Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 31 May 2022
At this webinar the speakers discussed aged care reform and how our digital transformation initiative is approaching co-design, partnering with the Australian Digital Health Agency, undertaking the development of future technical data models, and more.
Recording and transcript
Digital Transformation Tech Talk
Digital Transformation and Delivery Division
First Assistant Secretary, Market and Workforce Division, Ageing and Aged Care, Department of Health
First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division, Department of Health
Chief Program Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency
Australian Digital Health Agency
Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Services and Sustainability Branch, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division, Department of Health
Assistant Secretary, ICT Strategy, Business Assurance Branch, Reform Implementation Division, Department of Health
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Tech Talk’, ‘Webinar Series’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of each speaker presenting in turn via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, depending on where you are in Australia or overseas. Thank you all for joining us for this second webinar in our Tech Talk series run by the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division at the Department of Health. My name is Janine Bennett and I am the Programs Engagement Lead.
Today I join you from Canberra, Australia, the lands of the Ngunnawal people who for over 20,000 years have been shaping the place as we now know as southern New South Wales and the ACT. I would like to open our discussion by acknowledging these and the many other traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today right across Australia and the world and to pay my respects to those cultural leaders past, present and emerging.
It is a pleasure to welcome you all from your offices and homes across Australia and overseas. I would especially like to welcome any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders joining us today. It’s an honour to have you with us and we wish you and all those attending a very happy Reconciliation Week.
Before we get started we wanted to do some quick housekeeping. So please note that this webinar is being recorded. The recording will be made available with captioning on the Health website approximately two weeks after the event. I might also just mention upfront that it took us a little longer than two weeks after our first Tech Talk but we worked through the teething pains of our new web space on the Health website and we’ll be able to get that new recording up as soon as the captioning is done.
If you experience any technical difficulties during the event today we do recommend that you use the phone line to dial in. There’s details of that in your invite. It includes a phone number and also an access code. That will allow you to get back in to the session. As with the last Tech Talk we’ve secured a big block of time at the end of this event for questions and answers. We will have some really good representation from Health and from the Australian Digital Health Agency available to answer your questions. If questions arise during the presentations definitely feel free to raise them using the Slido function. So Slido gives you an opportunity to pose a question, also to vote up a question if someone else has asked something that you’d like to see answered on the Q&A part of the panel.
If you haven’t used Slido before there’s a button on the right hand of your Webex screen. You can select Slido window there or panel and type your question. Don’t forget to submit the question so that it can be formally workflowed through and become a public question that other people can vote on. Questions can be raised anonymously but we really encourage you to include your details. Like we did for the last Tech Talk we’ll be inviting folks with questions to the stage so that they can ask the panel directly. So the more people that we can invite in to those conversations the better it will be for everyone. We’re a large group. We’ll get through as many questions as we can.
We have a great agenda today. We’re featuring Fay Flevaras, the Assisting Secretary leading Health’s digital transformation agenda. We also have Paul Creech joining us who is the Chief Program Officer at the Australian Digital Health Agency, as well as Dale Naughton, our Assistant Secretary for the Aged Care Services and Sustainability Branch. But first in the spirit of grounding all of our technology discussions to our real world purpose I’d like to introduce Eliza Strapp. Eliza is the First Assistant Secretary for the Market and Workforce Division here at Ageing and Aged Care at the Department of Health. Eliza joined Health in 2020 to lead the Aged Care COVID-19 Taskforce and has fortunately stayed on to help us drive the aged care reform agenda, specifically focusing on the work to enable a strong and innovative aged care market and also to ensure that the sector is supported by a qualified and skilled workforce.
So I’d like to welcome Eliza and I’ll hand over to her now.
[Slide with text saying ‘Aged Care Reform’, ‘Eliza Strapp’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Market and Workforce Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]
Thanks Janine and hi everyone. It’s great to be here and it’s great to have an opportunity to really connect policy outcomes with how we use technology in the aged care sector. I’m going to focus on one part of my job for this kind of opening presentation which is around increasing financial transparency and the aims of that and how that links to how we can better use technology to make everyone’s life easier.
So a key message we heard through the Royal Commission and in our subsequent many engagements with older Australians is that consumers are expecting information should be available to them to ensure that they can make informed decisions about their care. And part of this is information about how aged care providers spend their money. The desire for extra information by consumers and by Government though doesn’t need to mean a huge increase in administrative burden to providers. And I think digital transformation enables consumers to have access to more timely information but it can also minimise the burden on providers.
So many of you online today would know that over the last six months we’ve been working with aged care providers to design new reporting requirements. So these reporting requirements will assist the Government to monitor and support providers particularly those that might be experiencing business failures or viability issues. And it also aims to protect consumers from potential disruptions to care services they receive and allows us to target appropriate support to providers that might be at risk of failure. The other reason is to increase financial transparency into the sector is also to allow consumers to make more informed choice about their care and to feed that into things like star ratings and other information, how they make their choice about where they choose to be cared for.
So to achieve this the Government needs access to more timely and regular information about the financial performance of the sector. So to date we’ve relied on an annual financial report which is due four months after the end of a financial year. It’s a considerable lag time from when the financial year ends and it’s really provided a challenge for the Government to identify providers at risk and also to be able to provide almost real time information to consumers which is what they are after.
So in response to this from July this year providers will be required to submit a quarterly financial report. The first quarterly financial report is due on the 4th of November 2022 and this report will include a list of viability and credential compliance related questions for both residential and home care providers. It will include an approved provider financial statement. It will include care labour costs and hours reporting for residential care and home care providers. And it will also include a quarterly food and nutrition report. So bringing them all together. I know that’s currently separate.
So this information will be made public through a range of mechanisms that are designed to increase transparency and inform consumers. So this includes financial information especially how aged care providers spend their money. It will be published as part of the annual governance statement and it will also be published through star ratings over time. Food and nutrition information will also be published as part of the annual governance statement and through the star ratings over time. And care minutes will also be published through star ratings from December 2022.
So we do understand that increased reporting can put additional burden on aged care providers and that’s why as part of the digital transformation agenda we’re working towards building digitalised financial reporting capabilities and why this conversation is so important. We’re really seeking to upgrade our data collection systems and automate the collection of information as much as possible using APIs to connect providers to Government.
And so on the subject of digital transformation I’m going to hand over to Fay Flevaras now on this topic. Thanks Fay.
[Slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Fay Flevaras’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]
Thank you Eliza. So what a great opening statement around some of our priorities. It just goes to show just how important it is around digital enablement and that your work to drive the new financial and care reporting requirements provide a timely reminder of why technology is so important for aged care reform. So it’s not about the tech as we keep saying. It is clearly about the outcomes that we need to drive in the sector. Working smarter, cleaner, using modern and streamlined digital enablers to achieve two things. One, providing improved transparency or performance and data, and two, while freeing up humans to focus on the more high value tasks around care rather than doing administrative things. So thank you so much Eliza.
I’m going to take just a two second break and I understand maybe we have some Slido or Q&A technical difficulties. So I’m just going to let you guys know that we’re working on it and that we’re aware. My understanding is if you go to your apps at the bottom and you select it it should be able to turn on. But I’m just waiting to see if the team can get that up and running. So more on that as soon as we get some more information. We’ve got some people in the back trying to get it restarted for us.
Okay. But just moving on. A little bit of a recap from last time when we did Tech Talk and just to link the messages that we’ve just heard from Eliza around where we’re up to, around why it’s so important for us to get digitally ready. Time for consumers to make decisions about – we need to get the information so that consumers can have the data in real time so that they can actually make decisions around their care. But it’s also really important for the sector to have all the tools and data available to them so they can provide that care in the best quality outcomes.
So to recap we’re just using this digital maturity roadmap to help kind of articulate where we’re up to on things. And some of the priorities that Eliza just talked around around care minutes and also the food and nutrition and some of that financial transparency, in the first instance I think we’re working on getting to a digitised step which is that third step in the maturity roadmap. But a big part of why we’re here today together is so that we can start figuring out how to get connected and automated which is that fourth step. So how do we get the sector giving this information to us in an automated fashion rather than you guys getting online and using the portal and maybe doing it twice.
So I just wanted to use that as a really good example of what is digital and what goals are we trying to aim for and when. So when I say the sector I mean digital improvement for providers and Government systems working together.
So thank you for that. Moving on. A little bit more of a recap from our first Tech Talk. We had over 415 registrations although I think this one has clocked it a little bit. So let’s see how we go. And we had about 261 unique logins. A big part of getting digitally connected is to figure out how we’ve engaged with the conversation with you guys in the sector. And a part of a good conversation is playing back what we heard. And so we got 88 questions. We haven’t got all the answers for you here today, in that we wanted to give the opportunity for us to brief our incoming Government first and get some of their feedback on that. But we have got some more information about those 88 and I’ll give you a little bit more on the themes that came out just up next.
We did get 50% attendees were from the service provider landscape in the sector and we got a pretty good satisfaction rating for our first go. So just wanted to share that with you. You’ll also know that we put a call out to everyone for some volunteers to include some codesign sessions. So we’re coming to you probably every four to six weeks around the Tech Talks but as a parallel track we’re working with our volunteers around the codesigning of how do we get to that automated connected ecosystem.
So that’s just a little bit of a snapshot on kind of the statistics of the first Tech Talk. And then out of the 88 questions that we received from you these were the big six themes. Now these will go up on to our engagement hub. But we analysed the in-session questions and all the ones that you left on the Slido and we collated these comments, suggestions, ideas from the survey, from the post-event survey as well, and we were able to develop some really clear themes. And to summarise this is what we heard around it. Workforce and consumers around digital literacy, both for the sector’s workforce but also for consumers. So that was one of them. We wanted to clarify some of the incentives available to help with digital solutions. So that’s a part of that theme. We saw lots of questions around data considerations and so given that we’ve highlighted that data will be one of our focus areas in the third Tech Talk that’s coming, so we’re giving you a deep dive on that. We saw lots of questions around privacy, consent and security data. So that’s really important as we get connected on who has access to which data and when.
Also attendees asked for visibility of the value that we’re intending to deliver for providers and consumers. So that whole value chain visibility I think was really important. And as you can see we’ve put our minds to documenting and understanding these themes and then using them to help drive what our next priorities are and how we can then use this information to brief our business but also our new Ministers when they join, or Minister.
So also very popular questions around being client centred and how we get involved in the codesign. So the volunteers who we already met with last Friday – and I’ll give you a little bit of a recap on what we talked about there – we’ve already started that codesign process. And as you can see once our new Minister is confirmed and briefed then we’ll provide all the questions and the details up on the engagement site.
So for today I’m going to focus on the last theme being the codesign because of our volunteers. So we did put the call to action out there and thank you to those who did volunteer. We say 25 plus volunteers but I actually think we’re at 30 plus at the moment. So it was a lovely first introduction with them that we had last week. We had individual representation from all these different sub-sections of the sector. So service providers, peak bodies, ICT peak bodies. We had some software vendors, we had health representatives. We even had end user consumers. So you can see a very nice lovely spectrum of people to help inform the codesign. We’re looking for a strong response across the broad representation. We’re probably missing one or two stakeholders that I think we would like to have more representation in and we’ll actively look to get some more people involved there.
Next slide please. On the agenda last week when we met for our first codesign we held that on the 27th of May. We did a bit of a welcome intro and a scene setting. We again set some business context for them because nothing we do in tech alone. We always do to achieve a business outcome. We did a bit of a group exercise and scene setting around how to set ourselves up for success. And it was really important that we heard from the volunteers on how do they want to codesign with us and some of our immediate priorities. Those immediate priorities Dale will speak to a little bit later on in today’s session, so just to keep everyone across it.
So as we do the parallel track with our codesign volunteers we will keep giving you a regular update – it’s almost like your status update here – to make sure that we keep everyone engaged. Next slide please.
A big part of the considerations with our volunteers – and I just want to share this – is that anything we publish in the co-design session will be made available to everyone. So you’re not missing out if you weren’t a volunteer in that sense. That information will be provided to everyone. But you may not be in that specific design session. All of the names of the codesign volunteers will be published. We ask the attendees – we’ll be recording the attendees. We won’t be recording the session though. I think they’re too technical the workshops to kind of record and put up on the engagement hub. But any documentation and a summary of all the outcomes will be published up to the engagement hub.
We did talk about IP and that any input provided in those codesign sessions will not have IP applying to them. So it’s free for them to – whatever ideas they put forward in the codesign is open to everyone. And it’s all going to be public knowledge so we’re not explicitly asking them to sign NDAs or anything like that because it’s an open codesign session.
We did talk about fair and equitable access to all this information and that’s why we wanted to go in with these important considerations to make sure it was an open, transparent codesign cohort and that it was available to everyone. We did focus on digital enablement activities first. If I can ask for the next slide. So where to? How were we going to focus on codesigning together? So essentially we did the April Tech Talk. Number one. Great. We asked for volunteers and we got them. Thank you so much. In late May we closed the nominations. We did our first welcome meeting and we started to talk about how we were going to codesign together and what were some of the methodologies we were going to use around making sure that we were human centred, that we were going to leverage some design thinking approaches, that we would try and look at problem spaces and test and learn with lean innovation and then use that to help drive an agile delivery on things.
So we kind of wanted to just give you guys a little bit of a snapshot of that parallel track and the first bit of the codesign that we have done with everyone in the sector.
I want to acknowledge the volunteers as it’s not an insignificant amount of time that they’re going to invest in time and thinking and we at Health really want to thank them for joining us on this.
So I think that’s a bit of a recap for you of where we’ve been and what we did in the first Tech Talk, what we’ve done in the first codesign session. Without further ado – and I’m just going to check in and make sure we’re all back on track – have we got our Slido polling and Q&A up and running Janine?
You’re on mute. That’s like the meme of the century at the moment.
How’s that? Slido’s working for some folks but not everybody. We have put a link in to the chat. So there’s a link and password there. If you’re not seeing Slido in your Webex window then you can click on that link and it will open it up in another browser window and you’re good to submit questions there. If you’ve tried to use Slido post all of these mitigations and it’s still not working for you feel free to put your hand up when we get to Q&A and we’ll keep an eye out for people who just want to come to the stage and ask us a question straight up. Thanks very much.
Or put it in the chat I guess. There’s always that too. So without further ado – and have we got Paul with us – I’d like to introduce Paul Creech who’s joined us here today. It’s about our working in partnership together with ADHA and ensuring that we are thinking about how Government together is going to introduce changes with you guys in the sector. Do we have Paul with us?
I’m thinking not. Laura? Is Laura with us?
We’re having good fun today with our technology.
Hi. I’m here. Paul is online. I’m just trying to find how I could let him in.
Tanya if we could maybe just move Laura to stage. Thanks for your patience everybody.
Paul Creech here. I can see him. He needs to be let in. Can someone let him in?
That’s always a good start.
When he’s there I’ll drop off.
No. It’s all right. It’s all good. Tanya will you let Paul in?
At least you know we’re keeping it real folks. There he is. I have now seen him let in. Can we put him up on centre stage? How are you Laura?
I’m very well thank you Fay. Nice to see you again online and very nice to have met you in person for the first time last week as well.
I know. Laura and I met for the first time IRL, in real life. So it was nice. We had a chat with some of our sector CIOs. Now we’ve got Paul there but I can’t see his video. There he is. Hello. How are you?
[Slide with text saying ‘Working in Partnership’, ‘Paul Creech & Fay Flevaras’, ‘Australian Digital Health Agency & Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]
I’m very well thank you. Laura you can stay on please. It’s good to know all that’s involved, everyone that’s involved. Fay you can hear me okay can you?
We can. Thumbs up from me.
And listen thank you for the invite and hello to all. We live in an interesting world. I know there’s an awful lot of people on this call but I cannot see any of you so I don’t know who I’m talking to in reality. But for those of you who don’t know me, my name’s Paul Creech. I’m the Chief Program Officer with the Digital Health Agency working on a program of work across the aged care sector in response to the Royal Commission as an awful lot of people are. And Fay has asked me along today to talk a little bit in relation to not just the work that we’re doing but I guess a bit of a focus on how we want to work really closely with our broader Health portfolio colleagues to sequence this work as it’s important that we work together to understand the pain points, the pressures that this is going to bring on everybody involved. And if we can better understand then try to mitigate some of those risks.
I suppose at the highest level our focus at the moment probably goes to recommendation 68 which is the concept of access to clinical information of residents of aged care facilities. We want to enhance aged care participation in MHR and drive adoption to try and help with that seamless transition of information especially transition in care settings. And with respect to MHR registration we’re currently trying to understand the gaps and barriers in the adoption, how we can increase adoption and use and how we can appropriately guide the MHR registration in aged care facilities.
But to that end I suppose one of the things that we’re really keen on and we’re doing this in a number of forums – we’ve got our own Aged Care Advisory Group, we’re participating on a number of other Aged Care Advisory Groups and we’re seeking feedback from the National Council and others – we’re keen to understand where the pain points are so we can look to work to mitigate especially in the context of an oncoming Government. Fay touched on this a little while ago. We will work through what that means for us as bureaucrats managing these programs. We’re keen to understand from your perspective where you think our focus should be and we can filter that into the mix.
I won’t say if we can move to the next slide because it looks like we’ve already moved to the next slide. Thank you very much. I wanted to share this information. It’s already been out there so some of you may have already seen this. But from our perspective these are the partners that we’re working with in the first instance to drive this work. A number of them you’ll recognise for those of you on the call from aged care provider land. You either work with them daily, you know them well or you don’t. But if you’re thinking about where you want to go this might give you some I suppose information or advice that can play into any decisions that you have to make. The purpose of the Agency partnering with industry in this way is to drive that adoption and interaction that we talked about before. Building on what Fay said we really want this to be a codesign piece, so not just the Aged Care Advisory Group that we’ve got in play, how we design, whether it be an aged care transfer summary or how the customer journey works in practice, but how we work with the software industry as well to build this in.
So this is very much a moving feast. The vendors on the slide are currently working with the Agency to become conformant, activate MHR, facilitate viewing, and have the capability to upload advanced care plans and an ACTS and other things. More than happy to take questions either in the Slido or separately. We will continue to have this conversation but really what I wanted to do in the first instance is I suppose flesh this out, give you as much information as I can as to where we are and I suppose talk to you a little bit about our focus.
The one last thing Fay that I will touch on if that’s okay in addition to the codesign piece that we’re trying to deal with, not just the software industry, but our Aged Care Advisory Group and others, is work with Health on the sequencing which I’ve touched on but also the policy piece. So Eliza touched on the policy work before. I don’t need to talk to this group about the significant amount of change that’s happening across the sector in response to the Royal Commission and other things that are in play from the legislation down. We’re keen and we’re trying very, very hard to be as connected as we can with our Department colleagues in relation to that policy and legislation piece.
Again it goes to the sequencing. We can design the best documents in the world when it comes to transfer summaries and all the rest of it but how do we help you as providers make sure that we’ve got the right levers in place to put the information in to the tech that’s designed to support you. How do we make sure that those things become seamless so it takes pressure off workforce so it takes pressure off you? It's big, it’s complicated. What we want is an open conversation.
Fay that’s kind of all I had on my list in the first instance. If you’re happy I might stop there. I’ll ask if Laura had anything she wanted to add specifically and I’ll throw back to you Fay as to where we want to go next.
Nothing else to add so thanks Paul. This is just an ongoing conversation I guess that the Agency’s also having through this forum with you all. And thanks Fay for continually having us with you shoulder to shoulder on the journey.
Thank you. Yes. It’s an onion layer of teaming. It’s the social connection and the networking that we have to do in Government but also to the sector. There’s a lot of moving parts and there’s a lot of people who have got to get a lot out the door priority wise and I know we together in the portfolio are trying to come together so that we can do it in a coordinated fashion with the sector.
So I thought the Slido’s just warming up. I think everyone’s starting to put their questions in.
There’s a question in there from Janette Robinson to all the panellists in relation to as a CHSP provider. I can’t see all the questions but I can see this one. I thought it might be good touching on this. As I said before – and I won’t speak for Fay or anybody else in the Department of Health – there are a myriad of programs as you know in the aged care space and respect some of the challenges that all the providers across all care types are facing.
Our focus at the moment is on the response to the Royal Commission. As you’ll be aware we have that direction authority from Government. I am keen as is Laura and everybody in the Agency that as we work to understand the best requirement I guess for residential aged care and work with the residential aged care sector we also understand what we might be able to lend to the home care and CHSP space post that. Absolutely. As I said our focus is residential aged care at the moment but that isn’t where we want to stop. That said there’s a number of processes that we go through I suppose to seek authority for what the next parts of those programs are and with the new Government those processes will in some ways – those discussions are still yet to be had.
So I guess the answer I can give you at the moment in relation to CHSP just from the Agency perspective and the clinical conversation is I am really keen to make sure we work with home care and other care setting providers to increase the level of maturity. Absolutely. Our focus at the moment is on residential aged care but we’re keen to make sure we don’t put things in place now that impede our ability to roll them out or at least understand what those differences are so we can make those arrangements as we go. I hope that helps.
So I’m going to actually go one step further a little bit Paul. Because we try and mix it up but with this comes risk that our digital – so if we can get Janette Robinson – so Tanya if we can get Janette Robinson on centre stage with us and I’m going to repeat the question that Paul just answered.
Q: Is it safe to assume that as a CHSP provider once the Support at Home Program commences that all of the key stages of the digital maturity framework will apply?
And Paul’s just talked to the fact that we’re starting with residential within ADHA. I think we’ve got Janette there. This is where I freak all the audience out right, because we get them up on stage. So Janette’s there. Hey Janette. Thank you. If we can get yourself off mute. And this is all goodness. Did we answer your question or did you want some more clarification?
Online Audience Member - Janette Robinson:
No. I think that was great. And the reason why I asked it, working in sector support the one thing that I am getting from all of the standalone CHSP providers that I’m sort of working with is very much around what of this is going to apply to them in the new world. And I guess people are feeling a little bit left out of the mix because when you talk about an approved provider that obviously doesn’t currently relate to CHSP providers who are standalone. And I guess it’s just the conduit of what’s coming. So how do they currently plan for 2023? And I think that’s certainly sort of what I’m hearing from people. It’s like well what do we do now? All of this other stuff is happening but what do we do to prepare? So thank you for your response.
I might just add it doesn’t go to Commonwealth Home Support. I haven’t had a conversation yet with Commonwealth Home Support providers but if there are any on the call that are interested in the conversation I’d be more than happy to. I have had several conversations with home care and I know the synergies between the two programs and some of the reasons that have driven me to have those conversations is I do want to get a bit of an understanding as to where the areas of commonality are, some of the synergies, especially as we start designing clinical documents that might be used in aged care, what would be reusable and what wouldn’t. Again this is not a commitment or authority to progress down those programs but what we do want to do is try and call them out as early as possible so as you articulate these programs that might be next cab off the rank or second or third can start to understand with a little bit of clarity what might be coming down the path.
So it’s hard, it’s complex, and I can’t sit here and tell you exactly the way that it’s going to play out but we are really trying to be as open as we can and I really do encourage anybody from CHSP land that’s interested to maybe put a note in the chat with their details and Laura and I or one of our team can get in contact with you and have a conversation around some of those pain points that you’d like us to look at and some of those areas of similarity.
The other thing there just for yourself Janette and others, there will be a post-survey here where there’s a bit of a freeform. So absolutely any priority areas that you guys have questions around please add them in there and we synthesise all the information that goes back to Paul and Laura as well.
And I’m going to qualify this. Paul talks about we haven’t got authority to – because new Government, we’ve still got to brief them, they’ve still got a lot to do, that we need to do to kind of get the priorities set over the next few months. But that doesn’t stop us having discussions now and bringing a lot of the context to the table. We may not have all the answers but at least if we get your problem spaces or questions then we can feed that in to the ideation of what some of those priorities could look like. So I think this is why it’s really important we continue to have these conversations. And it potentially feels not quite like the rubber’s hitting the road yet but it will. Because the more we can all get on the same page and the more we can actually understand each other, when it comes time to make decisions they’re informed quick decisions that we can do together. So really appreciate you coming on centre stage. I should warn people shouldn’t I? If you’ve watched the first Tech Talk you would have noticed us bringing people up. But it’s all goodness. This is all part of the casual connectedness and just getting together. So thank you.
Next question. While we have you Paul – and there is Q&A but I’m just conscious there was one more question. And then we will throw to Dale to give us a little bit of the next item on the agenda. I’m just making sure I’ve got the – okay. There is a question.
Q: What is MHR?
Paul I think that one’s for you. And we’re actually kind of taking a step back. There’s a lot of assumed acronyms along the way.
And I should apologise. I try very, very hard not to use acronyms for that exact reason. I do apologise. My Health Record. My Health Record. So when I talk about adoption and use I’m talking about My Health Record.
One of the things that you might I guess appreciate knowing in relation to the My Health Record or the sharing of clinical or health information more broadly, it will probably come as no surprise much like a lot of activity across Governments and the health sector, the pandemic COVID has really driven usage in the My Health Record. We are starting from a different base at the moment. If you look at consumer demand or even clinician use in the My Health Record over the last 12 to 18 months across some of the points has grown in the hundreds of percentage points. So we’re really keen I suppose on the back of that to continue to drive that usage. We’re seeing consumers now look for their own information. They’re getting pathology reports quicker through MHR than they do direct from laboratories in some instances. So we’re really keen to continue to drive that.
And we see aged care as another really good opportunity for us to continue to roll that out. So MHR is My Health Record. It’s not the only program in the digital health space. It’s one of many. Things like e-prescribing, the work we’re doing in aged care. These things can be separate from My Health Record but for those people who choose the My Health Record very, very keen to continue to drive that demand and address that demand.
There were a couple of other things in there Fay. I don’t think they’re questions necessarily but more two people have reached out. And if you can provide us those details we will absolutely take it on to talk to them. Thank you very much for the interest. I really appreciate it.
Thanks Paul. Now we’re just going to move on to our next agenda. But you’re hanging around for Q&A right?
I am. Absolutely.
Excellent. Because there’s a lot more in there for you. I’m just looking at the Slido. I think we’ve warmed up on the Slido thanks folks. So we’ll get back to some of those. Just to give you a little bit more context of where we’re all going to the community we’re going to be moving to Dale now around our digital transformation and a little bit of a playback on the codesign that we’ve done so far. So Dale over to you.
[Slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Dale Naughton’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Aged Care Services & Sustainability Branch’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]
Thanks Fay and thanks everyone for joining us today. Just as we start I just wanted to just really reiterate the importance that we’re talking about this human centred design and really codesigning with you guys. If I could just go to the next slide. I think what we did, we shared this slide previously which sort of shows there’s clients, Government and providers and we’re trying to deep dive I suppose a little bit on providers but it is important for us to I suppose from our perspective just be really clear that everything we’re doing is trying to improve the experience of the client and putting the client at the centre of all of our thinking.
So if I think about it within the value chain there is a number of actual players at play within that value chain and providers being one of those key parts to enable that success as we move forward. What we’re really trying to do, and Eliza set the tone at the start, is really look at ways of how can we now start to reduce some of those administrative burdens that potentially are impacting everyone across the sector. We’re trying to streamline those interactions particularly with the providers and the Government. So anywhere where we can actually automate that transmission is going to make a big difference, trying to reduce the duplicative reporting, and just reducing any other sort of burden which does have an impact on the regulation and compliance standards. We’re finding increased accuracy and consistency of the data by providing that automated transmission will make a very big impact as we move forward.
I think as we all know the aged care environment is extremely complex and what we’re not trying to do here is a whole bunch of brand new standards etcetera, but what we are trying to do is acknowledge that you will have already some of those complexities, and what we’re going to try and do is link things up a little bit to make it a little bit more streamlined and more user friendly if that makes sense to be able to connect up with Government. Next slide.
Just as a bit of background again we believe in transformation. We need to implement an approach that supports that effective data sharing. And data has come up a few times in the discussion today. Our enabling technologies we are looking at is to try and standardise where possible so it’s simple and modern and contemporary. This sort of involves I suppose employing different sort of connection methods where possible. As I said not one size fits all. So we have a set of standards and connections. For example in our clinical space we’ll have different standards than in our payment space. What we are trying to do though is connect those together so that we can I suppose from a provider perspective make better use of your software that you already have that enables some of those back office and contingencies and efficiencies.
In this slide I suppose what we’re trying to show is this is really a very much phased approach and what we’re trying to do here is support the platform – and I’m going to talk you about platform – people, process and tech. So its main focus is around establishing governance so when we do set up connections and what not we can establish a platform, we can establish the governance, the interactions between the sector and Government become more seamless. What’s really important is actually agreeing the rollout strategy, so as we work together, and extending the functionality as an ongoing focus.
The implementation as I said is looking at a phased rollout. We’re up until 2022. What we’re really trying to do is prove the concept where we can connect and actually do something that’s very automated to assist. Post-2022 will be dependent on whether the new Government will want to continue but for us it’s all about trying to make sure we’ve got a really strong platform that we can actually build and grow from.
What we’re looking at is more in that – when we talk about we’re moving into more that release delivery phase which is that codesign, getting ready to sort of get all the requirements, understand the use cases, which is really important, and looking at our engagement journeys, agree on sort of the strategy which comes out a lot, what is that sort of engagement strategy, and looking as I said – everyone’s talked about very much the importance of that codesign, co‑development type approach.
If I can just go to the last slide I’ve got here. It’s important also that we’ve started that codesign process and one of the things that really came out of that codesign process was really what is true codesign and actually working together. Now I think we’re now moving away from sort of industry partner workshops to more sector partner workshops and this is the sort of key feedback that came back as part of our first codesign session which was really around how do you want to work with us, what works, what doesn’t. And Fay touched a little bit on that.
And as you can see there what we’ve got there is we’ve got a couple of key themes which is around improving the communication, increasing the levels of collaboration, looking at the strategy which includes using new sort of tools and approaches to improve engagement, and finally what other things we can improve which will drive our solution development.
So the feedback that we continue to get through those processes is really critical. It goes towards as I said starting to move towards that sort of more automated approach with the way we work between Government and the provider sector. So thanks for your time.
Thanks Dale. I think we did a bit of a quick hustle through a few agenda items and I just want to take five minutes to quickly recap on them as the team’s getting ready for Q&A. So if I think about what did we touch today, just to make sure that we’re all on the same page, we did a bit of a deep dive on aged care market and workforce with Eliza. Unfortunately Eliza needed to go but we do have Jason Fraser with us to help us in Q&A on anything business related. I gave you a bit of a progress update. So where did we come from, how did we go with Tech Talk one and what did we hear from you, what was the parallel stream around codesign and Dale’s just gone through and given you a bit of a run down on some of the themes that came out of that and how people want to collaborate with us. The working in partnership with Paul and ADHA and the team, Laura. So fantastic. We’re really only touching the surface on some of this stuff and it’s really important that we come together and work with you in the sector on it.
There’s a myriad of questions that we can go through now together and of course then the transformation focus. So how do we get ready to be connected? How do we set up some of that technical platform piece? How do we get our certification process up and running so that we can connect the different vendors and facilities and providers together? And so that real technical piece is happening in the codesign and setting up our business to Government gateways with ADHA and Department of Health. So kind of where the rubber hits the road a bit.
So over to the Q&A piece now. So I’m hoping you guys have liked the snippets of information that we had to share with you since the last time we spoke about things. We’ve got two kind of areas for questions now. I’m going to see if we can get Peter Dorita up on centre stage. That’s one of the questions that’s on the chat. And then at the same time if we can look at the Slido and maybe we start to get George Margelis ready as well. So that’s a little bit of effort for Tanya our Director coordinator in the background. While we’re waiting for them to get up on centre stage I’ll start with Peter’s - - -
Fay can I just quickly interject? I just wanted to give Jason and Laura a chance to introduce themselves since we’re inviting them to the stage. So we might hand over to Jason first and if you can just tell us about your role Jason that would be great.
Thanks Janine. Jason Fraser. I’m Assistant Secretary of the ICT Strategy and Business Assurance Branch. We’re working in the Reform Implementation Division. And looking forward to answering all your questions today. Thanks Janine.
Thanks Jason. How about you Laura. We met before.
Yes. I was along for the first Digital Tech Talk as well. So Laura Toyne working in the Program Delivery Branch in the Australian Digital Health Agency with responsibility for a range of the programs including sort of the delivery on the aged care aspects as well.
Great. Well welcome. So we have Laura and Jason joining Fay, Paul and Dale to the stage and we’re ready to put you guys in the hot seat. So my understanding is that we’re just queuing up some folks so I might just really quickly direct a question to Paul.
Q: What is an aged care transfer summary?
Thank you. And great question. If I said ACTS before again I’ll apologise for using acronyms. So an aged care transfer summary is a document that we’re developing at the moment that will be a summary of important clinical information that will travel with an aged care resident as they transition between care types. So if you’ve got a resident in aged care that has to be taken to emergency the aged care transfer summary will be the document that supports that transition, much like I would say a discharge summary from hospital that operate in the digital health space or the My Health Record space at the moment.
Great. Thanks Paul. And having listened to a couple of the ADHA presentations recently I know how important that transfer of information is in setting the context of care for incoming residents and patients. So yeah really great initiative there. While we get George Margelis to the stage I will ask an anonymous question. This one’s for you Fay.
Q: Will you be extending this to providers who currently have their own systems and capability to work with APIs? We don’t want to purchase a vendor system.
So I’m guessing that this might be the provider management system.
So yeah I’m assuming, and given that they haven’t put a name, we’re talking about connecting to business to Government gateway. At the end of the day we’re not going to force people to go and use a third party software provider or vendor. If you have your own IT system in house you can absolutely get certified and go through the process and connect directly. It’s about opening up the channels and creating a solution that’s available to everyone. So I know sort of the big ends of town have their own IT shops and great they can absolutely connect to us. Kind of in the middle, if you guys are leveraging software vendors then yes, you guys can look to leverage them as they get connected. I’m hoping that answered the question. If not write a bit more in the quick Q&A for us.
And then over to George. George you had a question for us.
Online Audience Member – Dr George Margelis:
Yeah. Hi everyone. So George Margelis from the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council. First of all congratulations. Having been involved in health for 30 years having these Tech Talks before the fact rather than after the fact is a real breath of fresh air so we really appreciate that.
I’m down here at the Digital Health Festival in Melbourne with about 2,000 other people and aged care is a major topic and Amanda mentioned it today in her keynote. One of the key issues is that the more data we can get into My Health Record the more useable it will be both in aged care and in health care. So it really is how do we drive clinicians to upload more data? Do we facilitate that through simple APIs or other ways or is it a cultural change we need to instigate to get more data into My Health Record? Because it’s a classical network effect. The more data you have in there the more valuable it is for people to continue to access it and use it and you get that steamrolling effect where ultimately it becomes a single source of truth. Any comments?
Go Paul. You’re waiting.
George thank you. And listen I love how passionate you are about this subject as am I. And it’s one of the reasons that I guess I tried to provide a little bit of context about what we’ve seen in the digital health space over the last 18 months, two years, two and a half years. You’re right. The more that’s in there the more useful it becomes and that’s exactly kind of the tenet that we’re looking to drive. If you look at the pathology space as I touched on before I think the number was – and you can quote me but I’m going to talk round numbers – in January ’21 we had individual views by consumers was at about 1.5 million in January ’21 of pathology reports in – sorry. It was consumer views in the My Health Record. In January ’22 there was over 13 million and it was because information’s there driving its use. You go through the COVID pandemic. It wasn’t all pathology either even though pathology was a lot of it. But because the information’s been there, people understand the value and people use it.
I think that it’s powerful. And as I said before creating more use cases like this that we can build out actually is where the value proposition is. Moving from pathology now I think we’ve got a couple of opportunities. We’re doing a piece of work in diagnostic imaging as well, a proof of concept in diagnostic imaging, so we can look at an e-referral process that will put that information in there quicker so people can start to use it. The Agency is looking at an in house app to not only in parallel with doing the work to try and make sure the information is in the My Health Record, if we can put access to that information in the palm of people’s hands so they’ve got it whenever they need it wherever they are it becomes a really powerful tool. And I just see aged care is a segment of this conversation where if we can get the information in there it can really start to support people in their lives better than it does at the moment.
So I agree George. I think we’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s come along though. We’ve come a long way. I know it’s probably taken longer than people would have liked, and by people I mean inside the Agency especially, but it is coming along and it’s coming along quite well especially through the pandemic.
Online Audience Member – Dr George Margelis:
Thanks George. Hopefully that answered your question. And I think to add just a little bit there we are working closely with ADHA and in standing up some of our new platform capabilities in My Aged Care it’s about how do we bring all of that together to go from a provider perspective. Earlier today Eliza was talking about some of the information they’re trying to collect. And again it’s around some is medical, some is not medical. How do we do it once and share it many? And so if we can look to embedding those principles at the beginning of our thought process when we’re doing some of this codesign I think we’ll definitely create better outcomes across the board for all of us.
Janine what’s our next question?
So I might just ask if we can get Michelle Jenkins on the stage. Thank you George for joining us. And while Michelle’s getting set up I’ll ask you a quick anonymous question.
Q: Would today’s presentation touch on the home care side of aged care service?
And I’m happy for anyone from the panel to jump in for this one.
I’m going to say no it’s not. We specifically haven’t touched on any of that today simply because it’s one of the priorities that need to be briefed from our incoming Government. Today was a bit of a recap of where we’ve come from, Tech Talk one and the first codesign session. From a business context we went with Eliza from the Market and Workforce area. So that was the deep dive today. I’m thinking off today’s feedback support at home is a hot topic so maybe we earmark that for the next Tech Talk topic area from a business perspective to give you some more information on that. But thank you for asking the question because it really helps us to help prioritise what topic areas to touch and when.
Yeah. That sounds great. We’ll be sure to get something on that for the next Tech Talk. Michelle welcome to the stage. I’m happy for you to go ahead and ask your question.
Online Audience Member – Michelle Jenkins:
I can’t actually see the question but I know the gist of what I wrote. So it seems to me that in doing all this – and don’t get me wrong. I think digitisation is definitely the way forward – but it almost seems to me like we’re doing this back to front. We’re starting with residential care and its interface into the health system where for me we should be starting with CHSP because that’s the first port of call for an older person when they need support. Then we go to home care, then we go to resi care. And the whole point of the new health system or aged care system is to try and keep people at home for longer.
So if we were starting with that process and collecting information then it would help us to be able to inform what services we need to provide and how we deliver those services in the future using that evidence to redesign, codesign, however you want to call it, the services and the offerings that we’re providing to consumers. And so it seems to me that we always go to resi first but there’s a hell of a lot of work gets done out in community and it’s a much bigger population than what we have in residential care. So why do we go there first and start that and not start it at the beginning of the chain? Let’s start with what we can do to change things in community now, help providers to be able to do that, then we can work through the chain keeping people out of residential care for longer.
Thanks Michelle for that. And I think you’ve actually summarised it really well and you’re not actually the first to have communicated some of this. I know I’ve had discussions with other people in the sector. So I thank you for that. Why did we start with residential aged care facilities? Because I guess that’s where the reform went and that’s where the priority was from the last Government. Acknowledge what you’re saying and we’ll take that information back and make sure we brief our business and our incoming Government.
And I think there’s an opportunity for us to actually solution more generically the ecosystem in exactly how you just explained it around what’s the value chain from when you can support someone in the home through to they might have a fall, they go into a hospital, they come back to the home, and then over time maybe they move in to a residential aged care facility. And for me digital readiness is about taking a step back and looking at that journey at a sort of high level so that when we start to pick and choose problem spaces and priorities we can actually solution them together in the context of what we know the end state to look like. What you just said, if we take that – and it’s recorded. We might actually do that with your permission – and kind of summarise it as if that’s the north star, if that’s the goal of the end state, it’s not a perfect world. We don’t get to start from the beginning and work our way through progressively. As we start to identify pain points that we want to address like low hanging fruit that we want to fix we do that in the context of the whole of what the north star looks like.
So I hear you. It’s not something I can actually say yep we’re going to rearrange it all. It’s not my decision or anyone here. But we’ll take the feedback. But I think it’s important we use that information when we’re working together anyway to solution as a whole. Does anyone else want to add anything there? Paul? Jason?
Thanks Fay. I said it before so I’ll be covering old ground but everything that you just said I agree with. There’s two questions here though. One is an overarching policy question which seems to go to the comments being fed through and it’s the right question to ask. I have no issue with the question. It comes down to us for authority, especially in the Digital Health Agency and the work we’re doing, whilst it’s a big program of work for us it’s a reasonably small program of work in the context of all of the recommendations of the Royal Commission. There’s a lot of work happening. It’s a myriad of activity. It’s quite staggering the amount of work that’s happening.
But in relation to the setting which we’re starting in we’re kind of operating in an authorised environment. We’ve been given our marching orders. What I’m trying to do and what I’m really keen to do which is why I’ve had a number of conversations with home care providers, is how do we understand the broader environment and build towards so we don’t have to replicate, duplicate or end up with technical debt. I’m keen to understand that broader piece. I can’t give you the answer that you want but I actually think you’re asking more of a policy question than the piece of work we’re doing in relation to our part of responding to the Royal Commission. But it is an ongoing conversation. And Fay’s right. That is a discussion we have to have with Government then we’ll be looking to push for answers to those questions as well. Because it has to come. It has to come. And the sequencing is the question that you’re asking. For me it’s how do we understanding the broader environment and not build anything that gets in our road. That’s what I’m trying to do.
Great. Anybody have anything else they wanted to add to that one?
No? Okay. We’ll keep moving. So Mike T has a popular question. Thanks Michelle.
Mike T has a popular question so we’ll queue him up. But just while we’re waiting on Mike I’ve got a question for Jason.
Q: What is the Department of Health’s current aged care digital strategy?
That’s a great question. So the Royal Commission made recommendation 109 which went to an ICT strategy for aged care. We are working on developing a digital strategy with Fay and her team within the Department. We’ve done some early work thinking about what a digital strategy should do, what it should include. We haven’t commenced any engagement or consultation activities to date. We’ve been held back a little bit with caretaker. And I’m sure everyone on the line can appreciate we have an incoming Government. We have been working hard on developing incoming Government briefs. We very much look forward to briefing a new Minister when they’re announced. It could be any minute now.
And so we will be working through that strategy over the next couple of months and we’ll be reaching out through this forum and others and asking for stakeholders to cooperate with us, help us build and develop that strategy and build a kind of digital vision for aged care out to 2030. So we’re very much looking forward to this work and looking forward to working with everyone on the line. And we will have much more to say with opportunities for collaboration and input into that digital strategy. So watch this space. Thanks Janine.
Thanks Jason. Okay. Mike welcome.
Online Audience Member – Mike Tappenden:
Thank you. My question was around – I had a look at some of the industry partners that were involved and a lot of them relate to what we do with the data once it’s already collected and going through the system. And I was wondering if there’s any engagement going on with people who are starting to develop products and solutions that are gathering data about people? So there’s a lot of smart home technologies that are out at the moment. There’s wearables that are gathering health metrics. So as part of the digital transformation I would have thought that’s sort of a foundational piece is having that data all the way from its source and flowing through the system. I just wondered is that part of what you’re looking at?
Yes. And I might answer that just to give you a little bit more context of the information we’ve presented today. That list of providers that you saw halfway through the presentation today were actually the ones that are developing with ADHA. And Laura and Paul can give you a little bit more info there. The ones that have volunteered to codesign with Department of Health, which is the codesign group, we’ll be publishing them up on the web very soon.
You are correct. There’s kind of two or three swim lanes happening in parallel. Because to be honest we can’t afford to do this all sequentially so we’re just trying to collate all the information and let you know what’s going on and where. So we do need to double down on medical, health data with My Health Record and all the work that our partner agency are doing there. But in the codesign sessions that we’re doing more broadly in the Department of Health, a lot of that is just to get ready digitally for a variety of APIs. And yes when it comes to actually reporting on the care minutes or the financial transparency or what they’re eating or whatever those new initiatives are, I agree with you. I think there’s definitely an opportunity to create APIs that are more connected to the IOT devices.
So happy for people to kind of put their hands up with that as the initiatives come down the pipeline. A big part of that is going to be what we’re prioritising and when and how do we solve for that. And if you recall earlier in the discussion I talked about design thinking which is looking at the problem space and actually understanding what are the different ways we can solve for that. We did the lean experimentation in the middle and I think that’s where we could absolutely start to look at ways of using bar codes on clothes or plates to measure the weight of the food to go have they eaten what they should have eaten. There’s a myriad of opportunities on how we solve for some of this which is a slightly different way of collecting data. But we’re not there yet. We have to set up the tech foundations. And I think that’s why we’re trying to prioritise this to get up and running whilst we’re solving on the business outcomes and use cases we want to focus on. Does anyone else want to add there?
It’s Paul. Mike it’s a really good question. There’s an awful lot of conversations happening in this space. We’ve met with a number of different organisations both in Australia and overseas that provide things like virtual wards and all the rest of it. There’s a stack of work happening in this space across a range.
In the first instance in response to the Royal Commission as I’ve said a number of times today what we put up on the screen there are those partners who have declared an interest in working with us quickly to use what exists to try and get the information in there as quickly as we can to support the people that need it. Does other work need to happen that goes to the point you were talking about? Absolutely. It becomes a digital maturity conversation, evolution conversation to a point. As we work through this how much can we do at once? How much do we bite off? But yes please know – and again, a little bit like the CHSP, Commonwealth Home Support – I shouldn’t say acronyms should I – the Commonwealth Home Support Program, anybody that’s interested in talking to us about what it means for them so we can keep that in mind as we build out, also be interested in those as well. I’ve had several. I’ve had several in the last few weeks. More than interested in having those conversations about how that might look for us in our planning and development. It’s a very, very large chessboard and I don’t for a minute think that I can see it all. More than happy to be guided by those who see things that I don’t.
Thanks very much Mike. Thanks Paul. Thanks Fay. It really is exciting to start thinking about the type of technology journeys we can go on in the future and building that strong foundational capability will give us our launching pad for the years to come which is so important.
So we have a hand up in the audience from Bev Brooker and so we’re just going to bring Bev to stage. But in the meantime a quick question.
Q: Is the codesign volunteer group closed for new volunteers?
Fay? Dale? Somebody want to jump in on that one?
That’s a hard one.
Officially yes but if you want to send an email in to the Digital Transformation Office – if you’re one of the subset that we haven’t got covered – so there’s a set of providers that we need to get good coverage – then yes we’d like to hear from you. So send your request in and we’ll see what we can do. No promises but you know.
We’ll put that email address up on screen before we close today and it will also be in the survey email that goes out to you. Great. Bev thanks for joining us.
Online Audience Member – Bev Brooker:
Hi. Thanks. I’d just like to know how the My Aged Care fits into this work. We are a CHSP provider so certainly interested in this area.
My Aged Care is – if you remember that digital maturity piece, it is that third step, which is you go in to your portal and you put some stuff in. It’s definitely part of the ecosystem and will continue. But we’re hoping to reduce some of the administration. So anything you can do in My Aged Care we’d like to get to the point where if you did something in your own software, in your own facilities using your own tools, that you could connect automatically and give us that information at the same time. Now that’s a very generic statement what I just said and when you send that information – pick an example – like care minutes maybe you batch it up and you send it at a certain point in time. But you’re not having to rekey it into My Aged Care. It is about trying to automate and get digitally connected appropriately, however we need to digitise the business process.
So think of this as the broader ecosystem of My Aged Care and how we’re getting digitally connected. There is a specific portal there today and this will be augmented. Anyone else want to add anything to that?
Excellent. Another question there Janine?
Thanks very much Bev. So we have Sally Haggar – I think I’m pronouncing that correctly – coming to the screen next. In the meantime we’ve got a comment. So I’m just going to read that one out.
Q: System should be seamless, single point of assessment through community through to RACFs.
So that’s a good one for our design folks to note. The next question.
Q: What interoperability standards are you looking at using? Is FHIR being considered for health data exchange?
This might be another one for Fay or Dale.
I’m happy to take this one Fay.
This is more ADHA. This is their bread and butter. Over to you.
So a very short answer is always a good answer and I think when it comes to any work that we’re doing in relation to clinical information the short answer when you ask if it’s being considered is absolutely yes.
And we in the Department of Health are actually absolutely backing that because we want one standard when it comes to your clinical interoperability standards and so we definitely align to that. Laura do you want to add something there? All good?
Hi Sally. Sorry.
I think Fay as part of the context too as Paul rightly said for clinical we’re looking at – you talk about the fire standard but for payments there’s a different standard to fire. So I suppose the challenge for us as a collective, which is what I was referring to, is how do we link those together so that we get better use out of I suppose provider software and their in house capability.
Great point Dale. Thank you.
Thanks Dale. So Sally welcome.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
Hi. Feel free to ask your question and direct it to who you’d like if you have someone in mind.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
So mine was around the standardisation of the reporting requirements that we have. We communicate with Health through many different ways and lots of sets of data and there is no consistency in the different sets and no technical specifications that equal each other. And it’s a real struggle I guess in our industry to get into the format to automate to meet the requirements of new systems and things as you change them. So I guess I wanted to find out what work is happening in that space to get standardisation in the communication method so we can automate rather than multiple technical specifications and multiple portals that we report to.
Yes. I think also Sally I was just looking. Were you also the one that referenced that you’re doing it many times many different ways for the different - - -
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
I think it was Chong Yi.
Chong started with that. And so thank you. It’s actually a really insightful question and it’s one that we did raise up to go as providers there’s 60% overlap in aged care providers to disability care and veterans and you’ve got different portals for different purposes. So when you want to get paid Services Australia has their portal for payments and so forth. It’s definitely been raised last year and we have started developing a provider management system for data tracking and quality purposes. And we are looking to ask and brief Government on what the next steps are about how can we bring some of that together. Jason did you want to add anything there at all?
No. I think you’ve captured it Fay.
Okay. But it is an insight that we’re aware of Sally and that we are actively discussing internally around how do we synthesise some of that and bring it together.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
We’re all shaking in our boots about support at home. How are we going to get paid?
Yes. So that one there they haven’t had any authority yet. They’re in the consultation phase. So the business is definitely consulting out there. Hopefully you’ve been to some of those sessions. I think there’s more discussion to be had with the sector.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
Yeah. What happens is you come up with a way that you want us to give you another set of data when we were changing programs but we find out when it’s time to start getting money rather than in time to make a change to support it.
Understand. And that’s why we’re talking now. So hopefully this is a way of getting early discussion and designing together. I’ve got to be honest with you. We’re in this awkward stage between Governments and we really can’t tell you a lot. I’m being really open with you guys on it. So we just need to wait and if we’re lucky by the end of the day we’ll know who our Minister is. And then we’ll need a bit of time to brief them on that. Fingers crossed the next Tech Talk we’ll be able to give you a little bit more insight on the specific policy initiatives that we can then use to help prioritise some of these standards and the discussions on how we bring it all together.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
No worries. Thanks so much. I appreciate your time.
Thanks Sally. Much appreciated. Just a reminder too that we do really try and work closely with business as we develop the agendas for the Tech Talk so if there are particular areas of the business that you want to deep dive in to then we can get those First Assistant Secretaries along and have them speak to it.
So the next person we’re inviting to the stage is Natasha. In the meantime I’ll very quickly just sling a question at Jason.
Q: Is a projected outcome that nurses will not be tied up with documentation as they currently are?
I think if we’re here for any reason whatsoever, any single reason, it’s to ensure that the maximum amount of time is dedicated to providing meaningful care to senior Australians. And I guess that’s the main aim of digitally enabling the sector is to make sure that the workforce isn’t tied up with administration unnecessarily.
I think there’s a related question too around workforce digital literacy. And we’ve been thinking a lot about that. So it’s all well and good to have the tech but if the workforce isn’t able to use it or hasn’t been trained to use it then that also causes difficulty. So as part of the digital strategy that’s been something that we’ve been thinking about too. The aged care workforce has been really at the forefront of our mind and we’ll be making sure that we consider the workforce and literacy levels, understanding where they’re at, what we might be able to do to support and uplift in literacy in the workforce. So I think that’s a really great question.
Great Jason. That’s really good to hear. That was definitely one of the themes that came out of the survey responses to the first Tech Talk was the importance of that digital literacy for the workforce primarily but also for consumers. So that’s great to hear. We have Natasha joining us on stage. Natasha take it away. I’m not sure. We don’t have video for you so we might just have audio.
Natasha you might be on mute still.
We’re just waiting on Natasha. So in the meantime I’ll throw to an anonymous question. So this one is for Paul.
Q: Where are we at regards to having a legal electronic medication chart that acts like a prescription for the pharmacy? Especially important for controlled drugs.
I can probably talk to that Paul.
Thank you Laura. That will save me from saying that’s actually for Laura.
It is but it’s actually one for the Department. But the Departmental colleagues who work on this actually aren’t in this talk at the moment so I will have a crack at letting you know where that’s at. So there’s still obviously a rollout under a trial arrangement of the – it’s called the Electronic National Residential Medication Chart. That’s ENRMC if you wanted to add another acronym to your pile of Government acronyms. That trial as I understand it is being extended because we haven’t got prescription delivery services that are currently conformant with the right sort of set of conformance arrangements. So they’re extending that trial arrangement that will enable dispense and prescribe to occur off an electronic medication chart probably for – don’t quote me on the exact timeframe but certainly for a number of months longer than they anticipated.
And so there will be software that will be listed as being conformant for that sort of transitional piece while we wait for the EP, the electronic prescribing ecosystem to catch up in broad terms and so that will be available. I think we can also take the remainder of that question sort of back on notice and just make sure that our Departmental colleagues in the medicine sector have the opportunity to answer that one as well. But those products will be available and be able to be used in that trial arrangement ongoing.
Thanks very much Laura. While I have you there there’s another question for you.
Q: If a provider needs education help to access My Health Record is there support available through the Agency?
Yeah. Absolutely. We have a team of people that can assist with that. I’m happy to send a link out. If I get time to get a link I’ll put it in the chat. But we do have people in the Agency that can help vendors and others become conformant with My Health Record.
Great. Thanks so much. Nicole welcome to the stage. Happy to have you. Go ahead and ask your question.
Online Audience Member – Nicole:
So we’re - - -
We’re just having some trouble hearing you. You might need to lean in.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
Is that better?
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
So we’re a small not for profit in - - -
I’m sorry to interrupt you but I think you’re going to have to hold it a little closer.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
Here we go. Yay. Sorry. Okay. Take two. Take three. We’re a small not for profit in north east Victoria which is great. We do CHSP and also home care packages to our communities and surrounds which is great. Unfortunately we’re geographically diverse which is problematic. The question I have, I suppose really going to support at home, which is fine. That’s where we’re going. We do have lots of our staff that are really concerned about their jobs and also how this means with the funding and how it’s all coming through and how this looks. I know there’s change in Government. I know this potentially will probably change. I know your hands are probably tied. But do you have any information that we can probably help relieve some stress from our workers so we don’t have a mass exodus which is already happening in our industries up here and I suppose across the board?
I’m going to take that one Nicole and I’m not going to - - -
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
Sorry. It’s a bit deep.
It is and it’s very real and that’s part of change. And look I think we should probably take your details and connect with you more specifically with our counterparts in the business around support at home, to understand how is the business model – how are you guys perceiving the business model change and the impacts on you.
Online Audience Member – Sally Haggar:
Yeah I suppose. And that’s probably the information we’re getting out too. Potentially it’s not clear and that’s probably eating into lots of – I love change. I’m probably a crazy. Change is good. It makes people uncomfortable. It makes things better. It’s a fact of life unfortunately. I suppose that probably is the uncertainty, is we can’t I suppose as an exec here at our business – we can’t give assurance to our workers that we can guarantee you’ll have a job 1st of July 2023 with the funding changes. We can’t guarantee that and that’s huge. We have 500 volunteers. We have 120 odd staff. And we’re small. By all means we have a population here in the city of 5,000. So it’s very real I suppose for us and the impact that this will have. We are probably one of the CHSP providers within 100ks of here. So it’s just becoming a little bit real especially the way the world is going. Just want to be able to – we’re in this to care. We care. We love our people. We want to help. We just want to make sure that we can do that going forward and how we can do that.
And appreciate that. And so acknowledge the question and the feedback. It’s not something I can answer myself here or I don’t think any of our panellists here today. But if we can get your details and we’ll contact you outside of this and put you in contact, for us even to understand your perspective in more detail. And I’m sure there’s people who understand it already but you’re talking to someone who doesn’t have that – and at least that way we can maybe take the action to provide some information out there. Because if you’ve got concerns there’s others with concerns. It means we need to communicate a bit more. So how about we take that as the answer for here right now and work together on it. Thanks. Really appreciate the question Nicole.
This is the thing right with transformation. So we want to have the conversation so we can keep the communication channels open. Thank you.
I unfortunately have to draw a bit of a close to the Q&A. So you’re off the hook guys. Thank you for the Brady Bunch panel. It’s been another really good session. We definitely do again have more questions than we’ve been able to answer today. So as soon as we get our Minister and we’re good to start answering some of those questions particularly around our future direction we’ll get those up on the Health website on our digital transformation state.
If I can just thank everyone. So Eliza who spoke for us for the business. Paul thank you so much for attending with Laura. We really appreciate the partnership and the coming together. I really want to thank everyone in the sector for joining. Hopefully you’re finding these sessions informative. We’ve had lots of insight in the chat session and appreciate the hiccup with Slido. So appreciate that you guys are going with the flow with us. And so I just wanted to thank you all. And I look forward to doing more of these and using the information and the feedback to help drive the discussion.
Thanks so much Fay. We’ll be sending out an email after the event. It will have a link to a survey in it. So again we’re really keen to hear your feedback. And anything that we haven’t gotten to today that you’d like us to touch on next time definitely put it in to that survey. As has been mentioned we’ll be holding our next Tech Talk somewhere around six weeks from now. By then we will have welcomed our new Minister and we’ll be able to talk more specifically about our future program. In the meantime any questions can be emailed to the Digital Transformation Office. The email is on screen now. And we are hoping to hit on more subjects around connecting data across the sector at our next Tech Talk.
Final words from Fay.
Nothing else from me. I said my thank yous. And just wanted to say happy Reconciliation Week to all. And yeah talk soon.
Great. Thanks all.
Appreciate you attending.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘In Closing’, ‘Visit the Digital Transformation page on the Health website’, ‘Email us at DTOOffice [at] health.gov.au’, ‘Next Tech Talk’, ‘Connecting data across the sector’, ‘Take the Event Survey’]
[End of Transcript]
This presentation contains the slides presented at the Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar for aged care and IT professionals on 31 May 2022. The webinar focused on our work to support a better-connected, sustainable and modern aged care IT network in the aged care sector.
Questions and answers
We will upload the Q&A document when it becomes available.