Why SupportAbility supports Tablets but not Mobile Phones

SupportAbility currently supports staff using  tablet devices but not mobile phones.  Here's why...

The working and regulatory environment for disability support workers has changed in several ways with the introduction of the NDIS:

  1. The burden of evidence has increased.  In the NDIA's language, 'goals needs to be measurable and achievable within a reasonable period of time'.  The agency sets the goals in the NDIS Support Plan based on their discussions with the client. The provider is then responsible for creating strategies on how they plan to use the supports provided to achieve the set goals and outcomes and then continually track and measure progress over time.
  2. There are no billable support items under the NDIS to cover administration time.  Instead, the last minutes of each service need to be dedicated to recording evidence, performing assessments and measuring progress. Evidence should also be written with clear reference to the National Disability Standards which is the core quality framework that currently underpins the NDIS and its audits.  
  3. Client Communication and Acceptance. It's also important to start educating clients that the last minutes of their service instance will need to be used to record evidence and that this is now part of the regulatory requirement of delivering services to them.  In addition, client will be asked to sign off on the service delivery under the rules of the NDIS.
  4. Services are being moved out into the community.  The NDIS has a clear focus on moving services out of the traditional Community Service Centres and into the community or clients homes.  This results in a workforce that aren't physically reporting to the office on a daily basis, but rather are going straight from the homes, to deliver their services in the community before heading home again.

These key factors result in two key facts.  Firstly, staff need devices that are able to access the Client Management System (CMS) out in the field. Secondly, that device needs to be able to manage much more complex data than just checking in and out of rostered shifts. Those staff need to be able to access client information, documents and warnings. They need to be able to access goal information, record evidence, measure progress and create assessments.  The need to be able to reference and use the National Disability Standards as they perform these tasks.  Finally, staff need to register client's acceptance of service delivery.

Whilst the screen size on a mobile phone may be adequate for checking in and out of a rostered shift, it is not adequate to meet the needs of a modern support worker under the NDIS and the kind of information they are required to access, record and manage.  It is for this reason that SupportAbility only supports the use of Tablet devices rather than mobile phones.

We certainly appreciate that this raises some fundamental questions for organisations around managing remote hardware such as tablets and whether those devices should be owned and managed internally or become a requirement of employment, much like a car. There are positives and negatives to both approaches and we recommend discussing these issues with a specialist consultant as part of your overall strategy.

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