Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 10 July 2024

In this webinar we covered milestones for our Digital Transformation Program and provided an update on the Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy and Action Plan.

Audience:
Health sector
Webinar date:
to
Webinar Link:

Recording and transcript

01:31:54

[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation for the Aged Care sector webinar series’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group, Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘health.gov.au’, ‘Tech Talk 17’, ‘10 July 2024’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’ ]

[The visuals during this webinar are of speakers connecting via videoconference and visible onscreen, speaking with reference to the content of PowerPoint presentations being played onscreen]

Janine Bennett:

Hello and welcome everyone. It’s Tech Talk time again. We’re here to focus our conversation on the digital transformation program for aged care. I’m Janine Bennett. I’m the Engagement Lead for digital transformation and today’s moderator. And thank you so much for joining us.

I’m joining you today from the lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. I’d like to recognise those Traditional Owners, as well as the people and families with a continuing connection to the lands and waters of this region. I pay my respects to their contributions to this country and to their Elders past, present and emerging and to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people joining us today. I hope you have all had a chance during NAIDOC week to celebrate the rich culture and many achievements of our First Nations people.

It's a usual full agenda again today. But before we get started some quick housekeeping. So the phone-in details are on the slide. They’re in your meeting invite also. So should you need to use them you can use those numbers to get back into the session. We’re recording the session today as usual and we’ll post that recording to our website in the next few weeks as soon as it’s been transcribed. 

As always we’re standing by for your questions on Slido and we’re looking forward to answering as many as we have time for in Q and A today. The Slido window should show in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Or alternatively you can use the QR code on your slide if you’d like to access from your own device. 

Anyone who’s with us today visiting from the media we’re pleased that you could join us. Thank you so much for your interest in today’s session. A quick reminder that media enquiries should be directed to the department’s Media and Events Team. That email is news@health.gov.au, a nice, easy one to remember. Those folks are best placed to assist you with media enquiries. 

But while we’re on the subject of Q and A I would like to just say a couple of quick things particularly after our last Tech Talk session. Our regular attendees will know that we always like to leave time at the end of our sessions to have some good, hearty conversation and to do question and answers. For those of you that joined our last Tech Talk you’ll recall that we ran well over time on the day and we didn’t get to answer very many of your questions. I think we only ended up getting to two very quick questions. 

I wanted to reiterate today that we do work hard to balance quality content with time dedicated to conversation and questions at the end. Last time we didn’t quite get that balance right, with a couple of our presentations running longer than we had expected them to. To make up for that we’ve dedicated some time today to cover some of the outstanding questions that we didn’t get to at the last meeting. So we’ve collated up the most popular ones and we’ve built those responses into today’s agenda. We’ve also slotted in our usual dedicated Q and A time as well. And we’ll be keeping a close eye on our timing to make sure we don’t run over and squash that time down at the end. 

So all that being said, please pop your questions into Slido at any time throughout our session. You can up and down vote any questions you see, including your own. We’ll put as many questions to the panel as we can. If you’re happy to ask your question live on camera we’ll invite you to join us on the virtual stage to do that. All you need to do is include your name when you submit your question. I’ll give you a heads-up before we bring you to stage. And from there all you need to do is turn on your video and audio and you can ask your question straight to the panel. If you’re feeling a bit shy though no worries. Just put your burning question into Slido. You can do that anonymously or you can write ‘no stage’ in the question when you submit it. And in that case I’ll go ahead and ask the panel your question on your behalf.

Okay. Now I’m pleased to introduce your host for today, Fay Flevaras. Fay brings her considerable experience in driving digital transformational change in private industries to her work at the department where she is now spearheading the delivery of digital solutions to enable aged care reform. Fay welcome and over to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you Janine. And hello everyone and welcome. I’m pleased to be back talking to you all things digital transformation for aged care reform. For today’s agenda as always I will start with a look at our delivery roadmap. We have a crowd favourite with Josh Maldon joining us today and he’s returned to announce the action plan for the Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy. While Josh can’t stick around for the whole time that we’re here, and especially at the end for the panel, he’ll be staying with us to take a few questions after he makes his update, so straight after his presentation. So get those questions in to Slido while you can and while he’s available to answer some of them.

We have our newest Tech Talker with Leanne Smith and she’s here to take us through the new GPMS, Government Provider Management System, self-service capabilities that we’re going live with. And as Janine mentioned we’ve set aside some dedicated time to do some catch-up on those outstanding questions from last Tech Talk. And then we’ll close today’s Tech Talk with our normal panel and Q and A. So please make sure you put your questions into the Slido. 

So that’s it for the agenda today. Let’s get started.

I’ll start with a bit of context about the work we do which might be helpful for anyone who’s new. We get more and more people joining us on our digital transformation Tech Talk series. So I do want to just briefly outline what we’re in the business of. And that is transformation and we build the technical solutions that enable the aged care reform. 

The government’s aged care reform agenda began back in 2021. And we will continue until I think at least – I know at least 2025. So right now we’re probably a little bit over the halfway point. So far we’ve developed a range of digital solutions to support a broad suite of reform measures. We have the expansion of the existing My Aged Care gateway. We’ve introduced the new Government Provider Management System. We have a Business-to-Government gateway platform for software and industry-automated connections. So the last two will be what we’ll be touching on a little bit more of today as the big-ticket examples. 

But ultimately our work is about delivering real-world outcomes for people. We are building a better-connected, modern and digitised aged care ecosystem. We hope we’re doing this by removing red tape, streamlining business processes and getting access to services easier. And we’re hoping that will enable a higher-quality care for older people in Australia, giving them the dignity and respect that they deserve. 

And when I say ‘we’ I’m referring to the large team that is leading the delivery engine that builds this technology, the ICT team that works with me, but also alongside the department’s business and policy areas who often feature in the Tech Talks and co-present so you can get the full context of the work we are doing altogether and why we’re doing it. And many of you in the sector who are also working hard to uplift the maturity in your organisations, you’re all part of this transformation.

So that’s the quick summary of what we’re all about. Let’s move on to what the IT roadmap looks like at the moment.

And this is the forecast of the work of our current plan. You’ll notice since the last Tech Talk we’ve added the forecast of the known work that we have up until the end of the year. I share this with my usual disclaimer. Think of this as the technical delivery roadmap and what you’re seeing here is the digital delivery plan. It is so important to note this timeline supports the aged care reform agenda but it should not be considered an official commitment from the government. That happens elsewhere outside of our Tech Talks, usually through ministerial announcements and other formal mechanisms. 

So we do make a point of sharing this roadmap early and as often as we can in the interest of collaboration as we co-design together so that we can be transparent and open about what we are working on and what we are planning for. But be aware sometimes things do change, policy decisions evolve or have not yet been announced and the priorities will shift. And when that happens we will call it out as soon as we can here so that you know.

Going from right to left you will notice the forecast for our October release. We’re well along the way for the planning of that release and we’ll have more on the specifics of that in future Tech Talks. But the July and September window is the one that we’re focused on right now and we’ll be providing some of the detail on today.

The big news for us is that we are on the other side of the second big release for the year. So you can see our January-to-March and April-to-June have already been delivered. We’ve made changes across all of our key products throughout the ecosystem, the GPMS, B2G, My Aged Care gateway. I won’t dive into the details now. We’ll cover that in a video. And if I just can move to the next slide Alex. But you’ll see some of the detail there around what will be involved in the July, August, September release. 

Especially a big thank you I want to – because we’ve had these successful releases and they get kind of bigger and bigger as we go, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved. Especially a thank you to our sector partners, with particular thanks to the Southern Cross Care for helping out with business verification testing over the release weekend in July. It was deeply appreciated and a really critical part in making sure that things have gone to plan for real-world users when they come in on Monday morning and that it’s all up and running. And so a big thank you for giving your time up on a Sunday to come in and test for us.

Okay. So for now let’s roll onto the July release video. Over to the team to press play.

[Start of video]

Voiceover:

Here at the Department of Health and Aged Care we are delivering real-world digital solutions to enable aged care reform. We are focused on using better technology and human-centred processes to improve the lived experience of older Australians navigating the aged care system. 

2024 has been a busy year, with our July release continuing to deliver digital capabilities that are better connected, human centred and modern. The Government Provider Management System, or GPMS, makes it easier for providers to access and report information to government. In the future it will be a master source of information across the aged care system. 

This release we have added an electronic signature capability to the Provider Operations Form, meaning providers can nominate a governing body member and email them an electronic version of the Governing Body Statement for them to sign and submit. 

We’ve also made updates to the Quarterly Financial Reporting, or QFR, enabling providers to input outbreak management expenditure for the 2023-2024 financial year. This will streamline the process for providers and provide valuable data on the costs they incur when managing outbreaks. 

We have also made some minor enhancements to the star rating system and 24/7 registered nurse reporting to reflect the changes to reporting that commenced from the 1st of July 2024. 

Later this month we will also be launching the Self Service Portal which enables aged care providers to submit digital forms to the department and Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, including maintenance of organisation and personal information and regulatory reporting for determinations and notifications. This will result in more efficient, streamlined processes and increase accuracy of data collection. 

We’ve released two APIs in the Business-to-Government portal. Our first API was released in April 2024 to support reporting for 24/7 registered nursing. Providers can use this API to submit monthly 24/7 nursing data to the department, making this important monthly reporting faster and easier. B2G’s latest release allows providers to share quality indicators data. This API can retrieve the most up-to-date quality indicator questions and submit responses based on current reporting requirements.

Software vendors can now build their software to interact with APIs using the department’s specification and apply for software conformance. Meaning these APIs and more to come will keep helping to reduce administrative burden for providers, allowing them to spend more time delivering quality care. 

New functionality has been added to My Aged Care with the introduction of the single comprehensive assessment system. The new integrated assessment tool replaces the existing National Screening and Assessment Form, or NSAF, tool and will be used by the assessment workforce to undertake aged care assessments and recommend services. 

The IAT will provide a more consistent and evidence-based assessment experience and a greater alignment of assessment outcomes, reducing the need for reassessment. One of the ways it will do this is through a new triage function which will allow better data capture and the retention of that data throughout the registration, screening and assessment process. 

For older Australians it will reduce the client’s need to tell their story multiple times. For assessors, client data and assessment referrals will be available in the IAT so that the client is assessed only once. Assessment data and outcomes are then automatically fed into the health systems to avoid the duplication of re-entering data. 

At the Department of Health and Aged Care we’re continuing to deliver real-world solutions to enable aged care reform, understanding that our work directly supports older Australians and those working hard to support them to live their best lives for their whole lives. Thank you for being a part of our digital transformation journey.

(End of Video)

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you folks. So that was a quick summary of all the work we did in our July release. We’re still in warranty mode for the release. So far so good. I don’t want to jinx that myself. I can’t say that it’s going great because the next thing you know we’ve got a defect. But no major problems touch wood. 

We’ll make the roadmap and the video available on our website. Hopefully it’s a handy resource for you that you can share with your colleagues or in your organisation to help you with your own change programs within your own areas. With the July release done we have already started hard work on delivering on the October release. So we’ve got multiple things happening at the same time. 

Before I finish up I want to provide a quick update that the aged care reform sector poll survey that we shared at the last Tech Talk is now closed. We’re hoping everyone had a chance to complete that. Our colleagues in our aged care group are now busy working through the results and we’ll look forward to having them along to provide an update in a future Tech Talk.

Now over to Josh Maldon to talk about the recently announced action plan for the Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy. It’s been a little while since the last time you’ve joined us at Tech Talk Josh but with the action plan just released it’s a great time to have you come back and return to us. 

Just a reminder that Josh has to take leave early from Tech Talk today. So if you’ve got any questions get them into the Slido now. And we will take 10 minutes of our Q and A and bring it forward so that Josh can answer some of those questions. Thanks for being with us Josh. Over to you.

Joshua Maldon:

Thank you so much Fay. And it’s hard to go after that video. That was exciting. I bet aged care providers just can’t wait to get on and send in their regulatory reports. It looks really good.

I did want to thank you today for joining us to talk about the launch of the first ever Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy. It was awesome to see a number of you guys last week in ARIIA in person which was a rare treat. So I wanted to thank every one of you that I spoke to there but also the people online here that were so instrumental in delivering the Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy. 

So this is one of those things that we see as absolutely one of the key enablers of aged care reform and it’s going to enable us to deliver on a range of the Royal Commission recommendations. So we’re pretty excited about it.

If we jump to the next slide.

I just wanted to talk, give a bit of context about where we came from and how we got to where we are and so look at the context of the problem that we’re trying to solve. And so it’s one of those things that certainly the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified a number of gaps in the digital data landscape that can hinder effective care. 

It looked at information on aged care still being complex, hard to find, making it difficult to access services. We heard that both the digital literacy of older people and the workforce is variable. We heard about the digital systems in the aged sector still being really variable and also at times based on paper-based care management systems. We heard about fragmented and incomplete data, particularly notable data gaps in workforce, finance, regular assessment of care needs, quality of life and safety of care. And certainly the limited interoperability between systems and entities which results in hindering that person-centred view of pathways and outcomes. 

And so we also had the Intergenerational Report released last year and that forecasts some pretty ... data. So by 2062 the number of people over the age of 65 is reported to more than double, as well as the number of people over the age of 85 more than triple. We already know now that the aged care workforce is under immense strain and needs to increase in order to meet demands. We’ve also heard from consultations about the need to maintain face-to-face channels despite looking to use digital where it makes sense. 

So if we jump through. I just want to talk about what we heard through consultations. And as you guys were aware, you were directly involved in this, but over the past 18 months we’ve been talking through a range of different channels and consultation tactics. So there were 20 focus groups, 13 public forums, four webinars and multiple presentations at our valued Tech Talks and sector partner sessions that you guys have been engaged in. 

Overall our reach was around 600 individuals. Which was fantastic to get their direct input into the vision, the purpose and outcomes, but most importantly the proposed actions that seek to overcome some of these challenges and pain points that we’ve got in the data and digital landscape. As part of it we also had 62 online feedback submissions. We received feedback from 55 service providers. So we were able to better understand what the key barriers are, issues around digital maturity and what the strategic priorities would be. 

And so as we had those conversations the sorts of things that we heard from you in developing the strategy were that the workforce challenges, they are really real and something that we need to continue to work on particularly in the context of the ageing population. And so understanding where we can use digital to free up time and resources to create efficiencies in the sector and ultimately improve the quality of care for older Australians is really critical. 

So we heard things around how can we make care easier with automation, streamlining of non-care tasks, all those sorts of things. And again making sure that we continue to lift the data and digital maturity across both older people and the workforce and how that can directly translate to improved outcomes. But also certainly interoperability and again how that can create efficiencies. But also really importantly improve continuity of care across sectors as people move through those particular handover points between ageing social care systems, as well as the healthcare sector. And particularly from a data perspective the importance of having standards as a precursor to progressing that integration agenda. We also heard that rural and remote providers need tailored support to enable them to fully benefit from improvements. And so what we’re looking to do through the strategies is take a number of these issues particularly head on.

So if we jump through. I just want to show you guys the slide on a page. This should be a really familiar look and feel to you. We have taken on the feedback that we got when we went out through public consultation. But you can see there we’ve got the vision that the Minister set out there around delivering the highest-quality person-centred care system for older people. 

We’ve got the six guiding principles to steer implementation. These principles reflect what we heard really clearly from older people in the sector. And ultimately the fundamental goal here is to be person centred, as well as care focused. We heard about that importance of people telling their story once to avoid triggering stress and trauma. We heard about the need to be able to cater for diverse people and again be able to integrate across the sector more broadly, as well as within the system itself. And then ultimately we need a system that is trusted, particularly elevated by a number of the cybersecurity concerns that people hold. You can see then how it directly broadens out to four outcomes. And what we’ve done is put two strategic priorities under each outcome. 

So the exciting piece now that I want to talk to you, and I want to jump through to the next slide, is talk to you about well what are the concrete actions that we’re actually taking under this particular Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy. And so we’ve got them situated underneath each particular outcome. 

But look what we’re going to be doing is refreshing this plan annually. And so this is something where I want to be really clear with this audience is we see this as a starting point to continue those conversations with you about what the new data and digital improvements are that we can pursue and annually refresh this plan. It’s something that we’re conscious that we’ve got to remain responsive to the evolving needs of the sector and the dynamic situation that we have.

So in the first year of the action plan we’ve aligned the four strategic outcomes and guiding principles with those proposed action areas. If you just want to jump through on the slide. We’ve got indicative timeframes for implementation covering short-term, so there’s two years, medium-term and long-term horizons which extend beyond the life of the strategy. 

But what I wanted to talk about today is focus on the government announcement around the $1.4 billion that it’s made regarding the digital capability investment and why this is critical to enable implementation of the New Aged Care Act, as well as the associated aged care reform activities. And so I wanted to paint a little bit of a picture around that investment for you. 

So as a number of people on this call are aware of, our aged care digital system underpins service delivery to 1.5 vulnerable older people. It supports business management processes for the aged care workforce including both providers and assessors. 

From an older Australian perspective it enables supported access to the aged care system, so that’s through the contact centre, as well as face-to-face support, with digital capabilities that enable the care-finders workforce and aged care service officers to access assessment in aged care services while providing transparent information as well to help inform their choices as they progress through the system. 

For assessors it provides the ability to receive referrals for assessments, undertake assessments, develop support plans, refer people to aged care services and hopefully soon push through support plans over to My Health Record. 

For the aged care workforce and providers it enables all provider activity in interaction with government, including receiving service referrals, payment and regulatory reports. Government from our perspective is also really important because the system enables regulation, as well as providing quality data. So that timeliness in granularity that you need to effectively measure, monitor and improve care through evidence-based policy. 

So the way I see it is in simple terms. The New Aged Care Act is changing the way services are accessed, funded and regulated. That’s got pervasive impacts across all of those system capabilities which need to be updated in order for the benefits to be realised both by older people, as well as the sector more broadly.

So in terms of the benefits for older people this investment is going to help to protect their rights and enhance face-to-face engagement by enabling supported decision making. It’ll have system interfaces for the new nominee arrangements. It’ll provide them with choice and control by assigning residential places to older Australians rather than providers. It’ll help protect them through better targeted regulation. As well as improve care continuity across the health and aged care system by connecting My Aged Care with My Health Record which is really a foundational achievement. It’ll also help to provide more face-to-face care for older people by expanding the B2G capabilities, again to ease provider reporting on our aged care providers, as well as protect privacy and information through a security uplift. 

There’s a range of other things also involved in the strategy and I’m unable to go through them all. But one of the really exciting things that we’re doing is looking at innovating with the sector out there about how we can better combat functional and cognitive decline. And that’s some work we’re doing with Independent Living Australia. And that’s looking at can we expand their ... initiative which is designed to make healthy aging information free and accessible to older Australians. As well as starting to understand how we can better utilise artificial intelligence and virtual reality, noting that those things are already being used in the sector. And so where they’re working, what are the benefits of those and how can we explore scaling those particular things up. 

If we jump through to the benefits of investment for aged care providers. So one of the key things that we’re really conscious of is where we can streamline your interactions with us, so including receiving service referrals, management payments or the reports that you do through the Government Provider Management System. 

We’re conscious of looking at the opportunities to reduce the administrative burden. And again how we share that information across the health and care sectors through modern interoperable technology, and ultimately where are the efficiencies to enable aged care providers and their workforce to spend more time delivering high-quality care. And that’s where the Business-to-Government work is really exciting in that space. 

But again this is about enabling a new streamlined registration system both from a policy and a digital perspective. This is about enabling more proportionate risk-based regulation and better targeting where older Australians may be at risk of receiving poor care. It’s also going to cover off on worker screening and registration, looking at streamlining and centralising those workforce assurance processes, as well as a range of different benefits as we look to next steps in implementing the new support in a home-care program. 

So in terms of what’s next if we jump onto the next slide. So again that’s a good illustration of how those outcomes line up with the priorities and the actions and again the status. It’s obviously now publicly available. There’s a fair bit of information so it’s hard to go through it all today. But what I wanted to do was draw out some of those particular elements to tell you how we’re delivering on those particular things. 

The strategy itself, it sets the vision for the next five years of investment. And while we’ve got a two-year initial funding commitment it doesn’t stop there. So again you can see those indicative timeframes for implementation covering the short term, we’ve got those two years, the medium term, as well as the long term. And so I’m hoping that you can recognise the four outcomes that we discussed earlier with you that’s come through, as well as those outcomes that situate underneath that. And also through those actions we’ve now got the roadmap. And then we’re considering how to evaluate and measure the strategy and its effectiveness with all the investment that’s going on to this space. 

So I guess I just wanted to reiterate again that to me this is the start of and continuation of that collaboration with you, as well as all stakeholders. We’ll continue to listen and adapt our actions based on feedback and emerging needs. And really excited to continue working towards with you to achieve these particular outcomes. We want to hear from you the ideas and suggestions about what you see as the next phase for our action plan. We’ve already heard ideas around how we can work together more to uplift provider digital maturity and systems and other opportunities to integrate AI and emerging technologies. 

So look I just wanted to thank you all for your engagement and offer any timeline here to take on any questions. Thank you. Thank you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Josh. And so you’ve got some codes up for people who can scan in real time and have a look and download some of these things. There’s a lot more detail in the report online. But a couple of questions that are coming through. So it says:

Q:          Is there timelines to go with the action plan for the Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy? 

And I think you’ve kind of touched on that but let’s just elaborate a little bit more. I think you’ve done a two-year horizon first, is that correct? 

Joshua Maldon:

Two year, three year and five year. And so it is time boxed in that context in the specific plan. And we’re really clear on the sorts of things that are in play and the burn that they’ve got at the moment. But again Fay I just want to acknowledge that that’s year one. We already want to have conversations about what people think next steps look like.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Absolutely. And so folks get online and download the report because it gives you a lot more detail and graphically shows some of these priorities, where they start and how long they go for.

There’s also a second question around:

Q:          Is there any funding available in the 1.4 billion to invest in the digital systems and capabilities of home care providers? 

Joshua Maldon:

Yeah. Look that’s a great question. That’s something that we have been hearing and some feedback that I already got out of the ARIIA conference. So a range of people raised that with me, and effectively given that we do have this transformational agenda in government what support is available out there for providers. And there’s a range of existing mechanisms now but what was pointed out to me is the digital maturity of the landscape. 

And so the answer I provided is that for government to consider if it’s got a role in funding providers – and absolutely open for government to consider that – it’d need to consider it in the context of the broader viability picture of providers. Not all providers are created equally. And so that’s something I’d be really interested in understanding from people is what would be the pros and the cons of the investment. But also the potential criteria if you like that we put around for something like that to provide that option up to government where it would need to make a decision on it. So it hasn’t made a decision on that particular element at this point. 

What I would say though is that we do have a business and workforce advisory service which is available for eligible residential aged care and home care providers that meet certain criteria. And you’re able to receive some advice around implementing digital solutions across business, management, financial strategies and workforce challenges there. But not the first time I’ve heard that feedback. And I’m happy to continue to listen as to what people think that that would look like and how it would be an effective support mechanism by government. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Thanks Josh. And so to be very specific the $1.4 billion envelope that there is now currently does not have any money in there to support any digital systems and capabilities for home care providers. It’s a question I got last time. So I want to make sure I’m being very clear about it. 

Josh, myself and others inside the department are actively working on doing more research around that viability and digital maturity so that we can discuss more broadly with government what potential ideas could look like. No commitment there. I’m just saying there’s work being actively done. 

And so to Josh’s point we would like to hear what you think that help could look like and how does it contribute to the digital uplift and readiness for the changes that are coming from the reform. So please send through any suggestions you have there.

I’ll give you one more. And they’re nice, good, difficult ones for us today Josh. 

Q:          So previous reporting systems have stifled innovation by limiting the data to the narrow compliance preference of assessors. Government preferences are also baked in to block some care models or foster roster outcomes. How have you allowed for a wider and more innovative range of future business models?

Joshua Maldon:

Yeah. Look in the context of – I’m going to take that as specifying data constructs. Do you think that’s fair to take that ...

Fay Flevaras:

That’s a good lens. They can put up a clarifying question. We don’t ...

Joshua Maldon:

Yeah. And that’s the way I’ve interpreted it. So hopefully this answers your question. But effectively people do use data inconsistently and those sorts of things and it’s been a real blocker to interoperability. And that’s why there’s been a range of work done by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to look at standardising data because we do have to standardise it in order to make sure that systems can talk. 

Now it certainly wouldn’t be an intended consequence at all that would have any impact on particular care models but we’re always happy to have those conversations. So there is a version 2 of the national minimum dataset being worked on as we speak which is going to be a really key part to looking at what we look to next implement through Business-to-Government.

And then when we look to specify particular data fields in our Business-to-Government work, so things like quality indicators for example, there’s a whole piece of research, consultation and expert development that goes into those particular things. And whilst we acknowledge that people measure things differently for different reasons, if we’re going to be able to make things comparable and have a transparent system you do have to look to adopt a common element there. But happy to continue to hear that feedback Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. No. Great. And I agree that you could read a few different points into this question. By limiting the data construct hopefully just on that piece that’s where our Business-to-Government gateway platform comes in. We’re doing a lot there to be able to offer up APIs to allow for more innovation within the sector. But I think we’re on a maturity journey altogether on that. So it’s kind of ‘watch this space’ on that. 

I can’t talk too much to the preferences from government that block care models. I think for me it’s mostly around what outcomes are we trying to achieve and then what does that mean in your world around rosters and how you achieve that outcome. This is why we have tried to be more open through the discussions as you would have noted over the last couple of years, so that we can get a better understanding of what the implications are within your world as we try to achieve the quality outcomes together. 

So thank you for those questions. I think we’ll pause here. Josh we might let you go to run off to your next commitment. And I think now we’re moving on to – let me just check – I think we have Leanne. I’m pleased to welcome Leanne. She’s a first timer with us so everyone be nice. And she’s here to talk to us about the soon to be released self-service capability for GPMS. So welcome. Take it away. Over to you.

Leanne Smith:

Thanks so much Fay.

The upcoming release of GPMS will deliver the Self Service Portal. The intent of the portal is to help providers maintain the information that’s held by government and to complete regulatory reporting obligations via the approved provider notifications and governing body determination process. So before I take you through a walkthrough of the Self Service Portal I should just let you know that today we will be focused on going through the maintenance aspect of the portal.

So moving on. From the initial launch of the Self Service Portal – if we can just go back one sorry. From the initial launch of the Self Service Portal approved providers will be able to see the information the department holds. You’ll be able to see this information after logging in through GPMS. So once logged in approved providers will be able to select one of the following tiles. You’ll be able to view provider details, services, key personnel and contacts and third-party arrangements.

If we jump over to the next one. When a user is logged in and selects the provider details page they’ll be able to view further information about their organisation. So depending on the level of access that is provided, users with organisation-level access will be able to create, update and cease contacts, view organisational information and create digital forms. Those with service-level access will be only able to view organisation details.

Provider details that will be viewable from within the Self Service Portal include provider name, ID, business name, organisation type and purpose. And over the page further information that’s also included is care type details, including current status and effective date for each care type, and then further down we’ve also got incorporation and ABN details. Sorry I think we might be a little bit out of sync with the slides at the moment. If we can just jump ahead.

Perfect. Let’s start from here. So in terms of the service details, let’s talk about what we can see in the service-level view. So similar to the provider details page, from this view users will be able to view information for the services that they are assigned to. So over the page you’ll be able to see we have information relating to accreditation details, physical address. And then over the page finally the postal address which will also be viewable from within this tile.

Now the third tile relates to key personnel and contacts. So when a user selects this tile they will be able to view key personnel, including roles and positions from within the organisation, and points of contact which are usually the current primary contacts.

Now as I mentioned earlier this is going to be the first time that you’re going to be seeing this information. So it’s possible that some updates will be required. So using the self-service function within this tile, users will be able to add, update and cease any points of contact.

You’ll also be able to view key personnel profiles from within this tile. So any updates to key personnel, including adding, updating information for existing or removing existing key personnel, will require you to notify the Aged Care and Safety Quality Commission. What we will be introducing is the digital forms that will enable you to do this online.

So the way that you’ll – sorry we might just go back one there. So in terms of notifying the Commission, when reporting regulatory changes you’ll be able to submit a notification form about a material change or key personnel change or event or request a governing body determination. So it’s worth a callout that the process for assessing both notifications and governing body determinations are not changing with the introduction of the Self Service Portal. It’s just the way that these forms can be submitted.

So within the portal itself there will be a function called My Workspace. Now this has been created to allow you to view the status of your draft forms, those that have been submitted, those that are in progress and any that have been finalised. It’s worth a callout again that this workspace will only display those forms that are submitted after the portal goes live.

Finally users will be able to view any third-party arrangements by clicking on the third-party arrangement tile. So this means you’ll be able to view any contractual arrangements that have been engaged to manage and/or deliver any services.

Self Service Portal is going to be available really, really soon. So once live we’re requesting that approved providers review the information about their organisation, services and third-party arrangements. As I mentioned it will be the first time that people will be viewing this information so it’s possible that updates might be required.

We ask that you update your points of contact via the self-service component and cease any points of contact that are no longer applicable.

With any other major release there will definitely be further guidance materials published on the website shortly. For any information that you need regarding reporting obligations you’ll need to contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. But you can also reach our team as well for any further information.

That’s the overview of the Self Service Portal Fay. Thank you. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Leanne. That was awesome. So this one’s been in the making for a little while and it’s a big step towards GPMS self-serve capability. I think providers have told me in the past that they have to pick up the phone and try and get through and say what their changes are going to be. And then they’re not quite sure if the changes have been made so then they follow up a few weeks later. So in this way we’re giving you guys the tools to do it for yourself. 

I did hear a couple of calls to action from Leanne. You want us to make sure that everyone reviews their information because it’s probably one of the first times they’re going to see them themselves via a self-serve mechanism. And you want people to update their points of contact and take out any of the people that are no longer applicable and make sure they’re relevant. Is that right? They were the two calls to action that I heard. 

Leanne Smith:

Absolutely. And I think again with those points of contact, they are the contacts that we’re using to communicate important information with everybody, so yeah. That’s great. Thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

And so as Leanne mentioned it’s coming – a couple of weeks later in the month this will go live. And there’ll be more resources and more comms that will come out that are coming your way. And there’s a few different touchpoints involved here. So if you get stuck or you could use a hand please reach out to us. We’re here to help and make sure everyone’s successful. And thanks so much Leanne. You’re now an official Tech Talker. So let’s move on.

So now we’re going to launch our standard Q and A. And we had to play a bit of catch-up on some of the questions from last time. And so these were the popular questions from our May Tech Talk. We ran over time and so we had a bit of a backlog of questions. And so we’re going to bring them back today and I’m going to get some people to join me to help me answer these. So firstly I’d like to be joined by Carmine from the Report Implementation Division to start us off. Are you here? Where is he?

Yeah. Excellent. There you are Carmine. 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Yeah. Here I am.

Fay Flevaras:

All right. So question one:

Q:          Is there a timeframe for APIs for SIRS reporting? 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Sure. Thank you. So software developers and vendors play a critical role in driving the transformation to connect providers to government. The Department of Health and Aged Care will continue to engage with the sector and software vendors in co-design to inform current and future API selection. SIRS will be prioritised against several other aged care provider focused candidates for future APIs. And the API offering will be expanded in 2025 to include up to five additional APIs for B2G. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Carmine. And I noticed there’s some questions on the Slido from other people about will there be some other APIs. So I think that prioritisation, we might make sure we come back to the sector and get a bit of a voting and see what their perspective is on that one too. 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Definitely.

Fay Flevaras:

All right. 

Q:          So can you give us examples of software providers the department is working with to enable Business-to-Government connection? 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Yeah. Sure. So first of all delivering improvements to technology is critical for aged care reform. Building the capability to connect aged care providers to the government will improve data sharing across aged care and health sectors, leading to better care for older people in Australia. And really software developers and vendors are essential in this transformation. 

The department is actively working with them in co-design and testing APIs that connect providers to government systems. And this collaboration has been ongoing since 2022 and includes aged care providers, software developers, peak body and health professionals. So thank you. 

Through digital transformation Tech Talks and sector partner forums the department has been engaging in presentations and discussions to ensure everyone is involved in that co-design process. So we have a list of software vendors that B2G have been engaging with and it’s available on the digital transformation sector partners webpage if you’d like to go check that out.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. Now I’m just checking, that sector partners webpage, is that available to everyone or just sector partners? 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

I would have to just double-check on that Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

You can check on that and we’ll come back on it. 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Thank you. 

Fay Flevaras:

In the meantime though I am trying to encourage some friendly competition in our software sector. And so as soon as people do become conformant – like we’re working with a few of them – but once they pass the conformance process they will be published on the B2G gateway portal for people to see who’s conformant. But yes, thanks. Now I’m not going to let you get away yet just Carmine. There’s a few more questions for you.

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Okay.

Fay Flevaras:

I put you on the spot there. So don’t worry about the other one ... 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

You can’t see me sweating, can you?

Fay Flevaras:

Q:          So there is a 24-by-7 nursing API. What does it do in non-tech speak? 

And we’ll have the team in the background answer my other one.

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Right. Thank you Fay. I can answer this because I am a non-technical person so this is good. So API stands for Application Programming Interface. So essentially it is a digital tool that automates connections between aged care providers and governments. So APIs reduce the administrative burden for aged care providers and improves data and reporting accuracy. 

So currently as we speak aged care providers enter regulatory reporting measures, including 24/7 registered nurse responsibility, into software that does not connect with the Government Provider Management System which adds time to data entry. So connecting to API technology will allow aged care provider systems to seamlessly connect, report and share information with GPMS. So Business-to-Government connections improve the flow of information, enabling two-way sharing of information with government, removing manual data entry duplication of report effort, and entering data once and viewing reports when due and at submission.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. So hopefully everyone got that. So the nursing information that someone puts in their own systems in their own company, they’ll have that software connect via our API to government. So that means as people are entering the data they’re not doing it twice, right, once in their system and twice in ours? 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Correct Fay. 

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Thus hopefully reducing administration for everyone. Number four:

Q:          Is there a more detailed roadmap for B2G portal for the next 12 to 24 months? What is next and when? 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Yeah. Thank you. Good question. I can see that in the Slido as well, a few of those. So delivering improvement to technology is critical for aged care reform. So building the capability to connect aged care providers to the government as I touched upon before has many, many benefits. 

So API offerings will be expanded in 2025 to include up to five additional APIs. The department will continue to engage with the sector and software in co-design to inform the current and future API selections. And sort of what Fay had mentioned before, we’ll definitely be coming back to this group to play it back and get your feedback and contribution as to what are the higher-priority APIs for the roadmap.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Now let me just check. Do you have any more? Yes you do.

Carmine Spagnoletti:

No. 

Fay Flevaras:

One more. 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Do I?

Fay Flevaras:

No. It may not be actually. This one might be for Lucas. 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Okay. Thank you. 

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Thanks Carmine. 

Carmine Spagnoletti:

Thank you Fay. Thanks everyone.

Fay Flevaras:

And look hot off the press, that list of B2G people who are in the process, it is actually only available to our sector partner community. So we might take an action on that one and make it more publicly available to everyone on the public site where we list who all of our sector partners are. So that way that everyone can see it. So that was the answer to that one Carmine.

All right Lucas over to you.

Q:          The portal says that all APIs are in development. Have they been completed, tested and in production? And if yes why are the labels not indicating otherwise? And if no why ask vendors to connect if they’re not completed yet? 

A multifaceted question there Lucas. 

Lucas Ramirez de Arellano:

Absolutely. Well look thank you Fay. And hello everyone. 

B2G provide early visibility of APIs being released. So this allows developers to include them in future planning, on roadmaps and commence building against specifications. So for example the 24-by-7 registered nurses has enhanced specifications and that allows developers to commence building software solutions. 

These enhancements will go live 29th of July. On the 1st of July the wording on the developer portal moved from ‘in development’ for those APIs to ‘in production’ for all APIs. The APIs currently in production as of the 1st of July are quality indicators, 24-by-7 registered nurses, provider management and authentication. So I hope that answers the question Fay. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you. And let’s be honest folks these things will move quickly. As we start to identify new services that we think will be a priority, we will definitely start putting them up there as candidate services. And then we will start to try and communicate where they’re up to in different stages of that lifecycle. And you’ll often get changes in production APIs as well as we introduce changes or new versions for things. So Lucas I think it’s going to be a ‘watch this space’ as we continue to evolve our communications, right. Excellent. 

Let’s see. Do we have any other questions for you? No. I don’t think we do. Thank you very much Lucas. 

Lucas Ramirez de Arellano:

Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

So I’ll invite Janine now back to the stage. And she’s going to bring together a bit of a panel discussion for us. We’ll have Leanne I think join us as well. And of course we don’t have Josh with us. And we’ll go through some of the other questions that we’ve got on Slido. So Janine over to you.

Janine Bennett:

Thank you very much. So the panel today we have Lucas. Leanne are you happy to sit in as well? I don’t think we prearranged for Leanne. 

Leanne Smith:

Yeah. That’s fine.

Janine Bennett:

We have a number of questions there that I know you’ve got answers to so I think it’d be helpful to have you there. Okay. Great.

So as always we’re going to invite our questioners to the stage to have a conversation with our panellists. So I might just queue up the first round of people so that they can get ready to come on stage. So if we can give Sara a heads-up and Jane and Andrew and Charlene. So we’ll get you guys ready to come on stage. And if my team can queue those folks up in the background. So we have Sara, Jane, Andrew and Charlene. 

And in the meantime I’ll answer a question from Melanie. So Melanie said she’s sorry she was late. No worries Melanie. It’s all recorded. You’re totally fine. She said:

Q:          Will the webinar be recorded and shared so that I can watch what I missed please?

It absolutely will. It’ll be available on the Department of Health and Ageing public website. We have a digital transformation section on that site area and we put up the full recording of all of our Tech Talks. You can watch this one or any of our previous 16 Tech Talks if you get really curious. And that’ll be available within the next couple of weeks. We just do a transcription and then as soon as that’s ready to go it gets published. They’re also all available on YouTube. So you can go searching for them there if that’s an easier format for you. We’ll send links out in the emails after this event as well to make access nice and easy.

So thank you Melanie. That’s that question answered.

And if we have Sara, if we could bring Sara to stage. Sara had a question about IAT. And noting we don’t have any policy people in the room from the Support at Home space Fay, maybe you could have a go at answering this one for us and then you can let us know if we need to take it on notice. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And I might ...

Janine Bennett:

... Sara I’ll let you ...

Fay Flevaras:

I might ask Sara to start, yeah. Do you want to elaborate on your question at all Sara?

Audience Member:

Yeah. For sure. Hi everyone.

Q:          There used to be the assessment document, and I forget what it was called prior to NSAF, that was an electronic document that on admission you could grab from Services Australia and consume within your software so that a provider on admission had a lot of information electronically about the assessment. When NSAF came into being that wasn’t a capability. It was a PDF document that was unable to be consumed. So the question is, with the new IAT will that be a document that will go back to being electronic that a software vendor can use to provide that visibility?

Fay Flevaras:

So thanks Sara. I appreciate the clarification. As you can appreciate there’s a lot going on in that space at the moment. And so we are actively in requirements and design mode so you do have an integrated assessment tool there. I’ll definitely take this one back inhouse. 

There is also some work being done around as you would have heard today which B2G APIs, what’s the next lot of APIs that we want to have out there. And I wouldn’t call it the IAT API but it’s something along the lines. We’ve heard similar feedback around how do you get the continuity of information throughout different stages from entitlement to eligibility and assessing and getting all that information so that different people in the different steps aren’t asking for the same information again and again. 

So it’s definitely being considered. I like the way you described it because it gives us another perspective and another angle to make sure that we communicate to the team as we’re working it all out. So I couldn’t say to you yes or no. No promises yet. But yes, thank you. 

Audience Member:

That’s great. Thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you. 

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much for your question Sara. We’ll go ahead and invite Jane to the stage now. So Jane had a question about technology capability support for home care providers. Jane if we can get your video or at least audio on we can let you ask your question ...

Fay Flevaras:

Jane may not have known what she got herself into when she put her name ...

Janine Bennett:

Hi Jane. Do we have you there? That’s all right. I’ll go ahead and ask the question for Jane in case she’s having trouble getting off mute. So the question was:

Q:          Will there be any technology capability support for home care providers to record quality indicators when this is introduced?

Fay Flevaras:

So look more generally I don’t even know if there will be quality indicators for home care support or if it will be introduced. But more generally I can say that as we do new enhancements and changes we do try and provide as much co-design and support throughout the whole process. And so my expectation would be that if we were to start doing some of this, yes we would provide some communication around how to do it. 

It really comes down to as we’re developing together, if the community needs something and it’s something that a lot of people need then we raise it up and try and respond. And Leanne’s like a good example of that, with the self-serve features that are coming down the pipeline very soon there’s a whole lot of resources and communication that’s going to happen around support. 

So support’s quite a general word. So I’m not sure if we’re covering all the expectations that she may be thinking about. We haven’t really clarified the question. Leanne what are some of the typical things that you guys put out there? There’s comms.

Leanne Smith:

There is comms. There’ll be videos. There’s newsletters. There’ll be guidance materials as well that we publish on the Health website as well. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Good. So that gives an indication of what some of the supports are as we do provide changes into the ecosystem. 

So what’s next?

Janine Bennett:

Great. So we’ve got Andrew next. I think Andrew is joining us from a mobile phone so we might just have audio on this one. We’ll give it a try. Andrew I noticed you had two questions. Feel free to come off mute and you can put them to the panel.

Audience Member:

Thank you. Hi everyone. My name’s Andrew Farmer, I’m from Mirus Australia. I think the second question might be the most relevant one about the providers that we work with who are actually quite advanced in their digital strategies. And most of the strategy documentation that I’ve read, including the most recent one, tends to seem to focus on how providers can connect to the department and vice versa and how we can enable better interoperability in that sense. But not as much about how those providers can go on their own journeys and develop their own digital transformations for their own benefit and the benefit of their residents.

Q:          So will there be funding granting money available not to the department and not to the interoperability and to the connectivity between providers and the department but for the providers themselves to drive their own futures? 

Fay Flevaras:

That’s definitely a few degrees away from where we are today I think. I think with so much change happening at the moment we’re very focused on the here and now and what are the reform changes and how we best help everyone adopt those. Look I’m probably going to misspeak a little bit but there is already existing grants that as a provider they can put up a case to. I can’t remember the exact name. I’m happy to follow it up and send it out as a follow-up or bring it back in the next Tech Talk. But it is a business policy one where you could put suggestions up and ask for requests there. I don’t know if they’re still available. 

But we’re very focused on how do we get the reform implementations that we’re putting out in the sector as a first priority. That’s probably the – which is where their strategies are mostly focused, which is how do they connect to us, how do we automate the communication between us to help reduce the overhead in any administration there or double-handling. So I’m not sure if I exactly answered your question there Andrew but it’s probably not a focus area that we’ve got at the moment.

Audience Member:

Just a slight follow-up on that. I find that if they’re driving their own journeys then the technology that they’re driving in their own organisations will provide for the connectivity and will provide for the data and will – both will be achieved at the same time. I worry that the way that we’re going we’re only focusing on the connectivity and therefore the second part won’t be achieved the other way around. It’s just a ...

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. You’re broadening the perspective there of the question. In that if you’re talking about core enablements, then yes that’s something that we could align more. We are actively having conversations with a broad group of CIOs. There’s a number of things that they have on their roadmap for change in order to set themselves up to connect. It’s not a very simple question. I think we’re concentrating – well I can only say that I’m concentrating on the specifics at the moment to go ‘Here’s the roadmap of change for the 12 months. What enablement do we need to get in place to be successful together?’ And that’s ...

Audience Member:

Yeah. I appreciate that. Good job. Thank you. 

Fay Flevaras:

I suppose if you look at it through that lens, then you go well which of those initiatives actually really contribute to that versus actually their value proposition more broadly in uplifting their digital maturity and literacy for their services of their customers.

Thanks Andrew. I’m not sure I answered it but I appreciate the conversation.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Andrew. We’ll go ahead and bring Charlene to the stage if we could. And while Charlene’s just getting herself off mute I’ll give a queue warning to RC, to Richard and to Peter K if I could.

Charlene I notice you’ve got a couple of questions. I think we will direct them in different ways because I think we might have different people who’ll answer each of them. But you throw one out and I’ll see who it’s best targeted for.

Audience Member:

Well can you hear me? 

Janine Bennett:

Yes.

...

Audience Member:

Q:          The easy one was when the Self Service Portal would be available? 

Janine Bennett:

I think this is a perfect question for Leanne.

Leanne Smith:

It’s a good, easy question for Leanne. The Self Service Portal will go live at the end of this month.

Janine Bennett:

A nice definitive answer, we like that. 

Audience Member:

Yes.

The second one is:

Q:          Will we be able to submit CSV files or very simple Excel files without all the headings and things with our QFR information to the GPMS portal soon?

Janine Bennett:

So Fay I think this might be one for you to start off.

Fay Flevaras:

So if a provider is considering submitting their QFR information on their own Excel template or a CSV format, this is not currently supported at the moment.

Audience Member:

I know.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. But there is an agreed Excel format that we supply that you can download from the portal and you can put your data into that. 

Audience Member:

Yes. We do.

Fay Flevaras:

And then you can submit the approved Excel format. But we just can’t accept all different ones. That is available today. So you can go and download the approved Excel format and ...

Audience Member:

Yes.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And if you want to supply supplementary information in response to a query, then you can attach these file types to a reply response to the query email that they have received when you send the query in. 

Audience Member:

Yes. It’s just that I work with SQL Server and am working towards just being able to download a file with the information. So we’ve been using the templates but it would be nice if we could do a CSV.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. So I think you might need to do just a few more steps on your side and try and take your CSV and open it in Excel and then save it in Excel in the agreed format. Apologies for that. You can imagine how many different providers are out there. If they all sent different versions we would just not be able to accommodate the process for them. But we understand it’s easier in a file format which is why we put out a feature of an agreed file format that we can accommodate. Hopefully that helps. 

Audience Member:

Thank you. 

Fay Flevaras:

Not really but ...

Janine Bennett:

It’s information that may not be as quick as you would have liked it. 

We did have a question that I think is relevant to this as well which has just come through but while we’re talking about it:

Q:          Where can we find the QFR template file? 

It seems timely to answer that right after Charlene’s great question. 

Fay Flevaras:

Sorry. Repeat that again. You blurred a little bit Janine. 

Janine Bennett:

Apologies. 

Q:          Where can we find the QFR template file?

Fay Flevaras:

My understanding, it is on your GPMS portal under your QFR section. But I could be wrong, I haven’t looked at it for a little bit. But it’s definitely on the portal. 

Janine Bennett:

I’ll take a commitment for us to go and make sure that it’s there and we will let you guys know in the post-event email. So we’ll double-check that. But I assume it would be on the portal too. I can’t think where else they’d put it. 

Fay Flevaras:

It’s where the data’s collected my understanding is. But I haven’t done it for a while. 

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thank you. So we’ll get RC queued up to come to stage if we could. And while we’re waiting for that we’ll give you an anonymous question. 

Q:          What lead time are you aiming to give vendors on the final structure reporting requirements and methods for Support at Home given the program is going to go live in approximately 12 months? 

And there’s a second part to the question.

Q:          Is it intended that this be reported via B2G APIs? 

I think this is a tough one to answer right now Fay but I’ll let you speak to it.

Fay Flevaras:

I’m going to – I can put Lucas on the spot and go Lucas how far do we try and let people know when we know something? I think it’s pretty much as soon as possible, right? I think there’s still a lot of discussion happening at the moment.

Lucas Ramirez de Arellano:

That’s right Fay. It’s as what we have been discussing along with Carmine earlier, where we’re going through the prioritisation process. And an API such as that would go through the same considerations for enabling APIs as it does for all programs. But it is a good question. And if you do need more information I can certainly take that on notice. But there are discussions still undergoing on that.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And whilst all the policy work and all of the work being done with the Minister and government around Support at Home is in progress, these things have to be announced there first. Then we’ll work internally to understand what the design looks like. And as soon as we can start co-designing with you all we will. 

Conscious that – and someone refers to this a little bit in their question a little bit further down but I’m not answering the question itself. But as an ecosystem we have various different digital maturities across the landscape. So when it comes to prioritising what we’re going to build first, it will be GPMS because that’s our level-setter. It’ll be the place that we make sure that we have the platform and the portal is up to date to accommodate any mandatory reporting and interactions that we would need to do. So when it comes to that second part which is ‘Is it intended to be reported via B2G?’ yes we’re always looking to have both B2G and the portal aligned at the same time. But sometimes given time constraints we may not be able to put it out there at the same time. And so we would prioritise the portal first over B2G knowing that that’s the level-setter for everyone. 

So hopefully that kind of answers the question there. In this forum and as you can see through our roadmaps, we give as much forward notice as we can. So as soon as we know and then we can tell you, we will. That’s kind of the answer. 

Janine Bennett:

And we know Support at Home is a popular subject. We get questions about it all the time. We will have our Support at Home policy colleagues in to speak to you as soon as they are able to. So just know it’s top of our list to get them available for you and for your questions as soon as they’re able to do that. So we can look forward to that. At the moment tentatively on the next Tech Talk agenda.

Okay. RC thank you for waiting. Very patient. If you want to come off mute. I’m not sure if you’ve got video that you can turn on.

Audience Member:

Hello. Hi.

Janine Bennett:

Hi. We can hear you. That’s great. Jump in. 

Audience Member:

This is Rhi Coso calling from RSL LifeCare. And my question is:

Q:          Because our company the software system, especially for the billing and the funding side, is quite behind for the new technology. So I’m just asking is there any recommendation from the department if any software system has been liaising with the department or it’s already started developing the new system to accommodate the New Aged Care Act that is going to be launched the 1st of July ‘25? Is there any list, your list or anybody?

Fay Flevaras:

So at this point in time I’d probably say no, that there’s no one actively working with us on any new fees and payments. I believe the Act has still been working through for everyone in that sense. It does link more broadly to the question earlier today which is which vendors are going through our B2G governance conformance. But as you can see none of the APIs there are anything to do with fees and payments either. 

So as soon as we start doing co-design activities for the New Aged Care Act and Support at Home, once we’ve been given communication from government to start designing with you guys that’s I think when you’ll start to see people understand what it is we’re actually building and when. And so at this time I think we’re still in discovery mode. 

Audience Member:

Okay. Thank you. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much RC. Okay. So I’m going to ask the question on behalf of Richard. So he has said:

Q:          Thank you Fay. The investment required in upgrading our systems in home care services to meet the new requirements and client expectations is significant, I’m going to say significantly costly, although we support the intent. In a very low-margin business this is a challenging business case. I would welcome some further discussion. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And I think we hear you loud and clear. I think it’s definitely like I said work that we’re looking at. Richard I think we’ll grab your details. Happy to engage with you on the research that we’re doing to understand what those dollars might look like and how much of an impact it is in your world so that we can understand what the change is and report back in. So thank you. We welcome the discussion. 

Janine Bennett:

Great. And Peter K, can we bring Peter to stage?

So Peter’s joining us from Hammond Care. Feel free to come off mute, turn your video on if you want to Peter. Welcome.

Audience Member:

Yeah. Hello. Can you hear me?

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. We can. 

Janine Bennett: 

We can.

Audience Member:

My question was about a particular area of APIs for assessments such as AN-ACC assessment and the home care packages in an area when it’s a very clear business problem, absence of automation. And my question is:

Q:          Is it in the pipeline to introduce APIs for assessment data and assessment outcome?

Fay Flevaras:

It’s definitely one use case that has been raised with us before Peter. A little bit like the integrated assessment tool, people want the assessment data to be able to be passed back to them and the assessment outcome. So we are aware of the use case. 

Any information that you might want to pass through us directly through our digital transformation, like DT sector partners email, on how much time and effort it would save for you guys so that we can quantify benefits, that would be awesome. We have not yet prioritised and locked anything into a future release though. 

Audience Member:

Sure. I’m happy to do this. I’m in communication with business and I would provide a description of this business case.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Thank you so much Peter. We really appreciate that. 

Audience Member:

Thank you. 

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Peter. I appreciate the question. Okay. I’ll queue our next round of attendees. So Jennifer if you’d like to prepare, George and SS Perway. If we can have you guys prepare to come to stage. 

In the meantime there was an anonymous question further down that I thought I would just ask. 

Q:          How can Australian residents without an Australian passport access the B2G developer portal? Some of our developers aren’t able to make their GovID security strong enough for RAM B2G without an Aussie passport. 

Is this a Fay or Lucas question?

Fay Flevaras:

Lucas can start. 

Lucas Ramirez de Arellano:

Yeah. I could take this Fay. So look when doing the identity for access to the portal we require a standard identity strength. And there are a number of artefacts that you can use to prove that identity. It isn’t just limited to the passport. So you can use your driver’s licence or learning permit, a birth certificate, your visa if using a foreign passport, a citizenship certificate or Medicare card. So there are a number of proof methods that you can use. So it isn’t just limited to the passport.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. We do as a policy need to make sure that we identify people who will be connecting to our systems. It’s not as high a bar as the people that work directly in my team who all have to be citizens in country. But it is reusing the digital identify for whole of government and so they will need to pass there. 

If you’re having technical problems trying to get through that please call the – we’ve got an email line helping those going through conformance process. You may be identifying an unintended consequence that we haven’t looked at yet, which is maybe you do have developers that can’t pass that digital identity. And we probably need to know what proportion of people out there that might be because it will have an impact on the workforce. But thanks for raising that. And whoever did please contact us, we can talk to you offline.

Lucas Ramirez de Arellano:

Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay Janine who’s up next? What’s our next question?

You’re not off mute yet.

Janine Bennett:

Sorry. I’ve got dogs barking in the background so I was trying to quiet them out. We have Jennifer coming up next. So Jennifer had a couple of questions and I think they might go to different members of our panel. So Jennifer if you want to take yourself off mute you’re good to go.

Audience Member:

Hi there. We’re a very tiny aged care provider. We’ve got 25 beds. Rural and remote, MMM5. And we also have a very robust home care system. A couple of questions.

Q:          Will the key personnel form be going into the self-service kiosk?

Janine Bennett:

Leanne. 

Leanne Smith:

Jennifer it absolutely will. So the new notification form will replace the existing current paper form. It will be digital. You will be able to launch it and complete it from within the portal. 

Audience Member:

Thank goodness.

Leanne Smith:

Yes. I know. I think many people will feel that way. I think the other callout here is that the My Workspace screen that I sort of flashed up briefly, once you’ve submitted those forms online you will be able to track the status as well. So that will give you better visibility of where your form’s up to.

Audience Member:

And not take seven months to know that you’ve ticked the wrong box.

Fay Flevaras:

No. That’s correct. I did say I felt we were answering a good problem space. There was a lot of people who would ring and kind of keep track of where things were at. But hopefully we’re arming you with the information you need in real time. You can just logon and have a look for yourself.

Audience Member:

It’s the worst form I’ve ever seen. 

Fay Flevaras:

Glad that we’re replacing it.

Audience Member:

Q:          I looked on GPMS yesterday for our downloadable Excel spreadsheets to upload and they weren’t there. Is it too early to look?

Fay Flevaras:

Which Excel spreadsheets? 

Audience Member:

For the QFR. 

Janine Bennett:

So Charlene had put up a comment that the template data are on the portal. So when you login and you get into the submission process you’re given the option of downloading the template or entering the data directly. So thank you Charlene for checking that out for us.

Audience Member:

I’ll have another look today.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Charlene. We appreciate the community helpdesk. 

Audience Member:

And I’ve asked this question every single time. 

Q:          Because we’re not-for-profit, standalone and very poor, will there be any government help for all these digital changes?

Fay Flevaras:

So look it’s the same question you’ve heard others say here today.

Audience Member:

I know. Yeah.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. We look absolutely are taking the feedback you give us. So please keep giving us the feedback because then we collate it and we can say ‘Look here’s the responses we’ve had.’ And we are definitely actively discussing it internally. But beyond that I can’t – there’s nothing more. 

Audience Member:

I’m CEO, CFO, IT, CIO.

Fay Flevaras:

You’re all of the above, right?

Audience Member:

Yes. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And please Jennifer we would love to speak to you a bit more as well. I think there is different segments in the ecosystem. You kind of have your big end of town who are really digitally savvy and they’ve got – you know. But then you’re kind of the smaller end of town. We would love to hear from you to understand if there’s something – how we could help as well. 

Audience Member:

I’m available whenever you want Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Great. So we can kind of work with you guys to go ‘Well what could we do a bit differently to help you guys with the adoption?’ and so forth. 

Audience Member:

Yeah. Because I swear with the reforms we’ve had to put on two staff just to ...

Fay Flevaras:

To cope, yeah. 

Audience Member:

... to cope. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Okay. Thank you. 

Audience Member:

And when you only have a tiny budget it makes it very difficult.

Fay Flevaras: 

So I’ll get the team to note your details down. Hopefully we can connect with you and have a discussion about what percentage of overhead in administration that means for you guys. Because we’re just trying to figure it out to be able to go back to make suggestions to government. 

Audience Member:

Yeah. And just another question without notice.

Q:          I just looked up the digital transformation sector partners and our main software provider for our payroll, billing, rostering system is not on there. Is that a problem?

Fay Flevaras:

It’s not a problem. We’ve just had different people who want to volunteer. It really comes down to what changes do you expect your software provider to do for you if you want to stay up to date with any regulatory changes that we might be asking for. 

Audience Member:

Well it’s everything and yes. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And that’s where it comes down to we are part of that research on finding out which software is being used by who. And so we’ll have this discussion with you offline so that it’s more broadly for everyone. If we can identify there’s 50 packages across the ecosystem that we think need to move, five of them are all accounting ones or five of them are all practice management ones, then we can work with the software industry to say ‘You guys need to move. How do we help you move to adopt these changes?’ 

Audience Member:

I’d love to get that ...

Fay Flevaras:

And then you might get first movers, right. And so if it comes down to someone’s not going to invest in the software but you need to do this, this is where we’ll start publishing who’s actually doing things with us and who’s adopting the regulatory changes. Not because we’re providing advice or that we’re preferring one over another but just to arm you all with the information so that you make your own choices of where you want to go. 

Audience Member:

Thank you Fay. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you.

Audience Member:

And thank you for the GPMS upgrade. That’s going to be wonderful. I look forward to that at the end of the month.

Fay Flevaras:

You’re welcome. Thank you.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much Jennifer. Look I think we’re running really tight on time. We can probably do one more really quick one. So if we can just bring George up. I think he was next in the queue.

A quick one up from George. Hey George ...

Audience Member:

Hi everyone. Thanks again for today’s session. It was great to see Josh for the third time in a week talking about digital strategy so that’s really exciting. 

Q:          Particularly priority areas 7 and 8, they’re digital maturity and the innovation. Overseas when I recently came back there’s a lot of work about innovation labs and accelerators and pitch fests and competition. Is there any plans here for us to be able to drive some of that innovation by those sort of activities so that we actually have an opportunity for people with innovative ideas to launch them in front of a big enough audience to see what sticks and what doesn’t? 

Fay Flevaras:

So we have been thinking about that internally George – and I say ‘thinking’ – and talking a little bit. I think where we’ve landed at the moment is we just wanted to get a handle on the next 12 months’ worth of change which is going to be quite a lot for everyone. And to have the right APIs in place so that if we were to sponsor a hackathon or look for innovation that I feel a lot of it would come down to accessing information two-way and doing lots of those things. 

We also need the headspace to be able to provide you guys with some research and insight for AI and virtual reality things as well which at the moment we don’t have because we’re focused on the policy reforms. So it’s not a no. It’s just not the most immediate high priority front of mind to us. 

Audience Member:

So just a heads-up, we are doing some work through the council ... now around with Canada, US and Europe around that. So happy to share that with you guys and –

Fay Flevaras:

Perfect.

Audience Member:

– see what we can do. Thanks a lot. 

Fay Flevaras:

And so definitely as a community we should keep sharing. If you guys are doing stuff in that space then we share it with everyone so everyone benefits. So I really appreciate that George. 

Audience Member:

Thanks everyone ...

Janine Bennett:

Yeah. Absolutely. It’s a big job in front of us. It’s going to take a village. 

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah.

Janine Bennett:

All right. I’m going to have to draw to a close there. But there was one quick question that I think Leanne could just answer really quickly. So I won’t bring SS Perway who asked the question to stage but I will just quickly ask the question. 

Q:          Is there a plan for Self Service Portal to be available to CHSP providers? 

That question was up there for a while. So Leanne if you could just jump in on that one.

Leanne Smith:

Yeah. No problem. So for the initial launch we will be focusing on approved provider information via the portal. That said the plan is absolutely to make CHSP information available through that portal over time. So we’ll keep you posted on when that will be happening. Thanks. 

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Leanne. All right. Thank you so much Lucas. Thanks Leanne. That is all the time we have for questions. We didn’t get through all of them but we got through a lot today so definitely an improvement on the last Tech Talk. And I really appreciate all of your excellent questions. And as always we will be taking note of the questions that we didn’t get to and we’ll figure out how we can get those answered in future Tech Talks. 

That’s our agenda for today. Thank you as always for tuning in. And remember to share your thoughts and feedback in our quick survey. There’s a QR code onscreen now that you can use to access that survey. We’ll email you a link to that survey as well. We know that survey fatigue is real and we understand that people get sick of completing surveys. But we really do use the information that you provide us to make these Tech Talks better for you and more informative. So if you have time we’d really appreciate that. 

As mentioned a few times today’s recording will be posted on our website. So you can keep an eye out for that and we’ll get that up as soon as we can, definitely within the two weeks. And hopefully that’s a useful resource for you and for you to share with your colleagues and networks. That’s it from me. Over to you Fay to take us out. 

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Janine. And thanks everyone for joining us. We really appreciate it. We’ll be back for Tech Talk number 18 on Wednesday August 21st, so we’re planning ahead. We’ll be closing in on our October release by then so I hope you can join us. Any agenda items or topics that you would like us to cover, please email us any hot topics or put it into the survey as a suggestion. 

And one final note. As a department this was our last foray on Webex. And so we’ll be moving to Microsoft Teams from here on out for our webinars going forward. And so we say goodbye to Webex and thank you all for working with us on that one. And just expect a few changes for the next Tech Talk as we come. As always remember this is an open forum so everyone is welcome. Please pass it on to your friends and colleagues. 

So that’s it from us. And thank you for coming and I look forward to seeing you next time. Have a great month. 

[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Thank you!’, ‘Please take our event survey’, ‘health.gov.au/tech-talk-webinars’, ‘DTDDEngagementOffice@health.gov.au’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Presentation slides

About the webinar

We are working to create a better-connected aged care network that is consolidated,  sustainable, automated and modern. 

The 17th Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar featured our usual update on all things digital transformation, including:

  • the July release for the Government Provider Management System, the Business to Government Gateway and My Aged Care portal and more
  • the Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy and Action Plan
  • an extended Q&A session.

Presenters

  • Host: Fay Flevaras, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division, Department of Health and Aged Care
  • Moderator: Janine Bennett, Assistant Secretary, Digital Business and Engagement Branch, Department of Health and Aged Care
  • Panellist: Joshua Maldon, Assistant Secretary, Digital Strategy and Assurance Branch, Department of Health and Aged Care

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