changing participant and business requirements.

Since the initial pilot in 2020, Ability Options is now a full customer of Tendable and has extended the original number of inspection types from five to eight inspection types that will shortly encompass all 95 areas of the organisation.

Michelle Hodge concluded, “As one of our support workers said - Tendable is the perfect system for all super-busy support workers. - I would go further and say that it is helpful for us because it saves so much time and gives us up to the minute visibility which is even better for the people we support.”

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