Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 12 July 2023

In this webinar the speakers provided an update on the policy priorities for the Aged Care reform agenda, a playback of our digital transformation timeline and addressed some of the most popular questions

Health sector
Webinar date:

Recording and transcript


Janine Bennett:

Hello and welcome. It’s great to have you joining us for our tenth Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar run by the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division in the Department of Health and Aged Care. We’re very excited today to officially hit double digits in our Tech Talk Series. It’s quite a milestone for us. We’ve only been able to reach that number because of the strong support and interest that we’ve received from you across the sector so thank you so much for that.

My name is Janine Bennett. I’m the Engagement Lead for the Digital Transformation Program and I’m also today’s event moderator.

I’m joining you today from the lands of the Ngunnawal people. So before we get into today’s agenda I’d like to start with a really important acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the lands I am on today and to offer my recognition to the people and family with connections to the lands of the ACT and region. Having just celebrated as a nation NAIDOC Week there is no better time for us to reflect on the contributions of our First Nations people and their impressive and enduring culture. This year’s NAIDOC theme was For Our Elders and I’m sure that that resonates with many of you as it does with me, a theme that’s dedicated to respecting, celebrating and sharing the knowledge and lived experience of our First Nation Elders past and present.

So in that spirit of celebration I hope everybody had a wonderful NAIDOC Week. I want to reflect our respect for our First Nations peoples and their Elders and their continuing culture and contributions to the lives of our cities and regions and to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples we have joining us today. It’s great to have you with us.

Okay. Some quick housekeeping items. As always this webinar is being recorded. The recording will be made available on the Health and Aged Care website as soon as the captioning is completed. Typically that takes us a week or so after the event. If you have any technical difficulties during our event today we do recommend that you use a phone line to dial back in. The phone and an access number code are included in your invite so you can use those to rejoin. We did notice in our last Tech Talk we had a couple of people mention that they had some connection and audio issues. If that arises for you today we’ll ask you to first double check your local device settings. Our technical folks will also be monitoring performance from our side and we will definitely give you a yell if we see any widespread issues. As mentioned the phone line is available so that’s the last ditch backup option if you need it.

As with all of our Tech Talks we’ve set aside time at the end of this event for a chat. So we encourage you to raise topics and questions for discussion as we proceed through the agenda. Simply just use the Slido app which is typically available on the bottom right hand of your Webex screen. Type your question into Slido, click ‘Submit’. Your query will then workflow its way through to being a public question. If you see a question you like on Slido definitely vote it up.

For those that are new to our Tech Talks please note that we do like to invite anyone who’s raising questions to join us on the virtual stage so that you can ask your question of the panel in person. If you’re keen to join us on stage please make sure to submit your question using your name rather than as anonymous. In any case when we’re ready to invite you to stage I will definitely give you a heads up so you’ve got some time to prepare for the little screen. Our technical director will then queue you up to the stage. All you need to do then is unmute and turn on your video and you’ll be able to ask your question. It’s as easy as that.

For those who are feeling a bit shy today no worries. You can still submit your questions under anonymous or if you want to add a note to your question to say ‘No stage’ I’ll keep an eye out for those and I’ll be happy to ask the questions on your behalf. Lately we have struggled to get through all of our burning questions in the time that we’ve allotted for Q&A but we’ll get through as many as we can. As always we do our best to get as many questions answered as we can. We do make a note of the popular questions so we can address them where possible in future agendas. So if we don’t get to your question don’t despair. We are making a note of the things that you’re curious about. In fact today we’ve made a particular effort to come back to you on a number of outstanding questions from our last webinar so hopefully you’ll enjoy that.

Okay. That’s it from me. I’ll see you again during Q&A. But for now I have the pleasure of introducing our host Fay Flevaras. Fay is the First Assistant Secretary of the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division and she is the responsible lead for the digital transformation for aged care on behalf of the Department. Fay over to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Janine and hello everyone and welcome. Great to have you back for what is our tenth Digital Transformation webinar and I must admit I’m very excited that we’ve hit those double digits. For me I’d like to personally thank all of you for your engagement and support to making these a success. I hope you guys get out a lot from it. I know that we do and it helps us and guides us in the work that we do. So we’re looking forward to doing more of these in the future as we continue to evolve through our roadmap of change.

But on to today’s agenda. We did run out of time in our Q&A so we didn’t get to the A part last time. And so we are answering the popular questions. We’ve got about a half a dozen of them that we took away from the last Tech Talk. So we’ve got that up first on the agenda. We’ve also got Thea Connolly back with us and she’s going to walk us through the ageing and aged care transformation roadmap that’s been recently announced. And so looking forward to that. I know we’ve been promising to bring some of that to this forum for a while and we were finally able to get the official roadmap to share with you.

We also have Emma Cook and Amanda Smith who are going to give us a bit of an update on GPMS including sharing a bit of a video walkthrough of some of the new enhancements. And I’ll get to those in a moment. And then of course we have our B2G with John Sidey. He’s back to tell us a little bit more about the onboarding and the conformance work that we’ve been doing with our sector partner community. And as we always like to make sure that any of the ideation work and the design work we do in that sector partner community we play it back here more broadly so everyone has access to the same information.

As always if you’ve got questions along the way please put them in the Q&A and we’ll address them at the end of the session.

[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 Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

So first things first. I’d like to start out by giving you a little bit of a view of what our digital transformation roadmap and initiatives look like, so the plan as we know it today, what have we been working on since we last met with you and what’s coming up next in the pipeline over the next few months.

So this is our working timeline for our portfolio releases. We want to be open and proactive in sharing this timeline with you but be aware changes to this timeline are possible and probably even likely because we plan ahead 12 months and then as things evolve we adjust. So our work will evolve based on final policy decision making and when things happen there. Because we’re building some of this in parallel with our timeline which means our plans are subject to change. They need to remain agile and we pivot when policy or program priorities or decision updates are made.

What we discuss here should not be considered as an official commitment from the Government but this is the plan that we are working with and it’s our way of being open and transparent and giving as much information as we can to you all to know what’s coming. Because if we wait until it’s all 100% certain then it will probably be a little bit too late. So we really trust you guys as a community to take this information as it stands and know that it’s not the official timeline on Government commitments.

Before I move into the actual detail of the timeline just a note that we are aware that the amount of detail on this is quite dense and for the webinar you’re looking at it going ‘I can’t read it’. I get it. But we do post the full deck on the web in PDF format which will allow you – you can check back later and zoom in and have a good look. We’re also working on a new look and feel for this diagram which we hope to release soon so stay tuned for that. But for now let’s go through the current timeline with you and talk through some of the recent highlights that we’ve achieved.

So since we last met we’ve had a very large successful delivery of My Aged Care release. This is a combination of My Aged Care and GPMS and data warehouse releases. As you can see we’ve touched three different platforms of part of the ecosystem. Just touching on a few of the highlights we did a bit of a Siebel and Genesys integration software upgrade. Anyone who knows doing some of those upgrades they’re not small but we need to bring all of our systems up to date and current. So that allowed us to provide better status information for our My Aged Care Contact Centre agents.

We did some respite extensions which were enhancements in the My Aged Care staff provider and assessor portals to enable requests for care extensions via the My Aged Care portal. We also did single assessment workforce which allowed regional assessment services and aged care assessment teams, so RAS and ACAT acronyms, organisations and outlets to cover both home support and comprehensive assessments with the existing workforce. And we completed phase two of the Business Authentication Manager which we call BAM and included the removal of the three home care packages related letters from them.

We also had – so that was on the My Aged Care side of things which is kind of the green that you can see on the screen there. On the GPMS side which is kind of the lighter blue we did new releases of some new features there that were in GPMS portal. That included 24/7 nursing reporting. We launched a beta group of quarterly financial reporting so that we could test that with a small group. And we did approved provider operations as well. There were further enhancements on quality indicators and star ratings. So you can see we have a pretty jam packed release with lots of new things happening.

I’d like to take this minute to thank everyone involved in getting all of these new capabilities out the door, both my technical teams, our business teams, but also you in the sector, our sector partner community who actually contributed quite a lot in providing feedback to some of the screen designs, some of the solutions. Many times we’ve touched the sector partner community to contribute, even testing some of our work along the way. So big shoutout to all of you and a big thank you. We can only get success like this by bringing truly amazing multidisciplinary teams – that was a mouthful. I usually go MDTs – that these releases can happen. So a big thanks to everyone.

But it doesn’t stop there. We now look ahead and we go so what’s up next? And things are continuing to ramp up. First we are currently supporting our warranty phase to make sure that any small issues that may have come to bear are being fixed. And so we’ll be doing a warranty period for about a month. Looking ahead we’ll be focusing on a number of other foundational technical upgrades that we need to do both in data and system. We’ve got further enhancements with AN-ACC coming down the pipeline and we’re getting ready for the highly anticipated NAPS migration to GPMS which will see us decommissioning some 20 year old legacy system into GPMS and bringing it all across.

So there’s a bit of detail on the page as I said which we know can be a little bit hard to read. So just remember that our presentation deck will be available online so that you can have a more detailed view of all of that.

Okay. So that’s the update for today. Now let’s travel back in time to our last Tech Talk where we revisit some of the popular questions that we didn’t have time to answer.

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

So there were seven questions. So I think I said six earlier but there’s actually seven that we didn’t have time to answer on the day. I might be answering a couple of them but we’ve actually also roped in a couple of our experts from across the Department to help me on some of those questions so I’ll be bringing people up on stage as we go along.

So for the first question that we had which was:

Q:        Can you confirm which vendors you are working with in relation to B2G? And which systems are you testing to integrate with MAC?

So there’s a bit of a two part answer to that one. So firstly we show you a list of all of our volunteers. These are a subset of the sector partner community. Our sector partner community is in excess I think of 110 companies now that work with us. These are the ones who have specifically volunteered for any of the B2G related activities. So you can see the names on the screen. We’re very transparent about all of our sector partners. You can go online and have a look. We have been so pleased to get such strong interest from the community and to have such a wide spectrum of different private companies who are helping us to design our solutions right. So hopefully that answers part of the question.

And the second part of the question which is which systems are we integrating with, we’re still a little bit early on our journey at the moment. We’re only up to the point where we’ve engaged our sector partner community to develop and contribute to the developer portal which will be going live later in the year. I note we don’t have a committed date on that in our digital transformation timeline that I just went through. So I’ll commit to working with the team internally and getting you a bit of a tentative date on that timeline for our next Tech Talk. But B2G will be there as the public facing platform that will allow us to interact with you guys all in the sector. So that’s where all of our public APIs will be and it will support My Aged Care, GPMS and any other portal that we decide to put into our ecosystem going forward.

So at the moment we have started with quality indicators as the first initiative to help us inform what rollout of public APIs we might need to support that and there are several areas that we’re working on so that we can successfully do that, things including but not limited to the information data model that we’re all going to agree on as our standards. Some people reference that as the interoperability model. So we’ve definitely got a theme around data and how we’re going to talk to each other. So the second one is the identity and authentication of how systems are going to integrate with us and you’ve got more on that later with John Sidey as we’ve said in today’s session. Needless to say we will continue to provide information on how we continue to roll all of this out.

So there’s no specific system yet that we are testing to integrate with MAC. As soon as we’ve got the first sector partners who are going to volunteer to jump on to the developer portal and start going through the conformance processes we will let you guys know in future Tech Talks here. So hopefully that answered the question.

Moving on to question number two. The next two questions I’m going to invite Thea to the stage to help me answer. Thea is the FAS in ageing and aged care policy space. So Thea over to you on the first one.

Q:        Not all users of aged care services are comfortable using online booking services. Is this being factored into our IT strategies?

Thea Connolly:

Thanks Fay and hi everyone. So Thea Connolly is my name. I look after the Reform Implementation Division in Ageing and Aged Care Group and that includes our communications and change function. We are working really closely with older people in Australia about their capacity to access aged care services. Principal among them is our Aged Care Council of Elders and I might just take an opportunity to give them a little plug. We are in the process of calling for new members to the Council of Elders or expressions of interest. So if you know or are an older person who has experience in the sector, good networks and insights to offer hop on our Engagement Hub – and we’ll include a link in our post-event comms – because we are calling for nominations. Positions are open for up to two years. But this is the primary group of really eminent older people that we liaise with about the best way to engage with and communicate with older people in Australia not only about the reforms but also about access to aged care services.

So in that vein yes we are really very clearly getting the feedback that it’s not all 100% digital and so as we develop our reforms we do have that in mind. And you would know obviously as well as online access via My Aged Care we have maintained and indeed strengthened over the phone support through the My Aged Care Helpline Monday to Saturday, but we’ve also got a terrific initiative which is getting fabulous feedback and that is face to face support from aged care service officers at Services Australia centres nationwide. So not huge, massive numbers there at this point. I think it’s close to 100 so we’re not everywhere that we would like to be but it’s certainly a service that we know people value and gets great feedback. And so we’re looking to really make sure we leverage the work that Services Australia does for the broader community into your aged care reform.

As we continue to develop IT solutions and strategies we also of course talk to our Aged Care Council of Elders but we also make sure that we deliver solutions that adhere to things like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG 2.1 and we’re also guided by digital strategies that simplify online products and complement the use of offline information as much as possible. I think you’ve had a briefing in this forum in the digital strategy but it’s probably about time that we came back and so I’m very happy to at a future Tech Talk have myself or one of the team talk a little bit more about the digital strategy. Thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Thea. Now we’ve got you up next for the question number three and I love this question.

Q:        At our facility here in South Australia we have introduced robots to assist our workforce. Is there someone at this level I can talk to to encourage more discussion at a policy level about robots in the aged care setting?

Thea Connolly:

We always love hearing about innovation and we need to do more of that of course. We’ve had lots of need to change to get quality of care up but we are also really interested in what are the innovative ways that we can bring to bear to meet those quality standards. And it’s great to hear from providers who are leading sector innovation and using technology not just to – taking Max’s point about cost saving and productivity gains. Productivity gains are really important but it’s to the extent that they can actually free up staff so they can spend more time providing high quality care to older Australians. So please continue to share the examples which we know a lot of you and a great many providers are developing and delivering in the market.

In terms of how to feed that back in this probably links really nicely as I mentioned to the digital strategy development that’s underway. And so not only digital strategy but digital and data strategy that we intend will support sector innovation. So when we come back Fay – I’m just presuming we’ll get a slot hopefully – when we come back to talk more on the digital strategy we can perhaps unpack that a little bit and what are some of the mechanisms that you would see a digital strategy needing to encompass and a roadmap that would flow from that strategy to support technological but innovation generally. We’re very keen to hear from you. Thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. Thanks Thea. And yes I’ll be personally reaching out to the person who did that question and see if they can come up and showcase a little bit of their lived experience so that we can learn from that more broadly as well.

Now next question – so Thea we’ll have you back up shortly in your section but next question is – I’m going to invite Amanda to the stage – and it’s about GPMS.

Q:        Is there any update on the GPMS issue not allowing users into the system?

Amanda Smith:

Thanks Fay. That’s a good question. So yes there have been some initial teething issues for some users when first accessing the GPMS portal which we’ve been discussing here and in some of our other engagement forums. The stats tell us we’re receiving great take up which is fantastic. It’s important to note there are no remaining system defects preventing access to the GPMS portal but some users have experienced issues and required some additional support mostly relating to getting the right setup to be able to access the portal. And this is largely due to dependencies we have with externally hosted myGov and Vanguard services for authentication and authorisation which we will be hearing about later in today’s session.

Some people have questioned why the GPMS portal required some setup when they may have already been able to access the My Aged Care portal so I’d like to address that one. And the GPMS portal is of course built on different technology on our brand new Salesforce platform and as a result we had to architect it differently and to make sure that we had watertight security controls in place which we take very seriously. So look we do encourage anybody that hasn’t yet to log into the GPMS portal and check it out. And if you do experience any issues with your setup please do reach out. The email address I believe is on the slide now and our support team will be available to assist you. That’s it from me. Thank you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Amanda. And agree. If there’s any concerns there is the provider and support line that you can call and then they’ll redirect you and will definitely help you with any technical issues. So I always say this. We don’t promise defect free. It’s very hard working at the pace we are. Small teething issues will come about on occasion. I think the key is how we work together to resolve them as quickly as possible. So thanks Amanda.

All right. So for the remaining of these questions I’m going to invite Josh Maldon from Ageing and Aged Care Group to join me. Josh the next three are for you.

Q:        Firstly congratulations on the quality indicator initiatives and so hearing the use of the evidence. That was fantastic. What institutions are active in this research and how can providers and vendors collaborate with them?

Joshua Maldon:

Lovely. Look thanks for the congratulations. In terms of who we’re currently working with so we’ve got the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare who are actively working with us in the quality indicator space but we’re also going to be looking to engage other partners through a procurement process as we look to continue to develop these. So we’re looking at developing an additional three staffing quality indicators and as part of that process there will be sector wide consultation and we’d absolutely encourage providers and vendors as always to participate in these consultations. Thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Fantastic. Okay. That’s good to know.

Q:        Can quality indicators data be uploaded via a file, eg a spreadsheet?

Joshua Maldon:

Yeah. Look we did get there. So the GPMS, there are quality indicator data recording templates. So that helps providers collect and record their indicator data throughout the reporting period. The templates automatically calculate and summarise the data to be entered in the GPMS QI application and there’s also the function to create a system generated file upload template to complete. But that’s restricted to bulk uploading quality indicator data for multiple services for a single reporting period. You must use the file upload template when submitting bulk data. Providers won’t be able to submit a spreadsheet or file that is not the file upload template.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. That’s great. And look we have been really thinking about that human centred approach. It does take a little bit longer to build the bulk upload routines. If I’m not mistaken it only went live the last release maybe. But yeah it’s there now to make it easier and of course the next step is getting it B2G connected. So looking forward to that step in the future.

Okay. Final question.

Q:        Is quality indicators being looked at for MPS flexible residential care places?

Joshua Maldon:

So currently quality indicators don’t apply to either flexible care or multipurpose services. There is work underway to expand the quality indicators into home care services and what I would say is that we tend to be looking at the design of aged care from an end to end perspective so I think at some stage subject to Government consideration that’s something we’d be definitely looking to do.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Fantastic. And so that concludes the questions from our look back to our previous Tech Talk. Thank you Josh and to all of our other helpers. It’s great to see our subject matter experts getting up here answering the burning question that we’ve been asked. So moving on to our next agenda item. We’ve got Thea to join us up on stage to talk all things aged care roadmap. And this is a topic I know everyone has been eagerly waiting for in the sector and it outlines the big ticket reform activities that we’re trying to enable via the digital transformation. So Thea over to you.

Thea Connolly:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Turning the corner in aged care: the aged care roadmap’, ‘Thea Connolly’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Thanks Fay. Yeah. I’m super excited to be able to present the roadmap to you all today. It’s been a long time coming and when you see it if you haven’t already seen it you’ll hopefully appreciate some of the complexity that has been involved in bringing it together. But before I bring it up I’ll just also reflect back on the last Tech Talk. I shared with you an update on the Aged Care Budget for 23-24 and an overview of the priority projects that we’ll deliver. So everything that’s on the roadmap is something that if you’re watching closely you will already be aware of. So there’s no major new announcements but what the roadmap does do is it gives you a sense of when things are scheduled and what the supporting activities to enable the implementation are on a timeline. And we know that that’s certainly what people have been after and we’re really pleased to present it.

So before I do that I’ll just ask for the next slide to go over and I’ll mention some of the positive things that we’ve already achieved together over the last 12 months. And these are also reflected on the roadmap just to provide some context. This is just a high level view. So as you know if you’ve been listening to Josh we’ve introduced star ratings, capped fees for home care packages, additional quality indicators per Josh – you’ve been busy Josh – a new Code of Conduct for aged care, new GPMS system to make it easier for providers to access and report information. So this is all part of the $36 billion projected expenditure in aged care in 23-24 but it is only a part of it. We are obviously also continuing to deliver really large programs of reform in home care, massive uplift following Fair Work Commission in salaries for a vast proportion of aged care workforce which we know is definitely valued by everyone in the sector.

So there is a lot already happening but there’s a lot happening over the next two years. We obviously need to have some vision and clarity around what we’re going to deliver for older people in Australia. And the reform roadmap will help us to crystalise that vision. It shows our high level plan to help everyone understand the key steps we need to take and the positive actions already underway to place older people at the heart of all that we do.

So for those interested in ICT the roadmap gives you the key projects and programs of work that you might like to consider in your digital and ICT strategic planning. For software vendors and developers and industry you might like to consider where the opportunities lie for new technologies and innovation to support the sector. So let’s bring it up.

Now it will look really busy and yes there will be – no. This is the high level version. That’s clever. Thank you team. So this pulls out the highlights. So nothing on here as I said should be a surprise especially noting your participation in this forum you’ll have probably the best access to our thinking and planning of any forum. As Fay goes to pain to point out we’re leading here, opening ourselves up to you with our early thinking which may change but there are a few priority initiatives to highlight here to June ’24. I’ve mentioned the 15% wage increase for aged care workers, 24/7 nurses in aged care which you would all know started this month, mandated care minutes starting in October and increasing again in October next year, publication of residential providers’ financial information, targeted recruitment of up to 13,000 new personal care workers and residential aged care places assigned to people. That’s just this financial year.

From next financial year over the next slide July ’24 to June ’25 we’ll commence the single assessment system, introduce the new Aged Care Act in 2024 subject of course to Parliamentary processes. And just on the Act as I think I mentioned at the last session the Act is really going to shift the focus of the legislation to the older person at the centre and a rights-based approach. It will be underpinned by relevant international conventions. And I know Amy Laffan and Mel Metz and the team will be starting their consultation in earnest in the coming months in the lead up to release of an exposure draft of that legislation. And of course the big one here. We also want to commence the new Support at Home Program from 1 July 2025.

So the next two slides are the roadmap. It’s so big that we have needed to split it in two. The first slide here is to 30 June ’23 and if you can click on that QR link that should take you to the website. But if you Google ‘Aged care reform roadmap’ it will also come up on your browser. So the full reform roadmap shows the key activities from October ’22 to July ’25. It is of course difficult to read on here. It is a point in time overview that shows the priority projects and initiatives that we need to do to deliver on Royal Commission recommendations and also deliver the innovation that we’ve talked about. It’s intended to help the sector navigate changes so that they have a clear view of what changes are coming and how they can get involved.

There are two sections to the roadmap. The top half shows the aged care changes. It includes indicative dates for changes, start dates of projects and the due dates for reporting and when things will be published. So key dates. The bottom half lists readiness activities. So this is where there might be new information for you in particular. These are the dates of stakeholder consultations, webinars, planned events including these Tech Talks, so that providers, older people, their families and carers can get involved in the things that matter to them. I don’t know of anyone who could possibly do all of these things but we know of many people who go to as much as they can.

The items on the roadmap it’s important to point out they’re only the key reform changes and activities. It doesn’t show all the projects and initiatives underway. So if there’s a particular initiative that you’re keen on knowing more about and you don’t see it on the roadmap please don’t fret. Continue to look at our Engagement Hub for all of the information about the reforms coming up. Very happy to take feedback though if you feel that we’ve missed something that’s of broad and deep impact. And this is the first cut of the roadmap so it’s entirely possible that there are things that we should have included and perhaps for good reason may have excluded for this round. Every activity should be able to be found on the Department’s website if it’s in a state where it’s fit for engagement.

I do also want to point out that a reform of this size has many moving parts and so some dates may/will change. If this happens we’ll let you know through the Your Aged Care update newsletter. Many of you are already subscribers to that newsletter but you can subscribe through the Aged Care Engagement Hub and again in our comms we’ll include a link to that hub. I encourage you all to have a look at the full reform roadmap and continue to get involved.

I’ll just flick over to the next slide which is that final year of the roadmap and you can see our consultation activities. We haven’t populated them out too far ahead whereas the reforms we have. And then the final slide I think has a little bit more information about how to stay in touch with us including again some QR codes to subscribe to the newsletter and to join the Engagement Hub. So if they don’t work for you please Google both of those things otherwise we will send the links around. Thank you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you Thea. And it’s great to hear that the roadmap is now available on the Health and Aged Care website. I noticed that we had an anonymous question.

Q:        Will the roadmap that is being shared today be available online?

And yes it is. There you go. They’re the QR codes there for everyone. You can absolutely subscribe and of course you’ll get it through these slides from this Tech Talk as well. So it will come with the download. So excellent. Thank you very much Thea.

We’ll move on to our next item on the agenda which is our GPMS update. And so I would like to invite Emma Cook and Amanda Smith back on stage and over to you ladies to walk us through some of the big changes that have just recently happened. There they are. Over to you guys.

Emma Cook:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘GPMS Update’, ‘Popular Questions’, ‘Emma Cook & Amanda Smith’, ‘Assistant Secretaries’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division & Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Thanks Fay. And thanks very much everyone for your time today. As Fay said I’m Emma Cook, Acting Assistant Secretary within the Digital Reform Branch, the Reform Implementation Division of the Aged Care Group. And I’ll hand over to my colleague and co-presenter who you met earlier to briefly introduce herself.

Amanda Smith:

Thanks Emma. My name’s Amanda Smith. I’m the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Aged Care Transformation and Quality Branch in Fay’s division. So I’m responsible for building all of the ICT solutions on the new GPMS platform. Thanks Emma.

Emma Cook:

Thanks so much. All right. So jumping in. As Fay said it’s really exciting to be joining you again. The Government Provider Management System as many of you will be aware from our previous presentations, or GPMS as it’s known, provides a flexible platform to enable aged care reform and to deliver streamlined information exchange between provider and Government systems. It’s really the beginning of the journey for GPMS which will iteratively enhance over time to take on new and existing provider reporting functionality, provide a single streamlined single access point for care providers and to support automation and interoperability that will allow more time to be spent delivering quality care as well as ultimately improve aged care data through the use of B2G which can allow the more granular transfer of information, more timely data exchange and ultimately provide an evidence base on which to uplift the quality of care provided to older Australians.

So on the next slide you’ll see our new functionality. So we last presented around April following the GPMS portal and star ratings application launch for residential aged care providers. Since this time further enhancements have taken place including the expansion of the system to support reporting across quality indicators – so these are reporting across 11 critical areas of care, six of those new which Josh has touched on and due in July this year – across 24/7 nursing responsibility requiring reporting on a monthly basis and the first report due on the 7th of August 2023, approved provider operations which really strengthens reporting across governance arrangements that are critical to care delivery on an annual basis and due by 31 October, and quarterly financial reporting with functionality for this delivered or core functionality delivered but not yet public allowing process of testing and refinement to take place prior to release.

So that probably covers a nice overview of what GPMS is intended for, where we’ve been and where we’ve gotten to now in this iterative enhancement process and journey that we’re on. We have got a video prepared to provide a really high level preview of these changes and then I’ll hand over to my colleague Amanda Smith who can talk through the next steps for GPMS.


§(Music Playing)§

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Government Provider Management System (GPMS) Release 5 Walkthrough’, ‘Australia Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]


Welcome to the demonstration of the Government Provider Management System. Today we will be walking through the changes available on system as a result of release five. In our previous demonstration we have covered the processes on how to login to GPMS, how organisation administrators can create and manage user access and how to use the star ratings tile. This video is available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website for your review.

Today we will be focusing on the three new tiles that are now available on GPMS. Provider operations reporting, Quality Indicators and 24/7 registered nurse reporting. Once you have logged into the GPMS portal depending on your access role you may see one or all of these tiles. If you require any assistance with logging in please refer to the support material available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website or call the My Aged Care service provider and assessor helpline. If you require access to a tile that you cannot see when you login please reach out to your organisation administrator who can provision this access for you.

The first tile now available on GPMS is the ‘Provider operations reporting’ tile. Approved residential care and home care package providers are required to report additional information through GPMS on their operations on an annual basis. The first reporting period will be the 1st of July to the 30th of June 2023. By selecting on this tile you’ll be navigated to the home page for provider operations reporting. From here you’ll be able to view any new information inclusive of when the operational action form is open and when you’ll be required to submit that form. Below you’ll be able to see any active submissions or any historical submissions that you may have made. Navigating to the report due dates tab you’ll be able to see any information about when the forms are due and what reporting period that applies to. In the guides and FAQ tab you’ll be able to view any frequently asked questions and find links to any helpful information inclusive of field level help or any webinar links that may have previously been published to assist you when submitting your report.

The next new tile available on GPMS is the ‘Quality Indicators’ tile. This is an application to replace the existing reporting function in the My Aged Care Provider Portal. Approved providers of residential care are required to submit quarter four 2022-2023 data for the 11 quality indicators in the new quality indicators application by 11:59pm on the 21st of July. GPMS has introduced new functionality to streamline this reporting process. For more information please refer to the QI Program User Guide on the Department of Health website.

The final new tile available on GPMS is the ‘24/7 Registered Nurse Reporting’ tile. From July of 2023 residential aged care providers must report their RN coverage for the 24/7 nurse responsibility in the 24/7 RN application on GPMS each month. Failure to report means eligible providers will not receive the 24/7 RN supplement payment for that month for their facility. July reporting is due by 11:59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time on the 7th of August 2023 then by the seventh calendar day of each month after that for subsequent reports. For more information please visit the 24/7 RN Reporting web page on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

In order to have the ability to view and access the new tiles available on GPMS your organisation administrator may need to make some adjustments to your access roles. To have the ability to view and upload data in the ‘Quality Indicators’ tile a QI role can be added at the organisation level which will give you the ability to upload and view information on quality indicators for your whole organisation. QI roles can also be added at a service level. Your organisation administrator can select the QI role service level and tailor which services they would like each of their users to be able to upload QI data for. Our other two new tiles ‘Provider operations reporting’ and ‘24/7 Registered Nurse Reporting’ have roles that must be added at a service level. For a user to be able to view the ‘Provider Operations’ tile they will need to be added at the provider level with the provider operations user role. Users requiring access to the ‘24/7 Registered Nurse Reporting’ tile must be granted the role RN submission service at the provider level to be able to view the tile.

Thank you for your time today to walk through the new features introduced on GPMS as a part of release five. For any assistance please refer to the Department of Health and Aged Care website to find support material or reach out to the My Aged Care service provider and assessor helpline.

§(Music Playing)§


Amanda Smith:

Thanks Emma. That demonstration was great and certainly covered many aspects of the new functionality in our latest release. It’s really great to see how our teams have worked together with their colleagues in the division to deliver this next phase of GPMS. GPMS as a product is really starting to evolve and honestly I can’t wait for the next instalment. Talking of which let’s get onto that and see what’s in store for the next release which is twice the size of our last release folks.

The following new functionality is being planned for delivery in release six on November 20 of this year. I will keep it fairly brief as you’ll hear about these initiatives in far more detail over the coming months as we get closer to the production release. We will be implementing provider self‑service online forms starting with the notification and maintenance capabilities upfront to enable providers to update and manage their own information in GPMS. We will be implementing the NAPS replacement, the National Approved Provider System, which is a like for like capability to transition a 20 plus year old legacy system which is used to manage all information for approved providers again on our new Salesforce platform. We will also release a B2G quality indicators API which Fay touched on earlier for aged care providers to submit quality indicator data to the Department.

There will also be an expansion of the Nurses 24/7 to include auditing of care minute reports. There will be further enhancements to the star ratings project to improve transparency which includes enhanced reporting and updates to accreditation dates. Also the quarterly financial reporting solution. So we’re doing further updates to that solution, enhancements to the portal and additional reporting capability ahead of that reporting period as Emma mentioned opening up in the new year.

Well there’s clearly a lot happening as you can see and it’s exciting times.

We will continue to work with our IT colleagues and other aged care reform areas to iteratively release additional functionality for GPMS and gradually expand its capabilities into the future. And of course we will continue to engage with the sector, yourselves on codesign. And if you would like to get involved we do publish regular updates on our website and you can stay informed and register for engagement activities through the Aged Care Engagement Hub with some details on the screen there and of course they’ll be sent around later. In future GPMS has the potential to also improve the connection of similar services across Government including aged care, disability support and veterans care potentially with an overlap of providers across those sections.

That’s really it for Emma and I today. Thank you so much and back to you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you. And oh my God. I can’t believe how much we’ve grown from strength to strength and how every release just keeps getting that little bit bigger. So well done to everyone. And I know there’s a lot going on so I think it’s really important that we do showcase these things so that we can keep a nice summary of the events that are happening. We know that you are all very busy and so hopefully this is a nice concise way for you to understand what all the changes are and when they’re coming.

So if you want more information or if you feel there’s a better way for us to be communicating these changes please let us know.

So moving on to our next agenda item we have the Business to Government gateway. So GPMS is our portal, a critical foundation digital solution from our portal perspective. Then B2G is the sister or brother capability platform that allows for automation and connectedness into the sector. So it’s another very important piece of the puzzle as we get digitally enabled and connected. So without any further ado can I please invite John and Shae. John Sidey and Shae Mackay here to talk us through the latest updates for onboarding and conformance. The stage is all yours guys.

John Sidey:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Business to Government (B2G) Onboarding & Conformance’, ‘John Sidey & Shaeyen Mackay’, ‘B2G Authentication Discovery Lead’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Thanks Fay and team. Nice to be back with you all and great to see how much work is happening across this space and sector and super excited to provide a bit of an update on the discovery work that we’ve been doing with the B2G team more broadly. So super quick recap and we’ll race through some of this content because I’m super conscious of the time. But we were keen to engage the sector to understand what the preferences were for authenticating into Government APIs across the board. This is a really interesting question to look at because the more we started to scratch below the surface the more important and obvious it became that we needed to look at this problem more holistically than just for APIs. We needed to look at that end to end provider experience and how we would look to reduce some of that complexity that came through in a lot of the stakeholder engagement workshops that we did. We talked to a lot of people through this engagement both one on ones, through surveys, across Government, and there was a broad acknowledgment that we have a lot of work to do to improve the provider experience in this space.

Great to see we’re making some progress but there is a really strong preference for a simplified ecosystem and ideally for Government to do some of the heavy lifting that’s been passed on to the provider community or the software community around having to touchpoint multiple systems, use multiple different credentials etcetera.

So what we did is we developed a high level target state ecosystem that provides an aspirational view of where we want to get to noting that none of this is a particular silver bullet type solution and developed a set of recommendations and next steps. In doing so we did validate that the current trajectory the Business to Government team are on is a really sensible approach so we’re reusing some existing Government capabilities such as the ATO machine to machine credential and certainly wouldn’t want to cast aspersions on usability. It’s good to see us reusing some existing capability, building on things like the digital identity ecosystem already whilst we look at how we sort out our back yard into the sort of medium and longer term. So there will be some more on that.

So we’ll quickly run through some of the engagement we did. Shae I’ll hand over to you to race through and then we’ll talk about what some of the next steps will look like as we sort of balance getting ready for day one whilst looking to the future and what it might look like longer term.

Shaeyen Mackay:

And if we just move on to the next slide. So over the last probably two or three months we’ve been engaging fairly comprehensively across the care and support sector. So that includes aged care, disability care and veteran care providers, software vendors, peak bodies, and we’ve also been working really closely across Government, so in the Department of Health and Aged Care but also throughout the whole of Government as well. So NDIA, Services Australia, the ATO and DVA.

So what we did was we sent out a number of surveys. So the initial survey was to understand the current provider experience and then we held a workshop which we had really good attendance and participation at – so about 100 people attended which was fantastic – to really map out what a good target state looks like from an authentication and identity management perspective for the sector. We then had a look at what solutions are available in the market, so considering whole of Government reuse and what’s available in the market today. So things like myGovID, the PRODA solution, Vanguard FAS and also where Government is investing in their solutions over the next five to ten years as well.

From there we did some analysis on what we were hearing across the stakeholder cohort in terms of what was preferred for the future, put that together into a set of criteria and then from there were able to determine options and a preferred solution for the future.

So if we have a look about what we heard from a current provider experience perspective – and this really extends into the software community as well – in terms of what the current experience is like we put together kind of a current state ecosystem and also mapped out kind of what a day in the life of would look like for a provider. And some of the key things we heard across that was really focused on the level of complexity that providers need to navigate when authenticating across different systems and portals to access Government services and also the number of authentication credentials that are required. So using things like myGovID and then going to another system or portal and using PRODA but then using enterprise credentials for Vanguard FAS in other services as well.

We also heard that additional complexity is added when we bring authorisation and access into the mix. So often senior staff members or different business administrators require an authorised officer who is usually a senior director or in some instances voluntary board members to actually go in and delegate authority for providers to act on behalf of the organisation. We’ve heard that that can be quite burdensome and repetitive over time due to having to go into different authorisation and access systems and then provisioning or deprovisioning those accesses. We also heard that the level of support for authentication and identity management systems across Government is quite limited. So often providers or business administrators rely on either their software developers or their software vendor organisations or other providers for that support when accessing Government services and navigating the authentication and identity management experience.

If we are able to go on to – let’s see what we’re on now – over to the next slide please and I’ll hand back over to John.

John Sidey:

Thanks Shae. So look we did hear some really pointed feedback from both the broader care sector as well as from software vendors and just to highlight some of the key things that we heard from the software community in particular. There is a really strong preference to move to much more standards based options. Solutions need to be reliable and available when we need to use it. We need access to good testing environments to make sure that as we’re building out we’re sort of really able to test production level capability and get results and move at pace. We did hear really positively that there’s a strong intent to meet the demand of the broader care sector by driving innovation and continuing to invest in those platforms but this shouldn’t come at the cost of existing investment. So if we’ve spent a lot of time, money and energy in investing in conformance with one part of Government we don’t really want to throw that in the bin and start all over again.

So ultimately where that sort of left us was when we started looking at some of the real options that were on the table when we pulsed the broader community no one was jumping up and down saying we need particularly one authentication option or the other. What there is a strong preference for is that simplified experience and the simplest experience for providers is being able to reuse their enterprise credentials as and when it makes sense to. Now there’s a lot of things that need to be worked through and water to go under the bridge about how we actually make that a reality but that’s the sort of preference. In the meantime what the focus will be is leveraging importantly the investment in the ATO machine to machine credential, enabling organisations to start sending data through those APIs into the health systems in a more automated fashion through their core platforms, using existing credentials that are typically used for interacting with the ATO in any case. So we’re reusing stuff that most providers are using already from an authentication standpoint.

We might skip to the last slide – conscious of time – thanks team and just talk about the next steps. So there’s a bit more detail and hopefully that will come out with the pack but critically the next steps for us are really focusing the team in getting ready for day one with clear information about what you will need to do to conform to the health requirements for interfacing to us and then equally working in the background on what that longer term solution will look like to make it a more streamlined option for us going forward and to really enable a more simplified provider experience in the medium/long term that meets everyone’s objectives, both secure sharing of information to Health whilst enabling providers to focus on doing what they do best which is providing care to the community.

Janine we might throw back to you there and Fay. Conscious that we’re sort of running out of time but happy to take questions offline as well.

Fay Flevaras:

Excellent. Thank you so much. That was a great update. I know that you guys have been doing a lot of work. And I’m just waiting for the team to catch up technically. I think there’s been a few delays. So this was a good amount of work that was done in the sector partner community and I think today’s playback is a bit of a summary of the last two or three months at least if not more of the findings and it will help inform us what we’re going to be doing for day one when we go live for B2G. So thank you very much. I will look to see if we’ve got any questions online and if so we’ll bring you guys back up so that you can answer those.

I think we are now going to move into our Q&A stage of the agenda. And so I’m going to hand back to Janine and she’s going to facilitate us through the Q&A. And we’ll bring a few of our people back up as panellists. I can see the team is definitely struggling with the slide pack at this stage. In the meantime I did note there was an anonymous question about:

Q:        What is an API and what do they do?

And I did note that also there was a comment around we need to be conscious of using the jargon and the acronyms in this webinar. I do want this to be an opportunity where people can ask questions about acronyms that they’re not clear about so that we can help educate along the way because I think it’s important. From the API perspective just while we’re trying to get everyone up and sorted, API is a technical term and it stands for an application programming interface. If I’m going to put it in just business speak, easy speak, it’s where your stuff can talk to their stuff. It’s where our system can talk to someone else’s system. And an API is essentially a blueprint of information exchange. So that’s probably the easiest way of describing it. So we will create lots of APIs that says get customer information. What information is in that API? What’s that a blueprint of information exchange? Now this is where all the technical part of things come into play because we need to define what are those technical standards or information standards that we all want to agree so that when someone says this is a customer first name and surname it all means the same thing to everyone and we’re all communicating completely.

So I’m hoping that kind of gave a little bit of a help of what is an API. I think we might start to pull together a bit of a Digital Tech Talk glossary of terms that we might put up moving forward. And so I think it was Diana. If you want to send us through any of the terms that you found a little bit strange today, a bit more jargony, then we can definitely make sure we’re playing back and helping uplift the capability in the community.

Janine Bennett:

Yeah. Thank you Diana. That was a great comment and Fay you started exactly where I was going to.

Fay Flevaras:

So I think we’re ready to go. Over to you.

Janine Bennett:

We’re smooth across these technical issues I tell you. We can basically read each other minds. Exactly. Great. Okay. So it’s that time again, time for us to put your questions to the panel. Just to recap we’ve brought to stage obviously Fay, we’ve got Thea, Amanda, Emma and John and Shae available to answer the questions and we’re putting those in a bit of priority order based on your interest. In the interest of making this a conversation we are going to start by inviting some people to stage so they can kind of get ready. So in this order if we can have George, Louise and Michael M queued for stage. Jane we have your question noted as a popular question. We just have three Janes in the audience and we’re not sure which one you are so if you don’t mind just raising your hand using the raise your hand option in Webex we’ll identify you and then we can queue you up and get you on after George, Louise and Michael.

Okay. So while we’re queuing up those folks I will just run with one of the anonymous questions.

Q:        With the digital transformation in aged care well underway are there any concerns around how providers are protecting residents’ personal data?

I know the answer to this one already.

Q:        Is there plans to audit providers on their data security options? With lack of funding IT security can be a daunting bill if done correctly.

Really great question. Very topical. I think we might start with Thea and then I’ll give Fay an opportunity to pick up the tail end of that question as well.

Thea Connolly:

I’m very happy for Fay to pick up that question.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. I’ll go first. I’ll go first. So look especially on the B2G side when we get their systems talking to our systems there will definitely be an audit process. We call it the conformance process. You will need to conform to some standards in order to connect with us and we will definitely be looking at some of the security protocols that a provider might have. Now some of those protocols might come through – if you’re a large residential aged care provider and you’ve got your own IT shop then yes they need to do it for themselves. But if you are going to buy some software from someone in the community then we will look to the software providers to provide that security posture that we’re looking for collectively as well.

So not an easy answer. So it’s only where they’re going to connect to us at this stage. But no we’re not about to go and audit every single other facility and I do know that some are manual based, sometimes they keep paper notes. That’s with them to look after. So hopefully that was a bit of an answer. Anyone else want to add anything else?

I’ve noticed we’ve got people flicking in and out but can we get George back on stage?

And then move on to our next question.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Welcome George.

Audience Member:

Hello everyone. Welcome back. So as you know I’ve been on holidays for a few weeks. So I have to admit I’m fairly blown away by the amount of stuff that’s been done while I’m away so it would appear that me being away is a great impetus for things to happen. I’ve just spent the last five days at the International Medical Informatics Association conference here in Sydney, the Med Info, and today Amanda Cattermole and Daniel McCabe announced the new Fire-based strategy around integration for the ADHA. As we know Fire is very much a community‑based thing. So what are we doing to make sure the aged care group are sort of on board? And I know APIs are a part of it but the Fire-based APIs which are an amazing Australian invention is something we’re quite keen to support on. So what’s happening from Fire with that and what can we do to support Fire-based integration within our sector?

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. You’re absolutely right. And we had already acknowledged the Fire standard in all of the B2G work we’ve been doing. We’ve been talking about it being the data standard for medical APIs. I do know that we’re doing a lot more work with Emma who’s joined us with GPMS and B2G around also looking at other information standards that are important to us in aged care. I might be throwing a cat amongst the pigeons here but it will be definitely a topic of discussion in our sector partner community to have some debates on especially around aged care standards. Maybe Emma you might want to speak to the inter-eye standards, global standards and stuff like that. I’ll throw to you in a sec. And we will definitely be working with our partners across ADHA and digital health to make sure that we line up and we’re all heading in the same direction. Emma did you want to add to that other piece?

Emma Cook:

Yeah. That’s right. At the moment we’re progressing along the work that’s been shared with this group and that Fay’s spoken to in delivering the first steps both for GPMS and for its partner project B2G and looking at the appropriate ways to do that, but still keeping a view to where we want to get to and what exists internationally and in that vein not being close minded to the full suite of data that we ultimately want to achieve and ensuring that each step we make doesn’t prejudice that end point and gets us one step closer. And so we’ve certainly been looking at those big, internationally well established and really rigorous datasets like inter-eye to learn from them and to understand how we can work towards something that’s really going to set Australia up and set the delivery of quality care up for the future. That’s in no way committing to specific systems. That’s no way committing. Just saying we’re looking at all of those and we’re making sure that we work in [1:07:57] direction.

Audience Member:

And that is exciting. Like you said we obviously need to make sure we’re taking advantage of systems that are in place and choose the best. But like I said today’s announcement was quite exciting for the medical community and that integration and medicine in aged care is part of what we’re doing going forward so like I said keep up the good work. Appreciate it.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. And we’re 100% committed to making sure we’re aligning on the medical stuff with the Fire standards. I think it’s just to make sure that the ecosystem remains simplified and connected. So excellent. Thanks George.

Audience Member:

Thanks everyone.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks George. Okay. So while we’re queuing Louise up to stage I’ll put an anonymous question to the group.

Q:        What about home care providers? What reporting are they required to do on GPMS?

So I’m thinking this is a good one for Emma.

Emma Cook:

Yeah. Happy to take this one. So as I spoke through there’s a number of new I guess reporting functionalities or reforms that the reporting’s required through GPMS from now onwards following this recent release. And so those are the quality indicators for residential care, the 24/7 responsibility for residential care and for both residential care providers and home care package providers the provider operations reporting. Now that’s an annual reporting obligation and the first of those is due by 31 October this year. And this is around strengthening the reporting or the governance arrangements in reporting for the providers of both those home care packages and residential care services.

So for more information about the specific field is to look on the Department’s website to look up provider operations reporting and you’ll be able to find a lot more information in there. You can also go into the GPMS portal as was demonstrated and there’s a number of helpful links in that portal as well that can take you to the information you need and also help you to familiarise yourself with those forms. So I think first step is to login, set yourselves up, look at what’s there, familiarise yourself with the content. If you do have any difficulties you can also call the My Aged Care provider and assessor helpline for more support in addition to all the guidance materials available. But the good news is it’s just been rolled out. You’ve heard about it, if this is the first time, just as it’s come into effect, and you have some time through to 31 October to fulfil those enhanced governance arrangements and reporting requirements on those.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks very much Emma. We have Louise joining us on stage. Louise if I can just get you to at a minimum just turn your sound on. If you feel like putting your camera on you’re welcome to do that as well. I’ll let you ask your question.

Audience Member:

Okay. Can you hear me?

Janine Bennett:

We can. Perfect.

Audience Member:

Sorry. My camera’s not working. Sorry. So my question was – and I may have misunderstood but it would be good to clarify this – when we were looking at the collection form and the questions in each of the sections there was three policy questions in the diversity section. Now did I misunderstand or does that have to be answered for each aged care service area that you’re delivering aged care services in?

Fay Flevaras:

Which collection form was it that we’re talking to Louise? A little bit more information?

Audience Member:

The one on the new system, the General Provider Management System for home care, for the reporting that’s required by the 31st of October.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. So I would need to throw to our policy experts on that one. I think it’s dependent on where we’re – are we doing it at the org level or at the service level? We can definitely take that one away and have a look at it. I’m not across it 100%. Emma are you? No. Probably not.

Audience Member:

Because it just seems a little bit pointless because generally policy and procedures go across the whole organisation.

Fay Flevaras:

That’s good feedback.

Audience Member:

The answer will be the same for every service area that you’re working in.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. So thanks for that feedback. I’m not across the detail sufficiently and I think we don’t have the right person here online for it. So what we might do is take that one back and ask our teams. And Thea did you want to - - -

Thea Connolly:

I was just going to say we’ll take that back to the Provider Governance Branch. I suspect it probably was deliberate but we will pass that feedback on. In the event that there is an option we may look to streamline in future. The risk is if these things are not organisationally consistent then we’ve lost some flexibility in the reporting. But thanks for the feedback Louise.

Audience Member:

No worries. Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Louise.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Louise. Okay. So we’ll queue Michael M up to stage and then hopefully we’ve been able to identify Jane and we’ll bring her on after. Michael great to see you. Feel free to ask your question to the panel.

Audience Member:

So since about – sorry. I had a stroke. I’m re-learning to speak so bear with me. Very frustrating.

Janine Bennett:

No worries.

Audience Member:

Since 2015 we’ve been working in workforce compliance management particularly what’s commonly called a skills and compliance passport, especially with the Royal Commission results and then COVID, the focus on regulated workers and mobile workforce this has become very topical in aged care, disability and health. It was one of the election promises, the five, was worker screening [1:14:29] national registration scheme for personal care workers. But that hasn’t happened to date. The Code of Conduct has been released but not a mobile passport or wallet type of system for the workers. And what I mean, it covers qualifications, vaccination, background checks, AHPRA for nurses. It’s quite diverse. It’s not just one area.

I know that speaking to the Minister previously with the previous Government they don’t like to anoint a chosen one private provider but if there was a common standard that then tech companies could provide to that would help. We are already doing this at health and disability so why can’t it happen in aged care? Is there any conversation on this topic happening? If so who do I talk to?

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thank you for the question Michael. So workforce skills compliance wallets, workforce passports. Who would like to jump in on that subject? Hey Thea thanks.

Thea Connolly:

I’m happy to. Hopefully my audio is okay. So compliance wallets, you’re quite right Michael, the Royal Commission recommendations didn’t go to the technical solution but they did of course go to issues like national worker registration schemes so the substance of the requirement to protect older people and to also professionalise the aged care workforce. And so you’ve correctly identified the Code of Conduct has been rolled out. In terms of worker screening that’s aimed for 1 July 2024 and yes aligned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme for a nationally consistent risk assessed approach. In terms of policy design, ICT development and sector readiness including linking up with the NDIS we’ve got a bit of work to do to create that national database of workers that have been assessed and monitored. Very happy to continue to talk to this group and yourself if you’ve got a perspective on a particular application, compliance wallets for example.

The other point I’ll make is in relation to skills, workforce skills, English proficiency and ongoing training requirements from 1 July 2025 are expected and we do have funding for engagement across aged care, health and training sectors to scope that particular aspect of the compliance and skills piece. And so again a plug for the engagement hub. Because it’s 1 July 2025 it seems a long way off but as we know with all of these things especially where we’re hoping for a nationally consistent approach across states and territories and with the NDIS I expect that we’ll be looking to move on that pretty soon.

Audience Member:

Thank you. How do I get in contact with you Thea?

Thea Connolly:

So I would say the engagement hub in terms of the national worker registration scheme. So it’s not my particular area unfortunately. I can’t necessarily leverage any action from this point of view. But we certainly know that our workforce division will be reaching out to do really comprehensive engagement on that. So if you stay in touch with this particular group I will take an action to have them come and report back to this group and so you’ll have someone with a bit more depth of knowledge on it to engage with.

Fay Flevaras:

Also Michael if you’re interested in contributing in the codesign piece I would suggest then actually registering as a digital transformation sector partner. As we go to design some of it the sector partner community, we share the design activities in that forum and you can volunteer for which activity you might be interested in. And so you would have noticed earlier in our Tech Talk we shared the B2G representatives but there’s been up to 30 different activities that we’ve done in that community at different points in time and definitely the worker screening policy and design work, we’ll go through that as well.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much Michael. We’ll make sure we include in the post-event email the process for volunteering for sector partners so everybody knows how to do that if they’re interested. Okay. Thanks Michael. Great question. Jane. If we can bring Jane to screen. Hi Jane. We’re just waiting for you to – there you are. Lovely. Welcome.

Audience Member:

Thank you. And thanks for the opportunity to ask a question. The new regulatory framework, well the proposed one which is now closed for consultation, mentioned that there’s going to be a registration system for providers. And the new regulatory framework starts next year, next July, and I’m just wondering if the new registration system will start then too. Apparently it’s a digital registration system for categories one to three. And so I’m just curious about how that system will work, where the system is and will it be up and running next July? Will providers who want to register for services maybe that they’re not providing at the moment, will they be able to access it? Do you know any of those questions?

Janine Bennett:

Okay. I’m thinking Emma.

Am I heading in the right direction? And then maybe we can follow up with Thea.

Emma Cook:

Yeah. I think it could be Emma or Thea. Look the short answer from my perspective would be that that work’s certainly underway, that it’s still in those final stages of development and that the best thing to do is to stay in touch via the Engagement Hub so that we can continue to make that information available as we have it. But I’m conscious that Thea knows a lot more than me and may want to add to that or may have information that she can share at this stage.

Thea Connolly:

Thanks Emma. I have a smidge more detail being in touch with the regulatory branch head. The only additional info to Emma’s response is that the planning assumption at the moment is that the market would not be opened up to sole traders until the new home care model is operating in 2025. Now that doesn’t mean that there are limits on a number of other fronts but I think that’s probably a useful learning assumption to share at this point.

Audience Member:

That’s very helpful. Thank you so much.

Fay Flevaras:

And then I don’t know. Thea, Emma, would you say that though when we do figure out all that part of it that the registration process for providers will happen through GPMS along with the Safety Commission processes? So in that sense you’ve already seen the portal that’s coming and just like we’ve been showcasing regular enhancements as new proposals come down the pipeline and we’re addressing new enhancements you know where it’s going to be built. So you’ll see that as it’s being communicated through these forums. But thank you so much for your question Jane.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much Jane. Good to have you. So I am going to give one last queue. I think we’re going to run out of time. So we’ll invite Sharon to stage. If you want to get yourself ready Sharon. We won’t turn you on for a minute. Feel free to take your time in getting your video going. In the meantime I’m going to ask a couple of quick fire questions to the panel. So the first one from Louise is:

Q:        Are the First Nations aged care service officers at Services Australia?

And I think that might be a Thea question.

Thea Connolly:

Yeah. So we have aged care specialist officers or ACSOs at Services Australia providing advice on aged care generally. For First Nations older people we’ve got an Elder Care Support Program that will be rolled out by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation or NACCHO through its affiliates and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations. Phase one of that program has begun and I believe it’s soon to be launched by the Minister. And the program will be rolled out in phases over three years as I said by NACCHO. If you’d like to know more about the program we do have a page on our Elder Care Support Program on the website so if you Google that and of course we’ll include that link in the follow up comms as well.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks very much. Another quick question.

Q:        Is there a timeframe around API release information exchange between vendors and the Department’s My Aged Care platform specifically around the reclassification requests and the AN-ACC class data?


Fay Flevaras:

Emma? Emma? Fay? Which one? Go with Emma first.

Emma Cook:

I suppose in terms of the timelines we are looking at as Fay touched on the developer portal in the second half of this year and APIs by early next year. We’ll start off – being again in those early stages of the journey we’ll start off with probably a couple of API options. Not everything in that end state of a full suite of data that we’d hoped but a couple of high value API options. Certainly I’ve heard some interest in things like quality indicators, 24/7 and AN-ACC information. So it sounds like we’re on the same page. And I’ve heard about the potential efficiencies of kind of streamlining those reclassification requests. But I would also encourage you if you’re not already to participate in the sector partners forum so that we can continue to hear those insights and views from you both in this and in that more focused arena as well as through the Engagement Hub of course so that we can continue to define what our candidates should look like in terms of the upcoming APIs. Hopefully that answers the question but Fay did you want to jump in with any more?

Fay Flevaras:

No. I will add just a little bit but in addition to what you said and to kind of close off maybe Max’s question which was not to repeat the mistakes of the banking sector and that we are looking in that priority list around APIs that will allow the sector to pull information they need to make it more convenient for their own purposes. And I saw a thank you pop up. So we are relying on the sector to tell us where the administrative overhead is in their space and so far I think I’ve heard two examples which again no commitment yet but it’s on the list and we’re trying to figure out when. One was around referral information. I know that the referrals you’ve got to kind of cut and paste the data from the portal into your own systems. We blocked the screen scraping for security reasons and so I do believe there’s an administrative overhead there. And another example that’s been shared with us was the star ratings information, whether we could have an API that we could share that information through APIs as well. So hopefully Max we’ve answered your question too. We are definitely trying to make this a two way benefit so that it’s a connected community.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thank you. If we can have Sharon brought to stage now and that will definitely be our last question. Sharon just a fair warning we’ve literally got two minutes left.

Sorry for the time.

Audience Member:

… like data to reconcile where our systems are speaking from a Government agency provider?

Janine Bennett:

So for the panellists who didn’t hear the question was:

Q:        Will we have the availability to export client data from My Aged Care to reconcile audit our own systems?

And I would let anybody who’d like to jump in on that one.

Fay Flevaras:

I think that might be a new request to be honest Janine. So I think we might take that one away Sharon if that’s okay and have a look at what would be the security and fibre risks that might come around that and figure out how we might be able to achieve it.

Audience Member:

Similar to the grandfathering report that we already have, that we have periodically. Something to that effect. It’s the management reports within the system.

Janine Bennett:

Excellent. All right. We’ll be sure and take that one on notice. And that’s the benefit of these discussions. You start to think of things that you didn’t know we had potential to do. So we’ll come back to you all on that.

We are running really tight to time so I’m going to unfortunately have to call our Q&A there. We do have some other questions. Unfortunately we had some conformance questions that didn’t quite get to the top in popularity John and Shae but thank you in any case. We’ll be sure and get those to you. There’s also a question there Amanda around the GPMS use and we’ll be sure and get the comments from Mark over to you from that as well.

All right. Thanks panellists. We appreciate your time as always. It was great to have another good discussion involving our sector. Also thank you to our brave attendees who got involved and submitted their questions to the panel. Thanks to everyone for attending today. We know we’re right smack in school holidays so we appreciate you folks who came along regardless. We hope to be back here in about six weeks’ time for our next Tech Talk. In the meantime we’d encourage you to complete the post-event survey as we do each event. The QR code is on the slide now but we’ll also include a link to that survey in the post-event email. A recording of this event will be published on the Digital Transformation area on the Health and Aged Care website in the next week or so. As always any suggestions for agenda items please add to your survey response or email us directly. You can email us at Digital Transformation office using the email address on screen.

And that’s it from me. Fay over to you for final words.

Fay Flevaras:

Just a big thank you for everyone’s attendance today. We really appreciate that you take your time out in your day to join us. As always digital transformations are hard but 100% worthwhile. So by keeping us working together this is one of the ways we stay connected with you to make the outcomes real. So thank you very much and we’ll see you next time.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks all.

Presentation slides

Questions and answers

We will upload the Q&A document when it becomes available.

Date published:
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.