Fay Flevaras, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division, Department of Health and Aged Care.
Recording and transcript
Tech Talk Digital Transformation for the Aged Care Sector
Wednesday, 1 November 2023
Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division
First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division
Assistant Secretary, Quality and Assurance Division
B2G Authentication Discovery Lead, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division
Assistant Secretary, Quality and Assurance 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 Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘www.health.gov.au’, ‘Tech Talk #12’, ‘01/11/2023’]
[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]
Hello and thanks for joining us for this our 12th Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar. Happy first of the month everybody. I’m Janine Bennett, your moderator for today’s event and the Engagement Lead for Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’s Aged Care Digital Transformation Program.
I’m joining you from the lands of the Ngunnawal people. I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands that I’m on today and offer my recognition to the people and families with connections to the lands of the ACT and region. I want to reflect our respect for those First Nations people and their Elders and their continuing culture and ongoing contribution to our country, and also to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are joining us today. Hello and thank you for joining us.
Thanks everyone for taking the time out of your busy days to be here. Before we get into today’s agenda I’m going to cover a few housekeeping points. As always we’re recording today’s session so anyone who is keen will be able to refer back to it later. We usually get the recording up a week or so after the event. We’ll let you know when it’s live on the Health and Aged Care website. You can find our entire back catalogue of Tech Talks there as well so feel free to check those out. Hopefully you won’t experience any difficulties with your experience with us today but if you do have any connection problems you can dial in by phone as a backup way to connect. The phone number and code are in your meeting invite.
As always we’ll finish up the webinar today with some live Q&A. That’s our favourite part of our webinar sessions. In preparation for that please pop your questions into the Slido. You can do that at any time throughout any of the presentations. If you haven’t come across Slido before it’s super easy to use. On most setups you’ll find it sitting in the bottom right hand corner of your Webex screen. Just type your question into Slido. I can see that’s popping up in our webinar window now. Anything that you’d like to ask whack it into Slido, include your name or pick the anonymous option. Either choice is completely fine. Then click ‘Submit’ so that your question can flow its way through to being public, at which point you’ll have the opportunity to upvote your question and potentially vote up other questions that you like the look of as well.
When it’s time for Q&A we’ll cover the most popular questions and we’ll also try and direct some questions to each of our panellists. If your question comes up we’d love it if you would come up and join us on the virtual stage so that you can ask your question. That’s really just a fancy way of saying we’ll move you up to the main screen along with the presenters so that you can directly ask your question to the panel. If you feel comfortable doing that just make sure to submit your question under your name rather than anonymous. We’ll look out for those and as the moderator I’ll give you a bit of a heads up so that you can prepare beforehand. Then you’ll be brought up to stage and all you’ll need to do is unmute, turn your video on to ask your question. It’s as easy as that. If you’d rather not come to stage that’s fine too. Just post your question anonymously or write ‘No stage’ when you submit your question. If I see that I’ll happily ask the question to the panel on your behalf. No matter which way you want to ask your question we’ll do our best to get through as many of them as we can.
So we have a really full agenda ahead of us today so I don’t want to hold up proceedings any longer. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to our host Fay Flevaras. As the First Assistant Secretary of the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division Fay heads up the transformation for the aged care program on behalf of the Department focusing specifically on the digital elements of the aged care reforms. Fay welcome and over to you.
Thanks Janine. And hello everyone and thank you for that warm welcome Janine. Well here we are again and it’s great to see you all again and welcome you back to our Tech Talk series. Like Janine said there’s a lot to get through. So our agenda kicks off with my regular update on the digital transformation progress including the highlights from our IT portfolio roadmap. From there we have Josh Maldon joining us to come and give us a look at the aged care data and digital strategy. And Josh has become a bit of a crowd favourite with us. And so he’s been with us before with our Tech Talks and we’re thrilled to have him back again. Next we have Michaela Haley from the B2G, the Business to Government Gateway Project team here to talk to us a little bit more about the B2G onboarding and conformance process work that’s been completed. And something I’m very excited about, for an early introduction from our business colleague Mel Metz who’s on the agenda to talk to us all things about the new Aged Care Act.
So as always we’ll finish off with some Q&A noting that sadly Josh can’t stick around for the Q&A session this afternoon at the end. We’ll set aside a few extra minutes for some Q&A at the end of his session. So if you want to post your questions on the Slido as we go so that we can pick up some of those questions in Josh’s agenda item.
As you know, Janine made it all nice and simple for you guys, so hopefully you can start typing those questions as we go. Our regulars here will tell you that the time in the Q&A is never enough but we’ll try and get through as many as we can and then of course whatever we don’t get through to we definitely do put up onto our website.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation update’, ‘The plan as we know it’, ‘Fay Flevaras’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Okay. So with that let’s get on with it. Hard to believe but it’s officially November. 1st today. Oh my goodness. Hopefully we’ll enjoy some lovely spring weather but for my team right now we are in the thick of it at the moment in preparations for our last round of major releases for the 2023 calendar year. So let me take you through what that looks like.
Here we go. You’ll see our usual update on the aged care IT portfolio roadmap and what we’ve done is actually extended it for the six months ahead. So you’ll see what we’ve completed this year and what we’re forecasting into the future for next year as well. So it’s a little bit cramped but as a quick refresh to newcomers out there the usual disclaimers apply. Think of this as our technical delivery roadmap. What you see here is our current and our forward plan and it’s a living plan that we are working on delivering towards. We share it here early and often because we received feedback that you wanted to see what’s happening with as much notice as we can. So we want to be transparent with you about what we’ve done and what’s coming up but there are some disclaimers. Be aware that sometimes the priorities do change because of evolving policy decisions or some items in the delivery landscape. When that happens we’ll call it out here so that you know that we’ve changed something. We want these webinars to be your best source of information with the most current and up to date information on the digital elements of our transformation.
What’s important to note is that while this is closely aligned with the aged care reform agenda it should not be considered an official announcement from Government. That happens elsewhere outside of our Tech Talks usually through Ministerial announcements and other formal mechanisms. So one final thought before we get the actual update. The diagram below that you can see is an overview of our program releases. So it’s like changes in time. We know there’s a lot of detail on the screen and sometimes it’s pretty hard to read. Don’t worry. We’ll go into a bit more detail in the next coming slides. But also the timeline will be available in the slide deck that we publish on the website so you’ll be able to go back, zoom in and refer to it later.
For now you can probably see that we’re in the midst of a really busy time trying to close out towards the end of November releases after which we’ll go into what we call our post-release warranty phase with a view to shutting down all release activity in December and over the Christmas and New Year period. Okay. So let’s get into it.
First zooming into our remaining releases you can see the aged care release known also as MAC which is the green colour and the Government Provider Management System which is known as GPMS in the light blue. You can see on the timeline since we last spoke to you guys we’ve released release 28 for My Aged Care and we released 5.3 for GPMS. We spoke about what those changes were in the last release but now we’re coming up on to release 28.1 which is our warranty release for My Aged Care which is a standard process that we do one month later where we get in there and fix any minor bug fixes that have come up as needed. And from there we move straight into release 6 for GPMS which is due live on the 20th of November.
So again I gave a bit of a rundown last time so go back and check the September Tech Talk for the details. But a little bit of a refresher on some of these. For release 28 we’ll be implementing warranty fixes as I said and that went out in October. So in release 28 we fixed decommissioning of My Aged Care faxes, we did some new AN-ACC referral management enhancements. We also did a little bit of an update on the look and feel of the My Assessor app and some visual changes on the My Aged Care portal. And then in October we also had the GPMS release where we were reflecting some of the high priority items that needed to go out for the GPMS November release. That was enrolled nurses for care minutes which is displayed alongside the residential aged care provider’s star rating on My Aged Care. So lots coming up. When GPMS release 6 comes out in November we’ll also publish the registered nurses care minutes to My Aged Care.
On that note let’s just turn our attention to what we’re going to do in the November release. Now a bit of an update before I start on some of this. You can see that on the top line GPMS self‑serve we’ve actually had to move the date for that one from release 6 into release 7. Like I said you’d get the latest updates as things change. Release 7 will be in February. As to why we moved it we identified in early September some additional changes that we needed for that piece of functionality so with that in mind we weren’t going to be able to fit it into the runway for the November release and not put the whole release at risk. So we’ve moved that and as that change was going to take us that additional effort we moved it into the next release.
Moving on and starting at the top, apart from that one, GPMS NAPS migration. NAPS are the replacement of an existing system we have internally. We’re implementing a like solution from NAPS onto GPMS enabling the key management functions and then decommissioning of NAPS. While some capabilities will be available in GPMS they are achieved in a different way. So we didn’t just kind of do a like for like in that sense. We’ve helped to modernise. Noting the work is removing our alliance on that legacy system and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t replicating 20 year old processes.
And next we have the provider annual statement but I’m going to talk more about that under the enhancement section in a moment. So we’ll skip past that one for now. Then we’ve got B2G, some new capabilities there. So we’re making a production update to the developer portal that we launched recently to include what we’re calling an MVP, the minimum viable product around our conformance process. And you’ll hear more about that a little bit later on today. And this is where we’ll publish future API documentation and allow you guys to connect through to our environments for testing. So watch this space. You’ll get a lot more of that. This is really exciting because this is where we start to automatically connect our systems with the systems of you guys out in the sector. So really looking forward to moving on that one in the next coming months.
I think that’s it from an update from me. Actually no. I’ve got a couple more things to go through. We’ve got auditing and care minutes. I forgot about those. Sorry about that folks. There’s some new capability around auditing and care minutes, around enabling auditors to confirm the care minutes. You guys probably won’t see a lot of that. It’s primarily a function of what we use within the Department but it all adds up to the release that we’re going through. We’ve also got quarterly financial reporting as you can see there. That one’s really exciting. So to whet your appetite the final solution will include the ability to support the quality assurance process and communication between assessors and providers through this solution. So we’re still waiting to confirm a formal go live date for providers to input their data through the new mechanism but I want to stress that we have been given very clear advice that providers need to continue to use the current form’s admin solution that you’re already using and a formal go live date on when you would use this functionality will be announced in the future. So we’ll keep you posted on that one.
Finally we’ve got some enhancements for star ratings, annual provider operations and dollars going into care. You’ll see the star ratings will publish care minutes provided by registered nurses to the My Aged Care website which hopefully if all goes well going live on December 1st. There’s a correction on how accreditation dates are calculated and displayed and some additional reporting including the ability for providers to download a pdf report of their star ratings preview. GPMS will now support the collation of the information for the annual statement of approved provider operations and the annual statement data that’s being made publicly available for My Aged Care.
So as you can see especially from a provider perspective we’re trying to make it a cohesive, single experience where all reporting and where you can look for your information happens through GPMS.
So I think I’ve about covered it all. I think we’ll move onto the next session. So let’s move on with our deep dive and the first cab off the rank is Mr Josh Maldon who will be taking us through the aged care data and digital strategy. Before we start a reminder that Josh will not be around at the end for Q&A so if you’ve got questions please post them while he’s chatting with us and we might be able to take a few questions towards the end of this session. Josh over to you.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Update: Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy’, ‘Joshua Maldon’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Thanks Fay. And I’m also going to go through this pretty quickly so we can actually hopefully answer some of those Q&As and hopefully actually receive some feedback on what next steps could look like.
So thanks everyone and thanks Fay again for having me here. So just in terms of a quick bit of background the strategy effectively responds to several recommendations from the Royal Commission. It’s an outward facing strategy and the audience is meant to be for older people as well as the broader sector to highlight how we intend to use both data and digital initiatives to improve care at the point of delivery. We have combined the data and digital strategies because we’ve had feedback that one’s the enabler of the other.
What we’re in the process of doing as we speak is public consultation. So the draft strategy is out there. It is available. It’s on our website. We’ve promoted it through a range of different channels. What we’re looking for now is ideas around the actionable steps that we can take forward in order to create the biggest outcome for older Australians. We want to hear from you how we can use the strategy to lead a sustainable and productive care and support economy. One thing I’ve heard is don’t think about just aged care. Look outside the system. Look at health. Look at disability. Look at social care services.
I did want to caveat – because whenever we have this conversation too – that we’re under no illusion that digital will solve all our problems. It’s not about mandating digital channels for older Australians. We know that there will always need to be face to face supports that we have in place. The intent of this strategy is about how we best target those finite resources at the vulnerable populations that have no digital access which is why we need your ideas about how we can use digital.
So I might just jump through.
Thank you. Just to quickly recap. So the key issues. And this will be no surprises. You’ve heard this before. All the people having poor experiences in interacting with aged care, limited access to digitally enabled technology. Some people have suggested to me that we should be paying for broadband and smartphones, those sorts of things possible actions. How do we free up people to provide face to face care? So actually how do we better use GPMS and opportunities through B2G, those sorts of things, which absolutely go to the heart of this particular strategy. We’ve heard about low industry confidence to invest in software and technology and what role Government can play in determining what a conformance system looks like. And again connectivity, interoperability within services, between service systems, with Government as well as across systems more broadly across health and aged care and social care services.
So in terms of alignment we can jump through to the next slide.
There’s a whole lot of strategies at the moment out there that Government has and so we’ve been working really closely with people like the Australian Digital Health Agency, Services Australia, the DTA as one of our own colleagues internally who are working on the digital health blueprint. So what we’ve tried to do through that process is have strong alignment in terms of consistent use of language as well as looking at the principles, the outcomes, the priorities, to make sure that we are looking at this particular issue from a whole of Government perspective.
So if we jump through.
What does it look like on a page? So absolutely at the heart of the vision is people. How do we deliver the highest quality person-centred care system for older people but also how do we drive a sustainable and productive care and support economy through data and digital innovation. So the guiding principles, the outcomes and strategic priorities have been deliberately structured so there is that through line, the through line from the vision to the principles to the priorities to the outcomes. And then where I want to hear from you guys is where the actions we should be pursuing sit under. Guiding principles. Person-centred was absolutely really clear. Trusted was also really an overwhelming key message that as we look to share people’s data and make better use of that data people need to feel safe and confident that we’ve got appropriate security controls in place.
As you can see from the strategic priorities we’re also looking beyond the aged care system. Early on how do we promote healthy ageing before people even need to interact with the system for aged care. People have shown us some really cool different apps, the reablement apps that are available, those sorts of things. That’s something we want to hear more of about how we can actually better support people before the need for aged care services even arises.
Now what I might do there is pause and Fay if you want to come back on because I’m really hoping we can get some Q&As quickly into my session before I have to go off.
Okay. Let’s see. What have I go there? We’ve got:
Q: I love the outcomes. Integration with healthcare is an essential component in particular primary care. Is there work on aligning the two sectors?
That’s from George Margelis.
Great question George. And absolutely. So we are working to create that two-way feedback between the aged care system as well as the healthcare system. And the first use case that we’re progressing as we speak is looking to connect My Health Record with My Aged Care and put assessment plans over into My Health Record. But again that will just be the start of a foundational capability and me and Fay are also super keen on understanding what we can also pull from My Health Record into My Aged Care that’s helpful for assessors, providers and older Australians.
That’s right. So more about connecting is definitely part of the agenda. And to that effect if we talk about being person-centred, if we look at your principles there Josh, and we’re talking about being integrated, I wonder on the person-centred side – we’ve got a question here that says:
Q: Can we make changes to My Aged Care online account so people can self-serve rather than needing to call the Contact Centre?
So I think that’s an awesome idea. It definitely goes to being digital and getting connected as much as we can. I think there’s definitely some opportunity in some of the work we’re doing around the new Act and also support at home. Josh thinking about how we get digital out to them on that one maybe?
Yeah. Look absolutely. And I think that’s one of those things where we want to understand what are the potential things that we can take forward. So there’s already a degree of online self‑service but where can we build that out? I’ve heard from different people and I’ve heard contested views on this but I’m certainly keen on actually exploring an app but I know Fay is as well, to make it easier. And when you start to look at the data as well we know there’s a digital divide but what we can see in the data is we know that people as they’re starting to come in and enter into the aged care system we can see an increase in usage of smart technology and those sorts of things. And so this is one of those things where we need to be mindful that as we’ve got an ageing population, as we’ve got baby boomers entering into the system, the people actually accessing aged care service, there’s an increase in diversity in characteristics and through this we’ve got to be able to cater for all people. And again completely emphasise it’s not a digital first strategy. Absolutely we agree that where people need face to face support that’s critical and if anything this is about helping us target those finite resources better.
Yeah. That’s a very good point about that Josh. It’s not digital first or digital only. That’s not what we’re talking about here. But really looking at that omni channel experience so that if you do start something on the desktop online and then you want to have a quick look at something, being able to look at it on a mobile app, so allowing that mobility is really important. Also really considering about what it would look like in rural and regional as well where sometimes the connection on bandwidth is not always there. So how can they access information offline in a cached mode. So those are just some of the things that we’re considering top of mind whilst we look at all of this.
I’m just checking now. Here’s a nice doozy. Maybe I’ll leave it towards the end but it’s part of the strategy work so we can always ask this one again later on in Q&A.
Q: What is the plan for AI in aged care? Everyone’s talking about AI right now and what are the practical benefits of it? Can it actually help?
So do you want to go first?
Yeah. I’m happy to reflect on what I’ve heard through this process of targeted consultation. And to me I’m hearing that there is absolutely significant opportunity for AI to reduce pressure in both the health and aged care system. It’s something that we want to do particularly as we’ve got that ageing population, we’ve got increasing rates of chronic disease. The system pressures that we have now will increase. And so I don’t think it’s if but how we start to begin to understand the benefits that we can possibly explore in AI. So the things I’ve heard in an aged care context are personalised care plans, again things that need to be validated by a human. I’ve heard about ideas around supporting hospital discharge and community care. So appointment bookings, automatic follow up with GPs, reminders, supporting adjustments with people with apps, to generate meal plans, to help people change their diet response to health risk factors. We’ve heard about how we can actually compress cognitive decline, for example cognitive training to help maintain mental sharpness and memory, social support, for example virtual companions to combat loneliness. And an interesting one was care communication, translation services to facilitate communication between people with different languages which is something we certainly celebrate here in Australia. I think there’s definitely some issues we need to think about there. There’s data sovereignty, there’s making sure that there’s appropriate human controls and those sorts of things. We do currently have the TGA that already regulates medical products including software with AI. So I think we do need to consider what the additional controls that we will need in health and aged care given the risk. But I think it’s a how not an if Fay.
And I totally agree. So it’s definitely coming. AI is with us now. I think as you can see, and Josh had quite a very thorough answer for you there of some of the possibilities, it’s definitely something that we’ve all turned our mind to within the Department, coming up with a positioning kind of paper of how we start. The concerns around making sure it’s sovereign and private and consent and how AI leverages, it kind of sucks data from everywhere when it does these things. So really trying to make sure that we go in with our eyes open on how we do this. And we’ll start small. If it’s a topic of interest we can absolutely bring an AI topic back to one of our future Tech Talks so that we can just explain what AI is and how you can see some of the use cases being used in private sector but what does that mean to us here. So thanks for the feedback and definitely watch this space.
Let’s see what other questions do we have.
Q: When providers collaborate to provide person-centred care is there going to be a feature that is accessible by multiple providers to ensure they can assess each other’s notes and that the person can access these notes to ensure that these test results have come through and are accessible?
It’s quite a specific one. I think for me if I was to draw it up a little bit it would be about how do we have – what’s the source of truth on the client’s information and if a provider is going to provide a service will they have access to that information when they need it to be able to make decisions. What’s your thoughts there Josh?
So if you look back to My Aged Care, the system itself, the key concept was around person‑centred care and having this centralised record of client information. We know that one of the frustrations for older Australians is they just want to be able to tell their story once. We’ve certainly heard from different workforces, both aged care, both healthcare, those sorts of things, that there’s great efficiency in the system to be gained if people can look at each other’s information and notes. And that’s actually how you do deliver holistic care. Obviously consent is fundamental to it. People really need to know what they’re signing up to from a privacy perspective. But definitely. I think there’s definitely further work to be done there.
Now George is being very interactive today doing as he describes it in his own words a shameless plug for a major discussion on AI that’s going to happen at the ITAC event in March for 2024. So just anyone who’s interested you may want to. And I’ve got one more question here for you.
Q: Standards is also a very key priority in the digital health space.
I was waiting for someone to bring this one.
Q: Are there linkages between established aged care and digital health to support consistent standards and interoperability?
Fay you’ve got this one. You’ve got this one in the bag. Go for your life.
So there is linkages. I think definitely we are aligned with the digital health agenda around creating interoperability across the states and territories and Federal Government to create a single language that everyone agrees to so that we can exchange information. There’s definitely a fire standard for clinical data domain and we are exploring about what are some of those standards outside of the clinical that we can standardise on in aged care and to contribute to the total interoperability agenda. It’s something that’s very front of mind for us in the Department and there’s lots of discussions happening and we will definitely be bringing interoperability and data standards to future Tech Talks. So hopefully that answers the question. And it forms as you can see a big part of the strategy.
So I think that’s all the questions we have now but if we get some more later we’ll definitely answer them. And Josh thank you so much. Have you got some more slides to share with us?
We can just run through them really quickly. The next slide was explaining the benefits to the different players, different operators we have in the system. Who I mean is the audience is older Australians, healthcare workforce, providers, aged care workforce, as well as software vendors and even Government and how we interface with everyone. In terms of next steps if you jump through to the next slide we hope to receive your feedback. And again I want tangible, actionable ideas to take forward to Government. We’ll be taking that feedback on board. Consultation closes on the 20th of November then we hope to have those conversations with Government. We hope to be in a place subject to their approval to publish the aged care digital and data strategy. Again looking forward about how we join up towards a care and support economy. But again having an action plan that would be refreshed annually which shows the things that Government is doing to deliver against the strategy.
So Fay thank you so much for your time. Everyone thank you so much for your time. I look forward to connecting with you all soon.
Thanks so much Josh. Really appreciate it and I’m sure we’ll get some more questions that we’ll pass back to you. And if I’m not mistaken you’ve got another session next week where it’s focused on clients. So if anyone’s still interested look out for his session separately next week and register for that one where we deep dive just on the client for the data and digital strategy.
Okay. So next up we’ve got Michaela here to talk to us, Michaela Haley. She’s part of our Business to Government Gateway Development team and she’s going to share some onboarding and conformance with us. Over to you Michaela.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘B2G: Onboarding & Conformance’, ‘Michaela Haley’, ‘B2G Authentication Discovery Lead’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Thank you Fay and good afternoon everyone. It’s really great to be able to take the time today to talk to you about the conformance process for software developers. We have previously shared some of this information with our sector partner community and we’re really looking forward to sharing it with you today further as well.
So as Fay mentioned the Business to Government or B2G project as we commonly refer to it as is currently underway and the B2G developer portal is a key component of this. So it will be used by our software developer community to enable application programming interfaces or commonly referred to as APIs. And this will enable providers to interact directly and share information between Government and aged care providers. If we can just go to the next slide.
Perfect. Thank you. So as you’ll see here there are four key stages that software developers will go through when developing their software. So there’s discover, access, test and conform. We’ve previously shared these details with you previously I think at Tech Talk in September and we really took a deep dive into the discover and access phases when we gave you that demonstration of the developer portal. Those phases have now been tested with our software vendor community so thank you very much to everyone who was involved in those initial testing processes. But today what we’re going to expand on is the conformance phase of the process. So we’ll touch on what conformance is, the conformance model that’s been developed to guide conformance and also the conformance assessment process for software vendors.
For those of you who weren’t here a few months ago I will quickly recap those key phases the software developer will progress through when developing their software. So first as you can see there we have the discover phase. So the discover phase is the side of your interactions with the portal and it’s where unauthenticated users will be able to browse a selection of information. From there users will need to request access to gain further capabilities within the portal and this is done at an organisational level. So where authorised users or as we commonly refer to them organisational administrators will need to request access from the Department to gain access for their organisation to access the developer portal. And then upon that approval that organisational administrator will then manage access for their software developers in the portal. From there software developers will then request access to API testing environments for each API they want to develop software for.
In that testing phase software developers will be able to access a range of test suites and we’ll enable testing with mock end points. And this is where they’ll also begin to understand those relevant conformance requirements. And finally as you can see there there’s the conformance phase and that’s where developers are completing their API testing and submitting conformance test cases for assessment. You’ll also see there is support of course running across the whole process. So of course we’re always here for you if you have any questions. But as mentioned today we’re really going to focus on that conformance phase and take a deep dive into that process. But please as always if you do have any questions on any phase of the project please reach out to the team.
So conformance. What is conformance? So when we think about conformance the conformance process really exists to mitigate any identified risks that may impact the safety and security of software products and the systems they operate in. It helps to ensure that software will connect to the B2G gateway in a safe and secure way and will also help to ensure that providers are able to manage access and use software in a consistent, responsive and reliable manner. The Department has been working really closely with the Australian Digital Health Agency to develop conformance requirements that software will need to adhere to and these requirements have been developed to ensure that software products integrating with the B2G gateway are adhering to Government security requirements and functionality and operating behaviours. When applying for conformance assessment you’ll need to submit evidence of your software’s conformance to the relevant test cases. So this is done through things like submitting test logs, screenshots or recordings.
And then from there the Department and the Australian Digital Health Agency will be able to review and confirm the suitability of the submitted test data against conformance requirements. This provides a level of assurance for both providers and Government that the data that’s being sent to the Department through the API is protected and secure and that the software being used to connect with the Department adheres to the required security practices which will help to mitigate any risks with sharing data. Software will need to successfully go through the conformance process before distributing it out to the software provider community. This will give providers and us as Government the confidence that the connections, interactions and exchange of data and information within the B2G Gateway can be trusted.
So if we look on the next slide.
Thank you. So next let’s have a quick look at I guess the conformance and how it’s kind of structured across B2G and how it will be applied. So conformance is guarded by a conformance model that’s been developed collaboratively by the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Department and it guides the categorisation of software conformance into three tiers. Foundational, intermediate and advanced. You’ll see there the main feature of the model is to support the assessment of data sensitivity and the information domain that will be exchanged with the B2G Gateway. As you will see on the diagonal axis there are four key categories of data sensitivity. So we’ve got aggregate which is group data, so where an individual cannot be identified. For example this is something like the total number of care recipients being assessed for a pressure injury. It’s that group level data. Next we go to unit level unidentifiable and this is when individual or organisational data has gone through a deidentification process and there’s no reasonable likelihood of reidentification occurring. Next we have unit level identifiable and this is data where an identity potentially could be reasonably determined. And then finally there’s sensitive data and this is data that provides granular information about an individual or provider.
And also to support this assessment process we’ve identified four key information domains and you’ll see those running horizontally down there at the bottom. So those four information domains are administrative, financial, personal and clinical care. So administrative, that’s data related to an organisation’s operations. Financial is data related to the financial activities of an organisation, for example their income or expenses. Personal is something related to someone either receiving care or potentially provider personnel. And then clinical care data and that’s something that relates to the healthcare of an individual.
So what the conformance model does is it provides an intersection between these two variables and then that helps determine I guess the conformance tier which will enable us to understand the conformance requirements for an API. As you can see here each tier also outlines the conformance activities that must be conducted by software vendors to reach a level of conformance. If we use the foundational tier as an example you’ll see there that you’ll need to submit your foundational profile test evidence but in addition to that you’ll also need to provide a declaration of conformance and also potentially if required comply with any auditing and compliance activities.
The way the model has been structured and the way it was developed was really to ensure scalability. So the way the model works is that it provides Tier 1 foundational as our baseline level of conformance and you can see that that baseline runs across both Tier 2 and Tier 3. And this was developed really to support a simplified user experience for our developers.
So if we go to the next slide we’ll talk a little bit more about the conformance assessment process. So we’ve touched on this a little bit already but I thought it would be really good just to run you through today I guess what that process will look like once you’re actually ready to go through that conformance assessment process. So before you can apply for conformance assessment you’ll need to ensure you’ve completed your API testing and you’ve also registered your software with the Department. From there you’ll need to determine I guess what conformance profile the API sits within. And as mentioned each API is subject to different conformance requirements based on its classification to that conformance model that we just went through. So developers should review the API catalogue on the developer portal to determine an API’s classification and relevant conformance requirements and test specifications.
So once that’s occurred you as software developers will need to complete conformance testing. So this process involves completing your conformance testing using the suite of test cases that are described in each conformance test specification. And these are published for each of the conformance profiles on the developer portal. The software product must meet all mandatory requirements and potentially as well any applicable conditional requirements as well. Once that conformance testing has been completed your organisation administrator will then submit that test evidence via the developer portal to the Department. And this will be as we mentioned things like screenshots or test logs or recordings will come to the Department. And so once submitted the Department and the Australian Digital Health Agency will review and validate your test evidence and documentation to determine whether or not your software is conformant. So the purpose of this assessment is really to demonstrate the successful execution of all applicable test cases and potentially if required there is also the option there for an observation session as well so we can observe your software’s functionality.
Finally once that process is complete and you’ve been approved and your software has been deemed conformant you’ll receive that certification that your software is conformant. The conformance register will be updated with your software details and from there you can request for your software to get access to the API production environment.
So that’s a bit about the process that you’ll go through. If you just jump to the next slide we thought it would be really helpful today to give a bit of an understanding around some of the test requirements that may be required. I will preface this with saying that these are examples at the moment. These are still subject to I guess finalisation. But just to give you an example of some of the conformance requirements and the expected results especially within that foundational tier as well. So as you can see here one of the potential test specifications is that the provider shall capture and maintain audit logs. So this will help to ensure that aged care providers have a history of data shared with the Department.
The next one. So the provider shall have the ability to present a warning to the user prior to submission and obtain an attestation from the user that the submission does not contain personally identifiable information. This is really important I guess in that foundational conformance tier where we’re dealing with aggregate data and we’re not dealing with sensitive data that provides that personal information. So this requirement really helps to ensure for instance popups similar to how GPMS does it to provide an added layer of assurance that personally identifiable information has not been included in the information being shared with the Department and requires the attestation from the individual that no PI data has been included. So as mentioned this is for foundational conformance but potentially once you are looking at transmitting sensitive information there will be additional requirements and test specifications that need to be met for software.
And then finally the other example we’ve provided here is the provider system shall automatically log off an account or require reauthentication after a period of inactivity. And that period of inactivity shall be no longer than 15 minutes. So this requirement is part of the Australian Government’s information security manual and it’s a security control within there. So we hope this provides a little bit more information around I guess those foundational test specifications. But as mentioned these hopefully will be published soon on the developer portal and they’ll be available there for you in the near future.
So I know that probably was a lot of information today and a lot of information about conformance, what it was and the conformance process, but overall we’re really hoping that the conformance process is a simplified experience for our software developers and still wanting to ensure that safety and security of information that the systems will be handling. So as mentioned the conformance information will be available via the developer portal in the near future and more information will be provided on the process in due course as the information becomes available. But thought it would be really helpful just to provide a little bit of insight for you today. So thanks everyone for your time. And if you do have any questions please just put them in the Slido and we’ll respond to them at the end of the session. Thanks everyone and back to you Fay.
Thanks Michaela. And yes it was a process and a half. That’s actually a pretty simplified process after we’ve gone through it and made it as seamless and as easy as possible. I’d also probably like to highlight that your tiering approach that we’ve put in place here is in the hope of again simplifying because if you get two APIs that sit in the same tier the intention is not to have to go through conformance for every single API. So it is important though that we do the proper due diligence. We are sharing and giving access to people’s information and so we need to make sure that even though we house the information with us if we’re going to let an external system connect to us then we need to know that the system operator of that external system has all the right protocols in place to connect it otherwise it’s just another window for someone to get in. So really important topic and that was an excellent run through. Thanks Michaela.
Okay. So next on our agenda – because we’ve got some quite good topics today – we have Mel to talk to us about the new Aged Care Act. I’m sure this one’s going to get plenty of interest. Mel welcome.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Future Focus:’, ‘New Aged Care Act introduction’, ‘Mel Metz’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Quality and Assurance Division’, ‘Legislative Reform Branch’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Thanks Fay. Thank you. Hi everyone. And thanks very much for having me back. You might already know that the Department released a new Aged Care Act: the foundations – Consultation Paper Number 1 on the 4th of August this year and those foundations are some of the core components that are going to make up the new rights-based Act. I’ll provide an overview today of those foundations and give you a bit of a sense of the feedback that we received and the next steps in the consultation and Bill development process.
And just to remind everyone the first stage of the new Aged Care Act is going to underpin delivery of 29 Royal Commission recommendations and aspects of a further four. The rights basis is a really important shift in focus for this new legislation and for the broader aged care reforms to be successful we really need legislation that articulates the rights of older people and also facilitates access to the services that they need. And our hope is that the whole system will operate in line with the proposed rights, objects and principles that the new Act is going to set out. And the Department and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, providers, workers, older people, their families and carers are all going to have a role in furthering and upholding those rights.
So the first thing that we consulted on was the actual Statement of Rights. For that statement we want to make sure that it’s more than just a list of rights in the legislation. We know that it has to be more than symbolic and needs to have some practical application. So it’s going to outline the specific rights of people who are accessing or seeking access to funded aged care services. The rights we consulted on were drawn from the wording that was suggested by the Royal Commission as well as the current Charter of Rights.
There were 16 proposed rights which we included in the consultation paper for consideration and at the moment we’re going through the process of modifying them based on the feedback that we received. We will also have a Statement of Principles in the new Act and both the rights and the principles are going to play an important role in driving cultural change. So the rights set out what people accessing or seeking access to the aged care system should expect whereas the Statement of Principles on the other hand will guide the decisions, actions and behaviours of people responsible for operating the system particularly the Department and the Commission. And the Statement of Principles is designed to reinforce the person-centred nature of the new aged care system and legislative framework so that all of the actors in the system treat each person as an individual with rights and unique needs.
We consulted on a proposed definition of high quality care and for that we drew on the definition that was proposed by the Royal Commission. And what they said is that high quality care is the delivery of aged care services in a manner that prioritises delivery of funded aged care services with compassion, respect for the individual, their life experiences, self-determination and dignity and their quality of life, providing funded aged care services that are trauma aware and healing informed, providing funded aged care services that are responsive to the person’s expressed personal needs, aspirations and their preferences regarding the manner in which services are delivered to them, facilitating regular clinical and non-clinical reviews to ensure the services and supports delivered continue to reflect their individual needs, supporting the person to enhance their physical and cognitive capacities and mental health and supporting the person to participate in cultural, recreational and social activities and remain connected and able to contribute to their community.
And we had very broad support for that definition although we did have some contrary feedback which often happens through consultation processes. So some people said it’s not aspirational enough whereas we had other people saying it’s not tangible and not measurable enough. So we think we’ve hit a good middle ground but it is likely that there will be some modest changes in the exposure draft to that definition.
We also covered off on a new overarching duty to protect older people as was recommended by the Royal Commission and this new duty is going to be modelled on the existing work health and safety duty. It’s going to complement and not displace work health and safety duties and other existing duties under state and territory legislation or common law but it will place a clear expectation on registered providers to ensure that they do not adversely affect the health and safety of persons in their care. Criminal penalties will attach to the serious breaches with a compensation pathway also available. And it will be open to the Commission or an individual to seek compensation if there is a criminal breach of the duty and a court has found that there is a criminal breach of a duty.
We also consulted on duties for responsible persons, for platform providers and for workers and at this stage noting this is all subject to Government decisions it looks like the exposure draft will include a duty for responsible persons. So that’s board members and people who have management responsibility within a provider and platform providers, but not for workers. And the reason for that is that there is the availability of banning orders and state and territory laws to manage problematic worker behaviour. So we thought that there was already enough in other systems to deal with that that didn’t warrant an additional duty being placed on workers.
The new Act is also going to have protections for whistleblowers. Under the current Aged Care Act there are some whistleblower protections but they’re very much limited to disclosure of information about reportable incidents under the Serious Incident Response Scheme. So recent amendments extended the scope of SIRS to include aged care services delivered in home and community settings but it is still a narrow approach because it only protects people who make disclosures in relation to serious incidents. And the new Act is going to broaden those protections. So they’ll be similar to the protections under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act and the Corporations Act. And when a person makes a qualifying disclosure they’ll be protected from a range of consequences like civil, criminal and administrative liability. For example if an aged care worker makes a qualifying disclosure their employer would be unable to fire them or sue them for breach of contract or confidentiality. And we’re proposing to retain the current protections against victimisation as well which means that any person who’s victimised due to whistleblower disclosures will be protected. And just to give an example of that if an older person’s family member makes a disclosure on their behalf and it’s the person who suffers a consequence as a result the older person will be protected.
We’re also looking to embed supported decision making which will form part of a broader empowerment approach for older people and that will occur by making their rights of autonomy and self-determination, the presumption of legal capacity and the right for them to make decisions about their care paramount. And the new Act is a real opportunity for us to ensure that legal nominees and responsibilities around supported decision making are clarified. Currently we have really inconsistent references in the legislation to legal representatives, representatives, nominated representatives, and they’re sort of dotted throughout the aged care system. In addition the current legal arrangements don’t explain the process for appointments or make it clear where a nominee can or should be involved rather than the older person themselves.
Currently My Aged Care has administrative but not legislative arrangements that allow for the appointment of a nominee on an older person’s behalf. And the new Act will recognise that there may be circumstances where it’s necessary for a person to be appointed as a nominee. That is a supporter or representative of an older person to support that person to make decisions or to make decisions for them after taking steps to ascertain their wishes. And these arrangements will better align with the NDIS Act.
And just finally on what was covered off in our consultation paper eligibility for Commonwealth funded aged care services was covered off. Currently there’s no simple, logical sequence to entering aged care and there are multiple programs and services that all have different eligibility requirements. The Royal Commission spoke about how time consuming, overwhelming and intimidating this is for many people trying to enter the system. And we note that Government’s committed to reaching the target that no person under the age of 65 should live in residential aged care from the 1st of January 2025. So it’s our intention that the new Act will provide a common entry point for access to funded aged care services and we’re aiming to achieve a simple gateway to aged care in the new Act and limit the need for older people to tell their story on repeat occasions. The key benefits to this approach include a single application process for all funded aged care, a common set of eligibility requirements for all aged care programs, no need for eligibility to be reassessed for different programs, transparent requirements with a delegate to decide whether a person is eligible for a needs assessment, and that will be a reviewable decision, and streamlined evidentiary requirements for certain referral pathways for example from a medical perspective.
All individuals seeking access would have to meet certain threshold eligibility requirements irrespective of the type of services that they require access to. So everyone seeking access will have to make an application. They’ll have to show that they have some need for aged care and they’ll have to participate in the individual needs assessment which will lead to a decision about whether they can access funded aged care services, which ones and when. So that’s what our consultation paper covered off.
I can see some messages coming through to me about when to switch slides. So now might be a good time. It will give you a timeline of where we’re going to next.
Our consultations ran until the 8th of September and during that time we had 1,330 people take part in a webinar on the 10th of August. We had 291 surveys completed, around 320 participants in 12 workshops around Australia, a round table on the 23rd of August attended by individual advocates, organisations and subject matter experts, and four targeted briefings for worker advocacy and provider peak bodies. We received 118 submissions from organisations, individuals and from state, territory and local Government, and that broad representation has really helped us to capture really diverse views on how we should draft this legislation.
It was overwhelmingly positive feedback I should say and in particular the rights-based framework was very strongly supported. Some of the key themes that came out of the feedback is that we need to adjust the Statement of Rights and Principles to ensure that they’re really clear and that they don’t overlap. We have to make the definition of high quality care more aspirational. We got feedback as well that we really have to clarify the interactions of nominees and representatives under the new Act with existing state and territory guardianship and enduring power of attorney arrangements, and we have to consider carefully how and to who the duty of care should apply.
So we’re collating and analysing all of that. We will be publishing a summary of our findings and ahead of the Bill for the Act being introduced into Parliament we are planning to release an exposure draft of the Bill for public consultation later this year. And noting there’s not much of this year left so that is planned for next month. The precise activities and events relating to those consultations are being settled with Government but we’re planning on around ten weeks of consultation activities. And our intent with the exposure draft is really to provide an opportunity for older people, their families, carers, workers, providers and peak bodies to participate in the legislative development process. And we’ll use all of the information that we gather through that consultation process to finalise the Bill ahead of introduction into Parliament. So at the moment we’re proposing that that introduction will be in the ordinance period of next year. That’s all from me. Thank you very much.
Thank you Mel. That was awesome. It gives us a bit of an insight on just how much needs to be considered especially as we shift it totally. I call it a 180 where we kind of make it all about the client and their rights-based approach to everything. Lots to consider. Everyone can see a bit of the dates coming up. I’m going to qualify it for Mel. She gave you some dates here today. Don’t hold her to any of them. These are our best guess as we always say and then as things mature they may change. But Mel love to have you back in a future Tech Talk maybe early next year just as you’re ready to kind of share what you guys have come up with and get some more insights from our community.
So without further ado I might move towards Q&A which is our last segment of the session. And there was a few more questions that have come through. I think Janine are you going to join us up on stage and help us work our way through these Q&As?
I certainly am. I’m making my way up there now. Thanks so much Fay. Hi everybody. Yeah. So there’s plenty to get through. The questions have really picked up over the course of our presentations. There is still time to get more in if you’ve got some burning questions. Get them into Slido. Warm welcome to our panel today. So we’ve got all of our speakers excluding Josh who had to rush for another appointment. So we’ve got Fay, Mel and Michaela joining us. If you’re keen to join us on stage with a question I will be putting out invites just to get ready to turn your cameras on and your audio on to join me there. I’ll give a bit of an early heads up if I could to Joe Aziz, Barbara – I’m not even going to try and pronounce your surname Barbara. Apologies. I’m just going to say Barbara K and Romy. So if you guys would like to prepare to come to stage.
But while you’re doing that I might just start with a couple of comments we received that were pretty popular from the audience. So Meghan added a comment that she would like to take you up on that session around focused AI Fay. That was pretty popularly voted up. And Ronald also on that subject loved the question on AI and made the comment that useful AI is dependent on solid foundations for good quality data and we need to plan for that now. So further to your point about preparation and due consideration needing to be done now to get us ready for the new tech.
Excellent. The data is really important. If the data is wrong the AI will only use wrong information to make automated decisions. So I think all the discussions we’re having around data standards and interoperability and just really getting the house in order around all of that will be a very key enabler for AI in the future.
Great. All right. We might try bringing Joe to stage if we could.
How you going Joe? Are you there? Excellent. We can see you.
Online Audience Member:
That’s good. Can you hear me okay?
We can. Maybe just lean into the mic just a little, but yes we’ve got your audio.
Online Audience Member:
Look one of the things that we’ve identified, we recently connected to e-health record and then subsequently we’ve gone around and spoken to our residents, and only one of our residents has actually got a myGov account. And we might have the best technology in the world but unless you guys streamline the process of making it easier for residents to get a myGov or some other means then we’re not going to be able to use any of this technology that you’re putting in place.
It’s a very good point Joe. We’ll need to take that one away. Off the top of my head I’m not familiar with when a resident is asked to create a myGov, and myGov is the key identifier for coming into our My Aged Care system. So there’s a good chance they’ve just never needed to get on in that sense. So we might take that one away and see through any new work that we do if a resident doesn’t have one how about we try and create one on their behalf as part of the seamless experience. We’ll note that one down but thanks for that one. It’s a good insight. In Josh’s vision statement if you remember we said human-centred or person-centred. I can’t remember the exact words. We need to kind of put ourselves in their shoes collectively and go well what’s the end to end experience that we’re going to try and simplify to your point, not just keep adding in a different tool here and there and then they’ve got to try and work it out themselves. So really appreciate the feedback. Thanks Joe.
Thanks Joe. We’ll go ahead and do a quick switch. So if we can bring Barbara to stage. Barbara has a question about care finder program referrals. Hi Barbara. Welcome.
Might be just having some trouble with your – you’re muted.
Can we unmute Barbara please?
While we get Barbara going maybe we pick another subject.
Okay. We’ll just go to one of our anonymous questions really quick. So we had a question around:
Q: Is there an update with the issues using Vanguard to access GPMS? Our organisation users can still not login via Vanguard. It’s only working on the MAC portal.
So there’s only one known issue that I’m aware of for Vanguard users logging onto GPMS and that’s where we’ve upped the identity and authentication protocols. So I would ask those people who can’t logon to call the Contact Centre and they do have a process on how we can fix that for them. It comes about where your email doesn’t match the identity that you’re logging in with and that’s a legacy issue from where maybe one company’s bought out another company or something like that and your email and your identity are not exactly the same and we need to validate that. Apart from that it really just means contacting the Contact Centre and they’ll work that through with you. Apart from that we are not aware of any other known issues. So please either send us an email to the Digital Transformation Tech Talks or contact the Contact Centre. And if you still have any concerns let us know.
So hopefully that was a quick answer on that one.
Thanks Fay. So we had some trouble with Barbara so I’m just going to ask the question on her behalf. So the question was:
Q: Can we integrate care finder program referrals with the My Aged Care portal?
I’m going to say I don’t see why not and then I’m going to have some other people say there’s a reason behind it. I think there’s definitely been some conversations around referrals and how to get access into information. Mel this is probably one that we’ll need to make sure that we can put into the Act and then subsequently with our teams in policy just to make sure that we can share this information across multiple systems. I’ve been told a number of times that no we can’t do that because policy says that we can’t connect this data to another system that wasn’t authorised. Maybe you can just add two cents worth on that piece. But otherwise I think if we can get past any legislative and policy ones we just need to build it into the designs. What do you think?
Definitely Fay. We’re working pretty hard on the information sharing provision. They’re always really tricky to draft because you can’t foresee every possible sharing of information and where you might want to do data matching. But we’ve really taken the approach with the information provision that it’s very important to protect personal information but it’s also important to allow data to be used appropriately and not put barriers in place to having that occur. Hopefully the information provision will be in the exposure draft so people get an opportunity to comment on that.
That’s perfect. Thanks Mel. So that’s the answer for that one.
Great. Moving on. So I’ll give a bit of a stage warning to George and then also to Mark Miller who we’ll queue up next. In the meantime we have an anonymous question and this one’s for you as well Mel.
Q: Is there a date we can expect to see the exposure draft for the Bill for the new Act?
People are keen.
Yeah. That’s great. There is a date in my head but what we really need to have before we commit to anything is Government agreement to put the legislation out publicly. So Government has committed to this year and we’re aiming for sort of early to mid-December. I can’t give you an exact date but that’s what we’re aiming for with a ten week consultation period to follow on from that.
That’s perfect Mel.
That gives us a fairly good idea. Thanks.
I qualified it for her anyway earlier. But that gives them an indication. It’s not six months from now. It’s in the next month or two.
Awesome. Okay. We’ll go ahead and invite George to stage.
Online Audience Member:
Good afternoon everyone. Thanks again for another great session. The question was around the conformance issues. I mean obviously the conformance will be done. (a) Will there be a public register of those conformance results and (b) going forward as we add new functionality into the various departmental systems will there be a list of meaningful uses that software developers can develop against to make sure they take full advantage of the innovations happening within the Department systems?
That’s a good question. Michaela what are our plans so far about conformance? Do you want to add anything there?
Yeah. So the first part of that question. So the public conformance register I think is still under consideration if that will be public but we’ll be able to come back to you very shortly I think with a response on that one.
And so I know there’s definitely been interest in making the register public to allow the community to know which software vendors have invested in connecting to us. So it’s definitely something we want to do. We’re just checking to make sure there’s a reason why we couldn’t. But otherwise we’re definitely looking to put it out there. It just needs a little bit more - - -
Online Audience Member:
Obviously some commercial in confidence issues that need to be managed. I guess the second part of that question. I mean what we saw in the US for example was the concept of new ways of using technology driven by the Government and then sort of software vendors implementing them. That would be a great model for us to get our software vendors to develop solutions that are more relevant to the market space.
And I think in the next six months as we kind of formulise the strategy around the interoperability standards and then maybe a candidate set of services that we think we might go after – and the sector partner community and the Tech Talk community here has given us a lot of examples of where we might be able to build extra APIs that help the sector, not necessarily about us in Government collecting for the reporting purposes. Things like the referrals or just even having the star ratings data as an API, we’ve been given many examples. We just need to nail that first and then we can come back and say if this is the candidate catalogue then that enables the sector to innovate off it.
Online Audience Member:
And thirdly – a selfish plug – we can discuss all this at the ITAC conference on the 26th and 27th of March next year on the Gold Coast. Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Lovely. Thanks George. Happy to advertise those things to make sure that the community is aware of all the different places they can get information.
Online Audience Member:
Fantastic. Thanks again for all the great work you’ve been doing.
Thanks George. That’s great. So we’ll get Mark Miller queued to come to stage. Mark had a couple of questions for the panel. But while he’s doing that I’ll just mention that there was a question for Mel around a summary available of the information you shared with us today. And I note that you put a link into the chat but did you want to just brief the audience on that one?
Yes. And I saw that the person who asked that said ‘That’s great but I wanted a summary’. And I have prepared them as well so I’ll put that link in to all of the consultation materials. There’s a link to the webinar that we did. I think one thing to note about that material is that’s from the consultation process that we’ve just wrapped up. So we will have materials available for the Bill when it goes out to exposure draft as well. So I’ll pop that link in too for everyone.
Great. Thanks so much. And we’ll make sure that any of these links that have been mentioned are included in the post-event email as well for easy access for everyone. In the meantime I’ll just leave Mel’s link in the Slido in case anybody wants to seek it out there.
And we’ve got Mark with us. Mark welcome.
Online Audience Member:
Sorry. My questions were very simple really unlike George’s sophisticated questions. I thought you were going to talk more about the GPMS releases. You said something at the start Fay that piqued my interest but you haven’t.
I did deep dive in some of them about what’s coming up in November, about which projects and what functionality. I kind of give a highlight in that sense. Was there anything specifically that you wanted to know about in more detail?
Online Audience Member:
No. Just the development path or the functionality path. That’s okay.
Yeah. So that roadmap in there kind of says which projects we’re working on and then the next Tech Talk we will do a full – just before we do releases – so you can go back to the last one and have a look at it – we do video recordings of the functionality that’s coming out in more detail of what’s gone live. So maybe go back and check one of the last ones. I can’t remember exactly which one it was Janine, if it was the very last one that we did the videos of what the functionality was.
I have a feeling it was the one before but I’m sure my team will remind me in the background and we can let you know.
So once a quarter we do that and then all of that information is then posted online so everyone can watch the video. There’s a lot of how to guides that go out as well. We try and keep it fairly brief up here.
Online Audience Member:
Sure. Sorry. And my other one was just is there any way of downloading or plans to enable us to download our client data from the MAC portal or not?
Well that’s where B2G comes in. So this is where we wouldn’t allow just anyone to download. This is where we want the software industry to connect to us. One of those APIs that you’re looking for is the client data or referral data. I know that’s been a really hot topic. And that’s where we need that kind of privacy and consent and conformance process being followed so we know who’s got access to what data and when. It’s very hard to just go I need to download a truckload of information. We need to know where it’s going and who’s looking at it. And so that’s where the Business to Government gateway piece comes in. So hopefully that answers. We don’t have any live APIs yet. We’re just building that gateway now. And we’ve been drip feeding the progress as we’ve gone along. As you saw today Michaela talked about what the conformance process would look like. The developer portal already went live so you can get on and have a look at that now. And then hopefully very early next year you’ll have your first lot of APIs for the software industry to connect to.
Online Audience Member:
Thanks Mark. Appreciate you coming to stage. I’m going to just give a queue to Andrea who we’d like to invite to stage next. But we do have a bunch of anonymous questions so I’m going to try and get through some of those. The first one is:
Q: Can we add an option to bulk select full coverage for the month for 24/7 nursing reporting in GPMS instead of every day of the month?
I’m not sure. We really need Emma here don’t we for some of these questions. Do you want to have a go Fay?
Well we can do anything really. The key here is I’ll take it as a feature request and we’ll give it to Emma who’s our GPMS product owner. We’re constantly doing changes and I know there’s some more changes coming up in future releases. I can’t commit to when it could get done or if it will get done but definitely I can take it and we can put it on our list to prioritise if that’s what makes it easier. But I think there was a notion that we wanted people kind of not going in at the end of the month and filling it all in and just getting some along the way. But I’ll definitely take the suggestion.
Okay. Thank you. And just a reminder that any requests you have there are obviously channels that you can engage with particular programs and for those that are involved in our sector partner group we get a lot of feedback from the sector around the things that they’d like to see. But the Tech Talk is another avenue open to you. If you’ve got suggestions about things you want to see in the solutions we’re releasing then definitely bring it to the table. Like Fay says we can’t guarantee that it’s doable but it definitely will get put in front of the right people for consideration.
Okay. The next anonymous question was around – actually it’s more of a comment. It says:
Q: If you want the tech approach to work in regional, remote and rural areas there has to be reliable internet which is not the case at the moment. Has this been factored into plans?
So I have a bit of a comment on this Fay and then I’ll handball to you. But I know having looked at the data and digital strategy that they are looking at the technical divide and things that might make it more difficult for people to access some of the solutions we’re developing and one of those challenges that they’ve identified as part of that process is the reliability of the internet connection as well as access to technology and other things. Fay did you have anything that you wanted to add there?
You’re absolutely right. And also it’s the devices. It’s been found that a lot of people in rural don’t have smartphones and things like that. So that’s definitely being looked at. There’s two parts to that. There’s a resolution on how do you enable the bare minimum of connection and technology required to be able to participate in the ecosystem. So is there something we need to do there to help make sure that everyone’s armed with the right tools? And if rural and regional is missing out on something how do we bring them up to par? And then the second part is there is an element of the data coverage which is sometimes not within our scope because it’s telecommunications kind of coverage and we could try and convince the communications companies to put more kit out there but that’s a different story. So then what we are trying to do is work out how can we allow things to work offline so that you can be mobile and still go out and see someone, have all the information you need on the device in a secure way and then when you get back into a home base where there is a connection it resyncs up. So there’s probably a few different answers in the way that we might solve this and it’s definitely on the agenda to look at.
Thanks Fay. Okay. Andrea. If we can bring Andrea to stage.
Hello. There you are. Welcome.
Online Audience Member:
Thank you. We have two multipurpose services and the one thing we’ve noticed since the MAC portal was started is the lack of proper integration of multipurpose services into the technical options. For example the aged care provider portal talks to MAC and updates with respite and permanent aged care but there isn’t that same functionality for residents who are getting permanent aged care in multipurpose services. And we can’t access their MAC client information because we don’t get a referral code to do so. And that’s the design of MAC. And it’s becoming more and more problematic because we’re starting to need that AC number that we literally can’t bring up. And we’ve even had Services Australia refuse to do a means test assessment for a resident because they’re not registered in MAC. So what work is going to be done about making sure that multipurpose service aged care residents are in the system?
That’s a new one for me. I don’t know Mel if you can shine any light on that one? Otherwise I will take it back.
I can Fay from a legislative perspective, not from the ICT perspective. And what I spoke about around eligibility and creating one single entry point to aged care, that’s a really critical feature of the new Act and MPS is absolutely a part of that. And so my hope is that if we legislate aged care in that way the system will operate in that way and the ICT systems are built to reflect that. So MPS at the moment has a bit of a weird sort of role in the current Aged Care Act and bringing some of those niche programs in – so CHSP as well they’re bringing into the Act as well as the NATSIFAC – and so bringing them all together with one entry point, I hope that that will flow through to the way that we design systems into the future.
And I can definitely say that we are reassessing the way we’re taking all of that that’s being done in the Act and looking at it from a human-centred perspective to say how do we create a single integrated experience. So we’ll definitely take the specific use case back in house so that we can keep it front of mind and ensure that that flows a lot nicer in the future as we redefine for all the new work that’s coming down the pipeline. Thanks for the question. Really appreciate the specific use case. It helps us bring some of this to light.
Online Audience Member:
Thanks very much Andrea. Okay. We’re getting close to wrap up but there are a couple of questions that are around the theme of My Health Record. So if we could briefly touch on those and maybe we can bring them back to our future session. But the questions are basically:
Q: Is there a plan to ensure uptake of My Health Record across the wider healthcare system? Some hospitals for example are using paper-based systems. What’s the timeline for interoperability between My Health Record and My Aged Care?
And then we also have a comment but I’ll start with those two questions.
I might start with the second one first which is when do we think there’s a timeline for My Health Record and My Aged Care to interoperate. We’re currently doing a discovery piece between now and early first quarter next year to understand what it would be to have My Aged Care connect and have two-way information going. So that will be what are our obligations as someone connecting to My Health Record and what would it mean for us to surface up some of that information through My Aged Care. So that’s probably where we’re up to. After we know what that would look like at the end of first quarter we can then make some decisions on investing to implement and connect it in a digital sense. But I think for now it’s about the discovery piece. We would need to go through the same conformance process like an external software provider would to connect to My Aged Care. And so that’s what we’re looking into to understand what our obligations would be. Really important point because it’s the first step of interoperability. And the first part of the question, I do know that the Australian Digital Health Agency are doing a lot of work around getting out there and increasing adoption to My Health Record. Maybe that’s one we’ll go and get an official statement from them and put it up on our website as part of the Q&A.
Yeah. That sounds great. And we very regularly do have the Digital Health Agency represented on the panel. We had a bit of conflict for today but definitely these are good questions and we’ll go back to our partners in that agency.
Anne Livingston also just mentioned a reminder that the ACIITC has published some guidelines for implementing My Health Record in aged care and you can get a copy of that from their website.
Okay. I think I’m going to have to call it there. We’re very close to time. Just in relation to Mark’s question earlier the GPMS video was in the April Tech Talk and the B2G video was in the September Tech Talk. So for those that are keen to see the demos of our releases those are the two Tech Talks that you can go looking in. April and September. Thanks to our panellists. We really appreciate your time. It’s been a really healthy Q&A as always. Thanks to our attendees for joining us today. Again another good discussion.
I’ll hand over to Fay to close us out but quickly just to mention that we will be releasing a post-event survey. You can access that using the QR code which is on screen now. Or it will also be included in the post-event email. We really do read your comments and look at your survey results and use them to make our sessions better, better targeted and more informative for you. So please do go ahead and complete that. We’ll be back for our Tech Talk next month which will be our last Tech Talk for the year so stay tuned for details about that. And back over to Fay to close us out. Thank you.
Thanks Janine. And a big thank you to Michaela and Mel and Josh for coming and presenting today. I’d like to just remind everyone this is an open forum and everyone is welcome. You may have a colleague who has some insights into the kind of topics we want to cover here or just an interest in general. So feel free to mention us and continue to grow our community. I think it’s the diversity of the group that makes it such a standout. It lends such a range of views and perspectives from different parts of the ecosystem and your participation is always great. Everyone’s dedication and commitment comes through very clearly in your questions and comments and I think a robust conversation is always healthy and great to see so we can get some better outcomes.
As a side note we have our growing membership. We’ve done some work to keep the technology stable throughout the session so hopefully you got a better experience today. And so we’ve made a start there and hopefully there’s more to come on that front in the near future. Beyond that I’ll keep it short as I think time’s passed. One last reminder that we have one final Tech Talk in early December before the year is out and then we return in February next year. So looking forward to seeing you then and everyone have a great day. Thank you so much.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘In Closing’, ‘Visit the Digital Transformation page on the Health and Aged Care website’, ‘Email us at DTDOffice@health.gov.au’, ‘Take the Event Survey’, with an image of a QR code]
[End of Transcript]
Questions and answers
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