Digital Transformation Tech Talk 26 July 2022
1:30:14
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[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Tech Talk’, ‘Webinar series’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘www.health.gov.au’, ‘Tech Talk #3’, ‘26/07/22’]

[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 all. Thanks for joining us today for the third webinar in our Tech Talk series run by the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division. My name is Janine Bennett and I am the Programs Engagement Lead.

We’ve had some big changes since we last spoke to you all. We have some new Ministers. We also have a brand new name. The Department of Health and Aged Care. And it’s great to see the significance of the aged care agenda featuring in the name of our Department. We’re really excited about it. And I think it speaks volumes about the importance of this work for the Government and more broadly for the country.

I’d like to start today by welcoming you. Today I join you from Canberra, Australia the lands of the Ngunnawal people. And I’d like to open our discussion by acknowledging these and the many other traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today and to pay my respects to those cultural leaders past, present and emerging. It’s a pleasure to welcome you all from your offices and homes across Australia and overseas. I’d especially like to acknowledge the presence of any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders joining us today. It’s an honour to have you with us.

Soon I’ll hand you over to Fay Flevaras, the First Assistant Secretary leading the digital transformation for aged care on behalf of the Department. But first some quick housekeeping items. Please be aware the webinar is being recorded. The recording will be made available with captioning on the Health website. We usually get that up around about a week or so after the event. If you do have any technical difficulties connecting during the presentations today we recommend that you dial back in using the phone line. You’ll find the details in the invite. That includes a phone number and an access code that will allow you to get back in to the session.

As with all of our previous tech talks we’ve secured a block of time at the end of this event today for questions and answers. We’ve got some really good representation from across Health, both policy and IT areas on the panel as well as some folks from the AIHW and the ADHA available to answer your questions. So please go ahead and raise these questions using the Slido app. If it’s not already showing it should be available in the bottom right hand of your Webex screen. You can select the Slido window or panel and type in your question. Don’t forget to click ‘Submit’ so that it workflows through to being a public question. Keep in mind that if someone else has raised a question that you would also like to have answered definitely vote it up. We’ll go to the most popular questions first.

And for those of you who’ve joined us for Tech Talks in the past you’ll know that we have a tendency to invite those using Slido to the stage so they can ask their questions of the panel in person. If you’d prefer not to join us on centre stage you can submit your questions anonymously. But to be honest we really do encourage you to include your name because it makes for a better conversation having you interact directly with the panel. So don’t be shy. They’re a friendly bunch. And we really encourage you to join us on stage and ask your questions directly. As always we have a really large group so we’ll get through as many questions as we can.

That is it for the housekeeping today. I’ll see you again during the Q&A but for now I’d like to hand you over to the event host Fay Flevaras. Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Janine. And welcome everyone. Hello. Great to have you with us again for our ongoing Tech Talk Series. We’re doing these every six weeks so it’s really lovely to have you guys all back with us. We definitely have a jam-packed agenda today. So as promised we’ll give you a bit of a transformation update, where we’re up to on things. We actually have a couple of deep dive areas. So we’ve got aged care data strategy with Greg Pugh. So we’re looking forward to that one. Over the last couple of Tech Talks we’ve had quite a lot of questions around the support at home area so Nick Hartland joins us today and so you can get ready to ask all your questions there.

We also have John Perkins volunteer from our sector partner cohort design series and he’ll come and give you guys a bit of a firsthand look at how we’re going there with the sector and the codesign activities. As always we want to present a one Government perspective to the sector so we have Laura Toyne joining us from ADHA. So she’ll give us her latest update. And we also have Louise York a newcomer to the Tech Talk stage who joins us from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

So look a jam-packed agenda. Looking forward to all the questions that you have in the Slido. And without further ado let’s move on to the next agenda item.

So for me that’s the digital transformation delivery update. Can we get Greg Pugh up on stage with us? Hi Greg and welcome. So this is your first Tech Talk with us.

Greg Pugh:

This is. Thank you for the warm welcome. I’ve been to a couple as an observer but my first time as a panellist. So thanks everyone. I’m Greg Pugh. I’m the Assistant Secretary here in the System Policy and Evidence Branch in the Ageing and Aged Care Group of the Department of Health and Aged Care. There will be a test on that one later. Thank you for the opportunity to talk today.

And just to start with just providing a little bit of broad scene setting. I won’t rehash too much of history particularly as it relates to the last 18 months but I would re-emphasise that the Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety really provided us with that burning platform to enact change within the aged care sector. In particular the final report challenged us to create better aged care services and also a better standard of care for our older Australians.

So as you will have seen both the former and current Government made aged care a key platform in their election campaigns and in particular the current Government has committed to implementing some really practical measures to ensure our aged care system meets the needs of our older Australians.

So as part of the Government’s five point plan they’ve committed to ensuring that there is a registered nurse in every aged care home on site 24 hours a day 7 days a week, mandating that every Australian in aged care receive 215 minutes of care per day, a real pay rise for aged care workers, better food for residents and also improved transparency and accountability for how Government funding is spent to deliver care and services to our older Australians.

In addition to that five point plan there is going to be a cap placed on how much home care users can be charged in administration and management fees by providers and also the publication of monthly statements directly to users on where their money is going.

So for me and for everyone this should really emphasise the Government’s commitment to ensure that all older Australians will get the care that they deserve and need. Minister Wells in particular is a really strong advocate for reform. In the coming days she’s going to be releasing publicly her renewed timeline for aged care reform and that will have a specific focus on the next six months. So really that’s a case of watch this space this week.

Now specifically on to digital transformation. We know that digital transformation and capability building is a really essential part of the aged care reform agenda. So a little bit later on in the session as Fay has already mentioned myself and my colleagues from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare will be talking to you about the work underway to develop an aged care data strategy, a national minimum dataset and an aged care data asset all as key enablers to the aged care reform agenda.

So thanks Fay. That’s probably it in terms of the scene setting. Back to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Greg. So last time we met with everyone I don’t even think we had a new Government at that point. So this was just a bit of a view of what our current Government’s five point plan was around their policy commitments. But if I can just move to the next slide. And we keep talking about trying to bring some more information to you guys as soon as we can and as Greg said Minister Wells will put out a much more formal announceable area. But I did promise that we were going to give you a tech view. And I don’t expect everyone to understand all of this but it is a view around what does this mean for digital transformation.

And so I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on that journey and say well this is kind of what our six months looks like and it’s not a simple one. So even though we might have one or two or five legislative announceables that are coming underneath that we’re doing actually quite a lot of work to introduce new technology platforms and lots of new processes and all sorts of things. And I wanted to show that there is quite a dependency on all of this stuff that we’re doing and that we’re tracking quite a few changes. We’re also doing releases more often. And I think it’s just important for the sector to understand this as we continue to take our purpose which is our why and what we’re building and figure out how we deliver this together. And this is like a bit of a view across not just us within Health and Aged Care but also in Services Australia and Quality Safety. And there’s a lot of things going on.

As we sure these things up our codesign partners are getting a better view of this with us as well and trying to let us know what that means for the sector whether it’s for ICT software providers or actually you as providers out in residential aged care facilities or any of your Commonwealth home support programs. We kind of need to know what the impacts are to you so that we can help work these things out together.

So I won’t take any more time here but it is a complicated journey we’re on. It’s very ambitious. We do want to all make a difference together. And so I just wanted to give a bit of a lens. I did promise that we were going to start showing you some of the schedules. We’ll just wait for our formal Government priorities and all of the legislative requirements to come through and we can give you something that’s a little bit more certain after that.

So thanks. Let’s move on. And Greg while we have you up on centre stage I think I’m going to hand over to you to do a deep dive on data strategy. So if we can move slides people.

Thank you. So I’ll leave it to you from here. Thanks Greg. And I think you can welcome Louise.

Greg Pugh:

Thanks for that Fay. And that’s indeed correct. Before I go any further I would like to say a very warm welcome to Louise York who is leading the aged care data strategy work from within the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and some might say is the actual brains behind the operation.

So I’ll provide some overarching context to the work and then hand over to Lou to discuss in some more detail particularly around some of the more technical elements associated with the national minimum dataset.

So as I mentioned earlier we wanted to spend a short amount of time going through the work we partner with the AIHW on in developing an aged care data strategy, a national minimum dataset and an aged care data asset. So I talked before about the burning platform that the Royal Commission provided us for aged care reform as a whole but what did they tell us about data reforms? So the Royal Commission told us as did many reviews beforehand that aged care data is not fit for purpose, that it is fragmented and incomplete, it’s of variable quality and hampered by inconsistent terminology, use and data definitions.

So recommendations for data improvements were scattered throughout all of the recommendations of the final report. Probably the most obvious ones that I’ll touch on were recommendations 67 and 108. And those went to the development of an aged care data asset, data governance arrangements and also national minimum datasets within the states and territories.

So as part of both the previous and the current Government’s response to these issues a four year funding commitment has been made to those three planks of work that I’ve mentioned. So data strategy, NMDS and data asset. And they underpin the data improvement work required within aged care.

So we look at these individual planks from the perspectives of definition purpose and mechanism. So what’s the definition of an aged care data strategy? When we talk about a data strategy we’re looking at an agreed vision for the future national aged care data system which describes why data improvements are needed, what they are and how they will be implemented. What’s the purpose? What are we trying to achieve? Really we want to support people to make informed choices about their care. We want to support providers to provide safe, high quality and dignified care, the Government to design, administer and evaluate the aged care system and also secondary users of data to study aged care.

If we move on to the national minimum dataset the definition that we’re working with is that it’s a core set of standardised data elements for mandatory collection and reporting at a national level about aged care. Lou will go into this in a little bit more detail further on in the presentation. The purpose behind NMDS is pretty simple. We want to improve data quality, comparability and usefulness within aged care.

And finally the aged care data asset. We define that as a multisource enduring linked dataset that integrates the NMDS with other people-centred data related to aged care. And again the purpose for us is pretty simple. We want to enable integration and usefulness of aged care data with other data and also to strengthen our policy and research functions over time.

So as you can see on the slide there it’s really important that the work that we do on the aged care data strategy closely aligns with other Health and Aged Care strategies and plans. Now that’s both within the Department and also across the Commonwealth more broadly to make sure that we’ve got a consistent and coherent approach to what we are trying to deliver. And as you can see there some of those inter-related strategies include the aged care digital strategy which there’s been a Tech Talk presentation on previously, the aged care workforce strategy and aged care workforce action plans, and also national ageing and aged care research strategy.

If we can move on to the next slide please and I’ll touch briefly on consultation process.

So as I’ve said we’re partnering with AIHW over four years to deliver the strategy, NMDS and the aged care data asset. We’re about 12 months into that program of work. What we have done so far is developed the broad parameters of the data strategy and also the very first draft specification of what will be included in the national minimum dataset. Now that’s been developed internal to Government so far. We really need to be consulting with you, with consumers, with older Australians, with providers and with the sector to make sure that it’s fit for purpose and that we get the buy in to it that we really need.

And so to that end we really note in particular the importance of the Tech Talk partner forum and would really appreciate being able to leverage the expertise and insights of that group as part of our consultation process. The plan is to be consulting on that quite heavily between July and November this year and then we should have a draft of the strategy ready for public I guess consultation at the back end of this year and then also an updated draft specification that will come into effect from 1 July 2023.

So that probably wraps up my component of the presentation. Lou I’ll hand over to you just to go into anything additional on the consultation process but also to cover off the content on the next couple of slides. Thanks Lou.

Louise York:

Thanks Greg and good afternoon everyone. I probably don’t need to offer anything more on the consultation except we’re really looking forward to getting stuck into it and hearing people’s feedback. So the next slide though is where we thought we’d go into a little bit more detail about the aged care national minimum dataset and our thoughts about it and how it fits with some other work.

So as Greg said the aged care – actually back to the previous slide thank you. The aged care national minimum dataset will be a core set of standardised data items agreed for mandatory collection about aged care. They’re the data items that will be collected according to the agreed information standards and supplied to Government for collation. Each data item will provide fundamental information about aged care that’s relevant for the foreseeable future and the data standards will be applied to really help collect those according to agreed definitions and structures and so on.

The plan is to develop the national minimum dataset progressively with content added over time and the first step has been to use clear criteria to identify and prioritise data items for the first version NMDS V1 and then refine that through consultation for publication by mid next year, 2023. And then there will be a program of regularly updating it over coming years.

What the slide is showing here is some of the key features of what the NMDS will focus on and it will include fundamental person, service and provider level data to which rigour can be applied through the use of data standards. It will include data items that need to be collected and reported consistently across aged care and over time. These data items will facilitate integration with other administrative datasets and it will also include selected data items related to existing reporting requirements such as financial reporting, quality indicators and funding assessments under the AN-ACC. And importantly the goal is that it will provide software vendors and providers with clear and consistent specifications for these really high value items.

So if we could go to the next slide. I just wanted to make another couple of points. Importantly that a national minimum dataset is a minimum set of data items that have multiple uses. And so this slide highlights this by trying to step through some of the key points in the aged care data lifecycle moving from the top where data are collected by providers for a whole range of reasons to manage care and the running of a service. A subset of that data are then provided on to different Government agencies for various purposes and they are equally provided on to boards of management within the sector. So it’s really important that that information is useful for multiple purposes. A subset of that information is then collated within Government into things like data warehouses to support the aged care system management and reporting.

Then further still a subset is provided on to us at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare into the National Aged Care Data Clearing House and the purpose of that subset is to look at system and population health monitoring and to support research into the aged care system and elements of it. And then a subset of those items are those that should be covered by really high quality national minimum dataset standards to make sure that they’re really future proofed.

So another point to make about the national minimum dataset is that it’s obviously complementary to a range of other work that’s going on on the digital front such as creation of clinical information standards to guide better capture of data at the point of care, work that’s going on to increase adoption of My Health Record, and also a lot of work that’s going on to improve the exchange of this information through interoperability standards.

So the NMDS work is complementary and not duplicative of those pieces of work and we’re keeping a close eye on how those things interrelate. And also the NMDS will be really important in helping us to integrate with other data over time to get a much better picture of older people’s pathways and outcomes. And that’s what we’ll focus on in developing the aged care data asset which is a linked data asset drawing on aged care data.

So that’s the end of my presentation. I’ll hand back to you thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Greg and Lou. Really important the data strategy. And I might just pick up on a couple of questions while we’ve got a couple of minutes that people have put in to the Slido while I have you both. Because what we’re doing here around the national data minimum standards as you said was creating that interoperability piece. And the rubber’s hitting the road a little bit now where we’re trying to get our business to Government gateway up and running as well so that we can get the sector connected and automated in that sense.

One of the questions was – and I’m just trying to pick it up sorry. It was:

Q:        Have we considered it may not just be vendors who have proprietary software and providers such as ourselves need informing too?

And I think we might be implying a message somewhere in here that it’s just for providers or ICT vendors but actually this is available for everyone right, whoever wants to access the data, assuming we go through consent and all the rest of it. But my point is it’s not just about proprietary software is it?

Louise York:

No. Not at all. In fact the value of a national minimum dataset is no matter what systems you’re using that you have common definitions and understanding of these core items. It’s a translation layer.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Perfect Lou. And there were some other questions. There was:

Q:        When creating the national minimum dataset will you be referencing the inter-RAI instruments?

Is that one that you know?

Louise York:

Yeah. We’re very interested. There’s a trial going on at the moment that the Department’s running looking at the inter-RAI instruments which are a way of capturing – my understanding is they’re a way of capturing consistently good care management information about the care needs of older people. And yes we’ll be looking at that very closely.

Fay Flevaras:

And you did touch on it but there is a question that said:

Q:        Where does My Health Record fit into the aged care data strategy?

We’re working closely with the ADHA, is that correct, on all of this?

Louise York:

That’s right. And I think I’ll let Laura speak to that later but the uplifting use of electronic health records including My Health Record can only improve the ability to get that information out for multiple purposes whether it’s at the service level or for looking at how the system’s working.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Great.

Greg Pugh:

I might just supplement that as well. As part of the detail I went through earlier there was a recognisance of the fact that at the moment everyone’s got a strategy or a project that’s being deployed and making sure that we’re making the correct links between those strategies is absolutely paramount to making sure that we can deliver it as effectively and efficiently as we can. So in terms of this particular piece of work we’ve got a governance forum known as the Aged Care Data Strategy Advisory Committee and that has representation on it from a number of departments. The ADHA is consulted as part of that work as well. So trying to make as many of those links as we possibly can throughout the development process.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Thanks Greg.

Laura Toyne:

Thanks Fay. I’ll jump in. It’s Laura here as well.

Fay Flevaras:

I was just checking to see if you were on. And look I’m playing havoc with people in the background here but if we can put – yep. Thanks Laura for joining us.

Laura Toyne:

Look we are being consulted as a part of the development of the aged care data strategy so that’s great. And similarly to what Greg indicated before we’ve also got the Aged Care Digital Advisory Group that we support here in the agency as well and no doubt there’s a really good opportunity there for you to discuss the aged care data strategy with the digital group because as we know they’re all connected.

But obviously the data strategy as well will be a little bit broader than just collecting clinical or health information and we need to be mindful of that because we are as an agency in that clinical and health data space.

Fay Flevaras:

That’s right. And so I think it’s fabulous. I think there’s so many different parts of Government that are coming together now to help bring all of this collectively to the sector so that we can be as efficient as we can in the transformation and the change. So look thank you all for that and I think we’ll move on and a few of you are going to stick around for Q&A later today so that looks fantastic.

Moving on. Now I’m not sure if we’ve got – yes we do. Thanks Nick for joining us. Might want to get yourself off mute to start with. And I will hand over to you to give us a little bit of an update on what’s happening around home care and support reforms.

Nick Hartland:

All right. Thanks so much Fay. And thanks for organising this meeting. So look I thought I’d just give a very quick update about where we are in the support at home development cycle, what we consulted on and the feedback we heard and what the next steps are. And then if there’s time for questions that’s really cool. If there’s not people will be able to track me down and do it one to one. So that’s all good.

And some people will know some of this stuff so excuse me if I’m kind of repeating for the audience. Excuse me if I’m repeating stuff that’s kind of already known. So in January the Department issued a position paper on how a new program might work. That was of course under the previous Government so it doesn’t have a formal status in a sense anymore but just to make sense of where we are now and the feedback we heard is probably worth rehearsing what we proposed. And I think there’s kind of seven key elements of it.

So we talked about a more effective assessment system and a more effective classification system by which we mean a system of substance for people that get in home support. We talked about a different approach to individual planning and the assessment of classifications, a bit like how we saw the AN-ACC approach working, obviously modified for home care. We talked about individual plans which borrowed a little bit from the NDIS. There are quite a few differences between aged care and the NDIS so you can’t typically just translate one across to the other but the individual planning aspects of the NDIS were influential in some of the Commonwealth debates.

We talked about a more defined list of services and efficient prices which is kind of a bit like how CHSP operates at the moment. We talked a bit about – and this took a lot of attention – about a fee for service model so providers would get paid on delivery of services but with some flexibility. And you can see that. I mean maybe you would have to squint a bit but you can see that as a continuation of the home care package reforms post-improved payment arrangements. We talked about thin market grants which haven’t been a feature of CHSP or home care packages but would be a bit similar to the AN-ACC, a focus on goods and equipment and a focus on care management.

So I think the reflection on that is that the model we were promulgating wasn’t a simple CHSP model or a home care package model. It was kind of borrowed from both of them. Got a lot of feedback as you’d expect which is all cool. We’re at that stage. The primary focus I think was around flexibility from both providers and consumers perhaps coming at different directions. So there was an observation that you really do need in aged care a system that responds to needs that change quite quickly and that could be daily and that a very tightly controlled system of a plan that’s a direct read to service delivery wasn’t going to work very well. It kind of wasn’t what we proposed but it was worthwhile feedback.

There was a lot of feedback from some specific service types. So this is kind of all public so I don’t feel too bad about naming the provider areas. Community transport groups, social support, cottage respite, all highlighted the need for a funding system that took account of their high fixed costs. The community transport the obvious parallel is that they need to fill a bus to pay the bills. So a full fee for service model they thought would put risk of clients that were in out of the way places.

Care management many people thought couldn’t be funded by a fee for service model because it was so variable and not suited to monthly support plans. And one of the blockers was we hadn’t sort of talked about the actual prices that would be in the new system and many providers – kind of obvious I guess in a way – felt that they needed that clarity before they could engage.

My reflection on where we are with that is that it’s kind of not bad timing. A new Government’s come in. We’ve gone through a consultation exercise admittedly on a previous Government model but we’ve got feedback from the community about some of the issues that are motivating aged care. So it’s not a bad time for the new Government to be able to kind of say ‘Well okay this is what we want to do’. And that leads to the kind of next steps obviously enough.

So I think I suspect from the feedback and from the fact that there’s been a new Government with different kind of priorities and attitudes to aged care the model will change. We’re still needing to get some guidance from them about that. I think there are some significant issues still to work off around consumer choice and control and the scope of aged care services that we need to work through, just sort of narrowly focusing down probably a bit more to this group from the IT vendor kind of perspective.

So news isn’t quite as welcome I guess you’d say only because we need to do more work on the model so we don’t have the final specifications to present to you. So whatever happens I think it’s probably true that there will be a greater focus on kind of structured assessment in the new system with the use of more standardised tools and scores. They’ll be an external workforce, a bit like what we’ve done with the AN-ACC. There needs to be some work done about what that means for RAS and ACATs obviously.

I mean I’m pretty confident – but you never say 100% in this game – that there’s acceptance that we need to get away from the home care level 1 to 4 thing which is hard to discern how that relates to consumers’ actual needs. So that seems to be agreed. I think there is across aged care a debate about driving more efficiency from subsidies. I’ve said this a couple of times at conferences and then looked at the comments pages and kind of regretted it. I think there’s been a massive investment from Governments in aged care. And we’re in a pretty competitive environment for additional funding so I think there has to be in what we do a consideration of how do we actually use the money that we’ve got really effectively. So the positive side of that is demonstrating that we’re effectively using money but this also needs to be a consideration about how we fund and creating drivers for efficiency. So that will be part of the debate.

That will involve from the provider perspective being able to demonstrate where the funding is going. And there’s parallels to that in what’s happening in residential aged care. So I think it would be very hard to imagine a world where that’s not part of a final program design and that obviously has flow on effects to how providers manage and report on their business. And there’s a positive side of that too. I know this is now a bit forgotten in aged care history but one of the things about the AN-ACC and moving to a case mix funding arrangement, which is a pretty major change for the sector that is going on as we speak, one of the major arguments for that very different way of funding was to get an efficient price model into the system so that we could get away from WCI9 which the residential care sector has been very concerned about for a number of years and we are hearing concerns about that indexation factor in home care. And I think if we can get the funding model right then there’s an opportunity to review those indexation arrangements as well. So there’s a positive in that as well.

It sort of follows on from the previous presentation about data. I think whatever happens with the new funding model there’s got to be a feedback loop from what was the assessment, what was the plan and what was actually delivered. This is actually a bit of a lack in home care. Many of you will know in the home care package program we had to do a survey to find out what the funds are spent on. It’s not automatically collected as a part of our administration arrangements. And I know we irritated people with the survey, well two surveys, and I kind of get that. But step back. A $6 billion program where if a Minister asks the Department what’s the money actually spent on and the Department goes ‘I don’t know’ that’s just kind of not cool.

So I think you can see some features emerging but I think you’ll also see us needing to come back and consult on the model to have further discussions with you. And we’re aware of the time pressure and the Ministers are all aware of the time pressure so we’ll be able to work that through. Probably enough if there’s questions Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Well there’s probably one here but I think you’re also staying for Q&A right?

Nick Hartland:

Yep. Yep.

Fay Flevaras:

But what I might do is just put a call out to everyone. So Nick’s given you quite a lot of information there. So put your questions in to Slido. We had a little bit of a technical glitch at the beginning but it’s definitely up and running now and we do have some people asking a few questions. There is one and I’m not sure if you can answer it.

Q:        Given there has been a change in Government and there are still so many issues to work through is it likely that the rollout of the reforms will be delayed?

Nick Hartland:

Look the Minister’s aware of issues around the rollout. We’ve been talking to her about the scheduling as you might imagine. It’s a pretty obvious thing that she would need to come to grips with. So she’s aware that there are pressures on the rollout and she needs to kind of consider that, talk with her colleagues and make some decisions about whether she continues to pursue the July ’23 date or whether she wishes to push it back. And she’s aware of that issue and that that issue is a priority issue for the sector.

Fay Flevaras:

And we’ve got a cheeky audience so they do ask the hard questions thinking we’re going to give them some sort of insight here. And there’s another one that says:

Q:        Is support at home package likely to be delayed? If so is it 12 months to mid-2024 likely?

So I’m going to answer that one for you guys and go it’s not up to us. So it’s with the Ministers. We’ve given them some insights.

Nick Hartland:

It’s almost the same question. That is cheeky.

Fay Flevaras:

It is. That’s why I called it out and said look, around timings, I know Nick and the team and others are definitely debriefing the Ministers. They’ve got a lot of information to get across and I guess the answer is watch this space as they get some announceables out. And we’ll keep you informed through these sessions as soon as we’ve got anything official.

So we might just pause here Nick. So everyone put your questions and we’ll call you back up on stage a little bit later on in the session so you can answer some of the other Q&A. And thanks for the update.

Excellent. So we might just move on now to our next agenda item which was our sector partners update. So as mentioned earlier – where are we?

So as mentioned earlier this is our Tech Talk series that we do here. These happen every six weeks and in between we have a sector partners cohort. Earlier on in our first Tech Talk we put out a call to get some volunteers and we were lucky enough to get about 40 plus people come and volunteer with us. And every fortnight we get together and do a partner codesign piece. And so to that we wanted to give you an update and we have John Perkins with us who’s one of the volunteers in our sector partners area. John has joined as the representative for the community of the sector partner group and he’s going to give a little bit of a co-update here with me about what we’re doing, what the recap is, how the feeling is, how it’s been going.

So thanks for joining John. Really appreciate it. So if we can start off by moving to the next slide we’ll give you a bit of a view of where we’re at with things. Like I said there’s been 40 plus volunteers answering the call to action around the codesign sessions. And this is a big thing because they do it in their own time, free, volunteered, so we want to respect their time and that’s why we want to make sure that we’ve discussed with them how we’re going to do the codesign activities. We had a great response. Originally it started at 25 but now it keeps creeping up so we’re at about approximately 40.

For those that are interested we have a list of the permanent volunteers that are up on the Health website. So we’re all about open, transparent so everyone can see who’s in working with us early. And we have representation from across the sector, across Australia. So we’ve even timed it so that we do the sessions at 11 o’clock on a Friday because we’ve got people in Western Australia dialling in to us. The cohort is vast in that we’ve got service providers, we have peak bodies, different peak bodies, whether they’re from the health workforce peak bodies or they’re ICT peak bodies. We have various ICT vendors that have various different interests. So not just residential aged care facility vendors but also maybe different types of packages for specific purpose capabilities. We had consultancy groups in there. We’ve even got academics and direct consumers. So that’s been fantastic.

If I can move to the next slide. How do we work with them? Well the very first sector partner meeting that we had we kind of asked them what have they done before with Government, and we did a bit of an ideation session. What worked well? What didn’t work well? And this is kind of where we’ve landed so far. We do the fortnightly meetings at 11:00am every second Friday. So we do three sprints and then we do a playback here in a Tech Talk. So we’re even taking the agile concepts and building it into our communication strategy into the engagement with the sector.

We’ve set up a sector partner SharePoint site where all the information is put up ahead of a meeting. So we’ve committed to making sure even if it’s at least 24 hours we’ve definitely sent out the information before our meeting at 11:00. And it’s all up on the website and there’s the ability for the different partners to kind of share their comments and review stuff ahead of time.

So far we’ve had six codesign activities being put to the teams. With the group we’ve already completed three. So that’s not too bad. We’ve got three in flight as well. And we do give them action items and we give them kind of homework that they look at. And a public record of the meeting content is published on the Health website although because these are sort of workshops we don’t record them. Because we want people to be free flowing in that sense. We’ll keep sharing the outcomes here across our public channels and advertising it to the broader tech group. We’re definitely building momentum. So there was as bit of kind of forming and just storming to get a rhythm in the way we work together but in the last one we realised that we were getting through the content rather quickly. So we’re moving to that sort of performing stage where we’re actually being able to do a lot more a lot quickly.

So let’s move on to – we’ve got six codesign activities. A couple of things. I’m just checking my notes to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. We’re seeking feedback on different persona groups was one of the things we had already completed. So if anyone’s interested go up and have a look at the persona groups and the roles that we did. We did some online research and questionnaire to help us inform the design of the BDG program. And we’re also doing some interactive codesigns on the new provider management system. And so just seeking feedback from the different cohorts around the new Government provider management system portal. So I just thought I’d touch on those and if anyone’s interested you guys can definitely put some more questions or comments because we’re always looking for people to contribute to that.

So I’m really pleased so far with the progress. But for us it’s always important to focus on what you guys think. Because just because we think we’re doing okay it may not be the case. And so here’s where John’s here to help us. Because we did put a bit of a pulse check out. So we didn’t want you to hear just our side of the story. So John how about we move to the next slide and we talk about some of the results of that pulse check on how we’re doing so far. So welcome. Thank you so much. So how about we start by you introducing yourself now that I’ve done my blurb and tell us a bit about yourself.

John Perkins:

Yeah thanks. Thanks Fay. So John Perkins, CEO Checked in Care. I’ve been in the care industry for 30 years. Essentially a tech guy. The passion is very much around the consumer and our actual vision for the company Fay is a world where all people live their best lives with choice and dignity. So a big passion around the consumer, passion around technology, enabling people to enable that choice. And the way we do that is bring all these different systems into one app. We’re quite often actually referred to as the Services New South Wales app for the care sector meaning connecting lots of backend systems and bringing them to one spot. So that’s basically the broad background.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. So how about we start with just a simple one. Why is digital transformation for the aged care sector important to you guys and why did you volunteer for the work with us?

John Perkins:

Yeah good question. I guess the history behind what we do is if you look at every other sector and particularly going back five years ago – and it has improved a lot – but going back five years ago if you look at the banking sector, retail sector, there’s enormous efficiencies you see in terms of allowing clients to self-service and by allowing them to do what they want when they want, driving massive efficiencies in those industries. And the care industry has always been way behind what other industries are doing and particularly around that sort of self-service capability with the clients. And there’s good reasons for that because a lot of the systems were old, didn’t have the connectivity. So that’s why the digital transformation of the care sector I believe is very fundamental to the underpinning improvements that the sector needs and simply really to get pace with where other industries are.

So that’s sort of why we volunteered. And when we heard what the group was looking to do Fay we were very excited because to a degree I think the industry has always thought that the Government has asked for data but it’s been very much the data that the Government wants whereas this group, with the work you’re doing here, it’s very much actually what does the sector want. And this group isn’t just software vendors like us. It’s providers, it’s software vendors, it’s industry groups. It’s bringing everyone together and really asking them what is it that you need rather than actually what is it that the Government needs. And very much around what is it therefore that the consumer needs to give them choice and dignity and safeguard them and therefore how does that help the provider and flowing all the way up the chain to software vendors in terms of what needs to be developed.

So that’s sort of what we’re very excited about. That’s why we initially volunteered as part of the process.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. Now I’m just going to do a bit of a plug on some of the numbers. We got a 4.2 out of 5 satisfaction which is not too bad for our first go at it. We’re star rating ourselves in that sense. And 85% of the sector partners thought that the involvement so far was worthwhile. That’s great. Your time is limited and you guys have got a lot of things to do so we need to make sure that any time you spend with us is valuable. And about 92% of them are already codesigning with us which is fantastic. And I mentioned some of the things that we had already been codesigning.

So how’s the processing worked for you so far, the whole process in itself? And you can be honest because you’re representing the team remember.

John Perkins:

I think part of the survey you have there as well as feedback we’ve been getting from the sessions is it’s all been very, very positive. Going back to simple things the Government is the source of truth for a lot of the key data. And we have a policy that you only ever enter data once or enter it zero times. And so what it’s really doing – and this isn’t just for us. We’re hearing this from providers that are on the group as well – is it’s giving insights in terms of how they plan their resources and giving insights in terms of where likely these datasets will be. And that sort of helps people in the planning process, with the software design etcetera. And just helping keep people informed and feeling that it’s really building that collaborative approach. So that is great. And once again it’s not just software vendors. It’s providers, it’s industry groups etcetera. So really bringing that collective together which is giving everyone really the confidence that we’re going in the right direction and it will be more around what the consumer wants to the provider wants as well in terms of these datasets.

Fay Flevaras:

That’s it. Because we’ve done something a little bit different. We started being human­‑centred which is why we started with those user groups and all the different role types. So when we’re looking at problems we’re trying to put the human and the experience journey right at the front of what we’re trying to do.

So finally what would be some of your key takeaways from your sector partner experience that you would want to tell the wider Tech Talk group that we have here today?

John Perkins:

So for the wider tech group it’s really the confidence that – and I’ve once again been in the industry 30 years so I have heard a lot from the group or similar groups that it’s all just about what the Government wants, what the Government needs from a compliance point of view etcetera. Where there really is from this process what is it actually the industry wants, what is it that software providers want, where actually it’s starting with what does the consumer want and therefore feeding up to the provider, therefore feeding to the software vendor. So to the wider tech group it’s really the confidence that the path that’s being taken by the Government is a good one. Whether it’s vendors or software providers these sorts of stats or figures you’ve got up on screen sort of give an indication of the positive approach. We feel very fortunate to be involved. So as everyone is, keep across – either get involved in the group or keep across the website, the information. Some great materials on there. Whether you’re involved in the fortnightly updates or not the information always goes on the website. It’s totally transparent. So feel free to get that information to keep up to date.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Thank you so much John for joining us and sharing your reflections. When we put out there for a volunteer you kindly did do that so thank you. And I’m looking forward to the design and our transformation journey together. So thanks so much.

Just for the broader Tech Talk guys you can see there is opportunity for us for what we can be doing better. There’s the defining the standards and protocols, the plan for credentialling and data. So I know there’s some questions in the Slido on this stuff. As we continue to move forward and working with the conformance with the ADHA and the interoperability standards we’re going to get a lot more of where the rubber hits the road and how we’re going to do this. And it’s becoming very real very quickly. We have been asked to do future workshops around quality indicators and SIRS reporting so that’s definitely coming down the pipeline. And that’s why we’re discussing data strategy here because we want to make sure that whatever open APIs we put out there it’s we’re using some of those national minimum data standards and the interoperability standards to make sure we’re all consistent.

So there’s a lot more that we can be doing. This is just the beginning. And so thank you everyone. Thanks John. And we’ll move on to our ADHA update.

So where’s Laura?

Laura Toyne:

Laura is right here. Can you hear me?

Fay Flevaras:

Yes we have. I can hear you. You’re on screen now. So I will hand over to you. So you’re hearing a lot here today around data and interoperability and all the interest that we have in the sector. What have you got to tell us today?

Laura Toyne:

Well John and you are a hard act to follow. And it was actually really pleasing to hear John talk about keeping in mind the importance of the consumer and the user in all of the system and product development going on. So kudos to you all for doing that.

Look just a pretty simple update from me today so that we have heaps of time for your questions. One of the things I wanted to let you all know about is around our process at the moment to register facilities to My Health Record. This is a key part of recommendation 68 of the Royal Commission which has recommended that My Health Record be universally adopted in aged care. So the ADHA is actually about to start its pilot for that registration work. That will commence in mid-August. It’s up there. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a pilot for a couple of months, short and sharp with a few residential aged care facilities and a couple of multi‑purpose services across different context and location and different jurisdictions. And what we’re really trying to do is just test our guidance material that’s been developed and all of the readiness toolkit that we have on board that we’ve developed with our partners and see how this goes with a small number of facilities who are keen to do this.

Now our primary health care network will do that recruitment on our behalf and we’ll work really closely with them through the registration process. That will enable us to just refine everything that we need to so that we can move in to a phase of working much more closely with you all to help you through that registration process so we can meet that objective that’s been set out by the Royal Commission. I’m happy to take some questions on that later on but that’s by and large I think the most important update we have to give at the moment. So thanks very much Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Laura. And we’re going to start extending our updates too. So I have reached out to Services Australia and they have agreed to come and join us and start giving their updates. And lo and behold before you know it I think we’re going to have a pretty aligned sort of view of what’s going on around the sector. There’s a lot of it too just coming together.

Laura Toyne:

I notice there’s been a lot of questions and commentary around the interoperability and the standards in particular. And this is obviously of interest to the agency as well because we play a lot in that space with the interoperability plan and we also as you know will be developing some standards for what we deem to be sort of aged care clinical information systems. And that’s a hard definition in and of itself I guess. That is a clinical information system in aged care. But we also have a role to play there and we’re really open to coming to talk to this group as well about that interoperability plan and also those standards throughout the course of this year.

Fay Flevaras:

Yep. And I think the sector partners forum also took an action. So I think we’re going to do something there in the next sprint. And so the next Tech Talk I think we’ll have something pretty real to come back to the community here and give a bit of an update. So that’s fantastic.

Now we do have some questions. They’re coming in thick and fast so I think we might just move to question time. Let’s get all of our speakers up on the stage.

I’d also like to introduce Brian Schumacher who’s Assistant Secretary and works in the Digital Transformation and Delivery team. He supports Nick on all of the ICT portfolio delivery. Brian do you want to say hello?

Brian Schumacher:

Thanks for having me.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you. So we try and give the experience to everyone to come up here and talk to the sector. So thanks for joining us. I’m going to hand over to Janine and you can help facilitate some of these questions. There’s a lot of them and I think we’ve grouped them by different types. So I’ll just hand to you and you tell us which ones are we answering when.

Janine Bennett:

Hello all. Welcome to the stage. Nice to see the Brady Bunch back again for Q&A. So we might start with a question hot on the tail of the sector partner’s discussion. Fay we’ve got quite a few questions about the sector partners group. Many of them sort of relate to the idea of:

Q:        How can I join? Is it still open? Are we able to register for these codesign sessions?

So I’ll give that first question to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks. I would have started with someone else. Look I think yes definitely put your name forward. It’s a large forum now. We are going to be doing more and more codesign activities especially as now Nick’s pipeline of work with Brian comes down the pipeline. So we do want to make sure that we have a good pool of volunteers so that we can make sure that we’ve got the full spectrum. So we’ve got regional and we’ve got the – from all different areas. And at the moment they’re all kind of a little bit like/like. So yes please volunteer and we’ll be in touch. And then we’ll have to induct you into the ways of working. So that’s why we’re hesitant about just allowing it open to everyone because we did spend quite a lot of time working out how we were going to work together and there is a bit of a DNA for collaborating. And so please volunteer and we’ll induct you as soon as we can.

Janine Bennett:

Great. And just for those folks that are interested in joining the sector partner group you can email the DTOoffice [at] health.gov.au. On our final slide of the day we’ll have that email address and we’ll also send you an email after this event which will come from that mailbox so you can just reply to that if you are keen to join.

We’re inviting Joe Towns to the stage now with a question for Fay and Nick. So Joe welcome. If you don’t mind just putting your video on for us.

Fay Flevaras:

Did we give Joe a heads up that we were doing it to her? Joe are you there? She may not be. Normally we kind of give them a bit of a heads up to say we’re going to bring Joe to the stage. While we see if Joe’s ready to do that - - -

Janine Bennett:

We’ll start with an anonymous one. So this is in relation to the – there he is. Hey Joe.

Fay Flevaras:

Hi Joe. Welcome. What’s your question for Nick? Now we can’t hear you Joe.

It’s always tech issues. We might have to pick a different audio option. We keep it really real here. This is what tech transformation is about. We still can’t hear you. Okay. How about we read the question out for Joe.

Nick Hartland:

Easiest question I’ve ever had.

Janine Bennett:

I’ll channel Joe and read you the question and just know that you’re answering to the nice gentleman on the screen there.

Fay Flevaras:

He can give us a thumbs up or a thumbs down when he’s ready.

Janine Bennett:

Is it possible the funding model previously proposed could change ie no longer fee for service?

Nick Hartland:

Well I think it’s almost definite that it will be changed. I think there needs to be further consideration on fee for service. I’d sort of say a couple of things about it. I think the sector did characterise it as a full fee for service model but my personal view is that I know we kind of described it in that way but there are actually significant other elements to it. So I think we need to probably sit down and have a more sophisticated discussion. We’re in the Minister’s hands a bit by they need to decide whether that’s a part of their model. If it survives it will certainly be further consulted on and will be different to how it was originally presented.

And I guess the other thing I’d say, some of the drivers that led to that consideration of fee for service aren’t going away. So whatever model – that was one of the reasons about our concern about prices in the system and you can see that reflected in the Government’s election commitments around capping of home care packages. There is a great deal of concern about the actual prices that we’re seeing for service delivery and administration in the system. So I think it’s almost certain there will be changes. It’s not certain it will be a full fee for service model but whatever happens there will have to be an underlying discussion about a model that generates efficient pricing and funding in the system. So I don’t know whether that’s made you more or less happy or more confused or less confused. But I think it’s a somewhat meandering answer to your question.

Fay Flevaras:

Is that a thumbs up from Joe? Yeah. I thought I saw that.

Nick Hartland:

I thought I was losing him at one stage.

Fay Flevaras:

While we’re on that topic where you talk about – it’s a kind of a lead on one if it’s okay.

Q:        If you would like to see providers be more efficient Government need to consider funding the IT changes required. Could this be considered?

And I’m going to throw that one to Nick and your thoughts.

Nick Hartland:

I thought that was you.

Fay Flevaras:

Well I’m going to say it could be considered but my answer would be I’ll take it back to the powers that be and kind of put that forward. You’ve posed it here. We’ll always voice it in that sense. There is an element of from my perspective business having to modernise to become efficient as just good private sector due diligence and competitiveness. But thoughts from you Nick?

Nick Hartland:

I mean we would like to see an uplift in IT capacity. Some providers have much more money than us, so where you spend $20 billion on a system and we don’t have $20 billion in our pockets. So most of the funding if not all of the aged care funding goes to providers. So there are some providers that I know it’s a tough environment at the moment but there are some very large providers that probably dwarf us in their staff and administration. So I wouldn’t say never. I think the need to get investment is something [1:06:42] and that will have an impact on how we fund, is accepted and obvious. Whether that’s a specific funding stream for here’s some cash from us to you to buy new computers or whatever it is that’s requested, that argument has a lot of hills to get up in the Commonwealth but it is an issue we’re concerned about. Sorry. That wasn’t quite as straight an answer. I suppose it’s a no, but got to be careful about this stuff. If we funded it, we might tender for computer systems. I don’t know that there’d be many IT vendors that want that.

Fay Flevaras:

I agree with you there Nick. We might go on to the next one Janine.

Janine Bennett:

No worries. We have another funding related question.

Q:        Are there discussion papers relating to the differences, improvements of the new funding versus current funding types?

Fay Flevaras:

I think that one’s yours Nick.

Nick Hartland:

Yeah. Well I mean we released a position paper on how we thought a new system could work. As I said I think it’s inevitable that will change. We’re still kind of working with Ministers about what they want to see in that. We haven’t done a paper that said here’s the old, here’s the new, because we felt – I mean we did think about a more traditional discussion approach like this is what we do at the moment, this is what the options are, but it started to get like a fractal diagram. There were so many different sub-clauses that you’d go through that we got confused. So we thought we’d just sort of get better feedback by saying well here’s how a new system could work and see what people thought and people have told us what they think. We’ve got some internal analysis about the differences.

If there was a desire to have a discussion I’ve got pretty strong views about the problems in both home care packages and CHSP. I tend to go to conferences and make people unhappy by voicing them.

So that could be a discussion but we haven’t got a paper that sets out old versus new because we just felt it was just getting so confusing. But whoever raised that, if they want to give me an email and explain what’s bugging them and [1:09:04] that’s cool.

Janine Bennett:

Great. All right. Well we’ll target an anonymous question now for Greg and Lou.

Q:        How do we as providers get to see the emerging data standards as they are developed and when?

Greg Pugh:

Lou would you like to take that one or would you like me to start?

Louise York:

Sure. No. Thanks. Look we’re in the process of developing them. We have a shortlist and we’re just about to go out to consultation. So there will be lots of different opportunities there. I think starting with a presentation at the sector partners forum would be a good way to describe where we’re headed. And then there will be lots of other processes through surveys and other forms of engagement. So the plan is to do this in an iterative way.

And just to use the iterate word again, just to reiterate we’ll be focusing on things that you likely already collect, that you do already collect on the whole I think in the first version and just bringing more standardisation and definition to that. So in that way we’re trying to – and we’re also trying to work with some of the new data requirements that are being rolled out at the moment, bring some of that together.

Janine Bennett:

We’ve got another anonymous question which I’ll direct to the same folks and this is a subject that has come up quite a lot both in our sector partner discussions and also at previous tech talks.

Q:        How is privacy being managed for aged care participants? Will this data be de‑identified? We have had problems in the past with PHN in this regard.

Louise York:

Both the NMDS and the aged care data asset are de-identified datasets and they’ll be subject to a major data governance framework that covers all of those different five safes around protecting privacy. So that’s front of mind in developing them that they’ll be governed in a way that protects privacy.

Greg Pugh:

And look we’ve currently got some pretty strict privacy and disclosure rules and we’re not seeking to undo any of those as part of this piece of work. And we’ll also need to consider the application of those privacy rules in the development of the new Aged Care Act as well.

Fay Flevaras:

I’m going to throw to Laura on this one too because there’s two different perspectives around this. Laura around ADHA and especially the new business to Government gateway as well, that won’t be de-identified will it? That will be real customer data that we have to give a digitised token for permission for people to consume that. Do you want to - - -

Laura Toyne:

Yeah. So I think that’s the current design being proposed in the gateway that’s been developed by the Department. What we would do obviously and ADHA’s role in that is to provide the sort of standards or conformance requirements around that which will set the tone more or less around sort of managing some of those elements where it goes to data and some of those standards. So that’s the sorts of things that we will be looking at to support the new B to G gateway as well.

Fay Flevaras:

So just to recap on that there’s two types of data. There’s the sort of datasets where you might want to look at trends and the overarching sort of reporting pieces. I call that more longitudinal reporting and so forth. But then there’s kind of real time data where we’re actually interacting with providers or different third parties around an individual’s information. And that connects with My Health Record but it will also be within our new systems that we’re building within the My Aged Care area. So they’re going to need specific consent models behind it that we’re all working towards to figure out how we do that in a safe, secure and sovereign way.

Laura Toyne:

Obviously anything that pertains at the moment to My Health Record connections we’ve got really robust processes around that. So where we can we’d look to sort of replicate the same potentially around the new B to G conformance standard. Although health data is deemed obviously a little more sensitive so our standards that we have at ADHA might be a little bit different to what you need to be considering in the administrative data sense is what I say.

Fay Flevaras:

Correct. I think we’ve been talking about doing a step up or step down depending on where you start. But more on that space in the future weeks and months. Janine next question?

Janine Bennett:

So just to prepare Leanne we’re going to invite you to stage for the question after this one. But in the meantime we have another data strategy question.

Q:        So when you say the data strategy will take four years to do is that just the development of the strategy or does this take it all the way through to E to E implementation?

And I think that will be another one for Greg or Lou.

Louise York:

Would you like me to take that Greg?

Greg Pugh:

I’m happy to start. No it’s not going to take us four years to draft the document but what we will have is a document for consultation by the end of this year alongside the NMDS and that will continue to iterate. And the reason we’ve got four years there is because that aligns with the schedule for a whole bunch of upcoming reforms to come online and so we want that data strategy to really be flexible and responsive to those reforms. So it’s not a matter of unpicking anything that’s come online but that both products are sort of being developed in parallel.

But did you want to add anything to that Lou?

Louise York:

No. Well except that there will be a strategy and an implementation plan for the future. So the goal is that the strategy will both inform some of the activity – the strategy development will inform some of these activities that we’re talking about today and look to alignment but then also have an ongoing implementation plan.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks guys. So Leanne if I can just get you to put your video on and in the meantime I’ll shoot a quick question which I think will be Fay or Brian. Just give me a yell if - - -

Fay Flevaras:

Give it to Brian.

Janine Bennett:

So it’s:

Q:        Will the tech and software changes allow for RACFs and home care services to connect more easily to HHS, GPs, pharmacies and allied health? Needs to be standardised.

Fay Flevaras:

What are we thinking there Brian?

Brian Schumacher:

What are we thinking? I think our strategy around B to G and the use of APIs will definitely – the tech will be definitely able to make things easier. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that we’ll still be multi-channel. So you will still have other channels to come in but certainly the intent and the strategy is to use more APIs and B to G to make it simple.

Fay Flevaras:

That’s right. And that’s the overarching principle. But the question – and I’m just going to dig in a little. The question left a bit too early but the question actually referred to GPs and other things like that. And so this is where I think My Health Record actually has a part to play especially around the clinical interoperability bits around information. There is a bit more work to provide some clarity around which data gets collected where and how we reuse it. I think that’s kind of the message.

Laura Toyne:

I can chime in. You’re right, spot on with that message. Obviously with My Health Record we’ve got a legislative framework and a reason why that information is collected, how it’s collected, who can see it, and it’s very much a consumer driven process around that with the privacy and legislation that goes with that. So it is a really different mindset at the moment in the aged care space where it goes to other data types for other purposes. So there are two distinct things here that we need to be really mindful of. From a system perspective though we may very well be working with the same vendors and we need to be mindful of the hurdles and hoops I think that they need to jump through.

As I mentioned before very happy for the agency to come back to this forum as well. We’re always here. But to talk around the interoperability plan. Again we’re thinking in that health and digital space as well and then what we intend to do there as well as around that standard space too.

Fay Flevaras:

So I think Brian’s correct. Business to government gateway, APIs, digital, connectedness. That’s the foundation of where we want to be going. I think the person who wrote the question I would love to see a specific use case if you guys want to put up a question, a specific scenario and journey. I think this is where there’s probably a little bit more work to do around how do we bring an end to end journey view of things and the interplay of the data and where it needs to be at certain points in time. I think we might learn from that as we move forward together. And we might look to having to see what policy changes we might need to make in order to consume data where we want it to be at points in time. But anyway whoever put that one up if you guys can actually attempt to put a scenario down for us I think it would be nice for us to unpack that use case.

Janine Bennett:

Great. So we’ve lost Leanne but we’ve got Michael coming to the stage shortly. In the meantime a really quick question or more so a comment Fay around the service partners.

Q:        I think you need providers who are not using your partner software on this group to ensure you have diversity in your consultations and feedback.

Did you want to offer a comment back to that one?

Fay Flevaras:

So I think I’ve got a bit of both. So there are some ICT software providers who are in the group. Great. There are others who haven’t come in the group but then we’ve had the actual end user join the group because they would like to see things differently. I think Laura and I have gone and spoken to CIOs of larger end of town who do their own ICT in many ways. So there’s actually a few different dimensions. If you look at the spectrum of the industry all from right at the beginning where people are doing things, they’re small, they’re manual, that kind of end of town, all the way up to fully sophisticated, mature and very digitally savvy.

So we’re looking across the board and we’re in the process of trying to figure out what are some of those permutations and put them down as scenarios so that as we’re doing our work we can test the different scenarios and go have we got it covered. Did you want to add anything Laura there around - - -

Laura Toyne:

No. I think the scenario one is a good one Fay. I think that would be great.

Fay Flevaras:

Because there’s more coming out especially as we shift in that support at home. There’s different emphasis there. I can’t remember the stat from the ITAC peak body but there’s something like 360 different bits of software that vendors use across the business.

Laura Toyne:

I think just on that 280 odd I think. But in the home care sector it might be closer to the thousands.

Fay Flevaras:

Correct. So we’re just trying to figure out when we talk provider think of it provider 2.0. It’s not your traditional provider. Think of it as in all the people that in the future could provide a service to people in the home. If you look at NDIS they’re up to about 11,500 providers registered in there. We may not get fully there. I don’t know. Let’s see how it all kind of unpacks itself too. But it’s definitely a much broader spectrum of people than we think.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Michael thank you for joining us on stage. Appreciate you identifying your questions. I note you’ve got two questions there. If we can perhaps start with your question for Greg around the stakeholder consultations for the data strategy.

Online Audience Member:

Yeah. Just checking you can hear me. Yes. Good. Yes. I was curious to know with the strategy consultation that’s happening towards the end of this year if there are potential impacts on the current work that’s in flight that will result in redesign or rework of the projects that are built in some of these foundational platforms to house this data?

Greg Pugh:

The short answer is no or ideally not. So the data strategy, I think I mentioned previously, ideally you would have developed a data strategy and then had all the reforms come on five years into the future. But I think given where we are these things are happening in parallel very much with close recognition of all of those reforms coming online so we’re very much taking an adaptive and a flexible approach and we wouldn’t see that there would need to be any sort of fundamental redesign or rebuild of any of these systems or platforms. Lou did you have anything to add to that?

Louise York:

No.

Greg Pugh:

Thank you.

Online Audience Member:

Did you want me to ask another one or another time?

Janine Bennett:

Yes. If you can direct your other question that would be great.

Online Audience Member:

Yes. And I was actually excited just to see Laura’s presentation because that was kind of similar to what I was alluding to in terms of moving away from we want this stuff done by a particular date to we want to build a quality product for our consumers, we want to add value to that and have the focus on adding the value rather than having a delivery date. And I was just curious to know just because this is a multi-billion dollar program if we’re looking just to invest in moving away from delivery dates and into value. I know we’re always looking at value but in terms of helping us to deliver this work sooner because we’ve got new tech stacks coming on board like Salesforce that will allow us to deliver things more easily to production such as pilots like what Laura quickly showed us of what they’re doing over at ADHA.

Fay Flevaras:

So we’ll always have delivery dates and they’re always going to be anchored to business as in a business outcome. So I think that’s always important to make sure we keep that front of mind. So I think that’s probably the question. I think though can we start building in design dates where we have opportunities for consultation and so forth? I think as we mature and transform together that will start to fall out a little bit more. And so you can see from Laura’s presentation they’re definitely starting to look at design as a phase in its own right where we shift from policy consultation in conjunction with then we move in to a designing stage. But thanks for joining us up on the stage.

Online Audience Member:

Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

I am conscious of time and there’s probably some simple questions there that I just want to kind of ream off and close out. Firstly was:

Q:        Will the recordings be available after the event?

Yes. All of our recordings are put up on the Department of Health and Aged Care website. Someone in there said they couldn’t find it. If you do a bit of a search on digital transformation and delivery they all come up. But we can definitely just pop the link in the next registration or so forth. If you kind of go and follow the Department of Health on YouTube it will prompt you every time we log a new video recording up there just for those who are interested. So social media is your friend in that sense. So I know that every time they go up it pops up as a notification on my feed. So that’s an easy one. All of the previous recordings are there as well so that’s nice and simple for you to find all the other ones. That was a question that we had up there as well.

Janine Bennett:

And someone was wanting to know how they register to get notice. We’ll include some links in the post-event email which will go off to this stuff directly so you won’t have to do too much searching if you get that email. The other thing is that you can enrol to get involved on the aged care engagement site and again we’ll include a link for that. And if you do that you’ll get lots of notice about the upcoming Tech Talks and other activities.

We have one more identified question from Julie Stacey and I thought maybe we could just end on that one Fay if possible. Julie. Do we have Julie available? Sorry I didn’t give you a lot of warning for that.

Fay Flevaras:

She may not. While we’re waiting for Julie to see if she comes up there was also:

Q:        Is information on public personas? If so how can I get access to the information?

They’re all up on that transformation engagement website. So is the list of the ICT vendors that are part of the consultation group. But that doesn’t include the ADHA one so maybe we might just take an action to put those ones up there as well Laura so that we’ve got a bit of a combined view happening.

Laura Toyne:

Yep. Happy with that Fay. Happy to put up the vendors we’re working with as well. Absolutely.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Great. And then I think Julie’s just joined.

Do you want to put your video on? You may not.

She’s not quite there. Do you want to get yourself off mute Julie and tell us your question?

Janine Bennett:

I might just jump in given the interests of time Julie. I hope that’s okay.

Q:        Would it make sense that a data program is made available from the Department for us as providers to purchase similar to Haslink the Queensland Government used eons ago?

Fay Flevaras:

So are you guys familiar with that at all? I’m not sure if it’s something that - - -

Janine Bennett:

Haslink.

Fay Flevaras:

I’m not sure it’s something we would sell to purchase. I think it’s something that we provide out there. Isn’t that right Greg?

Greg Pugh:

I think that’s correct Fay. I don’t know if we would be looking to turn a dollar on a data program but part of the work that we’re doing through the strategy and the NMDS that will ultimately lead to the aged care data asset is effectively that. So how do we actually make those publications and data trends and the like publicly available for people, for researchers, for academic institutions and the like.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. Thanks Greg.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks guys. I’m sorry I have to draw a line in the sand with the questions given we’re so short on time. Thanks everybody for such a robust discussion. Thanks to our presenters Fay, Nick, Greg, Louise, Laura and Brian for sitting in the hotseat. Also thanks to the attendees who joined us on stage during this tech talk for live conversation. And I’d also like to quickly acknowledge all of the back of house people who do the stage direction and the moderating of the questions. It’s a huge job pulling these events together and we just really appreciate all your hard work in the background. Thank you.

As Fay mentioned recordings from this event will be published on the digital transformation area on the Health website in the next week or so as soon as we have the closed captions done. You’ll also receive a post-event survey. You can use your phone to scan the QR code on screen now or you can take the link in the post-event email. Our next Tech Talk will be in approximately six to eight weeks. And in the meantime you can use the address on screen if you have any questions. And I’ll hand over to Fay for some final words.

Fay Flevaras:

It’s just a personal thank you to all the speakers who took their time out and joined us here today. I really appreciate that. And for all of you out there in the sector I know your time is valuable so we really appreciate you joining us. Feel free to ask us any questions and we look forward to engaging with you in the future. Thanks very much everyone.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks all.

[End of Transcript]

 

Date published: 
5 August 2022
Video type: 
Presentation
Description: 

On Friday, 26 July 2022 we held a Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar.

Presented by: moderator:

Janine Bennett, Digital Engagement Lead

Panellists:
Fay Flevaras, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division

Nick Hartland, First Assistant Secretary, Home and Residential Division

Greg Pugh, Assistant Secretary, Reform Implementation System Policy and Evidence Branch

Brian Schumacher, Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Funding Reform and Systems Branch

Laura Toyne
Assistant Secretary, Policy Programs and Engagement Branch

Louise York
Community Services Group, Head Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

John Perkins
Digital Transformation Sector Partner Group