Ryman Healthcare


The situation

Established in 1984, NZX-listed Ryman Healthcare is New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator, with 30 retirement villages across New Zealand and Melbourne, and a total of more than 9000 residents and 5000 staff.

Almost half of Ryman’s residents receive care or assisted living services and – up until the introduction of myRyman – systems and processes largely revolved around written notes stored in physical files, with a central VCare database, with paper-based admin accounting for up to 25% of a caregiver’s time.

The opportunity

As a geographically dispersed organisation whose primary focus is on providing the very best care for residents, and with a growing number of New Zealanders needing aged care services (Ryman predicts that it will double resident and care staff numbers in the next three to five years in order to keep up with this demand), Ryman saw an opportunity to transform resident care.

About the myRyman app

Given the complexity of care requirements and the extremely hands-on use of the devices, any new system had to be robust, accurate and extremely reliable. It also needed to be intuitive and easy to use.

myRyman is all about improving communication between residents, relatives and staff, ultimately improving the care experience. Of all our initiatives I believe myRyman is the one likely to have the biggest impact on residents and staff alike.

Simon Challies
Managing Director, Ryman Healthcare

Developed as a native Windows 10 app, when fully rolled out over the course of 2016, myRyman will run on tablets in each residents’ room and contain everything staff need to know about a resident – including all key health records, likes and dislikes. It also has the ability to create and assign tasks to staff and take care of rostering.

Simon Challies, Ryman Managing Director, has been the project’s champion, involved closely in the myRyman roadmap and on going development of additional features. He explains: "We’ve designed it from scratch to be as user-friendly as possible so it won’t need any sort of instruction manual. It is all about people. The potential it has to improve the experience of residents and staff who care for them is just amazing."

In discovering nothing suitable in the market, Ryman saw the opportunity to work with Intergen to develop a strong technology foundation and an app tailored exclusively to the communication and information needs of its residents and staff. In taking this path, Ryman had the opportunity to embrace a whole new mobile paradigm, transform almost every business process and work towards complete removal of paper-based systems.

A year after development began, the app is live and contains all the care elements, combining rostering and calendars of staff and residents. Work is now starting on the complex tasks of weaving in clinical protocols to create a live care document. New functionality will be added continuously and rolled out seamlessly to the device fleet, accommodating strong anticipated growth in resident numbers.

The gain

Still in the early days of roll-out across Ryman’s 30 village, the reaction from staff and residents has been fantastic, with villages vying to jump the queue to get myRyman – an unusually enthusiastic response to technology change!

Lot Idago, rest home coordinator at the Diana Isaac retirement village, led the first nursing and care team trialling the devices. She comments: “The main advantage so far is that myRyman allows us to get to know our residents a lot better. We have more time, and because we’re entering their history with them we find out a whole lot more about them. We know all their likes and dislikes. I even know one of my residents wants a fresh crayfish and thousand island dressing for Christmas lunch.”

The main advantage of the app is that where previously all paperwork was done sitting at a nurses’ station, now nurses and caregivers can enter all the data they need to in the residents’ presence on the tablet in their room. Another key advantage Lot has found is the ability to email or text doctors or relatives with progress updates on residents.

“It saves us a lot of time and allows us to keep in touch quickly. Even if it is just a small update it is easy to email. The app saves the correspondence as well so we know what has gone out.”

And there’s a welcome side benefit, too. Residents are particularly loving the new devices for the entertainment options they provide, and for their ability to provide a “window on the world”. Resident Raynor Fisher was part of the first trial group and loves having the tablet in her room. She was selected for the trial because she’d never used a tablet before.

Raynor says: “It’s easy – I’ve been able to Skype my grandson and I’ve been doing puzzles and playing Mahjong on it. I’ve also been looking up old TV programmes I used to watch and watching them again."

With myRyman, Ryman is moving from a heavily paper-based world to a modern, cloud connected, mobile paradigm, allowing staff to deliver the best possible levels of care, and ultimately to spend more time with residents.Whether it’s time saving and significant productivity gains and the single source of truth it provides on a resident, or the therapy and entertainment value myRyman provides to residents, the benefits for staff and residents alike are manifold.

And it’s just the beginning for myRyman, with new functionality to be rolled out incrementally as it becomes available, and an exciting future roadmap in place that will continue to transform Ryman’s business and lift industry standards for resident care.

The business case

Ryman Healthcare saw an opportunity to transform resident care through the introduction of myRyman, an app which will run on Surface devices in residents’ rooms, creating a live, real-time history of everything to do with a resident.

By moving to a whole new mobile, modern, cloud-connected world, Ryman saw that it could better enable its staff to deliver the best possible levels of care through better understanding of and communication between resident, relatives and staff.

The business value

  • Enhanced productivity and time saving, with caregivers spending 20% more time with residents
  • A single source of truth on each resident, with accuracy and immediacy of information, allowing greater focus on communication and care
  • Ability to provide a more tailored, personalised resident experience
  • Complete removal of paper-based systems throughout the business
  • Easy and intuitive to use – no user manual 
  • Provides a “window on the world” for residents, helping to “bring the outside world in”
  • Rostering time to be decreased by 4–8 hours per village
  • Ability to scale to accommodate significant growth and seamlessly roll out incremental changes to the device fleet 
  • Creates a foundation stone for future Internet of Things-enabled healthcare services

The Ryman project was awarded overall Devices and Deployment winner at the 2016 Microsoft New Zealand Partner of the Year Awards, The myRyman app was awarded overall Windows App Developer winner at the 2016 Microsoft New Zealand Partner of the Year Awards (with NV Interactive)

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