Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 6 December 2023

In this webinar we looked at our November 2023 releases, highlighted our achievements for the year and our plans for 2024.

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About the webinar

Join our last Tech Talk for the year to hear our latest digital news, look back at the 2023 highlights, and see what’s in store as we head into 2024. Hot off the press, we’ll share outcomes from our November major release and the latest updates to our ICT Portfolio Roadmap. We’ll deep dive into a major new capability for the Government Provider Management System (GPMS) that’s enabling the decommissioning of the legacy National Provider Management System, and we’ll hear from the Australian Digital Health Agency. 

Ask us about all these topics and more in our open Q&A.

Presenters

Fay Flevaras, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division, Department of Health and Aged Care

Webinar recording

1:31:29

Janine Bennett:

Hello and welcome to our Tech Talk. My name is Janine Bennett and I’m the Engagement Lead for the Digital Transformation Program and your moderator for today’s event. This is our 13th event in the continuing Tech Talk webinar series. Thirteen perhaps unlucky for some but fingers crossed not for us today. This will be our last gathering for 2023. It’s been another big year for digital transformation and it’s been really wonderful to be taking that journey together with you all.

I’m joining you today from the lands of the Ngunnawal people. I’d like to recognise the traditional custodians of the land I’m on here today and offer my recognition to the people and families with connection to those lands around the ACT and region. I want to also reflect respect for our First Nations people and their Elders and their continuing culture and ongoing contributions to our country and to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with us today. Hello and thank you for joining us.

Before we get into the good stuff in today’s agenda our usual housekeeping reminders. If you strike any technical issues during today’s event there’s a dial in option you can use as a backup to rejoin. You’ll find that phone number and code on your meeting invite. So go ahead and use that if you need to. As always we’re recording today’s webinar. We’ll post the recording after the event so you can refer back to it or share it with other interested folks in your network. It will be up on our website as well within the next couple of weeks. We’ll let you know via email once it’s live. As always we have a nice block of time today set aside for Q&A. You can pop your questions into the Slido at any time during our presentations and we can put them to the panel in today’s session.

In case you haven’t used Slido before on most setups you’ll find it sitting at the bottom right hand corner of your Webex screen. You can just go ahead and type your question into Slido like you would into a chat. Either include your name or pick the anonymous option. Either of those choices is completely fine. Then click ‘Submit’ and your question will workflow its way through to being visible to the whole group. From there you can vote up your question. You can vote up other people’s questions. If you see something you like definitely vote it up because we will try and hit the most popular questions first.

Later we’ll put as many questions as we can to the panel. If you’re happy to ask your question live on camera we’d love you to join us on our virtual stage which just means we’ll bring you up here on the main screen to ask your question directly to the panel. If you’re up for that just be sure to include your name when you submit your question. For those folks who are coming to stage I’ll give you a little bit of warning to let you know that we’ll be bringing you up. And of course just remember to unmute and turn your camera on when the time comes. If you’re feeling a bit shy today but still have a burning question that’s totally fine too. Just post your question anonymously or you can write ‘No stage’ when you submit it and I’ll go ahead and ask the question to the panel on your behalf.

Okay. That’s the housekeeping done. Let’s get the day started. It’s my pleasure to introduce our host Fay Flevaras. Fay is the First Assistant Secretary of the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division. She is a skilled technologist having held leadership positions across banking, consulting and more recently Government. Over the course of her career she’s taken on many large transformation programs delivering first of a kind digital capabilities. Fay heads up that same effort in the Digital Transformation for Aged Care on behalf of the Department which also makes her my boss. Fay welcome and over to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Well thanks Janine and thanks for those kind words. And welcome everyone to our last Tech Talk for the year. We’ve plenty to share with you today. I’ll kick things off with my usual transformation update. We’ll focus on our November release that just went past – we call that Release 6 – and touch briefly on what’s in store for our next update in February which we’re calling Release 7. That’s very innovative of us isn’t it? We’ll follow that up with a deep dive on some of our new capabilities that went out in our most recent release that we had delivered in November, including for our Government Provider Management System which we acronym GPMS and our Business to Government platform which is our B2G. We also have a bit of a deep dive on our Quarterly Financial Reporting capability that we’ve improved. So really looking forward to those.

From there it’s a warm welcome back to our colleague Laura Toyne from the Australian Digital Health Agency. So she’ll be giving us a bit of a year in review for them as well. And we thought we might give you guys a bit of a 2023 wrap up. So we can do a bit of a playback on some of the highlights for the year. As a side note I took a minute to look back at our 2022 year in review and it’s pretty striking just how big of a year we’ve had this year by comparison. So it just keeps getting bigger and better. As always we’ll close out with a Q&A so please get your questions ready for that.

Okay. So let’s jump in.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation Update’, ‘The plan as we know it’, ‘Fay Flevaras’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

For anyone new to our webinars each meeting I provide a bit of a playback of recent achievements against the delivery roadmap that we’ve been advertising and give you some insight in what’s coming up next so that you guys can do your planning. Here you’ll see our Aged Care IT Portfolio roadmap. I share this with my usual disclaimer. Think of this as our technical digital delivery roadmap. What you see is the delivery plan for all things digital. We share it here early and often and to be transparent and be open with you about all the work that we’re working on and what we’re planning for. This is our attempt to give you the most advanced notice as we can. But be aware sometimes things change. We have policy decisions that are evolving, priorities might shift, our capacity to deliver cumulative releases gets exceeded so we have to make decisions on shifting things. And so when that happens we’ll call it out here so you know about it.

One very important thing to note, this timeline supports the aged care reform agenda. It should not be considered an official commitment from the Government. That happens elsewhere outside of our Tech Talks usually through Ministerial announcements and other more formal mechanisms. We know this timeline can feel a little bit cluttered. There’s a lot on it and there’s a lot to take in. But don’t worry. We’ll go into it in more detail over the next few slides as we break it down and we’ll also make this deck available on our website so you can go back and zoom in and refer to it later.

The takeaways from this slide are it’s a pretty busy time with lots of release activity and change. We had our biggest release so far in November which has been followed by a lot of embedding and hyper care work to get everything all good before the end of year break. We’ve also started preparing for our next big release in February with more ramping up in the new year. So as we know more we’ll let you know in our Tech Talk when we return in the new calendar year. You’ll notice there’s a few weeks in grey there in the middle where we’re hoping to have our shutdown during the holiday period to give our hard working teams a well deserved break. Okay. So let’s go a little deeper and look at some of the detail.

We have three releases to talk about since we last met. We’ve got Release 6 which is our last major one as I said in 2023. It was the biggest we’ve done to date. We keep scaling and doubling in size. We have some deep dives in some of the new features later in the presentation today so I won’t steal anyone’s thunder and say what we had in there. I will say how happy and how proud I am of my team in getting this work over the line with very few major hiccups. And also I’d like to have a big callout and thanks to our business partners in the Department, our sector partners who volunteered their time to contribute to some of the design work that’s now gone out, our other Government agencies such as the Quality Safety Commission and Services Australia who partner with us very closely to do a lot of this work, and also our vendor delivery partners who have helped make all of this happen.

We had over 250 people working 24 hours a day across four days during this release to make it happen. And of course no major IT release is without its challenge when you do these things but I’m happy to say that both the release itself and the majority of our warranty fixes that are following have been going well so far. And we have been able to address – I always said we can’t promise no issues but when issues arise that we do address them quickly. And so for that I’d like to just put a big thank you out there for everyone.

Moving on to the next year you can see Release 7 is on the screen in blue focusing on our GPMS and B2G solutions. And My Aged Care which has been around for a little bit longer as you can tell, so they’re up to Release 29. It’s shown in the green colour.

So let’s just have a little bit of a deep dive in those. For Release 7 in February we’re delivering further enhancements on the Quarterly Financial Reporting. We’re doing some more work on registered nursing for 24/7 and auditing of care minutes. Making iterative progress towards transitioning system functionality from the legacy systems of our NAPS system to our new GPMS in support of the ongoing aged care transformation agenda. We’re also delivering new system functionality to support approved provider operations. It’s around the reporting, specifically the specialised based care tariff eligibility and dollars going to care, the target minutes measures. It will introduce some new self-serve portal functionality. As you recall we were trying to squeeze that one in for Release 6 but it was one of the ones that we moved out. So that’s coming now in Release 7. And there’s also a new stakeholder management solution to strengthen the regional stewardship across the state and territory network. And finally as if that wasn’t enough we’re establishing some new architectural foundations to support future releases for workers’ registration and personal care workers initiatives.

So as you can see lots going on and lots planning forward. We’ve now got in the next slide which is now the green, looking now to our aged care releases. As you can see GPMS is focused more on the provider side and My Aged Care is more on the client side. So there will be some care minute enhancements we’ll be making to change the care minutes targets calculation algorithm that sits there which will give providers visibility of the next target before the quarter begins. So really trying to be proactive about giving you guys all the information that you need to ensure quality outcomes. For AN-ACC we’re implementing functionality to better support AN-ACC both for assessors, both for residential service providers and Department staff. So improving the referral management, the re-issuing of referrals where the client wasn’t available and the usability of the AN-ACC app that was developed. We’ve got residential care client enhancements with the uplift in the processing of the residential care notifications from Services Australia and displaying the respite care recipients and the improvement of the de-duplication of the client records.

There’s a few more things. We’ve got updating the system rules for the palliative entry, better managing the palliative care classification process to make it frictionless. We are readying ourselves to deliver new measures under the assigned permanent residential aged care places to people which will provide the residential aged care providers care places going directly to older Australians instead of providers themselves. And that way it puts the decision making in the hands of the elderly on where they would like that place to be, with phase one enabling functionality in an offline state in the first instance so that we can start preparing all of the digital work ahead of the new capability coming out in Release 30 which is later in the year.

So that’s a bit of an early first look of our agenda items to be addressed in early 2024. As you can see lots of work going on. We’ll revisit these releases in the new year when we return for our Tech Talk in late January/early February.

Okay. So that concludes a bit of the recap and the look ahead. Without any further ado I’d like to invite Emma Cook, Amanda Smith and Marina Muttukumaru to talk about Release 6 changes that went out in November. They can do the deep dive for GPMS and B2G. And it represents those foundational capabilities for us so that is a really good update to hear about our progress. Hello ladies, or Emma. We’ll start with you. The floor is yours.

Emma Cook:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Update: Release 6’, ‘Emma Cook’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Reform Branch’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Ageing & Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Amanda Smith’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Aged Care Transformation and Quality Branch’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Marina Muttukumaru’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Aged Care Services and Sustainability Branch’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Thanks Fay and thanks very much to Marina and Amanda for joining me. I’m delighted to be co‑presenting on GPMS with Amanda Smith. So I’m the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Digital Reform Branch within the Reform Implementation Division of the Aged Care Group. And you’re absolutely right Fay. What a huge year it has been for aged care reform and for the GPMS system.

So jumping through to the next slide and you will see a brief recap – and again one more – on GPMS. So for those of you who are newer to the Tech Talks or to engaging with the Department a little recap is that GPMS really provides a flexible platform to enable aged care reform and deliver streamlined information exchange between provider and Government systems. So it’s the beginning of the journey for GPMS which will iteratively release over time to take on new and existing provider reporting functionality and provide a single streamlined access point for care providers. It then couples with B2G to support automation and interoperability allowing more time to be spent delivering quality care.

So jumping through to again the next slide you’ll see as I said what a big year. Launching on the 3rd of April 2023 the system has enhanced quarterly to deliver a number of critical aged care reforms largely being borne out of the Royal Commission and the Government’s response to that. So these include star ratings, quality indicators, provider operations reporting, Quarterly Financial Reports and dollars going to care as well as replacing old technology to position the system to support the introduction of the new Aged Care Act. And as I said the system will really continue to take on new functionality over time to create that single portal for all your interactions with Government and enhanced quarterly to improve end user experiences which we’re always looking for feedback, always looking at how we can do better and employ human centred design to get the best possible outcome for end users.

So to talk further about the detail, the technology and tranche release I’ll hand over to my fabulous delivery partner Amanda.

Amanda Smith:

Thanks Emma. Yeah. Look now I’m going to talk to you about Release 6 in a bit more detail. As Fay said biggest release on our new platform so far. So we went live. We deployed on the weekend 18th/19th of November so just recently and this was a really critical part in enabling that journey that Emma’s just stepped us through. So a couple of fun facts from the release that you could be interested in. Because there’s been a huge amount of work poured into ensuring the success of this release and it has most certainly delivered our biggest foundational components yet which I’ll talk to you about shortly.

You might be interested to know that there were four dedicated days of release activity. We started on Thursday the 16th of November and delivered the deployment into production at 2:00am on Monday the 20th of November. There were over 250 staff involved in that four day release weekend, not to mention the hundreds before that on the changes themselves. So it gives you a bit of a sense of the scale of change that we’re talking about here. And look these staff were not just from the Department of Health. We were very ably supported by other agencies like Services Australia, Healthdirect, Datacom – gone into some enablers here – the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

So as Emma mentioned replacing the NAPS legacy system was a huge part of that foundational scope and is a really critical foundational piece for us to build on with some of the legislative change that’s coming through the pipeline. So I really can’t understate how critical it was that we got that in. Next slide please. Thank you.

So let’s discuss the scope that went into that release. As I mentioned there were two really sizey foundational capabilities, three new applications and four enhancements to existing applications included in that release. From a foundational perspective again we delivered NAPS and that huge data migration piece. The NAPS replacement is a like for like capability transitioning the old National Approved Provider System which is a 23 year old legacy system and some old cold fusion technology. And it’s a key system to enable management of aged care provider data and is an extensible solution and the source of truth for provider data. This system as I mentioned integrates with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Services Australia, and creates that critical foundational piece that we desperately needed.

It’s worth noting too that this critical technical foundational capability is actually building a potential whole of Government platform for the care and support economy. There were three new GPMS capabilities delivered in the release. The Quarterly Financial Reporting, some care minutes changes and dollars going to care. There were enhancements made to value streams that were already within the portal. Those particular ones were quality indicators from January ’24, nurses 24/7 which you’ve heard a lot about in these forums as I understand, approved provider operations and further enhancements to that star rating capability that we’ve had in production for some time now. I’m still going. The release also included B2G developer portal enhancements, Inspector-General of Aged Care enhancements, and some updates to our authentication solution.

That’s it from me. Thank you.

Emma Cook:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Business to Government (B2G) API Gateway’, ‘Connect. Simplify. Empower.’, ‘Presented by:’, ‘Emma Cook – Assistant Secretary, Digital Reform Branch’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Marina Muttukumaru – Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Services and Sustainability Branch’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’]

Perfect. Thanks so much Amanda. And I’m delighted to be moving to this second part, the B2G component and partnered by delivery partner Marina for this item. So again what a tremendous year for B2G and really starting to kick off Business to Government capability. So as a little recap for those of you who are new B2G is really a crucial innovation intended to streamline exchange of data between provider and Government systems. It provides a real opportunity to improve data quality and utility in order to better support an uplift in care as well as enable aged care staff to spend more time delivering direct and high quality care to older Australians.

In tangible terms what this really looks like is aged care workers maintaining routine care records and this information being automatically collated and more seamlessly reported to Government when you’re ready and when is required of course. However to make this happen we work with software providers through the developer portal to ensure that software systems meet necessary specifications and then move to the release of APIs and those are the parts that aged care providers will then use to connect through their day to day software systems.

So to share a little more about this again and about the phased release of technology I’ll hand over to the wonderful Marina.

Marina Muttukumaru:

Lovely. Thank you so much Emma. Yeah. So back in September 2023 on the 4th of September we did our initial launch of the B2G developer portal. Now this was our first release and it enabled our software development community to explore the portal to also understand the technical specifications and better understand the conformance process that we were going to be following. It also gave them the opportunity to begin to register their organisations and onboard staff ahead of the future API releases that we have planned.

So our second release is planned for early 2024 and as part of that release we are going to be delivering some further enhancements to the portal. That’s going to include some specifications for the future APIs that we have planned. It will also include some information outlining our draft conformance process which we are developing in partnership with our colleagues at the ADHA. And also in response to some feedback that was received post our initial release we are making some upgrades to improve the end user experience.

Then as we move into the middle of next year we’re planning to do our third iteration of the developer portal. Now in the third iteration this is where we’re going to be putting some of our APIs for aged care providers into production and this will be focused on enabling providers to report on critical areas of care in particular nurses 24/7 which Amanda mentioned just before as well as quality indicators. And it’s also going to include the publication of the final conformance process that vendors will need to engage with.

So as you can see we’ve got quite a busy time ahead as we go into next year and there will be a lot of changes that we’ll see coming out of the B2G program. Now the team have prepared a really great little video that encompasses all of the Release 6 updates and we’re going to showcase that with you today. So I will hand over to the team to hit play for you.

Speaker:

Here at the Department of Health and Aged Care we are creating an online shared marketplace, an integrated system where customers, providers and Government across agencies can work together differently and better. Not just delivering new software and infrastructure but creating better solutions that support our policy priorities for aged care.

The Government Provider Management System or GPMS is foundational to the future of aged care and digital reforms. GPMS provides a modern platform to take on existing and new provider reporting functionality, provide a streamlined single access point for aged care providers, improve the quality and utility of aged care data, support automation and interoperability and enable scalable and flexible development at pace to future proof our technology.

GPMS is externally available to aged care providers as a portal which is currently being used by approved providers of home and residential care. Right now on GPMS approved providers can preview their star ratings online and in PDF. They can also view and submit operational reporting data. From January 2024 they will also be able to preview financial and operational information about their organisation, the same information that will be published on the My Aged Care Portal from February 2024.

Approved providers can also report on 24/7 registered nursing coverage and access new reporting assessments functionality that allows residential aged care providers to upload information and documents and view on site assessment bookings. This allows providers to submit information, use reporting dashboards to support quality improvement and preview information before it’s made publicly available. GPMS was recently enhanced to encompass core provider information and CRM functionality. This provides the basis for self-service and the introduction of further aged care reforms in 2024.

The B2G Developer Portal allows software vendors to discover, register and will soon be able to test their connections with the Department and leverage the power of APIs.

Right now on the Developer Portal software vendors can already register their organisation, bring their developers and administrators onto the system, find clear guidance about how system conformance works and interact with the API catalogue using features that support stub testing and downloading code specifications. Coming up in 2024 vendors will be able to work with a growing number of APIs targeting provider management, quality indicators, 24/7 registered nursing and more, in doing so enabling seamless reporting across crucial areas of care and automating the sharing between conformance software and Government systems.

GPMS and B2G, contributing to the Government’s efforts to deliver quality care and better outcomes for older Australians.

[END VIDEO PLAYBACK]

Marina Muttukumaru:

Thank you team. So that is our Release 6 overview. We really look forward to sharing the next releases with you as we move into 2024 but for now that’s it from us and back over to you Fay. Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Playback: Quarterly Financial Report’, ‘Kate Stewart’, ‘Director – Market Intelligence Branch’, ‘Market and Workforce Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Thank you. That’s amazing everyone. Hopefully you’ll be back in February to give us the next round of updates. But it looked awesome. So thanks for that. Now a little bit of an update on Quarterly Financial Reporting. And I’d like to welcome back Kate Stewart from the Market and Workforce Division. And she’s going to step us through the codesign activity that we had some of our sector partner community volunteer on. And so over to you Kate.

Kate Stewart:

Thanks Fay. It’s great to be back to tell you that we have completed our development of the new Quarterly Financial Report application which will replace the existing solution. From January 2024 providers will submit their Quarterly Financial Report through the Government Provider Management System. It has a user friendly, intuitive interface and aligns with other reporting applications on GPMS. The new application includes enhancements to the Excel template bulk data upload and it also displays the Quality Assurance Assessor comments within the application streamlining the quality assurance process.

We encourage your organisation’s GPMS administrator to set up their staff who need access and check that they can login to GPMS in readiness for QFR quarter 2 reporting which opens in January.

Next slide please. There are two types of financial reporting users. One is only able to enter data. The second is able to both enter and submit data. You may choose what access is appropriate to give to your users. We encourage you to access the guides and support resources on both the GPMS and QFR resources web pages. If you require further assistance with technical questions about logging into GPMS and accessing the QFR application please contact the My Aged Care Service Provider and Assessor Helpline. Forms Administration will still be available to providers to assist them with general QFR submission queries and the Residential and Home Care Helpdesk can assist with specific labour costs and hours and care minutes reporting queries.

We will now play a video giving you an overview of the new QFR application.

Speaker:

The GPMS dashboard will display the financial reporting tile. When you open the QFR application you’ll see the QFR landing page. Here you’ll find three tabs that provide important information and resources. When the next submission period opens your QFR will be visible. When you are ready to begin click on the ‘Start’ button.

There are a couple of ways to work throughout the report. You can complete each section in succession using the ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ buttons located at the bottom of each section. Another way to navigate the form is by using the sidebar displayed on the left. Clicking on a section title opens that part of the form allowing you to complete the report in any order that suits you.

The contact section is where you can review and update your contact details for the respective quarter’s submission. It is mandatory to have one primary contact listed so they can receive communications from the Department. You also have the option of adding secondary contacts. You have the opportunity to add contacts for applicable services including home care, residential care and food and nutrition. When you enter financial information on the data tables found on the year to date financial statement, labour costs and hours and food and nutrition sections, you can choose to bulk upload your data using an Excel template or enter data directly into the online form. Using the Excel template can save you time and ensure accuracy. It’s important to download a new template for each section. If you reuse a previous template the system will not upload the file.

The second option is to input your financial data directly into the online form. This provides more flexibility if you prefer to work directly within the portal. As you enter data or after you’ve bulk uploaded data built in validations will check for common completeness and accuracy errors in your submission. Some validations will prompt you to amend the entered value or provide an explanation while others will require you to correct your response before you can proceed. You will be alerted to these by the Why icon.

Once you have completed all sections of the report you will be able to complete the declaration and submit your QFR. Once you have submitted your report you have the option of downloading a copy to save for your records. On behalf of the Department Forms Administration complete quality assurance checks and may reissue your QFR to you if there are queries. If your QFR is reissued you will receive an email prompting you to return to the application.

The status of the QFR will now say ‘Reissued’ and when opened you can now see the quality assurance assessor’s comments in the form highlighting items that require a response before you resubmit your report.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Quarterly Financial Report’, ‘For more information, scan the QR code to access our Quarterly Financial Reporting resources page on the Health and Aged Care website’, with an image of a QR code]

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Kate. Great stuff. Now I’m just going to do a bit of a reminder for you Kate. You asked everyone, you gave them a bit of a call to action for providers, so everyone please remember what Kate has said to you. And in the Slido if you want to ask some questions on what you guys need to be doing there Kate will be with us to help answer some of that. But I think she’s provided you with a lot of information to get you started and you’ll all get the slides later after this session. So thanks Kate.

I’ll now move on to welcoming Laura Toyne from the Australian Digital Health Agency. If you remember Laura’s a regular on our Tech Talk and we like to make sure we present a one Government perspective and draw connections across Government. So we know we have a number of questions at every Q&A after we do these Tech Talks and so it’s really great Laura that you’re back with us. So over to you.

Laura Toyne:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Update: Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA)’, ‘Laura Toyne’, ‘Branch Manager’, ‘National Program Delivery’, ‘Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA)’]

Thanks very much Fay and thanks for having us here. The fact I think that we get some questions through these Tech Talks shows the level of interest in actually the health and care outcomes of the individuals in the aged care sector as well. And so it is to your point really important that we stay joined up in relation to all of the digital initiatives and other work that’s happening to make sure we keep that focus as well on that health and care outcomes for all of the people in the aged care sector as well as the workforce that supports them.

So I thought I would just sort of start my little bit today with sort of a different take because I haven’t done this necessarily at the Tech Talk yet, which is just to provide a bit of a screenshot of what happened with digital health this year because it’s not often seen I guess in the aged care sector. But what we’ve got here is a bit of a summary of what happened in May this year when Minister Butler through the Budget made some fairly significant announcements and investment in digital health. But what I want to talk through in relation to this slide is what this can actually mean for the health and the care sector as well.

So obviously My Health Record underpins a lot of the digital health work that has been done to date and a range of that capability that allows a consumer to actually have a consolidated list of information about their health and care arrangements. And we’ve got obviously ongoing support now to not only continue with the My Health Record as it currently operates but an investment and a signal from Government around future investment to actually modernise that platform and move to a much more data-based approach to that health information. So moving away from more of the document system that exists now and over time moving very much to a data driven system which we’re really pleased about.

Some of the other things though relating to digital health are equally important right now. Through that Budget period as well and obviously with a fair bit of media at least in the health side recently is this concept of sharing by default. And so what’s meant by that in a policy sense and particularly what we’re driving towards now with our colleagues at the Department of Health and across the healthcare sector is a requirement at the moment for all pathology and for all diagnostic imaging providers to share those test results to My Health Record. And so we’re working closely with our partners in the Department of Health and Aged Care around what legislative and reform requirements need to be put in place to support that outcome.

Now this is quite a significant signal I guess around the Government support for consumers, having access to those bits of information where they’ve gone to have a test and so that they can access and control through their record and see and use as they need to to support their interactions with healthcare providers and of course their care as well. And so this is pretty great from our perspective. We’ve got a system. We’ve got a capability. It has information in it and very soon it will have a whole lot more information in it.

The other parts of the sort of Budget that happened in May this year was the support for the Agency and the Department to actually start working to connect in the allied healthcare sector. Now we know that the allied healthcare sector is a critical part of primary healthcare but really to date we haven’t been able to extend our reach to support their connection and integration to My Health Record like we have done a little bit with pathology, diagnostic imaging and specialists and pharmacy and so forth. So the Agency will now work quite closely with the allied health sector over the coming years to support their connection as well, viewing capability and in due course the ability to upload information to My Health Record so that consumers and healthcare providers can also access some of that quite important information that really supports care outcomes across the community including in the residential aged care sector for those facilities that are connecting to My Health Record.

Alongside that there was a fairly significant investment by all jurisdictions, so all states and territories as well as the Commonwealth, under an inter-governmental agreement on digital health to support capabilities in the future such as the development of a health information exchange, the rollout of electronic prescribing capabilities in other sectors including importantly in the hospital sector, and as well as the rollout of medication charts beyond just the residential aged care sector where we’ve actually started that work into other areas of the community and the hospital sector.

It would be remiss of me as well not to talk a little bit about the move to FHIR capabilities being led by the Department, the CSIRO and the Agency to really help develop and adopt some of those core standards that support interoperability and the sharing and exchange of health data. That was also something that happened in May and that all parties are working on now. As well as a look forward being led by the Department and the CSIRO on what a future e-requesting capability will be. So if you haven’t heard it through other forums I thought it would be useful as well to share it through this particular forum which is more looking at the aged care sector but there’s a lot of benefits I think coming through right here as you work to support your clients, your consumers in providing aged care services and how we are moving to drive interoperable systems and better access to health information for all.

So I’ll go to the next slide if I can and just kind of show you why I guess we’re going down this pathway and what we’re seeing at least at the moment in My Health Record. And we have a lot of metrics but these are two really critical ones right now. For us we have seen even before the Budget announcements an increase in consumer viewing already of their pathology reports in My Health Record, an increase in viewing of the specialist’s letters that are in My Health Record, an increased viewing of diagnostic reports. To the point about a requirement to start sharing that information to My Health Record we know at the moment around about 50% of all pathology reports are in there and we’re very much hoping in about 12 months’ time that we will have close to 100% of all of those pathology reports being shared and accessible through My Health Record. At the moment we’ve got 20% of all diagnostic imaging reports going into My Health Record. Again there is a very big drive in that share by default agenda to actually increase that to much closer to 100% over the coming 12 months. And we’re working a lot with the vendor sector to support those connections and to drive that uplift and access to information.

But notwithstanding that what we are also seeing demonstrated by the graph on the right hand side of my screen is the viewing of the information in My Health Record and the uploads by the provider organisations as well. So key point. 23 million Australians have a My Health Record. 98% of those records actually have data in them. We know that My Health Record is being used quite substantially now by general practitioners, by public hospitals who have doubled their views of the information in there over the last 12 months. The types of information that are in My Health Record if you weren’t aware, personal health summaries, discharge summaries from hospital. So this is outside of obviously the pathology and diagnostic imaging reports. Immunisation records, advanced care plans. It does have the capability to hold a wide range of information and that is being viewed not only by consumers but also by healthcare providers right now. So it’s pleasing to see a push now to require more sharing of information to the record for the benefit of all.

Next slide as I quickly go through. And I’ll talk to you a little bit about this as I’ve come in over the course of the last 18 months into the Digital Tech Talk. There are obviously some specific things we are doing to support and continue to support the aged care sector. We are supporting right now all of the residential aged care facilities to register for My Health Record so that you too can get the benefits of access to that information to support the care of consumers that are in your facilities. We are really pleased to say we are at 35% of all facilities being registered right now and we’re driving very hard and will be over the next six months to really increase that to 70%. And so we’re very willing to help you with our time and expertise and take you through that registration process as you need it.

I’ll go to the next slide because I’ll keep it short. I’m sure there’s a few questions that we’ll all have to answer later. Another part of our work goes to how we work here at the Agency level with the aged care software industry in particular to support their conformance and their interoperability with My Health Record. This year we’ve worked quite closely with 13 vendors who now have products available in the residential aged care sector that do actually support and are interoperable with My Health Record. So if you are an aged care provider out there please be aware or please look at your product, see if it’s conformant to My Health Record, because you can get that access to My Health Record potentially through your product as well alongside your registration with MHR.

We are and we have released obviously a second industry offer and we do expect to be working with more software vendors over the course of next year to support them and their systems becoming conformant to My Health Record as well. So that’s where we are and that’s where we’re going to in the next year. So I’ll head to the next slide.

Another key part of our work as well is in relation to the development of aged care clinical information system standards. So let me just remind everyone on the call today and on the webinar why standards are important. So standards really will exist to improve clinical and care safety. They enhance care coordination and they support interoperability between systems and all sorts of applications. So it’s a good reminder of why standards often exist. So the Agency of course over the last 12 months has done its environmental scan of the existing standards now that might actually be required to be built in to an aged care clinical information system standard so that we can support in the future all of the approved providers to use a digital care management system to meet that standard. Over the course of the next 12 months, predominantly the first half of next year, we will work with the developers around finalising these standards. We will look to set out what those minimum requirements can be and we will look to pull together a roadmap for how you can adopt the standards in the future. Next slide.

This is one we’re really pleased about as a great way to end our 2023. It was about two weeks ago or a week ago a capability was released in My Health Record to actually generate an aged care transfer summary. It’s a pretty – it’s not a complex slide but I guess what this will enable once we have the software vendors with the same capabilities is for the digital transfer of information, the collation and the transfer of information to follow a patient as they move from a residential aged care facility into a hospital for emergency or non-emergency care. I know people have been looking and waiting for this for quite some time. It’s quite a significant development in being able to support the clinical care of someone as they move to hospital. It’s the first attempt at doing this and we’ve worked really closely with clinicians, aged care providers and others to develop and support and identify what those critical bits of information would be, how they come together, how they’ll be collated and how they will move to be accessed at the hospital end. Some of those are in the slide there. Some of the information that we know is critical is the reason for transfer, the summary of the health status and the current medication list. And so all of that information can get collated from a clinical information system, from an electronic medication management system, from existing documentation in My Health Record, collated into what’s called a residential care transfer, and therefore be accessible at the hospital and when that resident or patient arrives.

So key for us next year is to obviously work with the software vendor sector to make sure they have products that are conformant and have this capability so that we can really ease the administrative burden and look to better support care needs as and when they happen particularly in those emergency transfer situations. Next slide.

So as we look forward on that work into 2024 as I said we’ll work with those aged care software providers to enhance their systems to make sure they have the capabilities also required to generate this. We’ll be looking obviously forward to doing some training and education support. This will be a change, a change to workflow and a change to process, not only at the [0:50:02].

Janine Bennett:

Laura sorry to interject. I think we’ve just lost your audio. Can I just get you to double check?

Laura Toyne:

The Agency over the last little while also worked on the hospital discharge summary and we’ve shared some of those findings as we have come through this digital Tech Talk and in other forums around really trying to figure out what it will take to uplift that transfer from hospital back into residential aged care as well.

Next slide. I think we’re a bit stuck. We’ll go to the next one.

As we look forward as well to 2024 the next two slides are a couple of the key things the Agency will be focusing on. And there’s probably a few questions that we will have about this. And we’ve talked about this a little bit before at the Tech Talks. We are working on a piece that will see us in the background integrate between My Aged Care and My Health Record to support the access to those home care assessments. We’ve done a little bit of work very closely with the Department over the last parts and last months of this year to look at what that integration roadmap will look like, to look at what our solution architecture between these two systems should be, and to really start those discussions with some of the external stakeholders.

Next year we’re very much looking forward to progressing with that integration work to make sure that we can actually start having the capability to share information across systems. We’ll start obviously with the sharing of the support at home assessments and making sure that they are accessible through My Health Record, and we hope to be there this time next year at the Tech Talk fair to say, saying that we’ve achieved that. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it will stop there as a piece of work. It is really that first point of interoperability to two fairly significant systems that support health and care outcomes.

And last but not least I think the other aspect that we’ve heard a lot of at the digital Tech Talks as well if I go to the final slide is around digital maturity and literacy in aged care. We’ve done a fair bit of work with the ACIITC this year. We’ve done a benchmarking survey with them around the digital maturity in aged and community care organisations. What we’ve found from that is just two simple points. That cybersecurity comms and technology and digital leadership at your board level is really important and there are challenges with innovation and the utilisation of analytics to support care and to support that digital literacy aspect.

As we move towards 2024 the Agency in collaboration with the Australasian Institute of Digital Health will actually pilot a self-assessment tool for the aged care sector. We’ll look at doing this in those first few months of next year with a few residential aged care facilities and the workforce before we look further beyond that to see whether we have a self-assessment tool that is relevant to your sector and that is useful for you moving forward to assess your own digital maturity and digital literacy.

And I think I’ll end there because it’s been quite a big year for digital health and I know Fay wants to wrap up for aged care. So thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘2023: Year in Review’, ‘Fay Flevaras’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Thanks Laura. That was great. Lots of work being done by the Agency. And yes there’s a few topics there that we’re working together on so looking forward to progressing those in the new year.

Okay. So we wanted to give you a bit of a – it’s been a bit of a jam packed session today and we wanted to give you a little bit of a 2023 year in review. And so rather than you guys always hearing from us all the time we wanted to take a look back and watch me as I sum up the 12 months of work in a few minutes which is a lot to do straight up. But I wanted to first talk about delivery. We’ve taken a quantum leap on the amount of delivery that we do this year.

In 2023 we’ve completed over 70 project outcomes across eight major releases bringing enhanced features and new tools to the aged care digital ecosystem. Noting we haven’t listed everything here, just the highlights, you can see enhancements to My Aged Care throughout the year and both the GPMS and B2G are now out in the real world being used by many people. I call these two out in particular because they are the bedrock for so much more of the new capability that we’re going to be creating or have created. Think about star ratings, quality indicators, Quarterly Financial Reporting, all the capabilities that are underpinned by GPMS and accessible through the GPMS portal.

Overall we’ve established a scalable, modernised foundation with GPMS and B2G and with our foundations in place we have unlocked all kinds of future potential for us to build and provide enhanced features. So next year we’ll definitely be continuing to mature and upscale these solutions plus we’ll be turning our mind to My Aged Care in the future and looking at how we start to modernise and improve some of that.

To any of my delivery people in the room we had our shoulders to the wheel for quite a while now and it’s been very busy. And a big thank you. I hope you all enjoy a well earned break. Looking at our engagements this year with you all to map out how many times we’ve been in communication with you all it was a lot, and I really appreciate the time you guys in the sector take to join us whether it’s the webinars or the Tech Talks. Across the top of the diagram we have the number of Tech Talks we’ve done this year. We ran seven public webinars this year including today’s averaging a Tech Talk every six weeks or so. We get approximately 780 registrations per session. Those big blue bubbles give you a sense of the numbers, that over 5,000 people have engaged with us in our online events, which really speaks to the commitment and interest that there is out there in the program and how committed we are collectively to the digital uplift of the aged care ecosystem.

You can see the activities of our sector partner community group represented in the bottom half of this graphic. And you can see this is our volunteer group that codesigns with us. A lot of the screens of the new projects, the new portals that we develop are in codesign with people from the sector partner community that have volunteered their time. And that sector partner community is so committed they meet with us each fortnight to make sure we’re getting our digital solutions right. It’s a small forum but a really active one and very focused in delivering in collaboration with us. In our sector partner community we held 16 meetings this year and 14 individual projects had codesign activities. This year alone our volunteers have ballooned from 66 members when we started the year to over 152 members at our last intake. So if you’re looking for a way to be actively involved and have a say in the work we’re doing I’d encourage you to give sector partners a look in 2024.

And then the third leg of our engagement approach is our guest speaker series. That’s the yellow snaggletooth in the middle that you can see of the graphic. As you can see we’re pretty active on the speaker circuit. Apparently I’ve set a personal best this year with 22 different appearances at conferences or different stakeholder groups. Not my favourite part of the job but really important that we get out there and share the story about what we’re doing here. And it’s actually a really valuable way for me to collect information of what’s important to you all out there. So if you’re planning an event big or small next year in 2024 that you’d like one of us to present to please reach out and let us know.

And as a final takeaway on our engagement just to give you guys a bit of a sense here are some of the numbers to give you on our engagement activity across 2023. We’ll be back in 2024 guns a blazing with lots more energy once we take a well deserved break over the celebratory period. And there we have it. A speed through the year that was. Hopefully I did it really quickly. And that moves us onto question time.

So Janine you’re usually our facilitator in this. Welcome back. Over to you.

You’ve got to take yourself off mute first because we all do one of those at least once a day.

Janine Bennett:

I had to do it now didn’t I. Okay. Hi everybody. Thank you for the welcome back. I’ll go ahead and welcome our panellists to the stage. So if we can welcome back Emma, Kate and Laura. We’ll also have Amanda and Marina on standby just in case we get any curly technical questions about GPMS and B2G. We’ll bring them to the stage if any of those arise. I notice that we’ve got plenty of questions to get through in the Q&A in Slido. I would like to start by giving a bit of a stage warning for Caroline Foote followed by Robert Cavino, then we’ll have George Magellis join us and then Jane Floyd. So if you guys would like to just get yourselves camera ready, ready to turn off mute and come to stage.

But first of all I’ll start with a couple of the anonymous questions for our panel. Welcome back guys. Good to see you. So the first question is in relation to AN-ACC.

Q: Can you confirm where on the roadmap the AN-ACC funding changes were planned? Changes were released this week with effective date 1st of December but backdated to the 1st of July 2023.

Where might I be best to direct this question? I know we don’t strictly speaking have an AN-ACC representative in the room. Fay are you able to take that one?

Fay Flevaras:

I’m not 100%. It is a policy question. Maybe Emma can help me a little bit but maybe it’s not her space. From an AN-ACC perspective I know that we needed to ensure that features were delivered in our Release 6 and they were due to go live on the 1st of December. So that’s from a digital delivery perspective. As of how that coincides with the legislative dates, I’m not sure. Emma are you across that at all? You can shake your head if you’re not. But we can definitely take it on notice and make sure we get an answer up when we publish the Q&As. I think that one’s a take on notice.

Janine Bennett:

No worries. Happy to do that. We also did a feature a couple of Tech Talks ago where we brought some popular questions back. I know that we’ve had a couple about AN-ACC so maybe we can feature those in our first Tech Talk for 2024.

The other anonymous question I was going to put to the group, so this one I think is for you Fay.

Q: Are the Digital Transformation Tech Talks connected to the sector partner group?

You touched on this a little in the year in review.

Fay Flevaras:

I did. I did. Let me just recap it and explain it. So there is a little bit of method to our madness in the way we engage with you all. Like we said our Tech Talks are every six weeks and that’s because it represents three fortnights, three sprints. So the idea is that we meet with our sector partner community every fortnight and we work together on some of the detailed design work and then we package up that work and then play it back to you all here so that everyone in the community is seeing the information that we’re working on.

So today’s Tech Talk is really focused on a lot of the closing out of the work that we’ve done, really focused on celebrating some of the active projects that we’ve been delivering to, but as we move into the new year and you start to see us move onto new projects and topic areas we’ll definitely be bringing some of that design work back to share with you all and looking for opportunities for you to more generally contribute to that as well. I know that maybe one or two Tech Talks ago we had Mel from the policy area come and talk to us about the new Aged Care Act. I know one or two before that we had Nick Morgan come and present some of the thinking he had around support at home categories. So we’ll just keep feeding in the work that’s being done out of the sector partner community up into this forum so everyone has insight. Thanks Janine.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Fay. Okay. I’d like to welcome Caroline to stage. Caroline panel, panel Caroline. Caroline has two questions for you guys and I’ll let her ask them one at a time. Over to you Caroline.

Online Audience Member:

Thank you for listening to me. I work for a community health service in Victoria. Currently have Commonwealth Home Support package funding for our allied health services both in clinic and at home. So we’ll be transiting to Support at Home funding changes in the future and have not been able to establish whether we are needing to go into this GPMS service or whether it’s only for residential services. Because at the moment most of the information is relating to residential. So that’s one question. And the other one is about integration of the My Aged Care Service and Assessor Portals, because we use both, with GPMS and clinical services.

Janine Bennett:

Great. We might start with Emma.

Emma Cook:

Thanks Caroline. So in terms of changes around Support at Home obviously a lot of those are subject to Government decisions. When it comes to GPMS itself at the moment the users of GPMS are just those service providers who have reporting obligations that relate to I guess the functionality we have on there. So long story short is at the moment residential care providers and home care providers are the two user groups that are on there completing things like QFR and quality indicators and other reporting. But as functionality expands and when things become available to broader aged care providers we’ll communicate with you about that and that you’ll now be coming to GPMS as we gradually transition functionality off other systems.

Online Audience Member:

Thank you for that.

Janine Bennett:

Great. And then the second question of will GPMS interact with the My Aged Care Assessor and Service Portals or replace them?

Fay Flevaras:

So maybe I’ll add and Laura can add there. So as Laura spoke in her session there is this My Aged Care and My Health Record discussion and interchange happening. As part of that we are looking at what does it mean more broadly to share information and make sure that it’s available through the right portal or channel at the right time. So when we say My Aged Care it’s not so much as the actual My Aged Care website itself. Let’s take the higher view of the My Aged Care ecosystem and then yes we could look at how can you as citizens interact with us once and how do we then as Government share it and make that information available through the portals that you guys interact with. Laura do you want to add to that? There’s a lot of work to be done there.

Laura Toyne:

There is. There is a lot of work to be done there. But like we talk about interoperability is sort of the key word isn’t it out there in the vendor sector, interoperability, and we talk about your systems being interoperable not only between yourselves but with Government, and we’re also really talking about here interoperability between Government systems to try to get to a phase where we’ve got that tell us once experience or can I view it through this particular portal or that particular portal where it’s relevant information to me.

I think there’s obviously going to have to be a lot of considerations around whether there’s any legislative or policy impacts when it comes to sharing certain types of information and how you can access that. But as I said in the first point and the first step in this process is sort of the want – in fact we know we’re on this pathway to deliver by the end of next year the capability to through My Health Record view that single aged care assessment so that a consumer can access it or see it in My Health Record and so that their carer, their authorised representative can do the same, and last but absolutely not least so that the healthcare professional providing that treatment to the individual can also see that through MHR. So that’s the first step in a journey.

Janine Bennett:

Thank you panel. Thanks so much Caroline. Appreciate your questions. We’ll go ahead and invite Robert to the stage next. Hi Robert. If you can jump off mute feel free to jump in.

Online Audience Member:

Hi everyone. Thanks again for taking the message. One of the things that we have flagged for [1:08:52] in the early days was the use of spreadsheets to really support revenue management around the AN-ACC modules and then using a lot of those insights to request reclassification to the My Aged Care. Now one of the things that we’re a big advocate of is using secure ISO certified systems. I know providers are getting hit with a lot of increases in their cyber insurance premiums and so forth. And one of the areas we have identified as a big contributor to data privacy and risk is the use of those spreadsheets to manage effectively taxpayer entitlements to the system. Now the quick fix that we had identified with the Department and shared last year was to enable some of the more common vendor systems to just request some of the basic API calls to My Aged Care such as reclassification requests for a consumer or resident now, and really start to support the flow of information in a way that many of the providers are used to and are set up within their internal ERP and care management and other applications.

And I guess what we were under direction is that there would be some API documentation coming out to system vendors to start to ready ourselves to enable that functionality to first be built but then also go through the NOI testing. But is that on the I guess early 2024 release notes? I wasn’t sure in terms of some of the categories that were being discussed if that was something that is still in early to mid 2024 or a bit later, just because we’re getting asked by also some of our vendor support groups that we liaise with about that functionality.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks for the question Robert. Fay I might start with you.

Fay Flevaras:

Well I’m actually going to tag with Emma here. I think we’ve put out three APIs so far on the portal that just went live. I actually kind of remember this conversation and said that we would take it away as an ask and put it on the list. I know there’s a long list of requests. Emma I’m not sure where we’re up to in prioritising what that list looks like. Did you want to give a bit of insight and we might need to take away any commitments here Robert. But Emma.

Emma Cook:

Yeah. That’s right. So the initial APIs and the biggest I guess areas of support from providers have been around quality indicators and 24/7, largely around the burden of that reporting and the opportunity that those APIs would present for this expanded beta phase. Now beyond that obviously we want to do this phase, launch B2G, our APIs, our developer portals, our conformance schemes in partnership with ADHA, and then return to Government with what the future could look like and those key areas where we could really make improvements in the way that you’re suggesting. Certainly we do have a long list against most of the reporting areas as you’d expect. Quarterly Financial Reports, care minutes are always popular ones. Places to people is on the horizon so that comes up quite a bit. But this AN-ACC reclassification request I can absolutely understand the benefit and why we’re hearing that over and over. So that will be something that’s subject to decisions of Government but something that will absolutely be at the front of the list when we’re putting those options forward.

Online Audience Member:

Fantastic.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks very much Emma. Thanks Robert. Appreciate the question. Okay. So George we’ll bring you stage next if you’re ready with your camera and turning off your mute. And I note you’ve got a couple of questions George. If we can maybe do them one at a time that would be great. Thank you.

Online Audience Member:

Thank you. Thank you and thanks for having me again. And first of all on behalf of the sector thank you for the enhanced communication. I mean it’s just been mind-blowing how much more communication we’ve had between the Department and the digital team over the years. This has been groundbreaking from our perspective and I think it’s reflected by the volume and the value of the questions we’re getting.

2024 is going to be a big year. I mean there’s a lot of stuff happening and there’s a lot of innovation underway. FHIR was mentioned today by Laura and this week alone I’ve attended three different AI events in Sydney talking about how it’s going to revolutionise care. As we get ready for our Christmas holidays and we need to go and do some reading and studying what do we need to know about both FHIR and AI so we can be ready for 2024 where we can start integrating those technologies into aged care in Australia?

Janine Bennett:

I might start by saying I’m impressed that you’re planning to read over the holidays George. That’s very diligent of you. I think this is a good question for Fay and Laura to jump in on. I’ll let you ladies choose who goes first.

Fay Flevaras:

Laura you go first on the FHIR bit and then I’ll add.

Laura Toyne:

You can have AI Fay. I’m more than happy with that split. That sounds great. And I’ve got no doubt George will be reading over his holidays. It’s what he likes to do. But look on the FHIR stuff – and I think we will come back at a future Tech Talk on FHIR and the standards piece because it’s quite topical anyway more broadly and it is highly relevant to aged care of course. And I think there was a question in Slido about does it affect me in aged care. The answer is yes. So the Agency is working with HL7 Australia to define and refine the FHIR training content and all the delivery methods. And I’m sure you’re well aware of that George but maybe the rest who are joining are not.

The uplift of FHIR awareness and skills is a big part of achieving information sharing. The training is open to all but we understand there’s a pretty long waiting list right now to get into those sorts of courses. So I think next year we’ll bring Ryan Mavin from the Agency along. He’s new to the Agency as our Branch Manager of Connected Care and he can talk to you a little bit more about the FHIR work, how you can access some of that training to support your product roadmaps as well because I actually think it’s fundamental to the way we will be sharing information in the future. But I’ll go to Fay on AI. I think that’s a great topic for you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Laura. I will just add one thing on the FHIR piece in addition. Aged care, we don’t like standing still, so we’ve already started with the FHIR standard. If you look at the APIs that we’ve already put out on the developer portal they’re already FHIR enabled in that sense. And so you can see a lot of the information around the data model. We’ve got definitions already up there. So as we start to roll some of those things out we’ll definitely be putting our own how to guides out there to help support the sector adopt the APIs that we’re developing whilst what Laura was talking about continues to enable the broader sector. But version one of the FHIR standard is already out there. Go look at our first two APIs and we’ll keep working with the teams to make sure they stay aligned.

On the AI side of things yes it’s the next hot topic for everyone. We are doing a bit of a look at what does that mean for us. There are a lot of considerations around AI and we’re trying to pull together a positioning paper. I think in the new year we might bring it here as one of our hot topics that we can share a little bit of a digital uplift on. We are volunteering – there is a broader AI initiative in Government that we as a Department are volunteering in. Microsoft has also brought out a copilot initiative in country and that’s probably the first thing to note. When people come and kind of pitch to you in AI the first question you need to ask is is it being run in country for us. So is it sovereign? Is it secure and private for that reason? So often when you put your information into an AI tool it’s sucked in and you never get it back and it’s reused elsewhere. So I think we’ll make that a topic for next year to come and deep dive in around what are some of the principles that we’re looking at to keep everything safe and secure and share that more broadly so that you guys all in the sector can contribute as well and we uplift together. Hopefully that answered some questions.

Online Audience Member:

It does and I’m sure we’ll be discussing this in person at the ITAC next year as well. See you next year at ITAC guys.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much George. And just to acknowledge and appreciate your support in the sector partner group as well. Okay. Next we have Jane queued to come to stage.

Hi Jane. Welcome. I notice you’ve got a few questions as well so we might take them one at a time.

Online Audience Member:

I didn’t realise I was going to go on stage but happy to do so. Firstly just congratulations. What a huge year and you’ve achieved so much. I guess the sector – I work for ACCPA and I’m a member support person there. But we’re all feeling the growing pains a little bit but congratulations for what you’ve achieved. Because one of the things that I get is when people can’t do things they contact us and what’s the potential for a known issues page on the GPMS somewhere just so people understand it’s not just you, it’s the system?

Janine Bennett:

Really good practical question. Fay?

Fay Flevaras:

Well yes it’s on our list. Emma where have we got it on the list?

I had lots of ideas around sending notifications out and all sorts of things. They’re trying to keep me in check a little bit. So Emma where do you think we’re at with it?

Emma Cook:

Yeah. I think this is really valuable feedback and certainly having gone to a number of the ACCPA member presentations it is a place where we always get that really practical feedback which allows us to take those, weigh them up against our current reforms and look at opportunities to get them in. Things like banners in the way that you’re suggesting, we tend to not have as much support for those emails because I know a few can go out. And so certainly that’s something that I’d be very happy to take on board if it’s helping people. In the interim I would say the My Aged Care Provider Assessor Helpline is always the place to go. It is continuing to have quite fast call times, so within a minute often. So that can provide really good support and also escalates directly into the Department. So it means if it can’t be resolved then the GPMS team and Fay’s team will find out and we’ll look into those issues for you. So that’s really valuable.

Because GPMS is largely up and running and not really experiencing issues – we sometimes have an outage because we’re building new IT or doing a release but it’s not experiencing too many issues. If people are having trouble there’s a dedicated GPMS resource page on the Department’s website and one of those is a troubleshooting guide and again we developed that based on a lot of the aged care provider feedback around common difficulties, things about emails not being connected to RAMS and just common tripping points. So that’s always a good place to direct anyone who’s having trouble. But absolutely happy to take that really good suggestion on board.

Online Audience Member:

Yeah. Thanks Emma. People aren’t very good at reading long documents when there’s a problem. That’s all I can say.

Emma Cook:

I can totally understand. I think a banner is just easier.

Online Audience Member:

Yeah. Look and going to my second question – thanks for that response – I guess we’ve had ten years of under funding in residential care and people have systems that are very old and legacy systems and even if software providers update their systems it’s going to be a cost to residential care. So is there any potential for funding? How do we help providers upgrade their legacy systems to more interoperable systems that you’ve got available? You know what I mean?

Fay Flevaras:

I will take that one. I think there’s been in the last if not four at least five Tech Talks where this question has been raised. And thank you for raising it. It’s really important. We have taken the feedback internally and we are trying to work with our counterparts in the Department and more broadly with Government to figure out what we can do there to support you guys.

Online Audience Member:

Thank you. I’m always just putting it on the agenda.

Fay Flevaras:

No. That’s good. You keep raising it so that we know that it’s important to you guys and we can go back.

Online Audience Member:

Yeah. Thanks. And look I work very closely with home care providers and they’re always very keen to connect to My Health Record. But when is that going to happen? In particular they want the discharge summaries and the health summaries. Yeah. So is that on the - - -

Janine Bennett:

We have just the person for you to talk to Jane. Go ahead Laura.

Laura Toyne:

Thanks Jane for coming up and having your camera on. It’s always nice when someone actually comes up to personally ask the question even though we’re all virtual. So thanks very much. Look at the moment we’ll accept any home care provider to connect to My Health Record where they meet the requirements and they can do that now. We have I guess been set a direction by Government to prioritise some additional support for the residential aged care sector to support their registration to My Health Record obviously as a result of the Royal Commission report a couple of years ago. So our drive there, our proactive support is in that space now but it doesn’t prevent home care providers who meet those requirements, the existing requirements, to actually connect to My Health Record now.

So hopefully that gives you a bit of an answer. It would be great. We’ve worked across many sectors to support connections and registration to My Health Record. We obviously started in the healthcare sector and it’s really pleasing to see that 99% of our pharmacies and GPs out there are registered for My Health Record and are obviously accessing information. We’ve worked with the specialist sector. I think 45%, maybe 50% – I’d have to check the numbers – of the specialists are registered and accessing info in My Health Record. We’re down a path now of the residential aged care sector. We’ll be working with the allied health sector as well to support their viewing capabilities. Home care can do that now if they meet the requirements. They can come in, those software vendors, and support and also register.

Online Audience Member:

Good. Well thanks so much. Have a lovely Christmas. You all deserve a very well earned break. Thank you.

Laura Toyne:

Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Jane.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Jane. Okay. I’m going to give a bit of a stage warning to Ronald Denderi. Ronald if you can get ready to turn your camera on and join us on stage. But in the meantime we’ll do a couple of anonymous questions. So the first one.

Q: What will be the role of the My Aged Care portal in the Support at Home Program?

Fay Flevaras:

Anyone want to touch that one? No?

Laura Toyne:

That’s not mine Fay. That’s yours.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. So look at the moment with all the new work coming down the pipeline, whether that’s Support at Home or the new Aged Care Act or all of these different initiatives, we’re doing a bit of a look ahead and going what does our target architecture look like, how do we structure it to make it the best human-centred experience that we can. We do know that My Aged Care plays a big role in that but we will progressively shift any of the provider experience out of My Aged Care into GPMS and then we’ll continue to enhance the My Aged Care for your client experiences and the people that help them, whether that’s their nominees or their advocates. Will we introduce a new client app? I don’t know. These are some of the things that we were tossing up with Josh Maldon last Tech Talk as we talked about the data and digital strategy. I guess it’s watch this space and if there’s something that you want to see there this is the opportunity to raise it while we’re formulating what our new ideas will look like. So that’s the quick answer to that one.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks Fay. We’ll go ahead and bring Robert to stage but I’ll very quickly get a quick response from Emma about:

Q: What is the self-service function in GPMS?

Can we do that one in two or three sentences?

Emma Cook:

Yeah. Sure thing. So really this is something planned for early in the new year as Fay outlined. It’s intended to really allow providers to login to GPMS in the way that they currently do but when they do that to be able to see more information about their organisation, about their services, about their workforce, and as a result of that be able to undertake I guess more routine reporting duties. So it could be things like notifications and determinations that you’re currently doing as well as applications via the Commission’s website, bringing that all into that one place on GPMS where you can more seamlessly interact with us, see your information, control your information and update reporting into regulatory requirements as necessary.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks Emma. Do we have Ronald available? I think I might have just called you Robert. Apologies.

Team?

Going once, twice. Here we go. Hi Ronald. Welcome. Sorry for using the incorrect name there.

Online Audience Member:

No that’s fine. I assumed you were talking about Robert, the gentleman who spoke earlier. In any case my question is for Laura. You did speak about consulting or working collaboratively with developers on your clinical information system standards and I was wondering if you have a plan to include contributions from the wider stakeholders beyond just those developers in the development of those standards?

Laura Toyne:

Thanks Ronald. Great question and I’m going to answer that with a yes. There will be those opportunities. The Agency’s just finalising how it will do the stakeholder engagement in the first part of next year. We’re just doing that now before we finish off and close off our calendar year’s worth of work. And so we’ll bring that forward quite publicly to the next Tech Talk if you’d like so we can share how you can also contribute to the development of the standards as well and for any other party that’s interested too.

Online Audience Member:

Excellent. We’re looking forward to it. Thank you.

Laura Toyne:

Great. Thanks Ronald.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks so much Ronald. Appreciate the question. I think I’m going to have to call it there panel. So you’ve made it through the hotseat one more time, the last time for 2023. Thank you all for your time Emma, Laura, Kate. Appreciate you being with us. We didn’t have a lot of QFR questions today but I’m sure they’re coming so we’ll no doubt see you again in 2024. And also just a quick thank you to Amanda and Marina who were in standby mode in the background as well. Thanks guys. I hope you all have a great break.

Fay I’ll have you stay with me. Can we bring Fay back up onto stage? Just a final thank you to everybody who’s joined us today. Turns out number 13 wasn’t so unlucky after all. It’s been a great discussion as always. For those folks whose questions we didn’t get to we will look at the themes of those questions and make sure we weave that into our future webinars. The recording will be available for this session on our website. You can find it on YouTube as well. Just do a search for Aged Care Tech Talk. The slide deck will be on the website too. We hope to get both of those up in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime please take a look at our post-event survey. You’ll see the QR code on screen now. You’ll also find a link to that in the email that you’ll receive after this event. The survey is really quick and easy to do. It helps us make these sessions better for you so we really encourage you to complete it. We’ll be back in 2024. We’re looking at February at this stage as our kick off event. Any agenda items, topics you’d like to see next year let us know. As Fay mentioned tell us what we can do to improve. Email us. Pop your suggestions into the survey and we’ll incorporate them in. Thanks again for all of your support this year but I’ll hand you back now to Fay who can take us out for 2023.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Janine. And thank you everyone. We really appreciate your ongoing support and collaboration. Also a big thank you to my team who keeps these webinars going and such excellent staging and so much more. I know how hard you work to make these events look seamless and so great and professional. And I want to thank you Jess, Rishu, Matt, Alex, Chris, everyone who works behind the scenes who doesn’t get in front of the camera. A big thank you. And that’s a wrap for 2023. I’ve really enjoyed these interactions with you all over the last year. With the pace of delivery on the rise and your involvement in things like our codesign it’s more important than ever that we continue to communicate and collaborate. So keep tuning in. Thank you. And keep in mind there is always plenty of opportunities for you to contribute. If you can’t make it in real time the videos are always recorded and are available for you guys to have a look at in your own time.

And here’s to an even bigger and better 2024. I wish everyone all the very best with the holiday period. I hope you get some time out to spend some time with family and friends and just really enjoy the time. Until then wishing you all a restful and happy holiday season. Thank you and goodbye for now.

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