News Releases

Konica Minolta and Zenkoukai Collaborate to Develop Care Director Service, a Data-based Solution to Transform Operational Workflows at Care Facilities in Japan

November 6, 2019

Improving Both Quality of Care and Work Efficiency by Deploying ICT at Care Facilities through Digital Transformation Initiatives

Tokyo (November 6, 2019) – Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) announced the development of Care Director Service, a new solution that helps to improve the workflows of care staff by analyzing a wide range of data collected at care facilities from multifaceted perspectives. The development was jointly undertaken by Konica Minolta QOL Solutions, Inc., a care-service subsidiary of Konica Minolta (Konica Minolta QOL Solutions), and Zenkoukai, a social welfare corporation that provides care services for the elderly. Care Director Service will be offered by Konica Minolta QOL Solutions in Japan.

Although ICT has generally been considered difficult to accept and use on a regular basis for care services, the new service will help accelerate to improve the efficiency and quality of care by training care directors with expertise in data-based care services and enabling other care staff to focus on their work.

Konica Minolta QOL Solutions exhibited a new care service, HitomeQ Care Support, which includes Care Director Service, at two trade fairs for the care industry: CareTEX Kansai 2019 from October 9 to 11, 2019 at Intex Osaka and Elderly Care & Nursing EXPO Tokyo from October 23 to 25, 2019, at Makuhari Messe.

Values of the Service

In response to the increasingly serious shortage of care staff in Japan, Konica Minolta QOL Solutions has been introducing the Care Support Solution service to care facilities. This service uses a sensor mounted on the ceiling to detect a resident’s movements such as waking up, getting out of bed, falling from the bed, and stumbling, and sends a notification along with footage to the smartphones of care staff. When a resident accidentally falls, Care Support Solution automatically captures footage that can be used as evidence. Care staff can write care reports on their smartphones on the spot immediately after assisting the seniors. This improves work efficiency and gives care staff extra time, allowing them to provide better care and QOL (quality of life) for residents.

The new Care Director Service is designed to train care staff as professional care directors who can comprehensively analyze various data captured by the sensor, coupled with care reports, and thus correctly assess the situation and give information to care staff to provide the needed care. As such, Care Director Service enables care staff to make judgments on their own according to applicable rules and ensures that the right care is given by the right staff at the right timing. For example, by using data about the sleep-wake pattern of a resident, care staff can anticipate when the person is likely to be awake at night and visit the room to provide the necessary care. Care staff can thus avoid unnecessary visits, reducing their workload during night shifts and enabling the resident to sleep better.

In the care industry, efforts for ICT-based workstyle reform began around 2008, but have made little progress due to the amount of time required to master the operation of ICT devices and the difficulty of using them. Konica Minolta’s new service makes it easier to introduce ICT to care facilities by training care directors to handle all data-related works.

Outline of Care Director Service

Care Director Service consists of three stages: teaching, coaching, and remote support. In the teaching stage, an educational program helps care staff acquire the skills needed by care directors. The coaching stage lasts about two months, during which Konica Minolta’s instructor visits care facilities to help them make organizational arrangements for introducing a data-based workflow, develop rules on work processes, formulate data-based improvements, and give the finishing touch on the training for care director candidates to ensure they fully understand the data-based workflow. The coaching stage is followed by the remote support stage, in which remote support is provided to help care directors analyze the collected data, along with monitoring, reporting and advisory services.

Joint Development Project

In the joint development project for Care Director Service, Zenkoukai was in charge of defining care director skills and developing educational contents for e-learning and in-person classes, based on its track record of enhancing productivity by increasing the number of residents per caregiver from 1.86 to 2.79 through the introduction of ICT and KAIZEN activities. Konica Minolta QOL Solutions was responsible for developing the coaching program and remote support program and building a work environment tailored to data-based workflows.

Service Brand of Konica Minolta QOL Solutions

Konica Minolta QOL Solutions introduced a new service brand, HitomeQ, which reflects the company’s commitment to working with customers and inspiring each other to create a world where people feel empowered. Under the HitomeQ concept, Konica Minolta QOL Solutions is determined to collaborate with its business partners and many other parties to pursue higher goals in the area of human-to-human support service. As the first HitomeQ service in the care industry, the company has launched the HitomeQ Care Support program for care facilities in line with the principle of “Discover and Guide” to create new data-based care workflows together with customers. With the establishment of the HitomeQ brand, Care Support Solution was renamed to HitomeQ Care Support.