Topic: Technology, People and Planning – Ryman Healthcare’s Response to COVID-19

Day: Monday 12 October 2020

Time: 1:30pm-2:00pm AESDT


The digital solutions implemented included the creation of a digital version of the COVID-19 screening tool developed by ‘Safer Care Victoria’, which was integrated into Ryman’s award-winning digital care management system ‘myRyman Care’.
This includes automatic escalations and notifications of any suspected COVID-19 case. A COVID-19 care plan with best-practice care principles is automatically available for any case or suspected case of the virus, and can be adapted and personalised for each resident.
Telehealth videoconferencing was launched in March. The telehealth consultations use laptops that can be thoroughly cleaned without damaging the device.
GPs have been given access (including remote access) to our myRyman Care system. The resident’s GP is able to log into myRyman, see all the resident’s information and complete notes independently.
Creation of an ‘outbreak unit’ in the digital rostering system, alongside an emergency 12-hour myRyman roster, was developed as part of Ryman’s disaster management planning.
A contact tracing report was developed based on staff interactions within myRyman to provide a real-time recording of close contacts. This report uses interactions that staff have made with myRyman to identify when a staff member has had contact with the resident.
This technological solution is aimed at ensuring that, in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, close contacts can be immediately identified and the risk of infection spread is contained.
Details of residents’ care needs and preferences in myRyman were made available in a condensed printable format in the event non-Ryman staff were deployed to the village following a COVID-19 outbreak.



From the outset of COVID-19, we recognised that protecting, training and supporting our staff was the key to keeping our residents safe.
Staff with COVID-19 risk factors in their home life have been invited to move into the village where they work, and about 25 have done so.
Staff are working in tightly-controlled cohorting ‘bubbles’ to minimise the number of team members required to stand down from work if there is a confirmed case of the virus.
To support staff learning and knowledge, a series of 14 toolbox topics have been developed for staff including caregivers, activity and lifestyle team members, and housekeepers. Each 10-minute training session is run regularly, facilitated by the RN, unit coordinator or the area leader. Each session has a knowledge check component, which may be practical, a quiz or a discussion.
A ‘Combatting COVID-19’ induction program, including practical PPE and hand hygiene competencies, was created for non-Ryman staff who might be deployed to one of our villages in the event of an outbreak.



A COVID-19 Go Kit was created, which contains a detailed hour-by-hour breakdown of the village’s response to a positive case, accompanied by all resources required to implement it.
It includes setting up the infection prevention and control process for the COVID-19 positive case, communication and media plans, signage, letter templates, policy guidelines, roster documents, work schedules and task checklists.
The Go Kit has been designed so any staff member or external health official can easily identify and implement its key actions.


Paul has been a manager with Ryman Healthcare, a residential aged care and retirement village operator, for the past 11 years, including four years as a village manager. His career in the healthcare sector spans 24 year in leadership roles.

He currently has oversight of Australian operations for Ryman’s rapid expansion into Victoria.
Ryman has a focus on clinical excellence and resident satisfaction, with a simple ethos that everything we do must be ‘good enough for mum’.

The New Zealand-based company has 36 villages in New Zealand and Victoria. It opened its first village in Melbourne in 2014 and now has three operational villages in Victoria, with seven more in the pipeline.