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Meet Alyson Pearce, RFBI’s Chief of Strategy and Innovation

Sonia Lim 30 Aug 2019

Alyson with Shirley in RFBI Goulburn Masonic Village

Alyson Pearce is RFBI’s Chief of Strategy and Innovation.  Alyson has the exciting role of helping to develop new services and products and leveraging technology to improve our customer’s quality of life and support our staff in their roles. Through our Care to Share Program, we have received 65 ideas, fulfilled 14 ideas and reviewed 10 projects.

Q: Tell us about what innovation entails at RFBI.

Innovation is simply a creative way of looking at a problem or an opportunity. I work closely with our residents and staff so I can understand what they need. We can then look for ways to achieve this either within the aged care/healthcare industry or adapting them from the commercial world.

The strategic part of my role is tracking and demonstrating the benefit of these new ideas to prove their value. Or we may adjust the trials, so we can invest in more opportunities and continue to improve our client’s quality of life with the aim of ‘reinventing care’.

Q: What innovations have you brought into RFBI?

Initially, I developed RFBI’s Innovation Program ‘Care to Share’ to provide an easy way to capture staff and resident’s ideas and a clear process to test, assess and learn from their implementation. Our residents and staff are the best source of ideas and improvements so this was an essential first step.

From this program and beyond, we have recently trialled invisible dining aids so all our residents experience the same restaurant experience at each meal; personalised doors so clients living with dementia can recognise their rooms easily; senior smiles which is an oral health check program; a wellness program to help our staff stay fit and healthy; and our pets welcome program has just launched at one of our villages, enabling residents to move in with their furry family member!

Q: What can we look forward to?

There are a number of exciting innovations being finalised in the market at the moment that I am keen to investigate further: robotic solutions to prevent falls and assist with lifting; voice-activated solutions to assist residents with simple tasks in their rooms; and an extension of our APP that keeps families and residents connected with photos and video calls.

Q: Why do you think it is important for aged care communities to focus on continuously improving and innovating?

Every one of us is different, with different interests, values and needs. To ensure we provide an enjoyable, quality of life for all our residents, we need to be able to accommodate these varied needs and meet all our client’s expectations. To do this we must adapt and change, utilise new ideas, follow best practice and embrace beneficial technologies.

RFBI is now a member of the InnovAGEING network, the first innovation network for aged services in Australia, which enables them to share ideas and opportunities with colleagues from across the industry. We are proud to have been recognised for our quality services and innovative approach in a number of industry awards. Read more about it at https://rfbi.wpengine.com/news-events/