Date published: 
1 April 2022
Type: 
Webinar
Audience: 
Health sector
Webinar date : 
Friday, April 8 2022 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm AEST
Digital Transformation Tech Talk tile

 

Recording and transcript

 

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[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Tech Talk’, ‘Webinar series’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]

[The visuals during this webinar are of each speaker presenting in turn via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]

Janine Bennett:

Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining us for this which is the first of what will be an ongoing series of tech talks for the aged care sector. My name is Janine Bennett and I’m the engagement lead in the Digital Transformation Office at the Department of Health. I’m joining you from Hobart today and we’re pleased to be hosting you from your homes and offices and hotel rooms all across the country. This meeting is a really great example of a real world improvement that transforming technologies can bring to our lives making our work more flexible and more productive.

So our agenda today features presentations from a couple of our outstanding leaders here at the Department of Health. We have Michael Lye the Deputy Secretary of Ageing and Aged Care and Fay Flevaras our First Assistant Secretary for the Digital Transformation and Delivery Division. We’re really keen to use this event to provide an understanding of Health’s Digital Transformation Program and an overview of the business imperatives that are driving this work, the vision that we have for the future and also our immediate priorities for 2022.

But before we begin I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which we meet today. For me that is the Mouheneenner people of Tasmania. On behalf of our collective group I would like to pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging noting the importance of their enduring culture for our country. And I’d also warmly like to acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people joining us today.

Before we get started some quick housekeeping. Please note that this webinar is being recorded. The recording will be made available with captioning on the Health website after the event. If you experience technical difficulties during the event we do recommend that you use the phone line to dial in. The details are available in your invite. It will include a phone number and an access code that will allow you to get back in. We have also secured a block of time at the end of this event for Q&A but you should feel free to raise your questions as they arise for you. You can do so using the Slido function. So Slido gives us an opportunity also to vote up a question. If you see something that someone else has raised that you also want to know about definitely give that question a vote up and we’ll be more likely to get to that one before we finish up the event.

We have a large group with us today so we’ll get through as many questions as we can. Rest assured that anything we don’t get to will be used to review and update the information we have on our website. To use Slido there’s a button at the bottom right hand of your Webex screen. You can select the Slido window or panel and type in your question. You can do that showing your identity or anonymously if you wish. And then just click ‘Submit’ and it will workshop its way through to being a public question.

So without any further ado let’s get started. I’d like to hand over to Michael Lye for a message from him.

[Slide with text saying ‘Aged Care Reform’, ‘Michael Lye’, ‘Deputy Secretary’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]

Michael Lye:

In 2021 the Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety provided Australia with a unique opportunity to put senior Australians first improving quality, safety and choice in aged care. Major improvements to aged care are part of the Australian Government’s $18.8 billion reform package in response to the aged care Royal Commission’s final report.

We are one year into a five year program and have achieved significant progress across the five pillars of reform including local, personalised access assistance for seniors. We currently have 28 specialist support officers in Services Australia service centres to connect senior Australians to aged care support and will have 80 by the end of the year. Growing a skilled workforce. We have 48,800 extra training places for people who want to work in aged care. Home care support to allow ageing in place. We have 80,000 additional home care packages of which 30,000 had been released by the end of March. Improved residential care quality and safety. This means residents have greater protections through the Serious Incident Response Scheme, electronic medication charts and improved quality indicators.

The Government agreed or agreed in principle to 126 of the 148 of the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Of those recommendations over 30 recommendations have a significant dependency on ICT and digital enablers to implement. Government noted the current levels of administrative inefficiencies within the aged care system including double entry reporting, staff double handling and system complexity.

As part of the aged care reform program the government recognises the importance of investing in digital capabilities by Government to support aged care providers reduce their administrative burden and allow them to spend more time providing care to consumers.

In accepting recommendation 109 of the Royal Commission recommendations the Government has agreed to invest in technology and information and communication systems to support the new aged care system.

The Department recognises that to support the future digitisation of the aged care sector it will need to account for varying levels of digital investment and capacity amongst aged care providers and varied levels of workforce digital literacy, training and capability. We need to provide senior Australians and their families and carers with accessible information and personalised support to help them understand their options and get the services they need. We need to support them to engage with technology and uplift digital literacy across the sector.

The Department is committed to developing an aged care digital strategy that places the needs of senior Australians at its centre and consider the needs and capabilities of carers and advocates, service providers and vendors through developing an overarching vision for the digital future of the aged care sector-wide digital investments to 2030, designing a framework for enablement, building capability to improve adoption of new technology with a focus on quality of care and better outcomes for all.

Moreover the Department recognises that there is a delicate balance between the development of emerging technologies and innovation while adhering to information and data security and privacy policies and principles. The Department will provide opportunities to engage and partner in the development of the aged care digital strategy and how we deliver digital transformation across the aged care system.

To sign up for engagement activities or to find out more visit the Aged Care Engagement Hub at www.agedcareengagement.health.gov.au. As part of this conversation today we will open up for questions and we value your contributions about how the Government could support sector‑wide digital investments to 2030 to modernise the digital infrastructure that underpins the aged care system, deliver an integrated digital experience for consumers and providers, ensure aged care digital services are delivered on modern, fit for purpose systems, provide opportunities to support innovation.

I’ll now hand over to Fay Flevaras, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation and Delivery Division to provide an update on the Aged Care Digital Transformation Program and to moderate the session.

[Slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘with Fay Flevaras’, ‘Digital Transformation and Delivery Division’, ‘Corporate Group’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health’, ‘www.health.gov.au’]

Fay Flevaras:

Welcome everyone. My name’s Fay Flevaras and I’m leading the Digital Transformation Agenda in Health. Michael Lye had some competing priorities and is unable to attend but he really wanted to be here and so yesterday we got him to record his intro for us. So I hope you enjoyed it.

For the Q&A we have Greg Keen, Acting First Assistant Secretary of the Reform Implementation Group joining us. Greg is responsible for shaping the implementation program by providing effective oversight of the aged care reform agenda to improve outcomes for our senior Australians. So Greg’s team also supports the National Aged Care Advisory Council and the Aged Care Council of Elders in providing advice to Government and the Department about aged care reform and ageing generally.

So let’s get started. As Michael so clearly articulated Health has a critical role on delivering a once in a generation aged care reform and this is really about putting customer at the centre, addressing inadequacies in the system and improving experience as people move through the different stages of their aged care journey. We would like to do that by the drivers of aged care reform. And they’re clear but meeting these objectives will be heavily reliant on improving the enabling capabilities that underpin aged care delivery.

So what does this mean? This means that we want to speak to you today about how the Department of Health is working towards delivering these solutions. We want to provide a simple customer experience. We want to allow information to be keyed once but used many. We want to be able to support service providers to deliver timely, clear and accurate information to Government as they serve their customers and to validate the quality of those services against established indicators like workforce quality, time spent on care, financial viability etcetera. We want to make sure that the quality of the data provided is available for you and others to use where appropriate by enabling players across the aged care system including Government to make smart, informed decisions and to also improve the real time availability of information and access it in times of crisis.

Importantly all of this relies on a connected, streamlined, interoperable, digital ecosystem, a better connected aged care network that is consolidated, standardised, automated and modern.

So how are we going to do this together? Well we have a hypothesis. Delivering major reform is not easy. The environment we all work in is complex with many players and lots of moving parts. The current infrastructure and design of aged care systems don’t support the increased maturity and responsiveness that we demand in our daily lives and across Government and in your aged care facilities. At the pace of the required changes aligned to approved funding windows it’s running at pace and it is swift so we need to get started. And here at Health we’re very clear on some of the realities of this work.

First moving to a consolidated, modern and automated aged care system isn’t an insignificant undertaking. It won’t happen overnight and despite our best efforts it’s unlikely we’re going to get it right the first time or be perfect. Secondly to be successful we need to work in partnership across Government and with the sector. And thirdly improving our customer experience remains at the core of all of our efforts to bring innovation to the digital ecosystem. This is not about tech for tech sake but it’s about enabling digital change through people, process and the tools needed to enable the benefits for our customers.

Okay. So what do we know so far? To summarise the types of problems we are trying to solve or the opportunities we have to make things better we know from a recent study into the use of clinical software that over 40% of providers manually upload data to Government. Over a third of those providers don’t have a clear IT investment strategy and 40% of the clinical provider systems are not integrated. This is facing a sector that is experiencing unique challenges in the world we live in today with an increasing consumer demand and an anticipated 75% increase in reporting demands due to aged care reforms not to mention workforce skill shortages and pressures from the likes of COVID.

We also understand that when we talk about the aged care sector we’re talking about a wide audience with vastly different operating models, funding models, different locations and sizes, different levels of digital readiness for IT change. When we develop digital solutions for the sector we need to consider all of these complexities and how we will balance these with the best practice, modern and connected ways of working.

So what’s our vision? We want to introduce digital solutions that are customer centric firstly ensuring that consumers have accurate, current information to make safe and informed choices about providers and their services and ultimately feel better supported to remain at home as long as it is safe to do so. Secondly we want to reduce the administrative burden for providers giving them a better view of care requirements for their customers and making the requirements of Government easier to meet. And thirdly we need to enable Government goals to make informed decisions to ensure safety and quality to identify issues early and to respond in times of crisis.

So from a high level ecosystem perspective this is potentially what good could look like. We have consumers and providers digitally connected in an aged care digital platform marketplace where we’re leveraging fit for purpose re-use with integrated workflows connected and a single view of our customer and consumer. We want to leverage the best of Government as well with digital identity, My Health Record, payments to make sure that providers get paid in real time, looking at all of the goodness across the ecosystem in clinical practice management and software and aged care practice management software and clinical systems, how do we get digitally connected to share data in real time to make those informed decisions.

So in summary we want it to be fit for purpose, integrated, connected, simple for a single user experience and streamline the experience as much as possible. We’re not asking for too much are we? Well that’s our vision.

So to start getting digitally connected what does that mean? And I think we start by defining what does digital mean and come to a consensus about how we describe it. Make sure we’re all on the same page about our path. We recognise that we will want to enable the sector, that not everyone’s starting from the same position. As we move down this path we are really conscious that we don’t want to leave anyone behind or we do not want to hold anyone back. So how do we support innovation and keep everyone heading in the same direction at their own pace? How do we enable digital literacy and enable capacity across the network and the workforce? Digital is a key enabler in automating the low value administrative tasks so that the workforce can re-use that time to complete higher value activities with the customer.

So here’s a simple scale around digital maturity. We can start by being manual. We get the forms, we fill it in manually and then we might fax it to someone else. That’s step number one. That can be highly administrative with an overhead and sometimes prone to error as we manually misinterpret someone’s writing or double entry.

The next step is we get systemised. That means we scanned the form and we sent a pdf but we still don’t really have access to the data that’s in that. Third step is we digitise. So instead of putting it on paper and scanning it we actually get an online portal and providers accept forms, input directly. But there’s still an element of double handling. You might be doing something once in your own system and a second time to let Government know. So our aspiration is we get automated, where we have an open Health data standard where we have APIs enabling providers and software systems to directly pass the information from you to us in real time or as appropriate.

Our priorities for this year – and I start by confirming that this is just what we have line of sight – this is the plan. It doesn’t mean it won’t change. As we all know we’re heading into an incoming Government in caretaker mode so some of these priorities may adjust. But if we look at this as the candidate selection of projects that we have planned in the year for us to work with what does this mean for data and getting fully connected and automated? We would like to work with you to codesign this with us. We will then iterate and refine in the coming months how we might put out a public version of some APIs so that providers who would like to go on this journey with us can actually start coding with us to integrate into a private beta business to Government gateway for the end of the year.

So rather than looking at individual programs of work or policy projects we would like to ensure that we look at it holistically and look at what is the dataset that would be used across all of these recommendations for Government and come up with a first tranche of what it means to be fully digitally connected and automated. In that way as part of recommendation 109 we will use the provider Government platform that we’re looking to do and also the support at home consumer CRN. We’re laying some of those foundations as well to help us get this all automated and connected.

So we have established an industry engagement stream for us to work with you guys on to help steer our approach. Today represents the first public tech talk engagement. Our intent is to make sure we stay connected to our Government, partners and sectors. We have established across Government collaboration across different Departments being with Daniel McCabe in Digital Health or Paul Creech with Amanda Cattermole in ADHA. We’re also working closely with Kirsty Faichney and others in Services Australia to say how do we look across all of the initiatives that impact the sector and how can we bring those together in a uniformed way so that we can get connected.

We also want to operationally deliver some things and that’s where we would like to work with ADHA. And we’ll have Laura next speaking a little bit around the interoperability piece. And so how do we make this real so it becomes something that we iteratively build out so that we can get digitally connected? So they’re our three focus areas on how do we get things done.

Now do we have Laura with us?

[Slide with text saying ‘Digital Transformation for the Aged Care sector’, ‘Collaborating across Govt’, ‘ADHA partner’, ‘Laura Toyne’, ‘Australian Digital Health Agency’, ‘Acting Branch Manager’, ‘Program and Project Delivery’, ‘Digital Programs and Engagement Division’, ‘Australian Government’, ‘Department of Health’]

In the spirit of cross-collaboration I wanted to take a moment to introduce Laura Toyne from the ADHA. Is she with us Janine do you know? I can’t see because I’m presenting.

Janine Bennett:

I think we might be just getting her to phone in because she’s having a little trouble with the video.

Fay Flevaras:

Well what I might do is I might keep going then and when she is - - -

Laura Toyne:

Fay I hope you can hear me.

Fay Flevaras:

I can hear you now. Hey Laura. Thanks for joining.

Laura Toyne:

No worries. Thank you. Nothing like a bit of a Friday afternoon tech problem.

Fay Flevaras:

We’re keeping it real. That’s all good. Would you like to introduce yourself and give us a little bit of an elevated pitch around ADHA and how we’re working together?

Laura Toyne:

Yeah. No worries. So hi and thank you very much for welcoming me in to your session here. Very conscious you’ve got a very big agenda on. But thank you very much this afternoon everyone. We are also as is pointed out on this slide a partner here with our colleagues in the Department of Health and indeed across the Government portfolio in helping to implement the digital health aspects of this bigger transformation.

So in our agency in particular we’ve got a program of work again focusing on the digital health aspect. We do know that as a result of residents being in care that they often engage with health services outside of their care setting, with emergency departments, hospitals, GPs, specialists and other healthcare providers and we do know obviously as a result of that Royal Commission what risk that brings as you transfer across settings and in the way you get your care as an ageing resident or even indeed in the community.

And as you touched on I think earlier Fay there is a very heavy reliance at the moment on those paper based or very manual systems and they’re quite common in aged care and we know that and we see that all the time. And so obviously you all know that ADHA is the custodian and the owner of the My Health Record and one of those key recommendations for us that came out of the Royal Commission which we will act on is to really connect those systems, those clinical information systems that operate and exist in aged care into My Health Record so that they can be that common repository I guess of information about a patient’s or a resident’s healthcare status. And so we’re really seeking to support that universal adoption by the aged care sector of digital technology in the My Health Record and that’s one of the key things that we are doing and working with our colleagues in Health and across the sector on. So I think that’s really, really important for you to know.

So it is definitely about the aged care but for us it’s about the health aspects of that aged care in that aged care setting and the sharing of that critical health information to support residents transition between their various care settings.

So that’s one part of the work we’re doing in aged care with our colleagues. The other thing that we’re also doing is we’re establishing a small team, a small dedicated team within our Clinical and Digital Health Standards area to really look at what kind of system conformance should exist in the clinical setting in particular but really more broadly across all those systems that operate and exist in the aged care space. And so we’ll do a bit of a scoping exercise to get a full picture of what is required to establish some sort of a conformance or standards as it’s often otherwise known to really operationalise some of this in due course, so towards the end of this year and into next year. And we’ll work really closely with our colleagues at Health to get some really common objectives around this and really to just ensure that vendors and providers have a simple and straightforward as possible experience in what can be a very complex environment as systems connect with other systems and interact.

So that’s in a nutshell what we’re doing. Thanks for the couple of minutes I guess you’ve been able to give me on this forum. But I’m going to hand right back to you to continue talking about that collaborative aspect of all the work we’re doing.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you Laura. I really appreciate that. And yeah I just wanted to re-emphasise we’re all working really hard to come together as a one Government view so that we can make sure that we’re re-using all the goodness that has been developed in ADHA. It’s not our intention to deviate. We actually will be re-using all of that in the clinical space and then how does that work with all the work we’re doing with aged care. That’s what we’re here to do and co-design with you all.

So the public engagement considerations. We’re dedicated to being transparent so this is me getting real and just making sure that – a little bit of a disclaimer I guess. The principles by which we want to work together here is absolutely to be transparent on this journey and share as much information as we can. But as we do this there are some caveats you should keep in mind. We’re working to deliver consistent messages but there are a lot of moving parts to this work and we might find that what we say today is unclear or confused. Please let us know. But it also might be that our work is ultimately driven by Government commitments so we may say something here today but our timeframes and our delivery may change depending on Government. We just need to keep probity front of mind as we’re speaking to you so sometimes we may not share something and you might think we’re not being transparent but we’re trying to keep probity in mind. We want to make sure that all the information we provide is publicly available and can be freely accessed thus we’re recording these and putting them up for others who couldn’t make it here today on a Friday afternoon to look at it in their own time.

And we don’t know what we don’t know. This is a bit of a transformational journey and sometimes that means we’ll be talking to you about our intentions based on some of what we know and our knowledge that we share so that we’re transparent and that you may contribute so that we can change as we go.

So that was a lot of information and that’s all we want to share. That’s the formal part of the session today. So I think you’ve heard enough from us and I’m hoping that you’ve been diligently asking questions on Slido because we’d like to hear from you now. And so the rest of the session is all about your questions and Q&A. We’re keen to get going on them noting that we may not get through all of them and that’s okay. We will take all of the questions and we’ll learn from them. And based on your voting we can use that to help inform some of the topic areas that we may use going forward.

So I’m going to hand over to Janine I think and I’m going to stop presenting and move to questions.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Fay. So we’re fortunate to have Fay and Greg available to answer questions both from the digital transformation side and also to provide that business context for us as well. So our first question goes to you Fay.

Q: For data to be entered once and used by multiple providers and stakeholders we need APIs from My Aged Care to our software platforms as a starting point. Are you able to talk to us a little bit about the intention there?

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. So that statement is 100% true and we were fortunate that Government recognised that and has invested some money with us this year to build the MVP which is the minimum viable product for our first business to Government gateway for aged care. And part of our ask today is to ask for some volunteers who in the sector would like to codesign some of those APIs based on the priorities that I was speaking to earlier in the discussion to say well what could that dataset look like that we need to communicate between the software that you guys have and us in My Aged Care and what would be those APIs, how would we codesign them?

I could come up with a candidate catalogue of services and attributes and go here you go. We’re building six. But actually if we codesign them with you it might be that it’s better to have eight or nine. Any of you guys who are technologists out there will understand that sometimes different coarse grained or fine grained APIs, that’s something that we need to design together. So hopefully that answers the question. If not pop another one in. But it is definitely our goal to do a business to Government gateway this year for a few private beta providers to codesign with us and the goal is for the end of the year.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thank you Fay. Greg a question for you.

Q: So workforce remains our biggest challenge. Improving existing staff digital skills is important but how can we also develop new digital roles to enhance care?

Greg Keen:

Yeah. Listen that’s a good question and thank you for raising it. It’s absolutely fundamental to being able to deliver on this digital transformation and the digital strategy is going to be one of those avenues that we’ll be looking at and considering as part of the development of the digital strategy. So we welcome engagement with stakeholders about suggestions and input into those programs. And I think there’s a related question there around digital literacy for consumers. And so likewise. As part of developing that digital strategy we really want to be looking at workforce, consumers, that sort of digital enablement.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Was there anything around the digital literacy for consumers Fay that you wanted to touch on as well?

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. So as Greg and the team start working out some of those new roles and activities that could be digitally enabled I think we’ll find that there’s certain roles today that have a portion of their time where they used to do an activity one way is now digitally enabled another. And so we do need to start helping with some of the digital literacy – sorry. A bit of a mouthful there – education piece so then roles can be reworked to go well how can you re-use some of that freed up time in other ways. Because you might be taking 30% off ten people. How do you rearrange things so that you can get either that work somewhere else or you might figure out that you want to rearrange roles so that you can re-use them in another way. But that’s all stuff that in time as we start to enable certain activities through technology then you kind of look at well where can you re-use the freed up time.

So lots of education to come there.

Janine Bennett:

So this is encouraging. The next question is:

Q: How do we put our hand up for codesign?

Fay that might be for you.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. So straight after this session we’ll be sending out an email and we’d like to do a survey asking you guys how you found the first tech talk. And in that email there will be a link where you can volunteer on who wants to be an earlier adopter, a pioneer, whatever you want to call yourselves to work on this very tight timeframe that we have to get an MVP up and running for the end of the year. And we’ll reach out and discuss it with you guys. So that’s how you’ll get to volunteer.

Janine Bennett:

This might be a question for both Greg and Fay.

Q: What planning is being done for integrations with so many providers?

Fay Flevaras:

Who wants to go first?

Greg Keen:

I’ll let you take the lead on that one thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Well this is kind of part of it. I think the first part of it is starting the conversation. So this is us reaching out. There’s a lot of already good work out there that’s being done in the sector. We know that there are different types of integrations, clinical, aged care facilities. We’re going to need more around the at home. There are different types of software providers out there that look after different sub-capabilities in the sector. So we need to start articulating a standard way of describing that. And today I started with describing what is digital and the four steps to digital but in our future sessions we will start to be putting together a bit of a Google map of the different type of stakeholders we have in the sector and then what are some of those integrations that we would like to consolidate and standardise on, building our open Health data standards that we then use to kind of start the integration journey together. And it’s going to be a complex one.

Greg Keen:

It is. And I think I’d just reinforce that point. This is a very big transformation agenda. Today is the first step certainly engaging specifically around the technology. And so this is really that setting the scene, talking about what we want to achieve through digital transformation and the digital strategy and then there will be more focused engagement around some of those specific areas and some of the specific system level requirements.

Janine Bennett:

Q: Can My Aged Care allow service providers to export SIRs data?

So serious incident response data.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Anything is possible. I think the question is why? What problem are we trying to solve? We definitely want to get to a position where we’re open, as Laura has said as well, where the right information is being shared under the right consent model. So I guess all possible. Please we’ll capture it as a suggestion and put it on the backlog of some of the new requirements that the Government and our business colleagues are looking at. Maybe if you want to put your name against it separately via an email to our Engagement Hub we can engage and find out what problem you’re trying to solve here and how it might benefit the masses in the priorities.

What’s next Janine?

Janine Bennett:

Q: What plans for digital dashboard approaches are there giving information back to communities improving market stewardship and sensitivity to market diversity?

Fay Flevaras:

That one I don’t have anything Greg. Any thoughts?

Greg Keen:

I don’t have a specific answer but I think obviously data information is going to be critical to underpin services. Michael touched on that as part of that sort of early introduction. So we certainly need to be looking at how we might leverage that and present it.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. And look guys these questions are really great. It gives us an insight into where your thinking is and what some of your questions are that we can then reach out and engage more on. So thank you for raising them. What else do we have?

Janine Bennett:

Q: So some smaller home care providers do not currently have integrated systems and are manual heavy. Would the system being designed be able to plug this gap?

I think that’s a good one for you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

I think a couple of things here. I think this is why it’s so important for us to engage the software industry. With the trend of how much administration is happening we’re absolutely looking to go we’ll take you from the manual stage of digital into the third step that we had where we have the online portals. So if you’re a smaller home care provider you absolutely can log on and do it that way. But this will give an opportunity for all of the software providers that look after the industry as a whole, some being home care, some being residential care, to really lean in and start updating their software models so that everyone can pick a partner and start to digitally enable the way they work. So in time we’re hoping that they start to move to a more digital way of working because I think that’s going to be key in providing really good services, spending more time with the customer and less time doing administration.

They’re all anonymous. Come on guys. Who’s not anonymous? Can we pick a non-anonymous one and get someone up on the screen?

Janine Bennett:

We have a question from Eloise.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. So is Eloise prepared to get up on screen with us? I’ve got our moderator who’s prepared to put her up. Let’s see if we can get Eloise up.

No?

Where’s Tanya? Tanya.

Janine Bennett:

Perhaps I’ll ask a quick question and then Eloise can get ready and we’ll jump to her next if she’s ready to go. Okay. So the next most popular question is:

Q: How will primary and allied digital health be progressed, incentivised to enhance an interface with the proposed digital health strategy for aged care?

Fay Flevaras:

Greg I’m throwing to you on that one.

Greg Keen:

Yeah. And listen I think that’s one of those questions I’ll need to take on notice. I don’t have an immediate answer for that one. But while I am talking I might just pick up on a comment that someone’s added there and they did mark it as a comment only but around the digital literacy for CALD seniors and not forgetting people who do not have IT access. It is a really important consideration. Some people may be aware that we’ve established a Council of Elders to provide advice on the aged care reforms and that group has already been quite active in providing advice around the needs of CALD and other communities as well as the fact that not everybody particularly seniors uses a digital channel first, that there are multiple other channels. So it is something we’re quite mindful of and getting feedback on so it was a good point to raise.

Laura Toyne:

Greg and Fay it’s Laura here and my apologies I can’t put a video on either, or a camera on so you can’t see me. But I can probably assist with that question that just came up which was about allied health and primary - - -

Fay Flevaras:

Did we just lose Laura?

Laura Toyne:

No. I’m back again. Sorry. Look as a part of what we’re doing in the Digital Health Agency – and I assume a number online are probably aware that we did run an industry offer last year directed mostly obviously at those systems that exist already in the aged care sector and we were looking at the clinical information systems and the medication management systems in particular and how they would become and could become interoperable with My Health Record. So we did actually go out with a market offer and we’re now working with a number of vendors in that space. I’m really conscious though that what keeps getting brought up is what about those in the allied health space and what about their systems. And while we don’t have anything specifically in train in relation to that the Agency’s always willing to work with vendors who want to connect in to My Health Record. So please reach out to us and through our developer centre and we’re happy to work with you on that as well.

So we are here to work with a number of vendors too where it goes to digital health. And also linking in I guess Greg and Fay and Janine we’re also doing some digital health literacy work for consumers and carers. So it’s been a big theme in a few questions and we are equally looking at how we can support residents and carers in particular around digital health literacy. Not just My Health Record but digital health literacy in particular and I think it’s important that we lean in with our colleagues in Health and coordinate our work there as well. There’s much to share. Thanks.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks. Now I know also George Margelis – and he’s named himself so thanks George. I’ll still ask the team behind to see if we can get a couple of you on screen but in the meantime I think we’ve just added Eloise. Is Eloise happy to – and then we’ll come back to you George. Is Eloise happy to get on screen?

Eloise Vanderveen:

Yeah. Hi.

Fay Flevaras:

Hey. Thank you. We’re trying to make this a little bit interactive and it’s very hard when we’re in a webinar.

Eloise Vanderveen:

No. Thank you for letting me come on here. I’m actually studying at University of Sydney and I’m doing an assignment with Ernst & Young and my group is focusing on aged care and we have an idea of using technology to help the wellbeing of elderly in aged care facilities. So I was interested in are there any ways that you’re thinking of using technology to improve their wellbeing but also using it to collect data and sharing that data to other stakeholders who are involved?

Fay Flevaras:

There we go. I think we’ve almost got Eloise up. Thank you. You’ve just joined centre stage Eloise so I just want to let you know that you’re up with us. So thanks for the question. It’s a fantastic question. And yes that’s the intention around getting a digitally connected healthcare system. We need to start small. We think big. That’s absolutely the ultimate goal. Some of the data that gets connected will just happen in the sector and we do that by talking about some standards that we all might agree to sharing, leveraging My Health Record. We publish information there that other people can look at it and re-use. And then looking at the Government new platforms we’re building in aged care and how do we make that data accessible as well. So that’s definitely the vision and the goal. This is the first phase of the journey where we’re just laying some of the foundations and we need to get our business to Government gateway and those public APIs started.

So does that answer your question?

Eloise Vanderveen:

Yeah. Also would you have any recommendations in what myself and my group could think about in creating a pitch of this idea?

Fay Flevaras:

So we might take that one on notice and I’m going to throw to my probity clause there around how you work with Government. So Eloise we’ll take that question separately and explain how things get done in Government and how we work with you guys on all of that. There is an element of we need to do things in Government where we collect data to make sure that the quality and standards are there. But a bit of what you’re talking about you guys can do out in the sector once the open APIs are. You don’t necessarily need to be interacting with Government to achieve some of the vision that you’ve spoken about.

Eloise Vanderveen:

Lovely. Thank you so much.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you so much for your question. Thanks for coming on. I’m going to pick on one of the others who didn’t get anonymous. George would you like to join us on centre stage with us? You can always say no in the background.

George Margelis:

Can you see me there? Hi everyone.

Fay Flevaras:

We can. Thanks for joining George.

George Margelis:

Look first of all thank you for the session. I mean I think it’s great that we’re actually having these open discussions in aged care because for many years technology has been down the bottom of the stack. So kudos to the whole team for that. For those of you who don’t know I chair the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council and obviously there’s a lot of moving parts here but one of the big things is digital maturity of the sector and digital literacy of the workforce. In other sectors, I mean in acute care where I originally came from, we have EMRAM, we have digital maturity models. Are we looking at developing a new one for aged care or do you think there are other ones there where you can leverage in the short term so that as we develop our strategic plans at a provider level we can sort of watch ourselves progress up that scale? Any comments on that?

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. So look I think we’re all running at pace and where we can leverage things we should. We don’t need to start from a blank piece of paper. So if the topic area is digital literacy and we put it out here as let’s say it’s [0:47:13] that we’re all going to come up with what the standard could look like. Then we will put it out there to the sector and say who’s got a version of digital literacy? And if we can bring those together and everyone shares then absolutely as a body here, a community, the collective with the sector but also with Government – as we heard ADHA is doing some as well – so how do we bring it all together quickly and just agree a baseline, knowing that you’re never going to be 100% all in agreement but that we can get a core 80% as a baseline and then iterate the differences.

Greg Keen:

And we certainly recognise that we need to do some research to understand that baseline digital maturity and then use that for sort of ongoing measurement to track the success of the strategy and the digital uptake and capability over time. So I think sort of reinforcing Fay’s point, looking at what’s available and then is there anything we need to do to fill gaps.

Fay Flevaras:

Correct.

Janine Bennett :

So I noticed you had a comment as well. I’ll let you speak to that before you leave the stage.

George Margelis:

Sorry?

Janine Bennett:

I just said I noticed that you had a comment in the messages as well. I’ll let you speak to that before you leave the stage.

George Margelis:

Sure. And it probably reflects to Eloise’s point about how do you take new ideas to the market. And I mean obviously we have ITAC which is our annual conference where we do that but again providers are very keen to be actively involved in innovation. So to Eloise put your hand up, let the providers work with you. There’s a lot of opportunities there. Digital Health CRC for example has an aged care program, the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, and so do we at the Council, so lots of opportunity there for collaboration and codesign. And we’ll put our hand up to provide any support we can through the Council.

Fay Flevaras:

There you go. Thank you. So that’s the sector already working together where you guys can pick up and start innovating some of those things out there whilst we start to build the good foundations this year that we can continue to evolve. Thank you so much George for joining us on centre stage. Anyone who’s game and who doesn’t want to be anonymous let us know. Go Janine.

Janine Bennett:

So I notice a question from Ryan. Ryan if you’d like to get ready we’ll get you set up as a panellist. But in the meantime we have a couple of anonymous questions.

Q: So with the online assessment tool for support at home is that a tool vendors will need to develop?

I’m thinking that might be you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

So I think we’re definitely going to build an assessment part on the My Aged Care because we need to validate what the assessment looks like and what they’re entitled to. Yeah. How much the software vendors will need to build to be able to integrate to that in an automated fashion, that’s where we need to codesign together. And when do we do that step? So I’m thinking we’re probably at step three in the digital on that one, where we’ll build something online, but again that may change in the future. We’re going to need a certain amount of information to come through. And if one of the software providers wants to build a capability well that’s up to them. But it just means that they’re taking on the challenge to make sure they stay in step as the regulations change. So moving to that last step of digital comes with a whole lot of conformance that needs to be. And once you’re providing a service in the sector you need to stay lock step with the legislation. And we’ll establish processes to help do that but it’s not a small undertaking as we move quickly on change.

Janine Bennett:

Great. We’re welcoming Ryan to the stage. And Ryan if you’d like to go ahead and ask your question that would be great. Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

I think he’s on mute.

Are you there Ryan? Love technology right?

No. He’s gone on mute. Okay.

Janine Bennett:

We’ll give Ryan a minute to get that sorted and we’ll jump to another anonymous question.

Q: We work with a software vendor to support our business with any change. We would require their involvement. Is there funds available to support the transition?

Fay Flevaras:

There is some funds available over in the ADHA area for software providers. I’m going to look to Laura to talk to that a little bit. But at this stage I can’t speak to is there funds available for the transitioning of residential aged care facility providers and so forth. We would have to take that one on notice. Laura did you want to make a comment on that one at all?

Laura Toyne:

Is my video working now? Hi. Not as fancy a background as the rest of you. Look I might have to take that away because I don’t think we’ve got funds specifically available for the purposes outlined in that question. But if whoever it is wants to reach out to me at ADHA and tell me of their circumstance at least I can investigate that a bit further for you. So thanks.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. And thanks for the question and we’ll take that one on notice more generally and then have a position where we can put it up in the Q&A. Okay we’ve got Ryan on screen.

Ryan Donohue Blesen:

Hey guys. Thanks for opening up the floor and letting us sort of get some feedback from the Department. I guess where we position ourselves, we’re a start up technology company working in aged care, specifically residential aged care, and one of the greatest challenges we have working in this space is I guess the overlap between technology and the product and bringing that to market in an industry which is not really technical savvy. So I guess my question is as a company that is working with residential aged care and wants to sort of share the information and improve aged care services how is the best way that companies like us and other start ups can help to work with the Department to improve aged care overall?

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. That’s a really good question. And I couldn’t tell you today exactly how but I know that we do need to work together. Digital transformation is hard. We could have the best strategy, we could have the best tools, but if we don’t educate and change the culture on the way we do things then we won’t be successful. And a big part of that is around people. So taking people on this journey and upskilling them in digital is going to be a big part of our success in this transformation.

So today is literally day one of the digital step and absolutely if you want to volunteer to be one of those people that help us work out together what kind of training do we need to put out there digitally – and I’m not talking policy. I mean how do we educate people on how to be digitally connected and use new tools – how do you gamify it so that it’s not a chore, how do we make it easy for people to kind of do a sort of little game or a training module and they get some credits or a gold star and they move to the next step. Because I think with my experience that’s what success looks like where people just naturally can use an app and then they learn the skills along the way. So anyone out there who’s got some good ideas around gamifying training I’d love to hear it and please send your suggestions through to our Engagement Hub. Because we at the Department of Health absolutely we’re committed to doing this but we alone cannot make it happen and we would like to leverage all of the smart ideas that everyone has out there in the sector to make this happen but make it happen fast because we don’t have a lot of time.

So I’m looking forward to maybe any suggestions you have Ryan.

Ryan Donohue Blesen:

Plenty to share. Thanks guys. Appreciate it.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Ryan. Okay. So the next question I’ll put to Greg and Fay and feel free to jump in.

Q: Is there going to be a push to help understand the perspective of the seniors community when developing tools and products for digital literacy?

Greg Keen:

So I can answer a bit of that and then Fay if you’ve got anything further to add. But I think the short answer is yes. We do have groups like the Council of Elders that I mentioned before that has quite a diverse group of people and we’ll be engaging with them through this process as well. There will also be other sort of opportunities for consultation and I guess really keep an eye out for opportunities through the Engagement Hub that allows us to sort of connect with people around particular areas.

Fay Flevaras:

Yep. And I’d just add to that. We’d love to get to a position where – and this may not happen in the next month or three months – but we’re definitely aiming to leverage human centred design principles when we’re developing our tools and screens and so forth. And part of that would be going out there and doing some experimentation and working directly with the elderly to help inform how they would best like to design some of these. So short answer yes.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Now we’ve noticed that Cameron Duncan has his hand up. Cameron are you able to unmute?

Cameron Duncan:

I couldn’t unlock myself.

Fay Flevaras:

No. We’ve kind of locked it down so you can’t. We gave you permission to unlock.

Janine Bennett:

You’re good to jump in Cameron.

Fay Flevaras:

All right. Maybe we’ll try and get Cameron on - - -

Cameron Duncan:

Hello.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. We can hear you.

Cameron Duncan:

I was just going to ask are we getting the slides from today’s presentation?

Fay Flevaras:

Absolutely. So not only have we recorded this so that everyone can watch it who couldn’t make it this afternoon, but yes the slides will go up on to our Engagement Hub so that even the communication around tech talks is digitally enabled so that you can get it at any time.

Cameron Duncan:

Thanks guys. Great.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Cameron. Okay. This is a question for Fay.

Q: My Health Record, NDIS, Services Australia etcetera all have their own API portals authentication interfaces. Will this all get harmonised with the new platform?

Fay Flevaras:

God that’s a really ambitious goal and in the long term we want to say yes. Can you get there in the next six to nine months? No. And there’s a wide bridge to get across to make that happen as well. We have started the cross collaboration Government coalition as I spoke about earlier where we are trying to come together to say what does good look like for 2030 as an aged care strategy and then we need to figure out what’s the best pathway to get there. As much as possible we’d like to consolidate and standardise where practical. I also acknowledge just doing it for the goal itself is not enough because people have already invested in connecting to those things. So it will be a gentle balance of what’s practical and making sure that we keep putting the user-centred perspective and if it’s a better approach to bring it together and more cost effective and sustainable then yes that should be the goal. But there is no plans right here right now in the next 12 months with what we’ve got on our agenda.

Janine Bennett:

Nathan we’re just getting sorted to get you to the stage momentarily. In the meantime Fay another question for you.

Q: Will a particular information protocol be adopted eg FHIR?

Fay Flevaras:

So this is my point of view. I’m sure people will have their own views on this. I do not believe there is one information model, like one to rule them all. However I do agree that the FHIR standard should be the standard that’s leveraged in the clinical space and all the work that the ADHA is doing to do interoperability work. What I also note is that there will be other areas of sub-domains that we are creating. Let’s say for example we’re building some payment pieces, that when you speak to a bank they would like to use the banking protocol that they use around information ISO-20022. So we will just need to know that the reality is there is no one standard and that we need to figure out how to interoperate across the sector in the different sub‑domains and start publishing a data dictionary of sorts out on the Engagement Hub in our new developer hub that will come so that we can start making some of those connections and make it easier for people to know a patient ID equals a payee ID that equals this health identifier and it’s this customer reference number. It links to myGov ID X. As you can see the broader the context the more things we need to map together. But we definitely want to create that model where we know what all the keys are and we get that single view of the customer. So hopefully that helped.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thank you. So we have Nathan now on stage. Nathan if you wanted to turn on your video or audio. And Nathan’s first question will go to Greg.

Nathan Betteridge:

Greg my name’s Nathan from Five Good Friends. We’re obviously aware of the changes to support at home coming around July ’23. One of the big changes there is the new assessment regime that’s coming in and the assessment tooling. As we also run a software solution for the industry we’d be really keen to see that available via API or in some sort of digital format so we can feed that straight in to providers as consumers make their decision. Is that part of the roadmap?

Greg Keen:

Nathan that’s probably another one I’d need to take on notice and share with my colleagues in the support at home area. As Fay sort of indicated earlier this conversation is a good opportunity to get some of these questions out and we can then go and engage further and sort of look at getting some answers.

Nathan Betteridge:

Sure. No worries.

Fay Flevaras:

So Nathan I’d encourage at the end of this when you get the survey there’s an opportunity in there that has a freeform piece. It would be great if you could put some of that in there so we’re not misunderstanding from the verbal we got here. Then we can go back in to the Department of Health and work with our peers to start prioritising some of these questions.

Nathan Betteridge:

Will do. No worries. Thanks guys and thanks for hosting.

Janine Bennett:

Nathan if you’d like to stay I notice that you also had a really good question about the Elders Council. Do you want to speak to that one as well?

Nathan Betteridge:

Yeah. Absolutely. So once again in our experience we’ve found technology is often first embraced by the family. So we have done a lot of work designing for the family first who then bring generally the care recipient with them. I was really curious about that Elders Council you’ve got and if it’s also represented by family and loved ones of care recipients.

Greg Keen:

Yeah. Listen it’s a really good question Nathan because it does allow me to sort of clarify some of the things that I’ve said already. The Council of Elders is one of the channels for engagement. What we’re very conscious of is it’s definitely not the only one. We’ve got our National Aged Care Advisory Council. We’ll then have other sort of forms of engagement and we need to be engaging with the sort of full diversity of users. So Council of Elders brings that seniors perspective. They’re a great bunch of people. They’re very engaged and very willing to share their experience but they’re not the only channel. And so there will absolutely be other channels for engagement that allow us to sort of really engage with that full spectrum of users.

Nathan Betteridge:

No worries. Thank you very much.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks Nathan. A couple of great questions there. We’re just moving Emma Hossack to the stage and while that’s happening I might just drop in an anonymous question which may be for Laura. It says:

Q: Will ADHA and other Government stakeholders deal with care recipient consent issues and privacy legislation to enable data sharing?

Laura Toyne:

Yeah. That’s a really good question. So in the context of My Health Record at the moment all of those kind of authorisations and permissions are already established in the My Health Record. So a consumer who owns a record can give those consents out to people that they want to view that information and so forth. So it does exist in My Health Record. Now I can’t actually talk for what obviously Health might do in terms of My Aged Care but in terms of health data those controls absolutely exist already.

Janine Bennett:

Did you want to add to that Fay?

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. I thought I might. Yeah. Sorry. I paused. And from our perspective we want to make sure that the models of consent remain consistent so we will definitely be looking to how ADHA have worked on some of that and then looking at how we extend it. Again qualifying this is a good goal but then I’d go and work with Greg and the team and the business and say are there any policy constraints that stop me from doing these things and then we just need to work through it. Because we can build anything. We can share a lot of things doing it in a safe, secure way. We just need to make sure that the legislation and policy changes with us as we get digitally connected.

And welcome Emma to centre stage.

Emma Hossack:

Yeah. Thank you. Look thanks so much for this and it’s excellent to see so many companies on a Friday afternoon doing this I think. It’s really good. So we’ve had a number of the medical software industry members like Five Faces and so on putting great questions to you. The MSIA has of course completed some really good work, similar work in Australia recently through COVID in particular with the e-prescribing and that was I think like a microcosm of what we’ve got to attack now with aged care. We got everyone connected, worked with the Department, the Agency, Services Australia, 100 plus companies. Everyone worked together so well. So I think there’s some great models which Laura obviously from the Agency will know of and I’m sure you know from the Department as well Fay.

We’d love to make sure that we don’t reinvent the wheel I suppose is what I’m saying because it sounds very much from what your introduction said that you’re looking to leverage on working groups, how they’ve been done in the past, look at standards to make sure that we don’t try and complicate things overly and use things where possible I suppose. Where there are international standards, use those so that our companies can export their great work as well. So just kind of interested what the next step to that kind of approach would be because I’ve got great faith in you from my conversations with you that that is the way you’re looking at going.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. I think for us it’s about first making sure we have that clear plan for the goals we need to get right this year for Government. We really need to deliver on the promises we’ve made. So that’s kind of what is in our line of sight foremost. So I think asking for those volunteers to kind of codesign with us is kind of where we’re starting. Once we’ve got the house in order and we’ve got our plan sorted to deliver on those commitments we can absolutely then start to look ahead and say well how can we be doing things a little bit differently. But I think for me the next 12 months, this calendar year and the promises we’ve made is where we need to start and make sure we’ve got a plan against.

Emma Hossack:

That sounds fine. Thanks Fay. And pilots in the meantime? Just making sure that we don’t find ourselves this is what we’re going to do but we’ll have to start from scratch. So has the Department got an appetite to be looking at pilots and things that are working and where groups have got together and got a whole lot of different technologies working successfully in an aged care setting? It seems like that’s certainly been successful in the past. Is that something that you’d be – not in aged care it hasn’t happened obviously but is it something you’d be interested in?

Fay Flevaras:

I’ll definitely take that one away. I’m really big on innovation. We definitely want to leverage all the smart ideas that we have out in the sector. I think it will be about when I can do that with you guys especially during caretaker. But as much as possible it would be good to showcase some of that so that – you never know what ideas we want to take in to the next phase of the program. So let me take that one away and see what when we discuss it internally we can come up with.

Emma Hossack:

Thanks so much. That was great.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks for getting on centre stage Emma.

Janine Bennett:

We’re just organising Gabrielle on to the stage but in the meantime I’ll give you an anonymous question.

Q: So as with My Health Record will consumers be able to see their data?

Fay Flevaras:

Is this in the My Aged Care? I think yes. It’s their data. So the client portal, they’ll definitely be able to see their own data. And My Aged Care, they definitely can see it there as well. So I think people should absolutely be able to see the data that we as Government have on them. That would be a yes for me. Greg any thoughts there? Have I misunderstood the question?

Greg Keen:

Listen probably nothing further to add. Thanks Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Greg.

Janine Bennett:

Still waiting on Gabriella I think so I’ll hit you with another one.

Q: Will the residential care and new community at home program systems be integrated for services that have both types of service and common clients?

Fay Flevaras:

I’m giving that one to you Greg and if you don’t know we can take it on notice.

Greg Keen:

I was going to say I’m sorry, I think that’s another one that I’ll sort of need to take on notice and work with our colleagues in those areas.

Fay Flevaras:

That’s great. No. All good.

I’m really impressed at the questions we’re getting.

Janine Bennett:

Q: Are we going to use the Government portals such as My Aged Care and DEX for new aged care systems?

That one’s for you I think Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

I’m going to go yes and no. So we are introducing new capabilities in the technology landscape and with that will come new user interface and portal styles. However we want to make sure that it’s a consolidated experience so that we’re not going to be duplicating. So at one point you’re going to be using one and another it will shift across to another. It’s all part of the change roadmap as we co-exist, new and old. But by no means are we doing a total migration either. So it's a bit of a watch this space but you will definitely see new things.

So hopefully that answered.

Janine Bennett:

Thank you. We have lost Gabriella from the call but we have Troy Speirs here. Troy if you’d like to turn on your video and you can go ahead and ask your question. Thank you.

Troy Speirs:

Thanks Janine and thanks Fay. Appreciate you putting on the tech talk. Look noting you’re wanting to get early adopters to come on board and work collaboratively in the codesign process I think the important part to note is that in the home care space providers are very much focused on this point of delivery payment platform. It is a huge shift on what they’ve done traditionally so the amount of focus on that change is going to be critical in this 22/23 period. There’s also a lot of diversity and capability to do that. And I think in your early adoption stage you probably will need to look at seeing how representative are those adopters of the total market diversity that need to pick up what will be a mandatory requirement. So I just want to put a call out that once you start to get those early adopters you probably need to gauge with the peaks or others to try and pick up some of those other groups to make sure you’ve got a representative process otherwise we’re going to get three quarters of the way through and then we’re going to get a panic in the society or in the sector around readiness. And I think we talk about readiness now but we need to bring people along this journey.

Fay Flevaras:

No. I 100% agree. And so we start off by asking for volunteers but yes we’ll need to assess do we have the right spectrum of those volunteers and then we’ve definitely been working with the peak bodies to make sure that they’re part of this change journey. That’s a given.

Troy Speirs:

If I pick the extreme I’ll pick a small Indigenous specific provider and ask the question around their capability to do this in the timeframe we’ve got. It’s a really important group. We don’t want to lose them in the process.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. Great. Thank you for raising that awareness so that we can make sure we keep it front of mind. We really appreciate you getting on centre stage. I notice there’s a question there Janine around:

Q: Are there any current APIs available in the aged care landscape?

I don’t think there is any public facing APIs that we have to date. I must admit I don’t think there’s any on our current My Aged Care system that I’m aware of. That is actually the point of our new business to Government gateway that we’re putting in place. There is definitely some aged care ones with Services Australia though around provider web services but I’m not sure that we have APIs. No. I could be wrong. I’ll take it away and I’ll make it a priority that we put out our service catalogue page and it might say to be determined as we work through it together or it might have a couple that we might have. Watch that space.

Janine Bennett:

Great. So we’ve invited Karyn to the stage to ask a question. Feel free to put on your video. There we go. Welcome.

Karyn:

Hi. I asked a couple of questions before and some of them have come up under anonymous when I couldn’t choose myself. But the one I asked most recently was in relation to the innovation and how AI might be tapped in to for particular care of the residents for instance.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Definitely. AI is one of those special capabilities we want to be really careful with. There’s a number of ways that we could utilise AI. We could definitely use it within the Government on our platform to help leverage and provide insights in some of the data we have. But also in the sector, in the software provider industry supporting the aged care sector they could absolutely build AI into some of their products to help enable some of those outcomes that actually have nothing to do with Government collecting data or tracking quality around services.

So this is where I’m trying to have the conversation that actually we alone in Government are not going to make all the change that is required that is going to enable the sector to get fully digitally transformed. And actually some of the innovations will come from the general sector around just really some smart ideas on how do you change some of those business models in supporting and providing those services. So I know that’s not a really easy answer but AI and all the technical enablement that we can bring to bear can be used across the sector for various solutions, not just the bits that we’re providing as priorities for aged care in Government.

Karyn:

I just have one supplementary if that’s all right. I’ve already typed it up there. In relation to the use and valuable use of the time that’s freed up by the staff of service providers I wonder if the Quality and Safety Commission might have a role to play in how that additional time could be utilised to its best advantage.

Fay Flevaras:

Maybe. That’s probably for them to speak to. We could always take that away on notice and come back as one of the Q&As on our engagement website.

Say that again Karyn?

Karyn:

I could perhaps include it in the survey at the end, in the comments.

Fay Flevaras:

That would be great. But also noting that we’re working closely with our Quality and Safety Commission colleagues to ensure that we build quality all the way through the new digitised journey. So we’re trying to embed it in so that it’s not something that you check at the end but that it’s something built in to our designs as we move forward from the beginning. But yes please put it in your survey. That would be fantastic.

Karyn:

Thank you for today. It’s been great.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks for joining.

Janine Bennett:

We’ve got a question here that I’ll direct to Greg.

Q: So great to hear human centred design with elderly is planned. Will that also include care staff and other provider participants?

Greg Keen:

Yeah. Listen I think that’s a good question and the short answer is yes. We need to be ensuring that when we are engaging in that sort of user-centred design and testing that it does cover that spectrum of users. So yes.

Fay Fleveras:

Have we got Janine still with us?

Janine Bennett:

Thank you. Yes.

I’m just getting to the most recent questions. We’re getting a few votes and things. Okay.

Q: Will a consistent diagnosis info data approach be used for example SNOMED ICD10 etcetera?

I’m hoping that makes sense to you Fay.

Q: Be used for aged care systems for they’re very different to those in acute systems.

Does that make sense to you? Can you see the question there?

Fay Flevaras:

I’m just looking. We’ve got one from Steph. No. That’s AI.

Janine Bennett:

I think that’s an anonymous one down. Sorry about that.

Greg Keen:

Yeah. I think it’s probably quite a specific technical question that we might have to take on notice unless Fay has more understanding than I do.

Fay Flevaras:

No. Not at that level. I recognise there’s very specialist software out in the industry and all I can say is this is where I believe we need to be really clear about the sub-domains and what information model they need to be successful in delivering software. But then when you want things to connect how do you do the translation? That’s probably all I’ll say to that. But please whoever put up the question if you want to clarify it a bit more in your survey that would be great and we can answer it.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Okay.

Q: Which digital layers - - -

By the way you guys are doing great. This is a bit of a marathon of question and answer. So feel free to have a glass of water at any stage if you need to replenish. Okay.

Q: Which digital layers will be referenced for interoperability? Eg separation between application and physical layers requires quite different skillsets?

I’m guessing that’s a Fay question.

Fay Flevaras:

Say it again for me.

Janine Bennett:

And then we’ll have a question from Max.

Fay Flevaras:

Here it is. I’ve got it.

Q: Which digital layers will be referenced for interoperability? For example the separation between application and physical layers require quite a different skillset.

Well yes. So this is tech talk right. So I know we’re starting right at the surface but when we get down to delivering some of this stuff we’re going to actually have spin off workshops with the providers that work with us and we’re definitely going to need to have those discussions at the different layers of architecture and decide how we’re going to do some of this stuff. So acknowledge that they are very different and that’s why we need to start working together. Because it’s not just about open APIs. Some of the innovations will come with quite specific tooling like medical tooling and so forth and so when we do something like that we definitely need to look at those different perspectives when we get under the hood and start engineering. So that’s probably all I’ll say to that one.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Max it would be great if you could turn your video on and ask your question.

While Max is getting ready I might just throw another one to Greg.

Max Vardanega:

Yeah. I’ve put a few questions up there. I’m also some of the anonymous because I couldn’t work out how to attach my name.

So which question are you looking at?

Janine Bennett:

Just jump in Max. Whichever one you want to ask is fine.

Max Vardanega:

Okay. Well I guess generally my main concern is from a consumer point of view and I think we need to be really careful that what you are designing meets the consumer’s expectation in five years not the consumer’s expectation last year. Because if you have a look at things like the design of My Health Record I’m sure at one stage it was wonderful. But technology’s overtaken it and now it’s a really clumsy piece of work for consumers. And consumers can’t add to it the things that are important for them. So I think that it won’t be very long before consumers will want to log in to the residential aged care facility where they’ve got their mum and they’re going to want to look at how she went during the week. They’ll have all the appropriate authorities for access. They’ll want to see what the menu is. They’ll want to see what her current medication is, when’s the last time the doctor visited her and all that sort of stuff. So the questions I’ve been asking are really about consumers being a big part of this design.

Greg Keen:

It’s a great point and we’re certainly approaching the strategy with that in mind. We do need to think about future proofing. I guess the challenge we all have particularly in the technology sector is how quickly technology evolves. But we certainly want people like you involved in consulting and engaging with us on what that could look like.

Max Vardanega:

Yeah. I think the technology’s there now. I don’t think you need to have a really good understanding of where technology’s going because I’m sure you all do have that. I think the issue is that consumer expectation has increased at such a rapid rate that it has overcome the general understanding of many people within the aged care sector who are providers and all that sort of stuff. And they’ve tried their best but they were looking at meeting a standard of 20 years ago. So this time round they need to meet the standard that’s five years in front of them not the standard of today.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. Thanks Max. And I really appreciate that you put the customer at the centre of what we’re doing and you are 100% correct. And we also need to make sure that the consumer – and it doesn’t matter if they’re elderly because often they’ll have support systems of a younger generation and they’re used to doing things digitally for their banking or their buying online or retail purchases. So there’s a lot in their sphere of support system that are digitally savvy. And you’re correct. They have an expectation that they can use the same digital experiences that they’re used to in other areas of their life to support in aged care. So this is why we’ve started our conversation today. This is why we want to keep the user at the centre of what we’re doing. This is why we want to enable all the stakeholders in that value chain that’s going to deliver that outcome to come on this journey and get digitally connected with us. And we really appreciate that you’ve raised that and make sure that we keep it front of mind.

Any suggestions you have, like specifics – you had some real nuggets just there – I’d love you to put in your survey response. That way we can remember it and make sure we put it into our requirements.

Max Vardanega:

Just if I can use 30 more seconds. The picture I’ve got in my head is staff working in an RACF with an app and it’s on something the size of a Smartphone and they’re going around and everything from vital signs to the current menu, how many minutes they spent with Mrs Brown, all those things are going in and at exactly the same time that’s visible to the Department in Canberra, it’s visible to the owners of their business and those parts which permission has been given for is visible to the carers or substitute decision makers so that – all that stuff should just happen. And then caring staff can get on with caring and they just put the little machine back in their pocket and move into the next room. So that’s the sort of thought I’ve got about where this should all end up.

Fay Flevaras:

That’s right. Thanks Max. We appreciate the insights. And I think we’ve got one last question and that’s - - -

Janine Bennett:

I’m not sure we’ve got time for one last question I’m sorry. There are so many good questions still to be answered. We will absolutely get to those out of session and make sure we come back on those. They are some really excellent questions in there. One of the questions was in relation to the process for volunteering so we’ll reiterate that as we sort of close up.

Thank you first of all to Fay and to Greg and to Laura and also to Michael who wasn’t able to be with us but was very disappointed that he couldn’t make it. But the insights that we’ve gotten from all of you have been really valuable and we appreciate your marathon question and answer stint there. Thank you also for everyone who attended the webinar today. We look forward to hosting you at our future webinars. This is obviously our first event so as we evolve we want to make sure that the content we’re presenting is meaningful to you and that we have lots of opportunity to hear your thoughts so that it’s also informative for us.

In the spirit of improving our future events we’d really appreciate it if you would take the brief survey that will help us target our improvements best. You can participate in that survey using the QR code that’s on screen right now or we will also be sending an email link to all attendees after the event. So you’ll have that shortly and you can use the link in that email.

As we’ve mentioned already the video recording from today will be captioned. That will then be posted to the Health website. We’ll also collate the question themes and look to publish the answers to those on the site as well. When the video and the question and answers are up we will email you to let you know that they’ve been published and are live. Usually it takes a couple of weeks for the captioning to be done so that’s the timeframe you can anticipate.

If you have additional questions definitely put those in the survey comments or feel free to email us. You can reach us at the Digital Transformation Office. The email address is on screen there now. DTDOffice [at] health.gov.au. Or I know Fay is also happy to have people email her directly if they’d like to make a comment to her specifically.

For those people who are wanting to volunteer for codesign as Fay said we’ll include a link in the emails that go out that will tell you the process for the pioneers who would like to get involved in the journey really early.

Thank you so much for your time. We look forward to seeing you at the next tech talk in late May/early June. Greg, Fay, any closing words from you guys before we finish up?

Greg Keen:

Listen I’d just like to thank everyone for their involvement and engagement. It’s been great to spend almost more time engaging with people and answering questions than sort of a presentation upfront. So thanks everybody on a Friday afternoon for taking the time to join.

Fay Flevaras:

Exactly. I concur. I really appreciate everyone taking the time out on a Friday afternoon to come and speak with us and start our conversation. And I’m looking forward to working with you all in the sector. Thank you so much and have a lovely weekend.

[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘In Closing’, ‘Visit the Digital Transformation page on the Health website’, ‘Email us at DTDOffice [at] health.gov.au’, ‘Take the Event Survey’]

[End of Transcript]

 

Presentation slides

 

Slide presentation – Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar – 8 April 2022

This presentation contains the slides presented at the Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar for aged care and IT professionals on 8 April 2022. The webinar focused on our work to support a better-connected, sustainable and modern aged care IT network in the aged care sector.

 

Questions and answers

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