[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Tech Talk’, ‘Digital Transformation for the Aged Care sector’, ‘Webinar series’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘www.health.gov.au’, ‘Tech Talk #11’, ‘07/09/2023’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of each speaker presenting in turn via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]
Hello and welcome. It’s great to have you joining us today for our 11th Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar hosted by the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division in the Department of Health and Aged Care. I can see that there are some new faces joining us today. We’ve got a good crowd. So a warm welcome to our newest Tech Talkers. And as always a big thank you and hello to our Tech Talk community. It’s your participation and ongoing interest that make these forums a success and it’s good to have you back with us again. We hope you enjoy today’s session. We’re really looking forward to your comments and questions as always.
My name is Janine Bennett. I’m the Engagement Lead for the Digital Transformation Program and today’s moderator.
I’m joining you today from the lands of the Ngunnawal people so to open proceedings I’d like to start with an important acknowledgment of the traditional custodians of the lands I’m on today and to offer my recognition to the people and families with connections to the lands of the ACT and region. I want to reflect our respect for our First Nations people and their Elders and to their continuing culture and ongoing contributions to our country and to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people joining us today. Hello. It’s great to have you here with us.
Let’s cover some quick housekeeping items. As always this webinar is being recorded. You’ll be able to find the recording on the Health and Aged Care website as soon as captioning is complete. That’s typically done about a week or so after the event. If you do experience any technical difficulties today we recommend that you use a phone line to dial back in. The phone number and the access code are included in your invite so just use that to rejoin. As always we’ve set aside time at the end of this event for a chat. We’re looking forward to hearing from you today. So as we move through our presentations please feel free to pop your questions into the Slido app at any time. The Slido app typically sits at the bottom right hand of your Webex screen. Just put your question in, click ‘Submit’ and it will workflow its way through to being a public question. And of course if you see Slido questions that others have raised feel free to vote them up if you’re also interested.
For any newcomers I’d like to let you know that we do like to invite anyone raising questions to join us on the virtual stage so that you can ask your question to the panel in person as it were. If you’re open to doing that please make sure you submit your question using your name rather than anonymous. When we’re ready to invite you to stage I’ll give you a bit of a heads up just so you’ve got some time to prepare. Our technical director will then queue you up to join us. And all you’ll need to do when you join us on stage is unmute and turn your video on to ask your question. It’s as easy as that. But for those who prefer to stay anonymous who are having a bad hair day or feel a bit shy no worries. You can still submit your questions under anonymous instead of your name or just add a note to the question to say ‘No stage’. If I see that I’m happy to ask the question on your behalf.
We’ll obviously get through as many questions as we can. We always try to get through as many questions as we’re able to but we do sometimes run out of time. If we don’t get to your question just rest assured we do take your unanswered questions away with us. We look at the ones that are popular and we’ll bring them back to a future Tech Talk if possible.
Okay. Onwards for the day. I’m pleased to introduce you to your Tech Talk senior executive sponsor Fay Flevaras. Fay is the First Assistant Secretary of Digital Transformation and Delivery Division and is responsible for leading the Digital Transformation for Aged Care on behalf of the Department. Fay welcome and over to you.
Thank you Janine. Welcome to everyone. It’s nice to see you all again for our 26th Digital Transformation Tech Talk. Before we get started in today’s agenda I’d like to start by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands on which we are meeting. It’s the Ngunnawal, Ngari, Yuggera and Eora people of the lands on which we meet today. That’s just some of the ones where I know my team throughout Australia are situated in. I wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of our cities and our regions and I acknowledge and welcome any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here with us today.
Before we dive into the agenda I want to remind everyone that this meeting is being recorded. We do actually put it up on our website so other people can look at it at their own convenience, acknowledging that just because we happen to put it on two o’clock on an afternoon doesn’t mean everyone’s available at this time. And so we do make it accessible and can be seen on the Department of Health website and YouTube as well.
Okay. So moving on. On the agenda today we’ve got our welcome and housekeeping that Janine’s just done. Thank you. I’ll give you a Digital Transformation Tech Talk update. We’ve also got – I’ll start by bringing you up to date with what’s been happening. We’ve got Josh who’s going to look at our Aged Care Digital Strategy. Thank you. I think I’m back on track folks. I actually talked about being in sector partners, not our Tech Talk. We’ll then hear from a couple of our digital project teams. We’ve got Kate Stewart who’s been a regular with us is going to provide a playback of the results of the QFR, Quarterly Financial Reporting system trial. That looks really awesome. We’ve also got Emma Cook and John who will step us through the latest on our Business to Government gateway developer portal. I will not give the news away Emma. I’ll leave it up to you and John. And followed by Laura from Australian Digital Health Agency and she’s going to give us some of their updates as well. And to wrap it all up we’ve set aside some time for Q&A so be sure you enter your questions into the Slido. Vote them up if you see a question that you like.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation Update’, ‘The plan as we know it’, ‘Fay Flevaras’, ‘First Assistant Secretary’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Okay. Now that I’m in the groove let’s get started by looking at the current status of our digital transformation initiatives. I’d like to bring you up to speed on some of the work we’ve done since our last Tech Talk with you and what’s planned for the coming months. So here we have the current state of the portfolio release view. We try and give you a pretty consistent look and feel as we go along. I’ll start by adding my usual caveat here where all the work that we do – we’re agile a little bit – means that we constantly make changes. So in that vein please don’t take this as a committed roadmap from Government. We expect our release plan to evolve hand in hand as we’re making policy decisions, also whilst we’re fine-tuning some of the impact analysis that we do to make sure that we’re triaging how much is changing at any given point in time. So whilst we can discuss here we shouldn’t consider this as an official commitment from Government.
This is the plan we’re working to. So we want to be as transparent as we can in sharing this with you and we work hard to be as transparent as we can. So if changes do happen we will let you know and we encourage you to stay tuned with us in our Tech Talk series and we’ll continue to keep you updated as things progress and may change.
So before we take a closer look we know the timeline shows a lot of detail for this screen. So don’t worry. The deck will be published on the website and available to you to look over and that way you can just zoom in. They’re pretty high res graphics so you should be able to read it no problem. Having said that we’re going to highlight some of the main events for you just now.
So if you look from this high level snapshot you can see we still have another two major releases and also a patch release that we’ve got to get through before the end of the year. Even at the high level that we show you here you can see there’s quite a lot of work jam packed in that. So let’s take a slightly deeper dive and we’ll look into the aged care release 28 which is your traditional My Aged Care which the colour coded there is the green/teal colour. And then from there we’ll talk about our GPMS release that you can see in the blue colour. So moving on to the next slide.
There’s quite a lot. So if we look under the market and workforce program you can see that we’re looking at boosting action to keep younger people out of aged care. This initiative is about ensuring there is a specialised delegate decision to approve a younger person moving into residential aged care. We know that younger people who have been historically approved for entry into residential aged care but have not yet commenced residency continue to enter aged care. So the proposal will ensure close oversight of decision making and help to enable the Government’s target of no people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 2025 except in exceptional circumstances where a specialised delegate provides that approval. So that’s what that one’s about.
We’ve got a service delivery one that we’re focusing on decommissioning faxes. Yes they still exist folks. My Aged Care channel management strategy is seeking to decommission the fax as an inbound communication channel. A soft decommissioning approach will be taken with communication out to the sector advising that the fax line will be decommissioned from an earlier date. The fax capability will be retained until R28 when the line will be decommissioned and inactive. So just making sure that everyone’s aware of that, giving a little bit of a warning so that people have time to clean up any close out activities there.
We’ve also got our aged care capabilities that we’re putting out. We have a number of system upgrades that we do to ensure that the ecosystem stays current and secure, like cybersecure and ready. We have our mobile apps platform. We have our document management updates. We have security patches that are going out. This is all about doing the necessary work to keep us robust and secure.
We also have residential aged care reform updates. Under that banner we have a couple of things happening as you can see. We’ve got the urgent reclassification requests and assessment application fees. It’s part one, phase one. This work will allow the Department to charge an application fee for reconsidering of AN-ACC reclassification decisions and other reassessment requests. It will allow for change in application fee and/or refunds for example when a new decision results in an updated AN-ACC reclassification or when a resident’s health has deteriorated rapidly.
Phase one will allow us to do the urgent referrals for reassessments between assessor management organisations and then we’ll have a later phase. Phase two will include the ability to raise an invoice and receipt a payment and pay a refund. So as you can see we continue to break down our implementations into iterative releases of change hopefully making sure that we de-risk the program overall but also gives you guys in the sector an opportunity to absorb changes slowly but often.
We’ve also got some enhanced AN-ACC referral management assessment pieces. So at the moment residential service providers have been requesting urgent reclassifications for residents who have deteriorated rapidly particularly in cases where residents may not have long in that sense. So as you can imagine we need to make sure that we address these things urgently. So currently the system doesn’t really notify and allow that sense of urgency to be enacted leaving AMOs and the Department quite not in sync, in the dark. And so we want to make sure that this gets addressed. So this will allow provider team leads and staff portal users to request these reassessments really quite urgently. Provider team leads and staff portal and assessment teams and residential funding assessors will be able to determine which reassessment or reconsideration referrals they want to do urgently. And also some reconciliation reports that will help to keep that updated and make sure that everyone has that front of mind so they can address it quickly.
And lastly we’ve got corrections to our quality indicators predictive algorithm including the ability to display enrolled nurses’ care minutes and registered nurse coverage on the MAC portal and some algorithm updates and enhanced reporting around that as well. We also have updates to the reporting of accreditation dates.
So lots going on there folks. We go to the effort of kind of spelling it out so you can see what’s coming and what’s changing. That’s all on the My Aged Care side of things. If we move to GPMS now. We’ve got a few things happening there. We’ve got our Business to Government gateway APIs. So this release will introduce quality indicators API and a software vendor testing environment. It’s the beginning of a good journey there and I’m not going to say too much. Hopefully Emma and John will address more of that later. Release 6 for GPMS is also the decommissioning of our national NAPS transition which is taking an old system and replacing it and moving it all across. This will enable providers to view their information and submit digital notifications of any material and non-material changes. So this is massive change that’s coming and I think it’s been about 18 months in the making this one.
We’ve also got some new auditing for care minutes, some new capabilities including the functionality will enable auditors to confirm that the care minutes which have been submitted by service providers are covered and they can ensure that the eligibility for 24/7 supplement is covered. So most of the work won’t be immediately visible to you guys in the sector as it’s primarily a function of the Department. But again we want to make sure that we’re being transparent of some of the changes that are happening.
QFR. I’m not going to go too much into that one because Kate’s going to talk you through that one. But we’ll definitely whet your appetite. The final solution will include the ability to support quality assurance processes and communicate between assessors and providers. Looking forward to your update there Kate.
And finally, not least, you can see that we’re also looking to enhance our star ratings, annual provider operations and dollars going to care capabilities. We’ve already gone live with these on the GPMS platform but there’s some additional work that will let service providers preview their reporting data under the approved providers and dollars going into care. That will leverage information within the Department that’s currently captured and we’re just playing it back to you. So it’s not just about us collecting the information but it’s about you guys having access to that same information and being able to preview it and okay things. And if you have any concerns give us a call if you think the information isn’t correct.
So then in early 2024 we’re going to start publishing the dollars going into care and annual provider operations information to maybe My Aged Care and GPMS but that’s yet to be confirmed. You guys let us know what you want to see and that helps us inform our roadmap.
So lastly a review of the B2G scope in releases 6 and 7. I’m actually not going to go into too much detail here. I’d prefer that actually Emma covers some of this. But you can see that over the next period of time if you summarise all of this, R6 and R7, there’s a lot going on. So that’s our 10,000 foot view. There’s a bit there so thanks for staying with me on it because there was a lot of detail to cover. And it’s my pleasure now to pass over to Josh Maldon from Reform Implementation Division in Aged Care. Josh is a regular Tech Talk presenter and at this point today is going to talk us through our digital strategy. So Josh where are you? Over to you.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Update: Aged Care Digital Strategy’, ‘Joshua Maldon’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
I’m here. Can I just do a sound check? Can you all hear me?
I can hear you. Yes. We can. I’m just getting you up onto stage as well. So we’ll just wait for you to be presented. I’ll just get the staging happening. There you go. Thanks. Over to you Josh.
Lovely. Thank you so much Fay. Everyone I think we’ve all met before but I’m Josh Maldon. Currently in the business side of aged care and wanted to have a chat with you all today just about the aged care digital strategy and where we’re up to and hopefully get some input from your side of the fence.
So effectively what we’re doing is leading the development of aged care digital strategy and it’s something that we’re moving towards publishing hopefully by December subject to Government decisions. And what it will do is it will identify the pain points, the key priorities that we want to address, and what I really want is help from you guys. I don’t want to get paralysed in problem admiration but I actually want to identify what are our actionable recommendations, what are the options we can take to Government, ask them to invest in in order to create the biggest outcome to improve quality care and services for older Australians.
So just with the slide up there that’s a bit of context setting. Why are we doing this and how can we use digital to solve? So aged care reform is underpinned by a corresponding digital agenda which aims to ensure the points of connection between older Australians, aged care providers and software industry vendors and Government are simplified, digitised and automated. We know there’s a digital divide. We know that over 29% of people are in rural and remote areas and that there are issues with connectivity. We know that those 70 and over are more digitally disengaged. They do cite issues such as a lack of trust, confidence, skills and personal relevance.
However we do also know that we’ve got some key challenges in the aged care system which we’ve got painted on that slide before you and we want to know how we can break through some of these using a digital lens. So we’ve got intractable workforce supply and demand issues. How can digital be used to take pressure off people and free up direct care time? We have an ageing population. We’ve got some real sustainability issues and we’re going to have greater pressure applied to the system. We’ve also got changing population demographics. We will start to have baby boomers moving through the system and that will really start to uptick and they will place greater expectations on the delivery of care and services. So if we jump through to the next slide please.
So why are we doing this? Well everything needs to be anchored around older Australians and how ultimately the benefits accrue to them. So first and foremost we want to know how our separate roles as system actors – and you can see they’re up on the slide, so service providers, workers, clinicians, technology vendors as well as us here in Government – how we can…
If we jump through to the next slide.
So I actually start usually with what the strategy isn’t because at times that can be where the conversation starts to go. So this strategy is certainly not about forcing digital adoption on older Australians or imposing a mandatory shift to digital channels and it’s not about undermining or reducing face to face interactions. Actually the intent is the opposite of that. We want to free people up. We want to free up our stretched workforce wherever we can. It’s not inward looking on Government although that certainly will be a feature of it. And we’ll always continue to improve the digital channels in which we interact with you but we want to be bolder and more ambitious than just looking at Government. And it’s not an ICT or data strategy although the interactions between the two of those things are quite crucial.
So what is the strategy therefore? So it’s about building the confidence of older Australians in the aged care system by using it to improve care and services. How can we improve their experience in navigating and accessing the system? How can we improve independence and enable early intervention even before they come to engage with us in the aged care system? And how do we improve delivery at the point of care? So enhancing that delivery of person-centred care by all system actors. So supporting assessors, providers, workforce, software vendors, everyone. And how do we then land a shared vision and roadmap? So if we jump through to the next slide thank you.
So what pain points are we hearing about? So we have those up there. Look none of these are new and probably nothing new for the audience that we’ve got here. But basically those common pain points are that older people have a poor experience interacting with aged care. There’s still limited access to digitally enabled technologies. There’s low industry confidence to invest in software and technology. There’s issues around interoperability within services between their own systems, with Government and also the health sector more broadly. Varying levels of digital literacy across older Australians, workforce and a number of other system actors. And so they’re the sorts of things that have come up there as well as a couple of others on that slide.
So if we jump through to the next slide. And this is where I’m really hoping that – and Fay will be able to jump in and help facilitate a bit of a conversation around this – but I want to hear what your views are and what I’m really looking at is what are the tangible ideas. So what digital channels can we improve or use? How do we overcome those digital barriers and what are the specific options we can take to Government where we think investment would result in the biggest impact for older Australians?
So I might pause there and see if people are willing to jump in and start throwing some ideas my way.
I think you’ve got some ideas in the Q&A. We’ve got some commentary and I’m going to read a couple of them out. And we can do some more Q&A later but just to get a bit of interaction here happening. So folks keep posting your suggestions. One comment from Raelee and it’s been voted up was more training needs to be available for the elderly on smartphones and technology.
So I think we could elevate that one up Josh to be a bit more about digital literacy I think for everyone.
So that’s one that I know that you and I and others have discussed. If anyone’s got any ideas on the best way of doing that kind of training. Always like to make it a bit gamified. I always find it funny how my father has no problem doing the sugar rush type games. Anyway any ideas there would be great. Some of the other things. Workers also need training and confidence with tech. So yep. That’s re-emphasising that one. I think technology is – and as I speak Josh some of those are getting voted up as we’re even talking about them.
There is a question there.
Q: What is the best way to contact the Department about these programs?
I think we’ll take that one as a Q&A later on in the day and we can talk about that one. So not so much about on your digital chapter that you’re looking at here. Charlene also said a barrier of lack of experience with technology. So definitely looking like a theme that’s coming up.
There’s also one about aged care consumers. A visibility about how the MTCF works and linking their My Aged Care portal access to this would make sense. The Services Australia processes currently confuse the consumers. So maybe that’s one we can think about taking away. Josh what’s your thoughts about creating a single customer experience across Government agencies? This is one that I’ve raised before.
I think it’s absolutely the vision and I think that’s certainly where Government policy more broadly is heading us towards. It’s simplified, single channels. We do have some work to join that up across Government because there are reform in different areas and it always does take an effort to do things in a particular sequence. But I would agree Fay that that is absolutely the vision, where we can simplify. We want to simplify. We want to improve connectivity. We want to improve interoperability.
I’ve also got someone here going:
Q: Why can’t we use Zoom? It’s so much easier.
We’ll have to look into that one. Last time I checked Zoom wasn’t secure enough for us to use.
Look I think that’s a great suggestion whoever put that up and I’m happy to throw that one in the digital strategy. I’d probably agree with you.
I know. Webex has its problems but I’ll have to take that one away. I think the person’s name is Squeaky Smith. I love the name. So we can definitely have a look and see if there’s a better medium for us to host some of these things for you guys.
There’s also a bit around more APIs to save staff time double entering data into a database and then into the Department’s portal. So I think that one’s definitely on the strategy right Josh and Emma will be able to give us an update on B2G today.
Definitely. GPMS and B2G I think. Yes.
And I think any other ideas. So you guys have talked about double entering of data but I think Josh you and I have got some ideas about making B2G maybe a little bit two way as well right with Emma.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And they’re the sorts of things – where you see the benefits of those sorts of things we’d love to hear your ideas on it. And I think building on this session Fay, and it was one of the questions you had previously, people asked how can we provide further input. So this is something that we will do public consultation on more broadly in October and really encourage you to engage in the conversation. But we wanted to touch base with this group first. It’s always that targeted consultation, get your ideas and pick them up. You’ll be able to participate through that process and following that process we’ll also come back and touch base with you all to let you know what we heard, what we’re hearing and how it’s framing up.
So you’re getting heaps of ideas on this channel now. We’ve got greater availability of digital inclusion enablement for the aged care population and services. You’ve got those people who don’t have children might need more assistance and training. So they don’t have support around them. There is a truckload of suggestions that are coming online now. So we’ll be able to take all these themes and then draw them into the work you’re doing and then continue to evolve that through your consultation phase.
I might leave it there and we’ll save the rest of the Q&As for later. But people please keep putting your suggestions in there. No suggestion is wrong. I think that this is where innovation happens. We get everyone’s ideas. Think about a problem you’re trying to solve in your day to day. What suggestion would you make? Think about somewhere where we can leapfrog and innovate and what good could look like. Over to you Josh.
Thanks Fay. We might jump through and I might look to wrap up just noting time reasonably quickly. But things that we’ve heard so far and these things that you’ve just reiterated through are how can we streamline administrative processes and reduce duplication and enhance data management, something that Emma and the B2G team will talk about. But people are wanting greater transformation not just interim measures. And this is one of those things which also Fay was just saying. How do we innovate? How do we be bold? How do we be ambitious? And we want to hear that from you. Obviously issues with resourcing, how we better use that and how we grow our ability to facilitate interoperability with you and ultimately improving communication seamlessly across people, families, healthcare professionals and the like. So we might jump through to the next slide.
Again there’s a big alignment piece. So Government more broadly is working on a data and digital Government strategy. We already have a number of strategies in place. For example the Australian National Digital Health Strategy. We have the National Healthcare Interoperability Plan as well as a number of strategies that are sitting beneath that. And we just wanted to let you know that there is a number of moving parts in this space and we’re assuring that we have alignment, common language and those sorts of things as we progress forward. So I might move through to the next slide.
Just to let you know next steps. So we’re finalising the consultation piece, the initial consultation piece as we speak through targeted engagements with people such as yourselves. We will release that draft strategy in October. Again really encourage you to reach out, have a say. This is our opportunity to put forward options to Government on how we can improve the system. And then we’ll look to release that final strategy subject to Government approval at the end of this calendar year.
So Fay that’s it from me.
Thank you Josh. And so far you’ve presented this at our sector partner codesign community. We’ve just presented it here. We’ll keep you around for Q&A a little bit later today so that we can answer more of the suggestions and questions that might come up. So thank you so much.
All right. Now moving on to our next presenter. We have Kate Stewart from our Market and Workforce Division in Aged Care. Kate’s here to talk us through the outcome of a codesign activity that we completed with our sector partner group. Kate over to you.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Playback: Quarterly Financial Report – System trial’, ‘Kate Stewart’, ‘Director’, ‘Market and Workforce Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Thank you Fay. Just checking that my audio’s okay?
Great. It’s great to join you all here today at the Tech Talk to tell you about the Quarterly Financial Report we did of our new system. But just for those who aren’t already aware the Quarterly Financial Report was introduced last year in 22-23 as part of the Government’s broader reforms to improve financial reporting and to strengthen prudential compliance of aged care providers. The QFR which is a quarterly submission that approved aged care providers make of their income and expenses enables the Department to track, monitor and benchmark the sector and the Department publishes a sector level quarterly financial snapshot of the results. And actually the quarterly financial snapshot for the quarter three reporting results of the sector is now available on the Department’s website.
The Department is also working towards the publication of service level information for home care and residential care providers, income expenditure and profit or losses on My Aged Care from early 2024 to help older Australians make informed choices. The information collected in the Quarterly Financial Report also informs the care minutes rating in the star rating system and it enables direct care minutes to be monitored and it informs the AN-ACC classification funding model. All approved aged care providers must submit a Quarterly Financial Report and the similar annual Aged Care Financial Report.
The Department has been working on developing a new solution for the Quarterly Financial Report on the new Government Provider Management System platform. This will replace the existing forms administration data collection portal that providers currently use to submit their QFR. So in June the Department conducted a user experience research trial with ten providers who were volunteers from the sector partners group and we thank them again for their participation.
Next slide thanks. The objectives of the trial was to get primarily feedback from the providers about the findings of using the new solution. It was to identify opportunities to further develop the system with additional enhancements or functionality that the providers suggested and it was also to give us insights on what activities we could do for change management such as our guidance materials, training materials and comms materials.
The providers who participated were a mix of resi care, home care or both care types and the providers ranged in size from small to large providers. During the trial participants accessed a beta version of the new QFR solution as it was in time in its development stage. And they participated in a three hour session where they were asked to complete a QFR submission as if they were under normal circumstances. The only adjustment we made was that the providers only had to complete the QFR for two services just so it didn’t take too long. So those providers who had more services we just adjusted it down for them. We gave them minimal guidance on how to use the system to really see what their experience was using it for the first time.
Next slide thanks.
The feedback from the providers was really positive about the new solution. Everyone was able to successfully complete and submit their Quarterly Financial Report. Everyone appreciated some of the changes that we’ve made to the form particularly how they can move and control input to the data tables. Participants really liked the modernised look and feel of the solution and they also noted that the speed of using the Excel spreadsheet option to upload their data into the data tables was improved.
Some providers also expressed that they had an increased confidence of the new solution identifying validation errors to them because of the way in which they need to provide explanations to those. The participants all suggested improvements that we could make to the solution that we’re considering. Some of these we were already kind of working on and on our list but there were some new ones that we’ve taken on board. You can see there some comments from the participants about what they enjoyed.
And on the next slide we also received some feedback from providers that wasn’t just about the new solution. Participants also told us that they wanted to understand more about how the Department uses the data that they submit so that they could both improve their internal processes and how they answer some of the questions in the Quarterly Financial Report. Some providers wanted greater clarity on some of the questions in the form, why they were being asked and how they could improve their responses to them. Some participants expressed that they are quite reform fatigued from all of the changes that are happening in the sector and also some providers reported that Departmental communications can often be fragmented, overwhelming or lacking transparency.
What we did hear from providers though is that they like opportunities for two way communications and that they enjoy webinars such as this Tech Talk today. So we’ve shared this feedback amongst our branch and our division, with our project board, and it’s definitely something that we as a Department are taking on board to see how we can improve all of our communications to providers across the aged care reforms, seeing about how we can improve your experience with the Quarterly Financial Report and your understanding of the questions and why they are being asked.
Next slide thanks.
So we are continuing to work on developing the new solution and we are proposing to launch it in quarter two 23-24 reporting. So that’s our October to December reporting subject to our final planning. We’ll be developing guidance and training materials in collaboration with the GPMS team which will be available for the launch. And more information on the new solution will be provided to you in newsletters and webinars at a later date. We’re also just going to review our existing resources and see if there is more information we can provide to you about the questions and why the data is collected and how the Department uses it.
So for the moment please continue to use the existing forms administration solution for both your 22-23 Aged Care Financial Report that just opened this week for you to submit and for your upcoming 23-24 quarter one QFR submission which will commence in October. So stay tuned for future updates. Thank you and back to you Fay.
Thanks Kate. I’m really pleased to see this outcome from what has been quite a big investment from you and our sector partner community to get this solution to where it is today. Well done. And I look forward to hearing more from any of the Q&A that might come up later in the session.
Okay. So next up we have Emma Cook from Reform Implementation Division and John with us to talk about the Business to Government Developer Portal. Over to you Emma and John. This is very exciting.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘B2G” Developer Portal’, ‘Emma Cook’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Reform Implementation Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘John Sidey’, ‘B2G Authentication Discovery Lead’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery division’, ‘Corporate Operations Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]
Thanks Fay. It sure is.
Do you have John with you? Yeah there he is. Sorry. Over to you.
John’s a separate room but should also be present. So on behalf of us I’ll say thank you and good afternoon. And I’m Emma Cook, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Digital Reform Branch and as you’ve said I’m joined by John Sidey who’s leading a lot of the B2G authentication discovery work.
So jumping straight in to B2G and to provide a little bit of context upfront for those who haven’t been on the journey as long. On the next slide you’ll see we all recognise the convenience of technology in everyday life. Digital transformation makes life easier, it improves how we do things, and it gives us more time to spend on what’s important. We understand that this benefit is really no different for aged care providers where every minute saved could be spent delivering quality care to older Australians. And that’s really what B2G is all about. It’s the beginning of the journey for B2G or Business to Government but that will continue to enhance over time extending seamless data exchange and improving data quality that can then be used to uplift care.
So jumping across to the next slide again and to talk about I guess the main piece today which is a real milestone in the B2G work and B2G project – and a big thank you to everyone in the Tech Talk and sector partners who’s been involved to date – which has been the development and delivery of the B2G developer portal which will soon be made publicly available and really is our first step in delivering B2G capability.
So again to provide a little bit of context the developer portal is really about a software vendor audience. So it’s where software vendors can come, they can discover what we’re planning, what we have available, information about B2G. They can register organisations and set up users for the organisations and can come and test a connection with the Department. And we’ll have a video in a moment to run through a little bit more but I guess to foreshadow over time you can see that then this is the first step. They’ll test that connection, they’ll see that their software meets the requirements of the Department, they’ll go through a formal process of having that assessed and confirmed, and then that will be in time available to aged care providers through the software that they use in delivering care every day and to support that seamless movement of information both to Government and as Fay alluded to earlier over time hopefully back to you as well to avoid that duplication or additional administration time.
So this is a really exciting milestone and without further ado I feel like things are more tangible when you see them in a quick run through or showcase so I think we have a video now to do that.
[START VIDEO PLAYBACK]
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Business to Government (B2G)’, ‘Developer Portal – Initial Release’]
Business to Government or B2G will enable a direct data exchange between aged care providers and Government systems enabling providers to spend more time providing direct and high quality care. B2G aims to connect, simplify and empower aged care providers. Today we’ll be walking through the first release of the B2G Developer Portal which allows software vendors to discover, register and test their connection with the Department. Registering to the B2G Developer Portal is a four step process. In the first step you will need to register your organisation. You’ll be asked for details about your organisation such as the ABN, website address, the industry in which you work and details for your administrator.
After you register your application will be reviewed. Your administrator will get a notification once your account has been activated. From there the administrator can manage users and request access to APIs available using the Developer Portal. There are two types of users in the portal. Developers and administrators. Developers can explore the APIs in the catalogue, request access to the APIs and also manage API keys. Administrators have the same level of access as a developer but can also manage users for their organisation.
So step two allows administrators to invite other members of their organisation to join the B2G portal. The third step focuses on software conformance. With the support of the Australian Digital Health Agency the Department has developed the conformance material for the B2G Gateway which steps developers through the conformance assessment process. This critical step ensures the safe and secure use of the B2G Gateway for all participating software products and their users. It also provides assurance to the Department of the quality standards and specifications for use of the B2G Gateway and APIs are reviewed.
The ability to request a conformance assessment is not yet available in the current version of the Developer Portal and will be released in the future. You will need to successfully complete the conformance process before connecting your software to the B2G Gateway. Both the Department and support material on the Developer Portal will help you to complete this process. Once you have successfully completed the conformance process you can then request access to the production environment in the B2G Portal to complete your connection journey. Here you will find a limited test catalogue of APIs which will grow through upcoming releases.
APIs will be accompanied by a range of supporting documentation, consoles and conformance material. Further releases will continue to expand and enhance the Developer Portal performance assessment and production APIs. To find out more or to help shape these enhancements please contact the email on screen or by using the QR code.
[Visual of slide with test saying ‘Contact Us’, ‘email@example.com’, with image of QR code]
[END VIDEO PLAYBACK]
Thanks so much and hopefully that gave a really nice overview of what’s available or will be available publicly in the coming weeks and what there is to come as well. I’ll now hand over to John Sidey to talk about – we mentioned some of the process that people will go through using the portal and in particular around conformance. I’ll hand over to John to walk through those now with you.
Thanks Emma. And just doing a sound check confirming everyone can hear me okay.
We can hear you but you can probably drop the audio just a touch. It’s quite loud. Thanks John.
Better than the alternative.
Look afternoon all. Thanks Emma for the great demonstration. It’s fantastic to see how far along the developer portal has come. It’s really starting to take shape. And look I’m very excited at seeing the innovative work that the Department is doing in this space. So the portal is obviously aimed at really driving engagement with both the software vendor community in the first instance to help you understand what APIs are available, connect to those and then ensure that there is trust and integrity in the system, making sure that we test thoroughly that software is conformant and that you get the right support all through the process.
As Emma touched on in the demonstration the first sort of key component of the developer portal is the discovery phase which is where there’s a lot of free text content, information about the developer portal and anyone can go in and browse information. So you don’t need to sign up or login to get the basic information about what’s available. It’s intended to provide as much information as is practical to give you an understanding of what capability exists in the portal, what you’ll need to do to integrate with or connect to these APIs as well as then meet conformance requirements to preserve the integrity of the system.
So once you’ve engaged with the platform and it’s time to access the APIs users will need to undertake a registration process. So first an organisation administrator will need to request access from the Department and once the organisation has been granted approval – and that will be by providing some standard sort of information like ABNs etcetera – you will then be able to as you saw in the demonstration add developers who will then be able to access specific APIs.
There is one step that we’ll need to go through though when developers are integrating or wanting to test with specific APIs. You will need to request specific access to those APIs and that will be done through a stress and volume testing environment just to make sure that there’s easy access, you can test and learn and provide feedback and that there is support running all the way through.
Once you’re in and the developers are up and running we expect that this process will take a bit of time. And there’s a robust support process and ecosystem that’s been designed to run in parallel to all of the developer portal experience, making sure that there’s really easy to get help when you need it. So we’ve really focused on making sure that when you need guidance or when something is not working that you can come in seamlessly into the organisation. There will be a range of self-help material published on the website but when you need to there will be support through escalation straight to the Department as well.
We’re looking forward to sharing a bit more information about the details around testing and conformance in the coming weeks as we get closer but at a high level once a user’s received access to integrate with the API you’ll be able to start actually running through the test weeks and testing your API connections with mock data etcetera. The final step in the process though, once you’ve tested and we’ve validated that everything’s talking to each other smoothly, we’ll look to undertake a conformance process. And I’m sure conformance is everyone’s favourite subject. We’ve really spent a lot of time working with our partners over at the ADHA on designing a conformance process that balances the user experience and not being too much of an overhead but while making sure that we’re conscious that this is a really important system for Government and really important that we get it right.
So the conformance process will require you to undertake and submit a bunch of evidence and then make a declaration effectively that you’ve met all the criteria. That information will then come into the Department. We’ll make sure it’s all accurate and correct and then work with ADHA to undertake that formal conformance assessment process and get back to you as quickly as possible. And there’s more to come on the specific details in that regard as well.
Finally as I touched on the support process will support every stage of the lifecycle. So if there are general enquiries or if there are some specific bits of feedback or support you need when undertaking testing then the support mechanisms will be available. And of course we’re going to keep engaging through these Tech Talks and through sector engagement to make sure that people understand what’s coming, that we continue the codesign activities as we go through.
The team will also have a dedicated mailbox set up that will provide specific support. We’ll be publishing some further information about those in the coming weeks but fundamentally the idea here is to be as proactive and make it as easy as possible for your developers and your organisation to integrate with APIs and again really focus on making it as seamless for your customers to focus on what they do best and that’s providing support to the care and support community.
Now to quickly run through the discovery and access phases in a little bit more detail. Up on the screen is really a simple flow to describe exactly what you will need to do when you’re registering. So as you saw in the demonstration once you’ve had a bit of a browse around and you decide you do want to integrate with the platform an organisation administrator will need to go through the first registration process which is really registering the software vendor, the ABN, the admin’s email and the organisation website. That request will then come into the Department and be reviewed and approved hopefully pretty quickly and once approved you’ll be able to logon to the platform and then start adding developers. That’s a pretty straightforward process once you’re in the tent and once an account has been established organisation administrators will be able to manage the onboarding and offboarding of developers in a pretty seamless fashion.
Authentication to the portal will be using myGovID. So most people should be getting up to speed with myGovID. If you haven’t downloaded it already it really is making a big difference in making it easier to access a range of systems. It’s the same authentication option that’s available in the GPMS portal and we’re continuing to work with our strategy teams on what the longer term options might be around authentication. But first and foremost the developers and administrators logging in with myGovID will be the most seamless way to get access to the developer portal.
As I said once in you’ll be able to manage those invites. If someone leaves the organisation you can remove access and then you can start to request individual access to the APIs that you want to integrate with. That’s really a request on a case by case basis. You’ll be able to view all of the detailed information about those APIs including all of the connection details, the authentication parameters that you need to submit. And once you’ve validated your testing and you’re happy with where you’re at you’ll be able to submit your overall software through for conformance assessment which will give you the ability to really start publishing that software out to your customers and as we said help them focus on what they do best which is providing care in the community.
It’s pretty exciting what’s coming. There’s a lot of activity. We’re getting close to release and we look forward to sharing a bit more detail about the more mechanical nature of testing and the conformance process in some coming sector engagement and Tech Talks. So please tune in for the next couple because I certainly and the Department’s very excited about what’s still to come.
And I think that’s probably it from me. Thanks team. I’ll hand over to Laura I think or Emma back to you.
Yeah. I think it’s coming back to me. But thanks very much. I think between the video and this walk through that’s provided a really great overview. I’m not sure if we’ve got one more slide. Yep. We’ve got at least one more tucked away then. So in terms of that release schedule that John’s spoken about and hopefully the presentation today has given you a really good picture of all the volume of work, all the codesign and everything that’s gone before to get us to this exciting milestone and that’s the first really of three planned releases. So this release will have you being able to do those three primary functions of discover, register and set up organisations, connect software with the Department. Then late this year the second release we’ll look to include more information about APIs, include more functionality and details to support that conformance process that John’s spoken about, and upgrade and improve that experience based on feedback that we’re already getting and that’s already underway with a walk through with a select number of software vendors who have kindly volunteered. And then release three early in 2024 is when we’ll be looking to put those APIs out and make them available for aged care providers to report across critical areas of care.
So some of the things that we’ve heard for those possible early API initiatives have been things like 24/7 and quality indicators. So certainly getting a lot of good ideas about early targets for those initiatives.
But I should mention as Fay touched on earlier as well as Josh over time we’d like to see this stretch further and to really seamlessly encompass all reporting requirements to truly deliver on that collect once and use many principle.
And jumping through to the final slide. As I said the next steps will be continuing to engage with software vendors and the sector more broadly to support B2G development and as I mentioned this includes continuing the testing that’s already underway with our software vendor volunteers who kindly put their hands up through that sector partners group. We’ll be continuing to work really closely with that group, with volunteers from the Aged Care Engagement Hub and present to you iteratively as we progress this really important piece of work an enabler for aged care reforms. So if you’d like to be involved do reach out to the sector partners or any of the addresses on the screen there or for more information you can visit the Health website. So really exciting milestone. We look forward to providing more in the weeks and months to come on this important work and through these Tech Talk forums. So big thanks to John for helping me to present today and all of the team, sector partners and partners who have been involved in progressing this project to date. Thanks Fay.
Thanks Emma. Thank you John. And I know the developer community is very keen to get started so it’s a massive milestone achieved to date. They want to get their hands on these APIs. And I think the highest voted suggestion which Ben put in there about more APIs to save staff on double entering that’s the highest voted item on our Slido today. So thank you so much. Looking forward to the next update in a few weeks maybe, couple of months.
Okay. Next we have Laura Toyne who is with us from the Australian Digital Health Agency. If you’ve been to our Tech Talks before you will know that we have many connections between ourselves across Government which is why we regularly have Laura with us from ADHA to come and speak to these events. Today Laura you’re going to give us an update on some of our digital initiatives.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Update: Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA)’, ‘Laura Toyne’, ‘Branch Manager, National Program Delivery Branch’, ‘Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA)’]
Yeah. Thanks Fay and thanks for having me again from the Digital Health Agency. I’m really pleased to be able to talk about digital health and aged care. And I note sort of in the Slido chat as I’ve been watching as it goes through there’s lots of great engagement and questions on things like digital inclusion, education, training and support for the workforce on all things digital and that’s certainly something that the Agency looks at in the digital health space obviously through our digital capability action plan and similar.
But look I’m not going to go into that. So today I’m going to briefly talk about a few things that we are working on at the moment in the Agency that are quite specific to aged care of course and those options I guess for residential aged care facilities in particular to connect to and access My Health Record and the consultation that we’ve got underway and in place in relation to the clinical information system standards. So if we could go to the next slide that would be fantastic.
Excellent. So one of the things that we as an agency are currently supporting, we are supporting a large number of residential aged care facilities to register for My Health Record. At the moment that’s in the hundreds which shows you the interest out there in being able to access and support better healthcare outcomes for the people that you also look after. And I can imagine one of the reasons why we are sort of seeing this shift in behaviour. We ourselves are seeing a shift in behaviour from consumers and healthcare providers seeking digital access to health information including obviously through My Health Record. And this is probably coming off the back of some very strong signals at the moment and strong support to share information by default, all your health information by default through My Health Record in particular starting with pathology and diagnostic imaging reports.
But nonetheless if you are a residential aged care facility and you would like some support to connect to My Health Record we are here to help you. There are a number of steps that you will have to go through and I’m not going to read off the screen because I’m pretty sure you want to get to Q&A soon and these will be in your slide pack. But there are a number of key steps that you will need to go through to register for MHR and we’ll set those out. But at the moment as I said if you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we are very happy to work through that process with you with some one on one sessions, some access to some specific support material and some post-registration education and training to really assist you with embedding the use of MHR into your normal operations. And given the comments I saw in Slido that’s probably something that will be quite welcome.
As well there’s a number of resources out there that can assist you and these include My Health Record guidelines very specific to residential aged care that were developed in partnership with the Aged Care Industry IT Council I think around about May/June this year. And there’s also a toolkit that’s been developed by the Aged and Community Care Providers Association in relation to assisting you to understand whether you are actually ready to adopt My Health Record. So there’s a couple of tools out there for you all if you’re interested in the residential aged care space or other space about how you can connect to and register to My Health Record. Noting at the moment across Australia almost all general practitioners and pharmacists and all of our public hospitals are currently connected to MHR.
So we want to go to the next slide. That would be fantastic. This is another way if you’re looking to access My Health Record in the residential aged care sector. I have come to the Tech Talks before and let you know that we’re working with a number of vendors to help them integrate with and become conformant with MHR and I’m pleased to say today that we now have 12 vendors that already support the residential aged care sector who have achieved their MHR conformance. And again they are up on the screen and they’re a mix of clinical information systems and electronic medication management systems that we know are being used reasonably widely in the aged care sector now that will have the ability for you to access MHR.
Over the coming months and into next year the Agency will continue to work with a range of vendors to help them to implement our aged care transfer summary. That will enable the view and upload of a digital aged care transfer summary to support residents who might require transfer to hospital do that safely so that their information follows them when they go. And I think it would be great for us to come and talk to you in a little bit more detail about that in one or two Tech Talks’ time.
If I could just go to the final slide knowing we can get then to the Q&As. I note Josh talked before or there was a comment around the need for quality digital products for aged care and this is where the Agency’s Aged Care Clinical Information System Standards may be able to help. It may be one part of the piece of the puzzle when it comes to quality around clinical information systems. So the Agency currently has a project. It’s not new. It commenced last year. And at the moment we are undergoing sort of a phased consultation process to develop what we’re calling the Aged Care Clinical Information System Standards. We have done some early scoping work and we are now very heavily in that consultation phase. And by the end of this year we hope to have, and we hope to talk to you about next year, those minimum requirements for clinical information systems in residential aged care, the quality statements in relation to that, to talk to you about a gap analysis of what we know are existing standards to what we are proposing to put in place, and last but not least and quite importantly how this could be or should be implemented from some time mid next year.
So those are the sorts of things that we are consulting about now and will continue to consult about over the coming year and into the next year in relation to system standards. There’s a lot of information I’ve probably put up in a few slides today where it goes to digital health. There’s obviously a lot more happening in the digital health space that can impact and can assist in the aged care sector as well, things like your national residential medication charts, telehealth, the My Health app and similar. But for today that’s just a little snapshot on the digital health side of the world. But back to you Fay and team. Thanks very much for having me again.
Thanks Laura. Lots going on in your space as well so it’s good to make sure that we all keep in sync. Okay. So that kind of wraps up the content part of our Tech Talk today. Over to Q&A. And I’m going to hand over to Janine to take us through that.
She’s going to facilitate our questions. Thanks Janine.
No worries. Hi all. So we’ve been absolutely bombarded with questions for this Tech Talk which is a fantastic thing to happen. But just bear with us. What we’ve done as a bit of a mitigation is try and organise your many comments and questions into themes. So we might try and package up the themes and then have one person kind of speak to a question around that theme.
So I’ll welcome to stage our panellists. So we’re bringing Fay, Josh, Emma and Kate to stage today. We’ve also got John and Laura on standby. If we need them we’ll bring them in. As always remember this is about us having a conversation. So we’ll start out by inviting a few people to get ready to come to stage. This is the early warning for Fiona and Ben and Raelee. Thanks for your questions. I’ll give you a minute to get prepared and get your cameras ready. And in the meantime we have a couple of anonymous questions that I might be able to cover. So just bear with me one moment.
Okay. So one of the anonymous questions we had was around some of the challenges that are experienced in the environment and whether or not funding would be available to allow API development between aged care software and GP systems. I’m going to start by directing that one to either Fay or the Emma/Josh duo. Who wants to jump in?
I’m going to let Emma and Josh start first. Go for it. I’m happy to step in. Just throw my way.
No. Look I think with respect to API development and in particular to connect GP systems certainly we’re hearing some suggestions about how this could be supported including financial as one of those methods of support, and they’re all things that are being considered. But ultimately at this point in time we’re constrained by a current plan of delivery and Government decisions about the way forward. So there’s currently no plan to finance those but beyond the B2G project I’m not sure if Josh or Fay might want to elaborate further.
I wanted to say these are the sorts of ideas that we are seeking from people to understand if they think there’s benefit and we should be taking to Government to consider. Yeah. Absolutely. Encourage those sorts of ideas to come forward.
Yep. And it’s not a new idea and so I will acknowledge that. We’ve heard it I think at least the last three Tech Talks in a row. So we’re absolutely hearing you and I am working with the team about what we may be able to do. But as the team has said it’s something that we’re working on and we’ll need to check in with Government and see what we can do. So no commitment but we hear you is probably the answer we can give you today.
Great. Thanks so much guys. And then there was one other question that I’ll just answer straight up from an anonymous person which is:
Q: What is the best way to contact the Department about these programs?
So we have a web presence. You can always access information about the digital transformation there. The aged care program also has a website. We’ll make sure the links to those sites are included in the post-Tech Talk email. But also there is an email address that you can ping any time which is the DTDOffice@health.gov.au. It’s actually featured on the next slide. Again we’ll include it in the post-email.
Okay. And with that we might see if we can get Fiona to stage.
And Fiona hit on a subject that was brought up by a bunch of people and it was really around this issue of there being a bit of a digital divide sometimes caused by regional or rural locations, sometimes caused by cost and access, access to digital devices. So I was going to let Fiona speak to that question. Do we have Fiona around folks?
We’re not able to bring in her screen sorry Janine.
Okay. That’s all right. I’ll go ahead and just summarise Fiona’s comment. So Fiona said:
Q: For some older people access to the internet is a big problem, making sense of what they need, how to get connected, limited data and affording access. This is a grey area as it sits outside of a HC package responsibility for support connection.
Josh I know this is something that is coming up a lot in your discussions around the digital strategy. Do you want to jump in here?
Absolutely just want to say it is a really big issue and we’re across it. And this is where digital channels aren’t going to be for everyone and certainly the intent of this strategy is not to force everyone down that pathway. But it’s to look at where the efficiencies are not just for people but workforce, service providers, those sorts of things. Because we’ve got stretched resources and we want to know how to allocate those better. And digital solutions may work really well in metropolitan areas actually where there’s connectivity. They won’t work as well in rural and remote areas also where our older Australians prefer to have face to face contact. But can we free up workforce to go to those locations? So I completely agree that it’s a fundamental barrier and I want to understand what the opportunities are to help overcome it even if it won’t be directly.
Yeah. Great. That’s great to hear Josh. I notice some of the other challenges that people have raised in this space are around people who are not at a fixed address or perhaps in rental accommodation, the fact that cost of living is having an impact on people’s access to these things and Wi-Fi not being available for all residents. I’m guessing that might be a reference to aged residential care. Great. All right. Good subject. Thanks everybody. We might now move to the topic of – I think it was reporting. So we had a bit of a theme around reporting. And as Fay mentioned Ben had the most popular comment of the day so I thought we’d invite Ben to stage.
I have a feeling we’re having some trouble with moving our questioners to stage. Am I right Chris?
Yeah. I can’t see Ben in the panellists sorry.
Okay. No worries. I’ll just jump in again. So again we’ve had a bunch of suggestions around how to simplify reporting. There’s questions about double handling and the fact that there’s a lot of effort involved in reporting across many different systems. There’s some suggestions about reducing the data typing by making it voice recognition, about aged care workers having access to Government systems and reporting directly rather than through their own internal software and then again to Government. I’m thinking this is a good one for Emma. It seems like it might fit into that sort of GPMS space.
Yeah. I only caught a little bit of what you said there Janine but I got that it was regarding access directly to Government systems to prevent kind of having to enter twice. Is that - - -
Yeah that was one part of it. I think also where possible – I think there was another question. So it’s all about reporting and how we’re going to make reporting easier for everyone. There was a part as well that talked about will it be possible to link our reporting from QFR and other reporting to the Department like QPS and the Commission so that we’re not entering the same data many times? So there’s a couple of themes there. So we’ll throw to you first Emma and then Kate we might ask maybe what your views might be about linking some of those other bits as well.
Thanks Fay. That clarifies and gets my audio up to date on that last bit. In terms of I guess the foundations of both GPMS and B2G which are partner projects in a lot of ways the intent is certainly that GPMS will become that single streamlined point whereby providers can interact with Government, aged care providers can interact with Government, and so hopefully taking away a little bit of that complexity or burden with having multiple systems or different portals or entry points that we understand is the case at the moment and it is part of that transition to the new GPMS platform. So that’s part of it but obviously not all of it to Fay’s point.
So once we have everything through one single streamlined and simplified portal on GPMS we then also plan to continue to expand and we’d love to – one of the points I made towards the end of the presentation around B2G was that we’d like to see it expand across reporting requirements over time. So we will look at commencing with a couple of initiatives that have been highly supported, like 24/7, quality indicators, things like that. Over time what would be great in my view to see would be that all reporting requirements could be met through that streamlined method as well where you’re just entering notes or you’re just looking after care recipients, you’re just entering weights, and the right calculation is being done to then provide that information directly across to Government systems. I think that’s certainly a vision and a vision that could expand to include things that could go so far as in my view – again not a Government commitment – but to things like financial aspects or workforce aspects where we see them currently across things like QFR and care minutes and quality measures.
So I think there’s real opportunity. It will be a journey and it takes multiple steps I think to realise that full potential and that final end state but all of those pieces are starting to come together in a way that could support that final end state and that really simplified view and reporting channel for providers. I don’t know if Kate wants to jump in and add to that at all.
Yeah. Thanks Emma. The feedback we heard from some of our more technically sophisticated providers in our trial was that they would like to try and see more integration or APIs. So that’s something we’re definitely happy to look at in time with our solutions launch with B2G to see if the QFR is a candidate that we can look at working with the software providers to make that reporting more streamlined. I’m not sure that everything could be through that system, through an API but definitely there are some things that we can look at I think.
Great. Thanks guys. Okay. I think we’re trying to queue up Raelee next and we’re going to try and touch on the theme of training there. But I will also just give a bit of a queue prompt to Georgina, to Charlene, and I’m not sure if Sylvia is still with us but if you are we’re happy to bring you to stage also. Okay. So just starting with Raelee. So Raelee raised a question or a comment that was in relation to the training requirements that are needed to enable digital transformation. And Raelee if you’re able to turn on your video and your mic.
I’ve got the mic on but not the video. Sorry. I don’t have video.
Mic’s great. Thank you. Feel free to jump in and speak to your comment.
Okay. So I’m up in Far North Queensland which some of our services provided are on Cape and Torres. So Cape and Torres are really restricted with literacy, numeracy clients. Also half of them don’t have a phone or when they do have a phone they’ve run out of data or they don’t have data, they don’t have internet. Internet doesn’t work sometimes in a lot of our rural settings. So I’m actually going down the path at the moment of creating a QR app for our Commonwealth Home Support Program but there’s going to be links within that QR app that the elderly can actually engage into digital websites.
So I’ve had a lot of pushback from even some of my staff because of the clientele that they’re seeing. They’re saying that they don’t have a phone or they don’t even have enough money to pay for electricity to have hot showers so they’re not going to pay for internet. So I don’t know whether there’s an option for this age group, the elderly to have some free internet service provider. I’m not really sure. But is there going to be grant money available for providers that can actually employ extra staff to go out and do some training with the elderly in a group environment like a public library or something like that so that everyone comes together and you can just do a bit of a training session on how to use the basics. Because a lot of people, they don’t know how to use a smartphone or an iPad.
And we are in rural remote up here so there are lots of dead patches with internet. Optus might provide better coverage somewhere but Telstra does it everywhere else. So it’s a tricky one. And I know digital is the way everyone’s moving but I think even some of my staff are scared with digital. I know some of the home care workers don’t even have a smartphone. They’ve got the very basic. So I think it’s that fear of the internet side of things. But again it comes down to training. And our staff just don’t have the capacity at the moment to offer technology training when they go to see these clients because they’re busy attending to the clinical side of things.
Sure. That’s a really good summary of a very complex picture. So we’re dealing with access issues, we’re dealing with challenges around using technology and then having the actual devices. I’m sort of thinking this might sit in the digital strategy space or maybe the broader digital literacy question. Josh do you want to start us off with that one?
I’m happy to jump in there because these are the sorts of practical solutions that we’re looking for. So we agree with you that digital literacy is an issue. We agree with you connectivity is an issue. And so some of the solutions you’re putting forward – and I like it because you’re thinking about where the divide is, the biggest, and where we actually want to think about how we can address it. And that is can you pull together in community-based settings to try and do a joint delivery piece? And the reason I’m attracted to that is because the efficiencies or economies of scale in it but you’re also bringing together people as a community face to face, in person, and then you’re encouraging continued connection through digital channels.
You certainly raised with me could there be funding for providers where there’s financial issues which preclude connectivity. Absolutely happy to take that idea on board. Is there a requirement where we do have to have providers facilitate or enable connectivity? Is there funding for that? Really good ideas. So they’re the sorts of things we will take away and have conversations with Government about. Thank you Raelee.
Sorry. Jump in Fay.
No. I was just going to say thank you because we need to hear what the pain points are for you guys at different areas. It’s very easy to normalise the problem but different areas of the sector have different challenges and so really appreciate that you’ve raised it and we can take note of it so that we can start putting in different strategies for different parts of the sector that need help in different ways. So much appreciated Raelee.
What we hear from our audience at the Tech Talks is how the rubber’s going to hit the road. You’re out there living the dream and obviously as policy and digital decisions are made we need to be capturing that and factoring it into our solutions.
I can’t believe it but we have actually run out of time. There was a couple of comments I just wanted to really quickly mention. Crystal mentioned the need for training and confidence with tech not just for consumers but for workers as well. And Raelee had also touched on that. There was also a comment from Charlene about the need for interfaces and screens to remain consistent because obviously that helps with usability and adoption. If people see similar things delivered in similar ways it becomes much easier to learn. So some really great messages. We have so many comments. We’ll be doing a lot of passing after this event and packaging these up and getting them out to our business and technical owners across the environment. So thank you so much and I’m sorry we didn’t get to all of the questions.
Just really quickly. If I can thank our panellists. Thanks so much to Fay, Josh, Kate, Emma and also to John and Laura who were presenters today and also on standby. Thank you to all of the people who raised comments and questions. It’s great to get a really deep conversation going. We’ll be back here in about six weeks for our next Tech Talk. In the meantime help us create a better event by completing the post-event survey. You can see the QR code on screen now. It will also be available in your post-event email. Recordings of this event again will be available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website in the next week or so and the slide deck will also be available there. Email us any questions. That’s our email address on screen. If you have any suggestions we’d love to hear them. And I will hand over to Fay for closing thoughts. Thanks everybody.
Thanks Janine. And thank you to everyone for joining us once again at what is our 11th webinar. I’m especially pleased and excited to see how our community is growing from its humble beginnings. I say community because I really feel like that’s what we’re becoming and so we’re really reaching out there and hearing from you all directly. We had over 800 registrations today. And I know a lot of people actually look at the video afterwards in their own time. I think we’ve got a bit of a YouTube presence now. We’ve gone digital. It’s a testament to the level of interest and commitment that all of us as a whole and across the community have within aged care.
We’ll continue to make refinements to make the series as useful as we can. So I really want to thank everyone for their comments today and their suggestions. It really does help us make sure that we think about the breadth of the problem and how we might deal with it. And maybe I might take up the suggestion of trying to get Zoom given the technical difficulties we had today. We might look into that one. For us these webinars are one of the critical ways we make sure that we stay connected, we have the conversation and we’re transparent in working with you guys.
So thank you very much. Until next time.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘In Closing’, ‘Visit the Digital Transformation page on the Health and Aged Care website’, ‘Email us at DTDOffice@health.gov.au’, ‘Take the Event Survey’, with an image of a QR code]
[End of Transcript]
Fay Flevaras - First Assistant Secretary - Digital Transformation and Delivery Division -Department of Health and Aged Care
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