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SwanCare’s Top Performing Tech Team

Colin Manes

SwanCare ICT Manager Colin Manes


In April, SwanCare was humbled to be awarded Silver in the HRD Employer of Choice Awards in the category of 100 – 499 employees. We were also recognized as a top performer across Access to Technology, Learning and Development, and Health and Wellbeing. The winners were based on an anonymous survey results from employees across Australia from February to May 2019.

But what do these awards really mean for SwanCare team members? This month, we sat down with ICT Manager Colin Manes to get behind the scenes of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and discover why SwanCare is a front-runner when it comes to technology.


1. It’s the approach, not the tools

For Colin and his team, their service is as important as the equipment. “In the ICT department, our goal is for SwanCare staff to have the technology to do their job. If we install technology to the best of our ability with minimal errors, make it easy to use and quickly resolve any issues, staff will spend less time at the computer, and more time with residents.”

Colin explains his team’s guiding philosophy: “It’s not a matter of, ‘Here’s a computer. Have a nice day!’ It’s about helping staff understand the technology and feel comfortable with it. When someone asks for help, we approach it from a customer service perspective. And when we can, we try to educate staff about technology issues that may affect them at home, such as security breaches that may be sensationalised in the media,” he shares.


2. Find opportunities to streamline work with technology

As Colin and his team update SwanCare’s software in accordance with the sector’s new quality standards, they are also seeking opportunities to improve software and streamline processes.

“Our ICT team are working with the Clinical Care team to determine the best way to report to the government on the updated quality indicators, such as data on weight loss or pressure injuries. At the same time, we’re always thinking about other information we could capture and record - and how technology can help us to do that.”

“I’m putting together a Digital Strategy for ICT with a vision to move away from simply providing the technology that staff require such as laptops, iPads and software. Instead, we’ll aim to actively identify tools and systems we can introduce to streamline day-to-day work and routines,” he says. 

One example, Colin shares, is the new licence-plate recognition technology to be introduced at SwanCare’s new Ningana care facility, set to open late in 2019.

“We’re running a trial for licence plate recognition software at our administration building - it’s a fun little project. Usually, our visitors would need to retrieve an access key from reception to access the car park. Now, visitors who are coming to our new Ningana care facility can simply tell us their license plate before they come, and the gate will automatically open. It’s wonderful because it takes away any hassle for our visitors, and gives them more time to spend with their loved ones.”


3. Don’t reinvent the wheel

“Staff are not here to work computers - they are here to do their job and technology should support them to do so. We don’t want to complicate processes because there’s a cool gadget. We introduce new technology only when people will benefit from it. Looking ahead to our new Ningana facility, we will trial some new technology - monitor it, and implement it if we see a benefit. But we do already have high quality standard infrastructure such as servers, network and Wi-Fi. Our technology is fine-tuned and works to a high standard, so there’s no need to redesign the architecture.”


It’s a philosophy

When Colin reflects on why he believes staff voted highly in the Access to Technology category, he brings it back to his team’s friendly approach. “This is what we love doing. When we think about the award... it’s our attitude that has helped us stay ahead, regardless of the tools.”



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