Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 21 May 2024 – video

In this webinar we looked at the Digital Transformation Program milestones, including recent updates to the Business to Government (B2G) Gateway, as well as presentations about data standardisation for the aged care sector and the ELDAC project.


Department of Health and Aged Care

Tech Talk

Digital Transformation for the Aged Care Sector

Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Presented by:


Janine Bennett

Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division 


Fay Flevaras
First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division

Jo Hammersley 
Director, Aged Care Quality and Transformation Branch, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division

Emma Cook
Assistant Secretary, Digital Reform Branch, Reform Implementation Division

Marina Muttukumaru
Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Services and Sustainability Branch, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division

Professor Len Gray 
Professor in Geriatric Medicine, Centre for Health Services Research, University of Queensland

Dr Priyanka Vandersman
Senior Research Fellow Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying, Flinders University

Stevie George
Director, People Communication and Parliamentary Division

[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Tech Talk’, ‘Digital Transformation for the Aged Care sector’, ‘Webinar series’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘’, ‘Tech Talk #16’, ’21 May 2024’]

[The visuals during this webinar are of each speaker presenting in turn via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]

Janine Bennett:

Hello and welcome to our 16th Tech Talk where we talk all things digital transformation for the aged care sector. My name is Janine Bennett. I’m from the Department of Health and Aged Care. I’m the Engagement Lead for digital transformation and your Tech Talk moderator for today. And it’s my pleasure to welcome you all.

I’m joining you today from the lands of the Ngunnawal people and the Ngambri people and I’d like to recognise those traditional owners as well as the people and families with continuing connection to the lands on which we meet. I pay my respects to their continuing contribution to this country and to Elders past and present and any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are joining us today.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Welcome’, ‘Connect by phone’, ‘Dial-in 02 9338 2221’, ‘PIN 2650 698 4236#’, ‘Session is recorded’, ‘Ask us on Slido’, with image of QR code]

This is a post-Budget Tech Talk sitting right in the middle of palliative care week so lots of great things to cover today. We have a very full agenda but first our usual housekeeping. If you have any issues with your Webex connection there’s a dial in number and a PIN code on the current slide. It’s also in your meeting invite so you can use that if you need to. As always we’re recording the session today. We’ll put the recording and slide deck up on our public website after the event so that you can refer back to it and you can share it with others who might also be interested. You’ll get an email from us when that’s published online. Usually that’s about two weeks after our event goes live.

As always we’ll finish the webinar with our live Q&A. You can pop your questions into Slido. That’s usually sitting at the bottom right hand side of your Webex screen. We’re just having some technical issues at the moment so it may take us a minute to get Slido up and running. So if you don’t see that just keep an eye out. It will pop up in the bottom right hand of your Webex screen shortly. And you can enter your questions at any time throughout any of the sessions. You can also vote up and down questions that you see. Don’t be afraid to give your own question a cheeky vote up if you think it’s a good one. We’ll put as many questions as we can to the panel at the end of the session. And if you’re happy to ask your question live on camera we’ll ask you to join us on our virtual stage. To do that please just include your name when you submit your question. I’ll give you a heads up before we bring you to stage. From there all you have to do is turn on your video and audio. We’ll bring you up on the main screen and you can ask your question directly of the panel. If you’re feeling a bit shy today that’s fine too. Just enter your burning question. You can mark it anonymously or you can write ‘No stage’ when you submit it and I’ll go ahead and ask the question to the panel on your behalf.

On a related note we understand that we have a media presence here today. We’re pleased that you could join us and thank you for your interest in today’s session. Just a quick reminder though that our media enquiries do go directly to the Department’s Media and Events team. That’s They are best placed to respond to any formal media enquiries so we do encourage you to use that channel if you’re a media organisation.

Okay. On with the show. I’m pleased to introduce to you our host for the day Fay Flevaras. Fay leads the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division here at the Department of Health and Aged Care. It’s a large national team of committed technologists helping to deliver on digital solutions that enable aged care reform. Fay has a long history of taking on many large scale transformation programs not unlike ours here in Health and she’s joined us here having worked in the private industry extensively and joining the public service more recently, bringing all of her experience to bear on the digital transformation for aged care on behalf of the Department. Fay welcome and over to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Janine and hello everybody. To those who have been to Tech Talks before it’s great to see you again. And for anyone joining us for the first time today thanks for being here and welcome aboard. As always we’re here to talk about digital transformation and our agenda for the aged care sector as a collective. Today’s agenda. I’ll start off with a bit of an update to our delivery roadmap. I’ll touch on last Tuesday’s Budget and some of the announcements made by Government for aged care. And I’ll also introduce you to an interesting character we met recently while we were travelling throughout the sector. From there we’ll be joined by Jo Hammersley, Emma Cook and Marina Muttukumaru with updates on the Government Provider Management System and the Business to Government Gateway. Marina I hope I pronounced your surname correctly.

We’ll welcome Professor Len Gray from the University of Queensland. Professor Gray is a senior researcher at the Centre for Health Services Research within the faculty of medicine and he’s a leading expert in his field. Professor Gray is here today to deliver a presentation on data standardisation in aged care. We also, given our Tech Talk happens to coincide with palliative care week – this very worthwhile campaign aims to raise awareness about palliative care and features a range of local events and useful online resources. So it’s an opportunity to get a little bit deeper understanding of what quality palliative care looks like and to pause and reflect on the many wonderful people at the heart of palliative care. So I want to take a moment to thank everyone with us here today who is involved in palliative care and end of life care. It’s very important. And whether you’re working on the frontline or service delivery or in research or policy or in any other capacity we thank you.

Now to support palliative care we have Dr Priyanka Vandersman joining us. Once again I hope I’m pronouncing everyone’s names correctly. Dr Vandersman is a palliative care nurse and a senior research fellow at the Flinders University working on the end of life direction in aged care project, commonly known as ELDAC. So Dr Vandersman’s research has been instrumental in developing an ELDAC dashboard which is free and is an evidence-based tool to help providers to make improvements in the provision of palliative care in aged care, so we wanted to share that with you today.

And finally we’ll hear from Stevie George from our Department about the aged care reform sector pulse survey which will be opening very soon. As always we’ll wrap up with a live Q&A. Janine’s going to take us through that, and as she’s mentioned I think the Slido’s up and running. I’ve got it on my screen now. So please do post your questions and comments in Slido as we go.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation update’, ‘Fay Flevaras’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’] 

Okay. So that’s the agenda. Let’s start with a bit of context about our work which might be helpful for anyone who’s new. Briefly we’re in the business of digital transformation. We build technical solutions that enable the aged care reform. The Government’s aged care reforms started back in 2021 and will continue at least to 2025 if not beyond. So right now we’re a little bit over the halfway point. So far we’ve developed a range of digital solutions to support and enable a range of reform measures. The GPMS, B2G are some of the big ticket items that we have on the agenda today but also our My Aged Care systems are all part of the aged care ecosystem that we’re enhancing as part of the aged care reform. Ultimately our work is about delivering real world outcomes for people. We are building a better connected, modern, digitised aged care ecosystem, trying to remove the red tape, streamlining business processes and access to the service. This is all so we can enable higher quality care for our older people in Australia giving them the dignity and the respect they deserve.

And when I say we I’m referring to the large team that is leading the delivery engine that builds this technology, my ICT team, but also alongside the Department’s large team of business and policy areas who often feature at these Tech Talks alongside us to co-present to make sure you get the full context of the work and what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and why. And of course we have a big population of sector partners that also contribute to us. So we as a collective are the ones who are bringing the transformation to bear across the sector.

So moving on. In April we had a successful release of our first API. It’s a big milestone. An API for those who are not so much digitally literate is an application programming interface. It is a service that we deployed on our Business to Government portal. APIs provide an agreed set of rules or protocols that allow software applications to automate the exchange of data. And in this case it’s from provider software to the Government systems without the need to manually input the data a second time. So the API we released enabled the ability to use a streamlined automated reporting for our 24/7 nursing. So that’s the first of many to come but it is a bit of a key milestone. We also have three APIs in our software development testing environment. It is a provider API, a quality indicator one and an authentication one. You’ll hear more about those later with the teams who are going to present. So for ICT folk though just a bit of a callout to software vendors. You can start your API journey. Just jump onto the developer portal. It will be great. 

So that’s the latest on the Business to Government Gateway that you could see and I’ll deep dive a little bit more on that. But what about our GPMS updates? So support the digitisation of paper forms for notifications and determinations we’ll be delivering some new self-serve features coming up soon on the GPMS portal. Again the team will work you through it a bit more. But it’s so important for us to help enable reducing administration for the sector. So rather than having to fill the paper form and send it in we’re hoping to get the automated section of the self-service up and running. We have a range of other minor enhancements the team will work through with you later in the session.

So that’s the roadmap as it stands so far. There is other work on the agenda which we will provide an update in later Tech Talks specifically around the aged care My Aged Care system and so forth. But these are the ones that we could put on the roadmap and share with you today. So next Tech Talk coming soon hopefully we’ll be able to share a few more things.

But right now if we move onto our Budget night which is now behind us we can start to lock in what it means for us in a delivery sense. As you would know the digital transformation is one of the bigger priorities for aged care policy reform. A lot of the new policy reform will require us to enhance our digital systems to meet the changes in the ecosystem. It is a fundamental enabler for the host of reform measures that we have. The Department is looking at how the work plan will change following the recent released Government priorities and we’ll definitely bring you a more detailed roadmap as soon as that takes shape. 

Some of the clear priorities out of the Budget though included the new Aged Care Act which is a large portion of the work program. We’ll focus on the progression of the next phase of the implementation of the new Aged Care Act. We want to make sure those critical digital capabilities are in place before the Act goes into effect. Across the Department I know that we’ll be working closely with sectors, providers, vendors and older Australians so that the new aged care digital ecosystem is both high quality but also legislatively compliant. So that was the first big Budget announcement.

The next one was the Support at Home piece. From the 1st of July 2025 Support at Home will replace the Home Care Packages and the Short Term Restorative Care Programs. The Commonwealth Home Support Program will transition to the new program no earlier than July 2027. So they’re the announcements we have. We’ve taken that information and we’ll start formulating delivery plans to those dates. So more of that will come later in the roadmap for the next Tech Talk.

There was also an amount for sustainment. As you can appreciate we’ve done a lot of change over the last two and a half years. It’s been a significant amount of work and there’s a lot more work to come. And so as this is a generational change and the technology we’re putting into place needs to stand the test of time, high quality systems which deliver on better connected, person-centred care require ongoing monitoring, support and maintenance to keep them up and running, safe and secure. And the sustainment funding means that we can maintain solid foundations in our systems and keep the digital environment well maintained and minimise disruptions. So that’s all while delivering the next wave of change as well around the new enhancements.

So for ICT specifically – because you’ll get different views of numbers and I preface it by saying for ICT in particular for me – the Budget papers had $1.2 billion over the forward estimates to fund critical sustainment and aged care systems and for enhancements to support the new Aged Care Act from the 1st of July 2025. So that’s kind of the headline number there. And there was another $174.5 million over two years for ICT infrastructure and services to support the implementation of the Support at Home program and the single assessment tool also to 2025.

So in short basically there’s a lot of work to do over the next sort of 18 to 24 months on the digital front to support the Budget announcements.

So I hope that’s given you a little bit more information. And we will absolutely continue to share more detail as it comes to bear and Government has made their announcements.

Now moving on. As I always say interacting with the sector is an integral part of us understanding the pain points and how things work out there to ensure that we’re delivering great solutions for you. And our customers are important to me so I wanted to take a minute to share some of the highlights from a recent trip we did to Melbourne with my leadership team so that we could see some things firsthand. And in addition to speaking at the Digital Health Festival while I was down there we joined one of our sector partners Jimmy Leishman from TeaTime to visit the MACG aged care facility down there in Ashwood. And we got the opportunity to look at some of the innovative things that they’re doing here and we thought we would share.

During the visit we got to meet a very colourful member of the team, Abi the robot as you can see there. Literally very colourful. And for those tech people Abi was 3D printed and built for a small team in Melbourne. Very innovative. Abi is AI driven. She is – or I suppose it’s gender neutral. So Abi is an aged care companion robot helping residents to stay engaged and active. When we arrived she was teaching the residents some Tai Chi while they were seated, playing trivia games, loves to connect and converse with the residents. And I think it’s a she. I’m looking to my team but I think Abi was a she. She remembers names and faces and speaks something like – there was a lot of languages. I think there was up to the order of 80 languages. But on the day when we visited Abi did speak to residents in Italian, Chinese, French, German, really kind of connecting with them in a way that potentially the human carers couldn’t.

It might be hard to believe but Abi was very human like. Even at one point when I was chatting in the back, stopping to say ‘What are you two talking about at the back of the room?’ So very interactive and was a great example of how digital transformation is working in the real world and how aged care residents and providers are open to using emerging technologies to improve the lived experience of aged care residents. So if anyone’s interested drop us a line. We can absolutely put you in contact with them. But I found it to be a really awesome experience.

Okay. That’s enough from me. A bit of a share. Next up we have Jo, Emma and Marina who are going to give us a bit more of a talk around our Government Provider Management System and our Business to Government Gateway. We know for some it might be difficult to get a clear understanding of what these solutions actually mean in the real world. So I think today we’re going to hopefully demystify some of this journey today and the benefits of the solutions. So I think I’m handing over to you Emma. Is that correct?

Emma Cook:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘GPMS and B2G update’, ‘Government Provider Management System (GPMS)’, ‘Business-to-Government (B2G)’, ‘Jo Hammersley’, ‘Director’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Emma Cook’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Marina Muttukumaru’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

That’s right. Thank you Fay and many thanks to everyone for joining us today as well as my colleagues Jo and Marina for doing this walk through with me. So I’m Emma Cook as Fay said and I’m responsible for a number of the digital initiatives for aged care including GPMS and B2G, so the real aged care lens of those digital reforms. And following on from recent conversations with the sector it’s really clear that some of us are newer to digital reform and there’s a real want for us to explain and help people to understand in more tangible terms what these digital initiatives deliver for aged care. So we’re going to try and do a little bit more of that today. We’ll be stepping through the purpose of GPMS and B2G digital reforms, what these tangibly deliver, where we’re up to and what is coming next. 

So starting off with GPMS, so the Government Provider Management System or GPMS as we refer to it as, this is a flexible platform that really helps us to – well it does a few things. So one of those things is it’s replaced old systems. So it’s replaced older legacy systems enabling us to process more information more quickly, complete complex calculations such as those that we depend on for things like star ratings, and enabling us to interact more with other Government systems in order to provide timely information and critically to assure quality in aged care.

Now the public face of these systems is then GPMS, so the GPMS that our aged care providers see and know. And really that intends to create one single streamlined portal over time for aged care providers to support all of their interactions with Government. And similar in a lot of ways to I guess how we’ve all come to use myGov as an individual and just as an example. We know there’s one place and we can go and we can fulfil all of our needs in interacting with and reporting to Government.

So that really brings it to the aged care and to the care sector forefront and enables us to streamline then those interactions with Government, things like service referrals, management, payments, reporting. It creates workforce efficiencies. So it allows us to create that one quicker experience and more efficient experience for our aged care providers and their workforce so that they can get back to what we know is most important to them, delivering high quality care. And we can as I said share that information not just with Government but of course so that we can create that continuum and care continuum that we know benefits people who are receiving care so that we can share that information across whatever sector, health or care environment they’re receiving that in.

And of course it allows as Fay has touched on us to quickly enhance and to deliver our reforms. And that’s what we’ve been doing and we’ll walk through in a moment how far we’ve come on that front. But also as we look at things like the new Aged Care Act that rapid implementation is critically supported by these digital foundations.

Now jumping across to the next slide you’ll see the kind of partner project which is B2G. Now GPMS and B2G operate in absolute unison and B2G is a crucial innovation that supports streamlined reporting. So again that seamless data exchange between provider and Government systems. But what we’ll step into a little bit more when we get to it in a moment is that this goes further than that GPMS portal experience and this really allows a fast track to transferring direct from assessment information through to Government reporting. So we’ll get to that in a moment but another critical benefit is that it improves data quality. So by doing it and by streamlining that direct source of data in to fulfil Government reporting it means that we can reach a level of timeliness and granularity that we otherwise could not. We could not ask for that level of key reporting and so it enables everyone to benefit from that level of granular data.

And consistent with GPMS ultimately it all comes back to better care. Something that we’re all united in and want to see delivered through all of these reforms is more quality care, more time to deliver quality care and less time being spent doing administrative tasks. And that’s what B2G is all about.

So jumping onto the next slide and those tangible terms. I was conscious I didn’t want to inadvertently suggest that we move slides so I was carefully wording the last. And really what this tangibly means is that we have these two avenues, two avenues for Government reporting. So we look at care assessments and clinical care and delivery of much broader care than clinical of course, and all the documentation that we know exists to support that. And we look at the reporting that is already undertaken to Government across a range of areas. And then we know that that sits in provider systems and then from there there’s really two options over time. You have Business to Government at the top there and you have the GPMS self-service portal.

Now stepping through the Business to Government pathway, what this means is that through working really closely with software vendors in particular through that sector partner community that Fay has developed and grown we can develop software with them and closely with them that aligns to our systems. It means that when care information is entered it’s entered once and that is synthesised or extracted through to fulfil reporting requirements to Government. And then that happens through that one process, that one entry of information that sucks it automatically in. Of course we know and we’ve heard from the sector that it’s important that there are checks and balances and opportunities for them to see that and we certainly keep that in mind and build it in and that’s why co-design is so important. But it enables that really streamlined process direct into GPMS to fulfil reporting obligations, keep information up to date and to deliver those crucial quality and transparency reforms.

Now the second of those avenues is then the one that you’ll be familiar with. It’s the GPMS pathway that we continue to enhance and it means that that same information, you then key that in, so there’s an extra step in keying that in through the GPMS portal, but in doing that that we look at opportunities to re-use that information and to streamline that experience to the extent possible so that we really do start to move towards that collect once and use many principle and create that efficiency as a side benefit. And then obviously follows the same pathway through. But over time it is crucial that we look at simplifying information, standardising the information as part of that national minimum dataset and enabling greater sharing across those care sectors irrespective of the pathway that it comes through.

Now jumping through to the next slide you’ll see the part on where we have been and where we’re heading to next. So in a moment when we get to that GPMS and B2G journey slide you’ll see that over the past 12 months since the GPMS portal was launched we’ve delivered a huge range of aged care reforms and critical Government reforms. These include star ratings, quality indicators, 24/7 nurse reporting, provider operations, care minute targets, Quarterly Financial Reports, and the list goes on through to dollars going to care, and really moving forward as I said that’s the critical digital reform that enables the delivery of the new Act over the coming period. Similarly on that slide you will see that over the six months that we’ve had the Business to Government reform in place it has been a tremendous effort from all the teams and all the sector partners involved to launch the Business to Government Developer Portal where software developers can discover, register and connect, and then to deliver enhancements to that portal, supplying API specifications, test APIs and functionality to enable conformance. 

And again to step back what that conformance is, that’s the really important process, the crucial process that we the Department supported by the Australian Digital Health Agency need to step through with all software vendors to make sure that the software products that they offer to an aged care provider can then allow that aged care provider to use B2G. So that is the slide that’s just up there and as I said shows how far we’ve come, where we’re up to now and certainly as Fay touched on there’s a very ambitious road ahead where we’re looking forward to implementing a number of critical reforms in particular the new Aged Care Act.

So with that I will pass over to my technical delivery colleague and hand to you Jo.

Jo Hammersley:

Thanks Emma. Hi everybody. I’m now going to highlight our latest releases, so release 7.2 and release 7.2.1. The releases mark another important step in our journey to digitise and modernise aged care delivery, delivering new features and enhancements to existing capabilities. Let me share some interesting details about these releases. So release 7.2 commenced on Friday April the 19th with go live completing on Monday April the 22nd. This was followed by our second release 7.2.1 beginning on the 17th of May and completed on the 18th, last weekend. The success of these releases was due to the collaborative, hardworking effort as always of various teams across the Department including teams in the Digital Transformation and Delivery and Information Technology Divisions, our business colleagues from the various divisions, service integrators and various support staff such as Datacom, HealthDirect Australia and many more.

The releases represent the culmination of our people tirelessly working throughout the release weekends to ensure the success of our go live, cohesively achieving two more collective milestones as you just saw on Emma’s previous slide. Next slide please guys.

These releases are an example of that effort and hard work of many, so bringing new features and functions to life while enhancing and inducting existing features to ensure usability and functionality. They represent the commitment that we have to making a real impact on the world of aged care. So release 7.2 in April saw the launch of our first B2G APIs to the public with enhancements to the existing GPMS features and technical upgrades. The release of the APIs has achieved a significant milestone in our mission to uplift aged care through digital innovation via the developer portal. Three APIs. We’ve got registered nurses 24/7, provider management and authentication now being in the production environment and will enable the providers to consume the data in production via conformance software as Emma’s just spoken to you about earlier.

Other changes in release 7.2 also included deploying the quality indicators API into the software vendor testing environment and enhancements to the developer portal. Marina’s going to talk to you in detail in regard to these very soon.

Release 7.2 has also marked the completion of the final project deliverable for the Quarterly Financial Reporting system transitioning it to the GPMS provider platform. This means that all QFR historical submission data previously collected from providers and evaluated on the forms administration platform has now been migrated.

Lastly the release increased the functionality of the stakeholder and emergency management solution user population roles. The latest release on the weekend implemented several business critical enhancements including reporting enhancements, a data realignment between the GPMS and the MAC that was impacting some providers which is now resolved, and a stakeholder and emergency management solution enhancement. That’s it from me and over to you now Marina to talk about B2G. 

Marina Muttukumaru:

Lovely. Thank you very much for that Jo.

I’d also just like to start off by extending my thanks to everybody that’s been involved in the releases, not just the last one in April but also the ones prior to that. As Jo mentioned it’s sort of brought B2G to quite a significant milestone in our journey and it’s been great to see such collaboration across our transformation stakeholder groups, and a lot of you are on the call today as well so thank you.

As Jo touched on we now have three APIs in production with one more due to be released in the coming months. This is a significant milestone in our journey to enable aged care providers to interact with the Department from their own software systems. The release in April saw two supporting APIs being released into production and they are the authentication and the provider management APIs. These provide functionality that will also be used to support many future APIs that we deliver. In addition to this we have two APIs that support regulatory reporting. So nurses 24/7 or 24/7 nurse reporting API was released in April into production. This enables providers to report nurses’ attendance at residential aged care facilities. Quality indicators is the API which is due to be released in the coming months into production. This allows the collection of quality indicator data from residential aged care services on a quarterly basis providing an evidence base that can be used to improve the quality of services provided to care recipients and also included in calculating the star ratings.

So connecting an aged care provider system to the Department prevents the need for manually entering data via portals thus reducing the administrative burden on our service providers and allowing them to spend more time directly delivering quality care to our older Australians. Next slide please.

So this slide here is one that might be familiar to some of you as we’ve shared it previously but it’s worth sharing again just to show you our progress through the lens of a software vendor development journey for our APIs. So to make the most of our APIs we need the people who are developing the software used by aged care providers to be able to update their information so that they can leverage the capability on a regular basis. The platform foundations are now in place and these came into place last year so we’re ready for developers to start consuming APIs.

So what should a software vendor expect the experience to be? Well this diagram helps to explain that process. So the first step is for them to go through the discovery phase. This is where they can register with us to use the developer portal and discover which APIs are available, look at the details and choose any that are of interest to them. And they can then request access to those APIs. Then they can go into the develop and test phase. So once their access is approved the developer will then be given access to test their APIs in our software verification or our SVT environment. This will enable them to start developing and testing their software using the APIs that are available.

So the conformance process. Conformance is where when development is complete the next step is for them to begin the process of verifying that the software meets the necessary API testing requirements, and Emma touched on this bit earlier in the process. This is the quality assurance and conformance stage. We’ve partnered with ADHA to complete the conformance assessment process of the software and to determine its suitability for consuming our APIs.

Once the conformance process has been completed and the software has been approved and deemed conformant the software vendor can then deploy the software with their customers, so the service providers, who themselves will then be able to move into the next phase which is the access and submit phase. They’ll be able to access the software and then submit their information directly through to the Department.

So as you can see from the callouts that are included on this slide we’ve made quite a bit of progress through our previous releases. You can also see the different actors in the process represented by the different colours on the path. So last year we released the developer portal and our software vendors were able to view the API specifications and register for access. With the SVT release earlier this year software developers were able to then access the environment in order to begin their development and testing of their APIs. It also enabled them to then start preparing for the conformance process. 

And as we’ve touched on today we’ve now delivered a number of APIs into production. So software vendors who have now completed their conformance assessment or when they’ve completed their conformance assessment successfully can deploy their software to aged care providers for the APIs that we have released into production. So at this point in time it’s the nurses 24/7 API. As with so many facets of our work we couldn’t deliver this outcome without the support and the contribution of many partners and stakeholders, so in particular our colleagues at the ADHA, obviously our business colleagues and other internal staff, but also many partners and stakeholders within the sector partners community. So we look forward to continuing to work with all of you as we develop, mature and scale the B2G API gateway.

And I’m going to hand back over to Emma and she’s going to talk you through a little bit more about what you can expect. 

Emma Cook:

Perfect. Thanks very much Marina. So in terms of what’s next, as my colleagues have walked through, and you would have seen at the beginning of the Tech Talk, we’re coming up to a mid‑year release and through this release really for aged care providers and for the aged care providers in the audience there are a number of inclusions in that release but a really key one is the additional self-service portal functionality that we’re delivering. And so what that will allow you to do is to see information about your organisation and your staff and to keep that information up to date in a self-service capacity as well as to complete regulatory reporting for notifications and determinations. So we know at the moment there’s different forms and websites you need to go to to maintain that reporting and this will all bring it into that GPMS portal for you. 

So to prepare for that new functionality coming what I’d encourage all aged care providers to do is to keep their information up to date to the extent possible which we always try to do and then plan probably early August to login to GPMS and set a little bit of time aside just to review the information that you have in there about your organisation and your personnel and to ensure that it’s up to date. This is important because it’s the first time that you’ll see that information that is held around things like key personnel presented back to you and any updates that you might need to make in that space or with respect to your organisation’s information you’ll then be able to do from that date.

Of course we’ll continue to keep you informed and we’ll continue to reach out to you as we move to launch that new functionality through this forum, through the Engagement Hub, provider newsletters and of course our sector partners. So really encourage everyone to look forward to that date and to jump into GPMS in August, review and update their information. With so much coming down the pipeline in the context of the new Act it’s one thing that you can do to jump in early and to make sure that you’re set up right in those systems.

The other thing that I would say is Business to Government. Of course we encourage software vendors to register on the software developer portal and to explore that and to look at how they can start to work towards API conformance. For providers we encourage you to have conversations with your software vendors if you’re interested in B2G offerings and of course have conversations with us. And we will again target messaging through the different avenues that I’ve spoken about a moment ago to talk about what’s coming and what’s next as we look to expand on the API offering. And we really want to hear from aged care providers and I can see a couple of suggestions or what I’m taking to be suggestions already in the chat around what could be next. So that’s really critical information where you can help to guide those reforms and guide where we move to in streamlining your reporting.

I’ll leave it there. Thanks Fay. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you all for an excellent update on the latest activity that we’ve got going and for unpacking a little bit more about what it means around B2G and GPMS. I’m going to echo Emma’s call to action folks. For all you software vendors out there now’s the time to get on board and start connecting and getting conformed – conformance. I don’t know what the right term is there but basically to go through the conformance process so that you are ready then to consume new APIs as they come down the pipeline. And for yes, providers, you knock on the door of your software vendor and say have they started their journey. Because it’s going to require all of us moving together to get us connected so as the new volume of change comes down the pipeline we’re not doing things manually and that you have your automated connections already in place. So a big shoutout. Well done everyone.

Now I’m happy to introduce the first of our two guest speakers today from outside the Department. First it’s a very warm welcome to Professor Len Gray who’s here to talk about data standardisation, why data standards are important – sorry a bit of a tongue twist there – why are data standards important and what it means for us in aged care. So hopefully you have control of the deck now Professor Gray because I think you’ll be driving this one. And if so over to you.

Professor Len Gray:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Collect Once, Use Many Times’, ‘Are we there yet?’, ‘Professor Len Gray’, ‘Professor in Geriatric Medicine’, ‘Centre for Health Services Research’, ‘Faculty of Medicine’, ‘University of Queensland’]

Thanks so much Fay and to your team for inviting me along to talk about this topic. I’m just going to check that I can change the slide. I can.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘The University of Queensland Australia’, ‘Create Change’, ‘Data standardisation in aged care’, ‘Len Gray’, ‘Tech Talk Webinar 2024’]

So I’m going to talk mostly about data standardisation in the context of the idea about collect once, use many times. And I’ll keep referring back to that principle as I go through this talk.

So I think most people in the room would understand the rationale for standardising data. We aren’t meeting it. I think we all understand that. There is a plethora of ways in which information is recorded across the aged care program and indeed across healthcare in general that really leave room for improvement.

So why standardised data? Well a common language. We can understand each other and the way we record things. If we do things the same way in every corner of the health system data use becomes more efficient. It’s much easier to train people. They only have to learn one language. If they move from one facility to another they know what they’re reading when they look at the screen. Building sophisticated analytics and decision support systems depends on a stable database. You can’t keep reinventing analytics every time you change the database so we have to have some stability. And then of course information exchange amongst providers across the journey of care that people experience or even shared care environment where two organisations share the care of an individual are important. And then of course somewhere in the back of all this is the Government and the regulator who wants data for a whole range of legitimate purposes like payment, like quality, monitoring, like planning and so forth. Very important. And then there’s some humble researchers in the background who want to get hold of information so that we can understand what’s happening and improve the system.

So it’s not just data we want to standardise. It’s also I think the assessment process. And the advantages of using a standardised approach to assessment are pretty much the same as those around data standardisation.

So if we look at the kind of universe of information that is required for healthcare and indeed for aged care this is the one representation of what’s needed with the international patient summary. And you can see moving from left if you look at the red boxes, required information, recommended information in yellow, then over on the right hand side we have what’s called optional information. Now where in the world of aged care do we sit on this panel? Now it’s all important but I would like to suggest that the most important information that’s required to support aged care is in this box up here called functional status. Plan of care, advanced directives, social history, all important, but this is what drives the need for care and what drives the cost of care. And so in my mind what is considered optional in the bigger health world is compulsory in the aged care world. This is not optional. This is actually required. If we think about the aged care program this information is central.

So how do we record information? And I talk about function in a rather broad sense. We’re thinking about phenomena such as ability to walk, to eat, to be continent, to drive a car, to manage one’s finances and so forth. So which activities are important, how much help does a person need to conduct those activities and who is available to provide that support, are really the drivers of what happens in the aged care program.

So if we think about the universe of data, so there’s a world of what we might like to call standardised data. Let’s say we have a way of recording everything in a standardised way. Then we have assessment systems that take subsets of that data and organise them in such a way that a comprehensive assessment of a person’s needs can be conducted. And then we have the regulatory function which people usually call a minimum dataset that would be required for reporting to third parties. The MDS I call them. So at the assessment level decision support is a product of data that sits inside an assessment system and this supports the obvious care planning, but also the way in which an organisation does its own planning or the regulator, the Government does system level planning resource allocation and quality indicator calculation, all should be derived – and I think Emma referred to this in her discussion – from the one system, from an assessment system that has the right data in it that then becomes available for all these other functions. So this is about collecting once a set of data at a point in time and that becomes available for multiple functions both at the organisational level, even at the individual resident level or the individual person level in the community, but it also has second hand use to regulators, and without re-entering the data whatsoever. We aren’t there yet because the data that sits in most assessment systems does not get ported immediately into an MDS and then get ported to the regulator.

So what have we got out there? Well if you talk to folks in the hospital sector they’ll start talking about SNOMED CT as a terminology standard upon which things can be built. So as an aged care specialist – and I’ve asked my colleagues who are interested in data in aged care – we’ve looked pretty carefully at SNOMED CT and it does some of things well. If you think back to that universe of data requirements I referred to earlier SNOMED does really well on the left hand side around diagnostics, labs, traditional kind of hospital medical kind of metrics. It’s a very good terminology system for that. It’s actually not bad on the aged care side. You can figure out if someone’s mobile or not. But when it gets down to how much help a person needs to get to walk or how much help they need to get to the toilet, SNOMED doesn’t have the tools to be able to do that. And when you think about it they’re the very, very important components of these phenomena that we need to understand when we think about what care a person needs or how much it’s going to cost to provide the care, or indeed if the quality of the care is good enough to maintain their function. So you do need fairly specific specialised tools that don’t come with SNOMED CT. It could be improved and there’s some work going on to think about that but not at the moment.

There is the international classification of function which is the sister system to the ICD system that you’d all be familiar with in hospitals but this needs coders. It’s not useful for real time. It’s very complex. It doesn’t really work as a day to day system. In fact there’s not really a good solution for this in terms of a terminology standard that works well for aged care. So is it yet to be constructed? The answer is probably yes.

So I’ll come back to what I think might be a solution in a moment but let’s just have a look at what happens in the aged care program in Australia. And here I’ve presented an example of a person that’s become frail and is on the cusp of potentially requiring residential aged care. They might or their family member may get onto the My Aged Care portal and there is an assessment. It’s an ADL, an IADL assessment that sits there. It’s not bad actually. It characterises a person’s needs. And then that person through that portal would find their way into an aged care assessment service and an eligibility assessment is done. In other words their needs are evaluated and they’re referred to a program. In this case let’s say they’re going to go into residential aged care. Upon entry to the program there will be probably a bespoke assessment that’s been constructed by the aged care provider in a software environment that would again assess the needs. And then within a week or two a further assessment’s conducted by an external assessor to ascertain the AN-ACC classification to support payment. And within a month to three months there will be a further assessment or data recruited in order to calculate the quality indicators for the Quality Indicator Program.

Now my team looked at this sequence of events and we saw that there are five assessments occurring in rapid succession. They all contain more or less the same content, the same clinical concepts, same care needs assessments, but there’s virtually no data conformity. Each phenomena is described in a different way in every step of that journey. So in fact what we found is really if you think about the collect once use many times paradigm what we’ve got here is collect many times and use once, use occasionally. So when we think about collect once use many times we think about it across time. Do it the same way in every sequence in the journey. But also at any point in time use the same data for multiple purposes for care and reporting functions.

So we’ve written an example study of this looking at the phenomenon of mobility. How much help does a person need to walk? It’s described in that sequence of events or assessments six ways, five different assessments, and there are eight occasions on which something about mobility needs are recorded. So this is not consistent and it could be harmonised.

Thinking about what happens, and this happens everywhere around the world, folks decide they need to build a comprehensive assessment system in order to ascertain a person’s needs and begin a care plan. And typically what organisations do will pick the best of breed tools, scales and kind of put them together in what we call a compilation assessment system. And so you think the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Barthel Index, a mini-nutritional assessment, and you put it all together and then that’s called a comprehensive assessment. This is what we would call a first generation assessment system and that’s what the AN-ACC looks like and also what many organisations do in the care setting. So they’re typical examples of compilation assessment systems.

So what’s the problem here? So the way in which phenomena are described is inconsistent. So I gave the example of mobility. But you might need to do a falls risk assessment and an ADL assessment. Both require some knowledge of mobility but in each of those scales mobility is described in a different way. So you’ve already reported on mobility twice just with two tools. So duplication occurs. And when you do this there’s also information that’s missing. It’s not really comprehensive so you have to fill in the gaps with made up items that may have poor psychometric properties. And then this kind of approach, virtually every organisation makes its own, so there’s a lack of conformity amongst software solutions. That would apply at the regulatory level as well as at the organisational level. We just have a kind of plethora of ways of describing the same thing. So this militates against the collect once use many times paradigm.

So what are we going to do about this? This is how I think about it. Wait until a standard is invented or do we have some kind of interim solution that would get us somewhere towards standardisation. So we could try to build a compilation model just as I’ve described in that jigsaw puzzle, that everybody uses the same jigsaw puzzle, but that would come with all the negative problems associated with a compilation model. Or do we adopt an integrated assessment model? So what is an integrated assessment model? So this is what I would describe as a second generation system where you take a dataset and build a whole suite of applications out of it, get the same result as the compilation model, but every phenomena is only recorded once in the same manner within that system. So I think this is the way I think we should move.

So there are of course about 15 to 20 of these integrated assessment systems for aged care out there in the marketplace at the moment and I’ve listed the most commonly used ones worldwide there on the right hand side of this slide. Last year some of my colleagues at UQ did a comprehensive assessment against a set of prescribed criteria to judge which of these integrated assessment systems performed the best. This is an exercise that’s been done about a dozen times in the last 20 years by various jurisdictions in advance of selecting an appropriate integrated assessment system for their jurisdiction. 

And so the result of that exercise was this is the ranking of these systems in terms of how they were rated against these criteria. So the interRAI home care long term care facility assessments are ranked best. The MDS 3.0 is what the US Government uses for long term care. That’s a bespoke derivative of an interRAI system. Then there’s EasyCare, CANE and others as you can see there.

So I’ll just say something in conclusion about what interRAI is. It’s an example of a second generation assessment system. It works like this. There’s a set of clinical observations, and from that there’s a suite of applications derived through a series of calculations. This would be severity scale, screeners, protocols to direct clinicians towards certain interventions, quality indicators and case mix tools to support payment. So you get everything from the one set of observations. And from that you can produce summary profiles characterising the person and their needs.

And so the interRAI long term care facility system just to illustrate has 286 clinical observations. Whoa. That sounds like a lot. But I’d suggest you walk into an aged care facility today and count how many boxes you have to tick and you’ll get a lot more than 286. This is actually a reduction. Twenty years ago that would have been considered to be a burden. Today that would be a reduction because you’re removing all the duplication. Twenty two clinical protocols derived from those observations, 14 scales to measure severity, and up to 78 quality indicators can be calculated from a single assessment. So this is a massive amount of material you can get out of one assessment. And so there’s a set of data collection forms obviously on a computer, there are training manuals and there are advisory documents about how to use these systems. So this is a complete system.

So this system for example is mandated all around us. New Zealand, Singapore and Canada, our near neighbours, all use the interRAI systems in home care and residential care and also the USA and a number of other countries. And there’s also a lot of use in part in many other jurisdictions.

So to summarise I’m proposing that we need to move towards standardisation to make aged care better.

There are no off the shelf terminology solutions that really work perfectly for aged care. So some kind of interim compromise is required.

Integrated assessment systems do offer a first step towards standardisation and provide a lot of other functionality on top of that.

And amongst these systems I promote interRAI as the best of breed. I am a member of interRAI. I’ve given 20 years of my life to help develop this system. An interRAI system has an IP value of somewhere in the order of $20-40 million because it’s 20 to 30 years work to build these things, not Friday afternoon over a couple of pizzas which is what often happens with some people.

So thanks so much Fay for the opportunity to talk about this. I’m very happy to talk to anybody about this so email me or look at our website. We have a lot of information about this sort of material. Thanks very much. 

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘The University of Queensland Australia’, ‘Create Change’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Professor Len Gray’, ‘’, ‘’, ‘’, ‘@LenCG’]

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you so much Professor. Really appreciate you joining us here today to impart some of your worldly experience with data. I agree. There is no off the shelf package. I think this is why forums like this and our sector partner community are going to be so important, so that as we’re delivering this vast amount of change into the sector that we come up with an agreed interim solution that may not get us all the way there but might start us on that correct journey. So thank you so much. And you’re sticking around for Q&A as well. So folks please consider this a rare opportunity to ask a foremost researcher about all things data standardisation. So get your questions into Slido.

All right. Moving onto our next guest speaker, our distinguished Dr Priyanka Vandersman from Flinders University here to tell us a little bit about ELDAC and the project and the dashboard. I think you’ve kindly offered to share with us some of the highlights in relation to the project. Over to you. 

Dr Priyanka Vandersman:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘End of Life Directions for Aged Care’, ‘Dr Priyanka Vandersman’, ‘Senior Research Fellow’, ‘Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying’, ‘Flinders University’]

Thank you very much Fay. And thank you very much for the opportunity to come and present in the national palliative care week. So this is just fabulous. Like Fay mentioned my name’s Dr Priyanka Vandersman. I am a registered nurse. I trained as a palliative care nurse and I currently work as the Senior Research Fellow for the ELDAC project down at Flinders University. Next slide please.

And I would like to just begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land that I’m speaking from today, the land of the Kaurna people and would like to pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Next slide please.

So this week is the national palliative care week which is Australia’s largest annual initiative to deepen the understanding of palliative care and encourage action around end of life care planning and end of life conversations. And what a great opportunity and what a great timing for me to come here and talk a little bit about technology, digital innovation and how that can support palliative care in the aged care space. So that’s just fabulous. And really the whole point of the national palliative care week is to prompt thinking and conversation around the important role that palliative care plays in the lives of those who are approaching end of life and really for us all to consider what else needs to be done. And in the context of aged care what does that really mean? And when we think of aged care, end of life or caring for those who might be in the last chapter of their life, surely there is a lot more that needs to be done to ensure that people who are approaching the end of their lives actually receive the best experience that they can. So let’s have a bit of a closer look at palliative care in aged care. Next slide please.

So we know that the importance of palliative care in aged care is growing very rapidly and that is partly attributed to the ageing population and the complexity of comorbidities that older Australians have. So when you think of those receiving care in residential aged care and in home care settings these people are really frail, they’re frailer, they’re older and they are likely living with multiple chronic and complex illnesses. And we know that the Royal Commission into Aged Care pointed out the really big need for palliative care to be incorporated as a core business in aged care. And what we are now seeing actually is the reform agenda which is placing palliative care and end of life care as a really solid part of aged care’s everyday business.

And we can see that in the Strengthened Aged Care Standards which hasn’t been released but we know from the drafts that have been released so far that Standard 5 which talks about clinical care has outcome 5.7 which solely focuses on palliative and end of life care giving. So palliative care is here. It’s here to stay. It’s a core part of aged care. And so in relation to aged care and aged care practices what does that really mean? Next slide please.

So looking at it from the standards perspective, from a service level what that really means is that there is not just the expectation that the care meets the criteria outlined by the standard. There is also a need for reporting. There is a reporting requirement that’s attached to that high quality care. So services are really expected to meet outcome 5.7 as well as document and show evidence against how they’re achieving or delivering this outcome. And coming from a technology perspective there is a huge opportunity for clinical systems to actually facilitate palliative care processes. There is a need to really think about how can clinical systems, how can digital innovations really support palliative care practice in the sector and really broadly looking at service level governance and processes around palliative care. How can technologies support that. So we should really be looking at that aspect of the technology to provide that benefit there.

And from a service perspective and service needs perspective what is really required is that enabled systems are needed to support care processes including end of life care and solutions that are needed are like Professor Gray said. It’s not just about having something off the shelf or even done on a Friday afternoon. Things need to be evidence-based. They also need to be policy informed. And policies are changing. The landscape is changing rapidly. We need things that are actually not just now ready and care ready for today. They need to be future ready. Systems need to support care processes in an ongoing way. So how do we get there? What does that look like? Next slide please.

So we’re on the right slide. That’s perfect. So from our IT provider perspective we’re thinking about a product that can support palliative and end of life care processes. Three key things that really come to my mind. The first thing is the product needs to be robust. Like I said it has to be evidence-based. It really needs to be policy informed and then with the increasing reporting requirement that aged care services are expected to meet and record against they also need to be mapped to reporting requirements because those are non-negotiables. They have to be met. The other thing is they need to be clinically relevant. They need to inform care and they need to improve client outcomes. And I speak as a nurse when I say at the end of the day it’s actually about the patient or the resident or the client. It’s actually about improving the care outcomes for the care recipients. And the other side of that same coin is supporting the clinician, supporting the manager and supporting the service to be able to report, evaluate and monitor the care that they provide. That’s the only way for us to move forward and to improve how we provide care to our elders.

The next bit in relation to technology and what it should have is it needs to have some sort of technical strength. So something that actually does not require external data sharing, something that keeps the data safely within the service or the system is preferred. And something that optimises existing data. We know clinicians are sick and tired of double handling of data and collecting things in paper form and then scanning and then dragging and dropping it into the system and then not being able to locate where they are. So we need systems that actually shortcut that whole process and something that integrates seamlessly into existing systems instead of having yet another platform to login to. And also the other really important thing in aged care is the fact that these tools need to be diverse and they need to be clever enough, they need to be adaptable enough to really work towards the diversity of clinical care tools that are used in aged care. Because settings, services, functionings are very different and one size does not fit all. So that’s another element.

The other one is it also needs to have a compelling commercial proposition. So something that is ideally free or something that has very minimal dollar value attached to it, something that you can integrate and call it your own so there is no need for that ongoing sort of relationship and contracts and that sort of logistical management that needs to be set in the background. And something that actually is developed by a reputable team or developed in a robust way but also by someone that has a reputation and support from a national level. And what would also be really good is if the product that you’re bringing in already has some level of familiarity in the sector so there is no need to go out and sell a brand new entity so to speak. And when I think of all of these things and in the context of technology and in aged care and palliative care the digital dashboard that we have created as part of the ELDAC project ticks all of these boxes. And next slide please.

So here you’ve got a little screen grab from the digital dashboard prototype and what it really is is an integrated platform that can allow clinicians to track and visually represent key end of life processes and indicators. It can be integrated to match the brand and the layout and the infrastructure and the bones of your existing system. But really when you think of it what it is, what’s the principle here at play is that clinical systems already collect – like again Professor Gray was saying – we have a universe of data and there are lots of data points that we’re collecting already. But what happens is from a clinician perspective one’s sitting here, one’s sitting in another layer, one’s sitting across this platform requiring a different login, one’s seven tabs away. What we have developed with the ELDAC dashboard is an architecture, a mechanism to really bring all of the elements that the evidence says are important when it comes to making clinical decisions and planning care at the end of life in aged care and really presenting it back to the clinician at the point of care. And via the same dashboard you can also create reports that are useful for tracking, for reporting and for quality improvement and so forth.

It does not require you to send the data out of the service to us as a project. The data stays within the service. And the other principle, the core principle of this is it’s really about making use of existing data. It’s not about going around and collecting yet another set of data for the purpose of the dashboard. Next slide please.

And look when I talk about the dashboard while it might feel like is it just a little benchtop prototype that you guys have developed, we’ve actually trialled, road tested and we have actually established the value add of this dashboard in a real world setting via an implementation trial. So this is a very, very short version of the journey of the dashboard. So the dashboard prototype was developed in late 2019 then we opened it up to the sector and did a trial of integration. We had four groups that were really interested in integrating the dashboard. And so the trial of integration was successful. Then what we did was we did an implementation trial of the dashboard. We trialled it out across 14 residential aged care sites that were linked to the IT groups that integrated the dashboard successfully. And at the end of the trial when we analysed the data what we found was very clear evidence of feasibility and value add in supporting end of life in relation to this dashboard. So that’s clear. We’re working towards the publication with some of the papers submitted, some of the papers in manuscript development stage at the moment.

And the other big thing is – so we’ve done the trial of integration. So what’s the next thing? We keep receiving ongoing interest from aged care services to explore pathways in relation to how they can have access to the dashboard. So I will not have any one week where I would have less than one or two aged care services come to us and say ‘I want to find out a bit more about your dashboard. Is it a plug and play? Is it a USB? Is it a website? Where do we send our data to?’ And I run a digital demonstration. And what that really clearly tells us is that there is this hunger from the end users, the services, the clinicians, the care managers to really have technology brought into their care practices to support palliative and end of life care in their everyday care processes. Next slide please.

So we’ve done the hard work with making sure that the dashboard is really robust and what’s really needed as a next step is to simply integrate. And the slide here also relates back to the fact that I mentioned around the future readiness of it. We have all now heard from Professor Gray around the need for data standardisation and the work that’s done by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Department of Health and Aged Care around standardisation of data by the format of the digital data strategy and the following on national aged care minimum dataset. So that’s coming up. And what we’ve done is we have mapped the dashboard’s data variables back with what has so far been released by the Department in relation to the national minimum dataset and we will continue to do that as new definitions are released. So again you can rest assured that when those changes come in the background we will update the prototype and we will go and update the variables and then get in touch to make sure that we continue on with that support and that hard work in the background.

And the other two minor strengths that I have kept on the side is that we are driven by a DoHAC funded project and we are working with support from the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council. So that’s a great thing to have that support and it’s really apparent that in whatever work we do in the aged care or digital space collaboration and mutual support is the way to go. Next slide please.

So now I want to talk about integrating the dashboard into your system. So what exactly is being offered here? What are we offering? So what ELDAC is offering is a set of data variables map and the data dictionary for the dashboard’s backend. So that’s essentially about saying so what are these elements that my system needs to have, how are they defined, what do they mean and what are the elements, how are they to be collected? So we will provide that. The other bit that we will also provide is an exemplar of code architecture for the dashboard as a JSON file that was developed by our developer using Angular framework. That’s all for free. What IT providers will need to do is before commencing the build there will be a need for a contract to be signed just to make sure that we’ve done everything in the right way, by the way of handing over the prototype and all the associated support files. And then the next one is around building a model that actually is either embedded or you can also embed it using something such as a Power BI like a mid-layer integration. And then you will need to put in your own developer hours to carry out the dashboard integration work. So those are the three things. Next slide please. I’ve got a couple more.

So how do you integrate? Five steps is how I see this. The first like I said is about mapping and understanding the data variables. The next one is about identifying opportunity for missing data capture. That’s another big item there because if there are elements within the data capture that we have recommended from evidence and policy that’s a little nudge that those probably are best practice, best practice standard for the industry and best to have those embedded. If you can’t do it immediately you can schedule or have developer plan for inclusion. The next one is then about creating information architecture and complete the programming related to the integration work. Then it’s simply about organising a trial of data input and then test the performance and release. Next one please.

Fay Flevaras:

Hey Dr Priyanka.

Dr Priyanka Vandersman:

Sorry Fay. Would you like me to stop here?

Fay Flevaras:

No. We have run out of time. I don’t want to stop you but I think what we might do is put the call out to everyone. So if anyone’s interested in leveraging the ELDAC absolutely send a message through to us. Do you have a slide I think around where to contact them?

Dr Priyanka Vandersman:

The final slide. So I think two slides down.

Fay Flevaras:

Let’s jump to that.

Dr Priyanka Vandersman:

Yep. The final slide I think has my email address.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘ELDAC’, ‘End of Life Direction for Aged Care’, ‘’, ‘Next steps’, ‘Get in Touch with Us’, ‘Contact us for a digital demonstration of the full dashboard prototype’, ‘’, ‘Let us know if you have any concerns, need for support, or want to explore options of integration’]

Fay Flevaras:

Also more than welcome to reach out to us at the DT Engagement team as well. We’ll pass on information. And there’s Priyanka Vandersman’s contact details at Flinders University. And happy to do a video as well and deep dive a bit more on the how and we can share that as well if you want. So thank you so much. Sorry. We’re just running out of time and we’ve just got a little bit more to do. I know there’s lots of questions going up. So please everyone join me in thanking Dr Priyanka.

Now we’ve got a little bit under ten minutes to do two things. Firstly we’ll quickly go to our survey. So Stevie you’re up. I’m going to ask you to spend two minutes and whiz us through the sector pulse survey. Where is she?

Stevie George:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Aged Care Reforms’, ‘Sector Pulse Survey’, ‘Stevie George’, ‘Director’, ‘People Communication and Parliamentary Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

No problem at all. Hi. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Stevie.

Stevie George:

No problem at all. So hi. I’m Stevie. I’m actually responsible for the change management from the human perspective to support the broader aged care reforms and what this means to you. So just super mindful of time today. So what I was really just hoping is I’m really hoping to encourage everybody to participate in this sector pulse survey. It will be coming up from the 3rd to the 14th of June so we’re just giving you a little bit of notice ahead of time. And the big one is that this will really help inform some of the change activities that we do with and for you. And one of the things that we’ve discovered in our past sector surveys is that we actually only had about 0.2% of respondents who were identified as technology enablers and we would really love to increase that so that we can make sure that we’re hearing you and also actioning your feedback. 

And I think that that was a big one. I mean we did do some really big pieces with some of the feedback we’ve had in the past. We have done things like set up a reform roadmap for the sector and we’ve also provided you with broader visibility as to who in the Department is project lead etcetera, etcetera. So that’s some of the actions that we’ve taken from the previous sector pulse surveys and now with this one we’re really hoping to expand that and use the information that you provide us with to help support you more with this.

And that is us. And we have provided the link and this will be released as I said on the 3rd and it will be provided to you through various channels. Thank you so much for that opportunity Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you so much. I appreciate you being nice and brisk for us. Okay. So we’re mixing up Q&A a little bit. I think it’s just going to be me for a sec. We’ve only got five minutes left and so I thought I might just address some of the big liked ones, the ones that have come up. So Janine what’s the first one?

Janine Bennett:

Yeah. Thank you Fay. And apologies to everyone. We have cut it so fine today. We’re not going to get through all of the Q&A. But to sort of hit you with the most popular question.

Q:        Out of the $1.4 billion Budget allocation will there be any allocation for the much needed technology uplifts for providers, noting many providers have no reserves that can be used to invest in enabling technology?

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Janine. So look the $1.4 billion investment for the 24-25 Budget will deliver the critical aged care reform including the new Aged Care Act. This includes approximately $600 million for the sustainment of those key systems that I talked about, $800 million for implementation reform including the Act and Support at Home. The $1.4 billion does not include any direct grant funding for providers at this stage. This is being considered in the context of the future Budget for MYEFO processes once the policy settings are finalised and with it the system design and development work that we’re doing alongside that. 

So just things that are included notwithstanding the significant benefits of the Budget package in its entirety, they will include streamlined interactions with Government including the receiving of service referrals, management and reporting through GPMS. It will include sharing information across the health and care sectors, reducing the administrative burden through the modern interoperability technology we’ve all been talking about today. It will go on to create workforce efficiencies by enabling aged care providers and their workforce to spend more time delivering the high quality care rather than double entering, leveraging B2G. So lots more in there. Places to people, assigning places to older Australians, rewarding quality care, the worker screening and registration processes will be touched. The regulatory framework, subsidies and payments paid by the Australian Government to aged care providers under the new Act. So quite a lot of benefit there but being specific about what it is and what it’s not. 

There’s that second question there which I’ve kind of answered with within the Budget announcements of ICT readiness there is at this stage no direct grant funding for providers. And I think Janine that’s the second question on the list isn’t it? 

Janine Bennett:

It is. Yeah. Thank you Fay. Apologies to everyone about not getting to the other questions. We’re going to have a think about how we can address all of these questions potentially in a post event video that we can put on the Health website so people can actually get answers to all of these outstanding questions. We really did have a lot of interest in the questions today so apologies we weren’t able to give it the full time that we usually do.

We are running really close so I think that might be all we have time for. I did want to take a moment just to say thank you to Fay, to Emma, Marina and Jo, to Professor Len Gray and Dr Priyanka Vandersman and then also to Stevie who joined us in relation to the pulse survey. That wraps up our 16th Tech Talk. Some big topics. Unfortunately not as much discussion as we usually like to have but we want to thank everyone for your attendance and participation. As always we’ll put today’s recording and slide deck up on the Health and Ageing website. That should be available within a couple of weeks. You can find recordings for all of our Tech Talks there and also on YouTube. So just search ‘Aged Care Tech Talk’. In the meantime you will receive a post event survey link in the email or you can use the QR code that’s on screen right now. We read everything that you share with us in those surveys. They help us a lot. So we encourage you to complete those. And with one minute remaining Fay I’ll hand back to you to sign us out. Thanks very much. 

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. Well I’m going to wrap up nice and snappy today because we’ve had a big session. I think maybe we might think about doing a dedicated agenda around the Q&As for the next Tech Talk but we’ll have to figure out how best to answer all these questions. This is an open forum. Everyone is welcome. If you have a friend or colleague who have some insights in any kind of topics we cover please encourage them to come along. Please send us through your Q&As. We want to get to them as much as we can. Like Janine said we’re here to share information with you. As soon as we know it we’ll let you guys know. Some of the questions that we didn’t get to talk about when we will give the lead times. We’re absolutely sharing as soon as we can, as early and as often as we can so that we can give real value out of these events. 

Thanks for coming and I look forward to seeing you next time. Enjoy your time until next Tech Talk. Thanks very much everyone.

[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Thank you!’, ‘’, ‘’, ‘Take the Event Survey’, with an image of a QR code]

[End of Transcript]

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