Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 9 April 2024

The second Tech Talk webinar for 2024 covered updates on upcoming activity on the Business to Government (B2G) Developer Portal, the Aged Care Taskforce Final Report, and the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard.

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Digital Transformation Tech Talk – 9 April 2024

The Department of Health and Aged Care's Digital Transformation Tech Talk webinar series provides regular updates on the work being done to create a better-connected aged care network that is consolidated, sustainable, automated and modern.

At Tech Talk #15, we shared our usual update on all things digital transformation, including upcoming activity for the Business to Government (B2G) Developer Portal.

The webinar included information about the Aged Care Taskforce Final Report and its funding recommendations for the aged care system, and a presentation from the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) about the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard, along with other program updates and a live Q&A.

Recording and transcript


Tech Talk

Digital Transformation for the Aged Care Sector

Tuesday, 9 April 2024


Janine Bennett

Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division 


Fay Flevaras 
First Assistant Secretary, Digital Transformation & Delivery Division

Lisa Murphy
Director, Standards, Connected Care Branch, Australian Digital Health Agency

Susan Trainor
Assistant Secretary, Funding Operations and Analysis Branch, Home and Residential Division, Ageing and Aged Care Group


[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’, ‘’, ‘Tech Talk #15’, ’09 April 2024’]

[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 and welcome to our Digital Transformation Tech Talk. This is our 15th webinar in our Tech Talk series for the aged care sector. My name is Janine Bennett and I’m the Engagement Lead for the digital transformation work underway in the Department of Health and Aged Care, and I’m delighted to welcome you today. Thanks to everyone for joining us.

I’m joining you today from the lands of the Ngunnawal and the Ngambri people and I’d like to recognise the traditional custodians of the land I’m on today, offer my recognition and respect to the people and families with connection to those lands around Canberra and its regions. I wish to also reflect our collective respect for First Nations people and their Elders as well as their continuing contribution to our culture and our country, and also acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are joining us today. It’s great to have you with us.

Before I hand things over the usual quick housekeeping. In the interest of transparency we’ve been having a few Webex issues today. IT support has assured us that we’re good to go for the event. But should you have any technical issues during the event today there is a dial in option that you can use as a backup to rejoin. You’ll find that phone number and the code on your meeting invite. It’s also on your screen now if you’d like to take a quick snapshot of that. Hopefully we won’t need it but it’s there if you need to get back in. In the event that things go horribly wrong and the system drops out for everyone we will email you at the registration address that you provided to us just to let you know that it’s happened and we’ll look for an opportunity to reschedule when the IT’s working a little better.

As always we’re recording today’s webinar. We’ll post the recording on our website in the next week or so along with the slide deck from today’s event. It will be up there online so you can refer back to the information that we cover today, or feel free to share it with others in your network. As always we’ll finish up today’s session with a Q&A. You can pop your questions into the Slido at any time. Typically you’ll see that Slido window at the bottom right hand corner of your Webex screen.

Basically once you put your question in it will be available for people to see. They can vote it up, vote it down. If you do submit a question and you’re happy to ask it live on camera you can join us on our virtual stage. So before we bring you up we’ll give you a warning so you can get ready. Our tech team will then do their magic in the background to get you ready to go to the main stage and ask your question directly to the panel. All you’ll need to do is to turn on your video and audio and ask away. If you’re happy to do that please remember to include your name when you submit your question so we know who you are and we can find you in the attendee list. If you’re feeling a bit shy today that’s cool too. You can go ahead and ask your burning question. Just post it anonymously or write ‘No stage’ when you submit it and I’ll go ahead and ask the question to the panel on your behalf.

This webinar we have also had a few questions submitted in advance so I wanted to thank our attendees who provided those. We got a couple of questions about Sparked and the FHIR data standard, and we’re happily going to talk about that in the agenda today and we have our friends from the Australian Digital Health Agency here to hit on that topic. You were also very curious about various elements of the Support at Home initiatives. We’re investigating answers to some of those questions offline and we’re also looking for an opportunity to get a representative from the Support at Home team to join us at an upcoming Tech Talk so we can really focus in on that very popular topic.

For today as always we’ll try and get to as many questions as we can. Feel free to add them throughout. We love to see what you’re curious about. Okay. Onwards. I’m pleased to introduce to you our host for the day, Fay Flevaras. Fay leads our Digital Transformation and Delivery Division that is building the technology that enables aged care reform for the sector. Fay is a skilled technologist and a committed public servant. She’s held leadership positions across banking, consulting and then more recently in Government. Over the course of her career Fay has taken on many large-scale transformation programs, delivering first of a kind digital capabilities. And that’s a little bit of a flavour of what she’s doing for Health now. Fay is heading up the digital transformation for aged care on behalf of the Department and she’s here to host this event today. I’ll see everyone again in Q&A but over to you Fay. Thank you.

Fay Flevaras:

Well thanks Janine for those kind words. And hello everybody. It’s hard to believe it’s been six weeks since we were last here. I must call out straight up that I’m struggling with my voice today so hopefully I can get through it. If I have a little bit of a coughing attack I’ll probably throw back to Janine. But here’s fingers crossed.

Welcome back to our regulars and to those joining us for the first time. It’s great to have you here in our Tech Talk community. Let’s take a quick look at today’s agenda. I’ll start with the usual transformation update where we talk about what our current status is, and we’ve also got a bit of a video today. It’s an update on our Business to Government Gateway Developer Portal that we’ve got out there. So really looking forward to that. It’s also a very welcome back to Australian Digital Health Agency. They’re usually a crowd favourite with us. So we’re delighted to have Lisa Murphy with us here with an update on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource. Many of you will know that as the FHIR standard for short. And then we have Susan Trainor from the Department with an update on the Aged Care Taskforce’s final report that went to Government and a bit of an explainer of some of the suggestions on how to enable more innovation in the aged care sector that was provided.

As always we’ll wrap up the webinar with our Q&A. And as Janine mentioned you can post your questions in the Slido as you go along. Sometimes we can see them and if it’s a topic that we’re presenting in the moment we might answer straight away, but otherwise we’ll save them all up for the end in the Q&A. Okay. So without further ado let’s get started.

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

For anybody new to our discussions I’ll start with a little bit of context of why we’re here and the work that we do. Briefly we’re in the business of digital transformation solutions that we build that enable aged care reform. The aged care reform started back in 2021 and by my guess it will continue to at least 2025. So right now we’re roughly at the halfway point of the reform. And so far we have developed digital solutions to support and enable a range of reforms and different measures and commitments. Some of our building foundations that we’ve done around digital transformation are two primary platforms called Government Provider Management System which is GPMS, which is our single provider portal that interacts with us in Government, and then our B2G platform, which is our Business to Government platform, which is where our software community can interact with us and start connecting their software to us to make the administrative burden on the sector less by ensuring they don’t have to double entry between our systems and the systems they already have in their own ecosystem. We also have a third platform which is the My Aged Care Portal today that we continue to introduce new enhancements to and new functionality based on the different measures.

So I’ve been especially busy in the sector this month as well. Can I get the next slide please. I’ve also been especially busy in the sector in the past month attending a few conferences and meetings and forums, really getting out there and speaking with lots of people, and heard a range of feedback on the work that we’re doing, different views and perspectives and some insights. Because it’s always handy for us to understand the things we do and how we work and what does it mean for you guys in the sector and the practicalities of you adopting some of the changes that we’re putting out there.

And so I came away with a few hot topics and themes that stood out for me around some of the things that are very front of mind for you in the sector. And I thought I’d share some of those with you guys today. So in no particular order these are some of the things that I heard. Artificial intelligence is definitely a topic that everyone’s talking about. They’re thinking about what it is and how it can be used and what role AI can play for providers delivering care but also how older Australians can access the care. So our draft Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy that’s out on the Department’s website does outline some of the ways that we’ve thought of that it could be potentially used, and the example I give is how can it maybe help write executive reviews on things or care notes, how does it summarise care notes practically in an easier way. But the use cases are endless and I think they will be evolving rapidly as people better understand what AI is and how it can be used. We at the Department, it’s very early days for us, and we’re evaluating and proceeding very carefully to make sure that it’s used in an appropriate way. But we’re attempting to stay on the pulse of innovation that is happening in the sector as well as how the broader Government is approaching AI and any potential regulation that might be put in play.

Emerging technologies is another topic of interest that I keep hearing about. AI is definitely the flavour of the month but truth be said a lot of new tech is popping up all the time these days with a strong focus on connected wearable devices, also embedded sensors. And there’s a whole bunch of other capabilities where technology plays that sit under a broad umbrella of what we call the Internet of Things and sensors and how things get connected. We’re seeing a lot of items falling into this category that are helping older people live more independently, safely and for longer in their homes. While our work on digital transformation isn’t building these devices specifically we do see how the IT industry advancements across health and aged care hold a lot of promise to support reform recommendations using emerging technologies. So let’s watch this space in this particular topic.

Interoperability is also a big discussion point. It’s clear from my conversations in the past month that you believe every Australian should have a seamless experience across the healthcare system and that interoperability between services is very important. We’re actively exploring the potential for connecting the provider experience across care systems especially in overlapping areas like aged care, veteran care and disability care. So that’s definitely a line that we’re looking at. And also to do that we need to make sure that we have agreed standardised data and to ensure that we’re sharing it safely across Government as well. So given that we know that aged care doesn’t kind of exist in isolation on its own and that depends a lot on the rest of the healthcare ecosystem, and in fact it’s one of the major touchpoints where various elements of care intersect, I think the interoperability agenda is very front of mind for people. And data is very important for actually being used around insights as well. So how do you get access to data? How do we speak the same language? How do we share data? So more on that. Especially we’ve got our agenda item later on from the ADHA.

And finally cybersecurity is the other topic that came very front of mind when we were chatting throughout the month. Privacy and information security when it comes to developing digital solutions for the aged care sector is definitely a hot topic for us. And we get lots of questions about how can we collectively rise to that challenge. Because we’re all connected. If we want to get connected digitally then we all need to have that same level of standard. So all of us in Government, providers, software vendors, consumers, we all need to be in the business of safeguarding the trust, privacy and security for people in Australia. And across Government in addition to all the usual regulatory checks that we have controls around we have additional controls around privacy and security and we’re looking at those data standards and frameworks very actively, as well as information sharing agreements, to make sure that all the data is stored safely and securely to keep the trust in the system strong and making sure that we’re only sharing with those that should be getting it.

So I hope you have enjoyed the themes that I heard. I’d like to just keep the conversations going. Please reach out if you feel that there’s any other hot topics and send those through so we can continue to use that to help inform where we spend our time and how we can come back with you all on some of these themes.

Now moving onto our digital transformation roadmap. Here we have our aged care IT portfolio roadmap. With this I am going to share my usual disclaimer. This is our technical delivery roadmap, the digital roadmap, not a commitment from Government. These slides represent what we’re working on right now but our work is subject to Government policy, planning and decisions and as such can be changed at any time. You might also notice that our timeline, which we typically try to project out at least six months, isn’t showing its usual forecast. We’re in a bit of a tricky place at the moment. We’re awaiting Budget decisions from Government. So while we await those formal announcements we’re holding back on putting the forward calendar. But needless to say for now I can share with you we are actively forward planning for the next financial year what we are proposing and working on and once we get some Government decisions this will be the first place that we share it and we’ll give you a very solid view of those commitments for the new financial year, hopefully in the next month. If not next month it will be the one after.

In the meantime I encourage you to keep just tuning in to these webinars because this will be the place where we give you this information as soon as we’re able to. So for now I’ll give you a little bit of the July takeaways from the slide here. We’re doing some minor enhancements on the Government Provider Management System including some enhancements to the provider operations reporting. We’re going to do a small enhancement on the Quarterly Financial Reporting to capture outbreak supplement reporting and there will be a 24/7 update on nursing reporting both for GPMS and for our Business to Government Gateway. We’ll be going live with the first API there for the software industry to be able to communicate that reporting to us automatically.

Preparation for the new Act with dormant functionality to support places and worker registration is being put in place ready for when we need it. It will not be turned on but we’re kind of working ahead of the curve. And GPMS self-service portal launches enabling self-service digital enhancements around maintenance of organisations and personal information those organisations have, and also regular reporting for determinations and notifications. And this is I think the first time we’ll be offering up a self-serve around being able to update those features. So really looking to avoid you guys picking up the phone and waiting on the call. Just get in there and change it yourselves. So very excited about those features.

Prior to July in the July release you’ll notice that this month for B2G we’re enabling providers to be able to consume an API in the production environment. As I said one of the first. That’s going to enable the streamlined reporting for 24/7 nursing. There are an additional four APIs that are available in our software testing environment for software industry and developers. That is the registered nurses API, there’s a provider management API, there’s a quality indicators one, and then there’s the authentication API. And so these four can be found in our developer portal today and people can go in and take a look and start their API development journey with us. So please give it a go. We would be excited to have more people join us.

Now you might go well how is this going to work? Well taking a closer look at what it takes to take your API journey with us, we have a bit of a video here, and I’m pleased to share the video features an interview between one of our sector partners who’s been on this journey with us to adopt API. His name is Tate Johnson. He’s the CTO for the LookOut Way. And he did a bit of an interview with our B2G Product Manager Steve Smith and they’re talking about his experience on codesigning the Business to Government Gateway API Developer Portal with us and how easy or hard it’s been for him to adopt it. So team if I can ask you to play the video. Let’s see if we can get the tech running.


[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Business to Government (B2G)’, ‘B2G Developer Portal: Overview & Interview with Tate Johnson (CTO, The LookOut Way)’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

§(Music Playing)§


Here at the Department of Health and Aged Care we have established a Business to Government or B2G API Gateway. B2G will support the aged care reforms by establishing a direct flow of information between aged care providers and Government. For providers this technology can reduce the time spent on administration, enabling workers to spend more time delivering direct and high quality care, improved data to inform and uplift care as well as streamlined transparent reporting that demonstrates the quality of care being delivered. For older people this means they can receive more direct care, experience an uplift in the quality of care and access better information, helping them make informed decisions about their care.

Establishing B2G wasn’t done in isolation. Through our sector partner group we have collaborated with aged care providers and software vendors to codesign a solution that will benefit both providers and older people. Since the launch of the B2G Developer Portal in September 2023 software vendors have been able to build and test their software against the API standards set by the Department before submitting their products through a conformance process. Once a vendor’s software achieves conformance they can consume the APIs in the production environment. Their products can also be released to aged care providers who can submit mandatory reporting via APIs in the B2G API gateway.

Hear what Tate Johnson, Chief Technology Officer at The LookOut Way and member of the sector partner group had to say about his experience with B2G and collaborating with the Department.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Tate Johnson’, ‘Chief Technology Officer’, ‘The LookOut Way’, ‘Steve Smith’, ‘B2G Product Manager’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, with images of Tate John and Steve Smith]

Steve Smith:

We’re going to have kind of a little bit of an interview style session. Got a few questions. So Tate I’ll leave it to you to introduce yourself firstly.

Tate Johnson:

So hey everyone. My name’s Tate and I’m the CTO at The LookOut Way. Having been a part of this group for ages it’s been exciting to kind of see this stuff come to life. And as Steve mentioned they invited me today to kind of talk candidly about what my experience was like.

Steve Smith:

Cool. And Tate you touched on it there. You have been part of the sector partners journey for quite a while. How have you found it more generally, the approach?

Tate Johnson:

I’ve really enjoyed it. Talking specifically about the API, I remember there was a codesign session and it was like a Miro board. There was all these questions around how to design this API. I’m a software developer by trade. I felt like my feedback was being heard, which has always been the promise of this group. And then to finally get a chance to play with the developer portal and kind of see lots of that stuff come through, it does make me feel like I’ve been heard. And it’s easy to talk today candidly when the decisions you feel that are being made are really good ones for the industry and for the people we’re ultimately caring for. So it’s been really good.

Steve Smith:

How did you find the developer portal and its general usability, look and feel and function?

Tate Johnson:

I evaluate lots of different integrations and APIs and so the key things I look for is how quickly can I get an idea of the shape. Because that ultimately then dictates sort of what the effort’s going to be or how you need to resource to handle that. It probably went above my expectations in terms of the amount of sort of diagrams and documentation that was in there. It was very easy to follow.

Steve Smith:

And I think I’ll jump down to the APIs if that’s okay with you Tate. So at the beginning of the year we let the first group of APIs out into the wild, into our software verification testing environment for people to be able to come in and start developing their software. Did you manage to successfully connect to the system and use any of the APIs that we have in there?

Tate Johnson:

I have actually had a good poke around and I’ve been able to make successful requests and get responses back. I was really happy with some of the design decisions that were made.

Steve Smith:

One of the things I’m interested to hear about is a hybrid FHIR approach that we’ve taken for quality indicators, and just your general thoughts on using that approach.

Tate Johnson:

In terms of the FHIR approach I’m a supporter of it. I think it makes sense to use what’s expected in industry for interoperability. I think it’s a good design position. I guess it gives me hope that as additional APIs come through if they keep following that format I think industry will be very happy with that.

Steve Smith:

The final thing that I wanted to talk to you about, the conformance and testing process that we have in place.

Tate Johnson:

Overall I’d see it as a pretty big step up from what’s been done previously. It gives me hope I guess going forward that conformance will be – it’s important to do, it is intensive, but at least it’s being made a bit easier which is quite good. On the whole I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing. It gives me a lot of hope. We can be fast at implementing these things for our customers as the Government and regulation changes. I’d love to see more home care stuff. At the moment I know it's all residential. I understand that it’s led by the Department. As soon as more home care stuff comes in we’ll be really excited.

§(Music Playing)§


For more information about B2G you can contact us through the email on your screen or visit our website.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Business to Government (B2G)’, ‘Email:’]


Fay Flevaras:

How great was that folks? I’m very excited. I want to say a big thank you to Tate for doing the interview with us and all of our sector partner community for their tireless efforts in helping us deliver solutions that work for us and for the sector. So that’s been very exciting. For anyone who would like to get involved a QR code and the email address is on screen to get more information about how our sector partner group works. Our April Business to Government Gateway release will deliver for aged care providers to report on critical areas of care. The release is planned to go out on the weekend starting the 20th of April. So that’s when we’ll be in production. Noting that B2G Developer Portal has been out in the real world for some time now already. So any developer or software group can get up online today. That’s And you can register your intent there and start coding against those APIs that we already have up in the development environment and start testing them in our test harnesses there. So everyone can look forward to the B2G team joining us again for our next Tech Talk in May to discuss the release and see how we go from there.

Up next we have our first featured speaker for today. Lisa Murphy joins us from the Australian Digital Health Agency. Lisa’s going to talk to us all about the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources or what everyone calls FHIR for short. For those who haven’t heard this term before FHIR is basically a set of rules and specifications for exchanging data between systems. And so the FHIR standard is very specific to the healthcare sector. And I would just like to hand over to Lisa and welcome you. Over to you.

Lisa Murphy:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)’, ‘Lisa Murphy (on behalf of Ryan Mavin)’, ‘Director, Standards’, ‘Connected Care Branch’, ‘Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA)’]

Thanks Fay. So I’m going to do the presentation today on behalf of Ryan Mavin who is the Branch Manager for the Connected Care Branch at the Agency. So my name’s Lisa Murphy. I’m the Director of Standards within that Branch. And today I’ll be giving you an overview of the National Healthcare Interoperability Plan and the Agency’s National Digital Health Standards Program.

So in the Standards Program we’re really responsible for the Aged Care Clinical Information Systems Project which I’ll give you a quick update on, and also a particular interest in FHIR as a standard as Fay was just explaining. And I’ll give you an update on the Sparked initiative and the benefits of being involved there. So next slide please.

So building on some of the themes that Fay obviously brought up in the last presentation healthcare interoperability really does support that safe and secure and efficient way to exchange information. So it needs to involve an ecosystem of connected care providers that share seamlessly high-quality data with easily understood meaning. So the National Healthcare Interoperability Plan was published in 2023 after all Health executives endorsed the plan. So it really provides a pathway to a more interoperable health system and includes both public and private systems. So the goal of the plan is to enable access to healthcare when and to where it is needed and to harness the power of health information to drive that whole of person care.

So we have to also remember that Australia is starting from a solid base and has some key foundational pieces in place already. So the plan goes to identify five key priority areas that will foster that foundation and create a more connected healthcare system. It really sets the direction for a nationally coordinated future state and leverages current activities and creates opportunities for future innovation.

So in the plan there are 44 actions. These actions are categorised into immediate, ongoing, short term and medium term. So that gives the span of the lifecycle of the plan. Again the five priority areas. Identity, standards, information sharing, innovation and benefits. So if we can just go to the next slide please.

So the Council for Connected Care was established to provide strategic advice and oversee implementation of the plan itself. The Council’s objectives are really to facilitate and support the implementation of the plan, but really is also to include identifying opportunities to accelerate interoperability in various parts of the health system and identify ways to harness these opportunities. It’s really to promote and garner support for digital health initiatives that drive the connected care agenda and it’s really useful to identify barriers to achieving interoperability and ways to overcome them.

So the Council for Connected Care has about 31 senior officials. So that’s been drawn from health and care continuum. And it has digital health technology sector and academics included as well who we recognise are critical to actually enabling and progressing the interoperability agenda. So the Council has met four times to date and the next meeting is in May and that focus will be on information sharing.

So the next part of the presentation I’ll focus on an update on the Aged Care Clinical Information System Standards. So if I could just go to the next slide please.

Now I know the Agency has previously provided updates to the group on this project but just as a refresher the Agency is delivering this project on behalf of the Department of Health and Aged Care and it’s in response to two specific recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. So the project specifically addresses that every approved provider uses a digital care management system including an electronic medication management system meeting a standard set by the Australian Digital Health Agency and be interoperable with My Health Record. So at the core the project is really to support the uplift of the clinical information systems used in residential aged care homes to a recommended minimum system standard to support interoperability and connected care. If we go to the next slide please.

So to really understand the benefits to the aged care sector and to support understanding why standards and particularly standardisation are important to the sector the Agency developed in collaboration with clinicians, providers and industry some supporting principles and quality statements. So the purpose of these high level statements is really to articulate to the aged care sector and clinicians the benefits of the clinical information systems adhering to recommended requirements. There are five key principles with supporting quality statements and they really have been used to drive the project.

The project will have three key deliverables. The first is complete and is the gap analysis or environment scan. So we built this gap analysis on a framework to encourage co-design and collaboration. Digital health standards were assigned to six broad categories. So connections to national systems, for example the My Health Record. The second being standard pay load formats for exchange, for example FHIR. The third being standards for point to point information transport methods, for example a secure messaging delivery system. Number four being standards for local software controls, so local cyber controls. Five being standards for on screen display of clinical terms, for example clinician facing language. And the final category being standards for terminology code sets, for example SNOMED.

So the categories really just provided a structured approach and a way to address a range of topics. The aim of the gap analysis was to identify publicly available specifications and standards that would be suited to the aged care clinical information system. At the moment the gap analysis environment scan has been sent to our National Standards Advisory Group, the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare for final validation. We’ve had a number of focus groups with a number of software vendors as well to ensure that we’re on the right path with those categories and the framework we’ve applied to the work.

The second deliverable for the project will be recommended minimum system requirements for residential aged care homes. This document is currently being drafted and we’ll have consultations scheduled shortly to finalise the requirements. The primary audience for this document will be developers.

And the third and final deliverable is an implementation roadmap. We’re just beginning to put together the consultations that will progress this work but the roadmap will focus on two key areas. The first being change and adoption and the second being any standards development that has been identified. If I could go to the next slide please.

So this slide simply shows the achievements of the program to date. What’s really impressive is that we held some co-design workshops to validate the principles and quality statements and we had an impressive 130 people attend and contribute. And those people were across the aged care sector including jurisdictions, clinical peaks, Government organisations, providers and clinicians. We’ve also completed the first draft of the Aged Care Clinical Information System Standard and associated deliverables and so we’re well on our way for completion in 2024.

The next steps for us is webinars to allow the aged care sector to have input into the recommended minimum requirements and the implementation roadmaps. We really want to keep the co-design happening that has been happening through the development to date. And we also want to do some more consultations on the minimum system requirements and the roadmaps themselves.

So as I mentioned before the products will be released in late 2024 and we’ll be in contact and there will be some communications around when the next webinars are scheduled for. And we’d love you all to be involved.

The next slide please. So I just wanted to give an overview on the Digital Health Standards Program here at the Agency. So this is kind of our bread and butter. The Agency is really actively engaged with other countries and a number of standard development organisations and we’re getting the message that Government needs to take a greater role in all of these organisations. We’re building closer relationships with standard development organisations both locally and internationally and we have formalised agreements with a number of local SDOs including HL7 Australia and Standards Australia.

We’re currently working on five key relationships. SNOMED International – so the Agency’s role here is to act as the national release centre for SNOMED CT and provide the NCTS. And the Agency also has membership on the general assembly and member forum of SNOMED International. The second relationship we’re working with is HL7 Australia. So the Agency currently has an MoU with HL7 AU and it’s a tier one member and has engaged with HL7 on ongoing education and training initiatives for FHIR. Standards Australia – we have a statement of intent with Standards Australia and we’ve established a work plan with points of collaboration and support. We’re active members also of their working groups and committees. IHE International – we’re building closer and closer relationships with that organisation as well. And finally GS1. The Agency has a longstanding relationship with GS1 at a local and a global level.

So I do appreciate the challenges of developing and evolving standards that are fit for purpose to solve real world problems. What we really want to get across here is all the standards are pieces of a puzzle but we need to work together to get the big picture or it won’t come together. The Agency is taking our role in stewarding standards very seriously and we’ve established the National Digital Health Standards Program to provide leadership, orchestration and stewardship that is required nationally to progress the standards agenda. Next slide please.

FHIR as we’ve all alluded to. One of the most important of the standards within this complex space as we look to enable connected care in Australia is FHIR which is managed by the standards development organisation HL7. The acronym for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource or FIHR is built around the concept of resources. Fundamentally the aim is to build a base set of resources that either by themselves or when combined satisfy the majority of common use cases. FHIR resources aim to determine the information contents and the structure for core information set that is shared by most implementations. It will often reference other standards such as terminologies from SNOMED, identifiers from GS1 or observations from LOINC that help define the information.

FHIR delivers faster application development and interoperability plus boosts information sharing in healthcare, especially on mobile platforms through its flexible and scalable approach to problem solving and interchange of data. So what that means in Australia is – the next slide please.

So to help speed the FHIR implementation along in Australia the Sparked FHIR accelerator program was established. So the Sparked program is a collaboration between the Agency, the Department of Health and Aged Care, CSIRO and HL7 AU. Sparked is one of the flagship programs delivering under the standards program at the Agency and is already delivering significant work to help define resources we need to ensure that we can easily share and use data within and across our health system.

Sparked is based on community and acceleration. This community is comprised of Government, technology partners, provider organisations, peak bodies, practitioners and domain experts. What we are accelerating is the creation and use of national FHIR standards and specific related standards in healthcare information exchange. So Sparked is producing a number of outputs but what’s really important is to remember it’s got a core dataset for interoperability, it’s got two FHIR implementation guides, one for AU core and one for AU e-requesting, some value sets for terminology for pathology and radiology and testing, validation and piloting of datasets and IGs.

What we really need to do is ensure that all sectors are involved in the accelerator to ensure that FHIR standards meet as many people’s needs as possible. We don’t want to consider standards development or implementation as silos. We need to build consistency across sectors and across a whole system in order to see rewards for patients, clinicians, businesses and overall to the healthcare system. The Agency driver is to provide consistent and ongoing leadership to the standards agenda. The standards program here at the Agency is focused on ensuring we have effective communities to develop standards but has a particular focus on the adoption of all relevant standards. This is how we’re going to achieve the Connected Care agenda.

So I would encourage you all to get involved into Sparked. My team can share the resources and confluence pages about how you join and when the next meetings are. The next face to face meeting of the working groups will be held in Sydney in May and it provides a great opportunity to get involved and to ensure that aged care is a part of the use case discussion that’s ongoing with the Sparked collaboration.

So that is a brief update on what we are doing here at the Agency on the Interoperability Plan, the Aged Care Clinical Information Systems Project and the Sparked collaborative. So with that I’ll hand back to Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Lisa. That was a wonderful overview of the work that you guys are doing at ADHA and more specifically around standards and FHIR. And yes I’m definitely on the bandwagon on the FHIR work that everyone’s doing more broadly in digital health and I am trying to come up with a couple of use cases that are aged care related that we might be able to put up as use cases for HL7 to vote on for the next round. So if anyone’s got any ideas please let us know. I think I’ve got a couple of days this week to get back to them on so any help there would be greatly appreciated so that we can prioritise aged care in the HL7 ecosystem and start working out how FHIR can be extended to some of the aged care resources in the information standards. So thank you so much. We might keep moving on.

And in case anyone missed the headlines the Aged Care Taskforce Report was handed out last month and the report made some recommendations to Government around aged care funding. Given Australia’s ageing population it’s essential that aged care funding keeps up with increased demands for aged care services. And given how often the topic area comes up in my Tech Talk series here I’m pretty confident this next presentation from Susan is going to be a bit of a favourite. I believe this is your first Tech Talk with us Susan. Don’t worry. They’re a wonderful community. They’re very nice. So over to you.

Susan Trainor:

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Update: Aged Care Taskforce’, ‘Susan Trainor’, ‘Assistant Secretary’, ‘Funding Operations and Analysis Branch’, ‘Home and Residential Division’, ‘Ageing and Aged Care Group’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Wonderful. Thanks Fay and thanks everyone for having me. Really excited to join you all for the first time. So we’ll just jump straight to the next slide. So as you may well know the Aged Care Taskforce was established at Budget last year and it was established to review aged care funding options for the future that are sustainable, fair and equitable with a goal to help create a more vibrant and innovative aged care sector. During its six months of operation the Taskforce met every month and it also consulted really widely. That included a written submission process in August last year in which more than 180 submissions were received, 11 stakeholder roundtables which were facilitated by individual Taskforce members, and that included representatives from more than one third of aged care beds across the country. COTA and OPAN on our behalf conducted 12 town halls and a nationwide survey of older people and their families and then the Taskforce members themselves engaged with their own networks. So each Taskforce member was appointed with a specific expertise in mind that meant they could contribute valuable perspectives.

So following that consultation process and significant deliberations by the Taskforce they handed their final report to Government right at the end of last year and Minister Wells released that report on the 12th of March this year. And it has attracted quite a lot of attention as Fay mentioned and started to encourage quite a lot of debate around the key topics. So we’ll just jump to the next slide which will cover some of the key challenges that the Taskforce identified and the real need for change.

So the Taskforce Report identified a real case for change and a need to move away from the current funding model to something that would help to get the sector future ready. In particular within that we’ve noted that Australians are living longer than ever before which is a great thing but it does mean that we need more and better aged care services available for a population of people over 85 that is expected to grow to more than three million people over the coming decades. With the need for more aged care there is a need for more money to fund that aged care. And that funding includes improving access to in-home care, it includes funding to build additional high quality aged care rooms, and it also includes more immediately the need to address the current funding viability issues that the sector faces. So we know that more than half of residential aged care providers are currently losing money and so that is an immediate need to address that both so that the sector can be viable but so that it can then undertake the investment that’s needed to do that additional building.

At the same time for older people the system must provide quality care and the Taskforce identified that the current system is really complex and there’s a need for an aged care funding system that is simpler and more transparent for people to understand what you get for what you pay for. The Government has a really important role in funding the sector as you can see on the pie charts on the slide. Currently the Government funds 75% of residential care costs and 95% of in-home care costs. But it’s not sustainable to continue on that sort of trajectory. Intergenerational report last year found that without reform Government spending on aged care is projected to grow from 1.1% of GDP today to 2.5% of GDP in 40 years from now which is a rapid rate of growth both in real terms but also as a share of the total Government spend.

At the same time the Taskforce found that older people are wealthier than previous generations and part of that is due to the maturing of the superannuation system where we’re starting to see people approaching aged care age who had the benefit of 30 plus years of superannuation accumulation. We’ve also got a population of older Australians with around 80% home ownership rates. So the Taskforce found that this meant there was an opportunity to seek a greater contribution for those with the means to do so as part of its reform package. So we’ll just jump to the next slide now.

The Taskforce made 23 recommendations in total. These were guided by seven principles which we then categorised into three main groups. The first of these is to support older people to age in place. So that means remaining at home for as long as they wish and can do so safely. That’s consistent with what we heard through the Taskforce and through other channels is increasingly the preference of older people that they would prefer to remain in their home and receive aged care services in their home wherever they can. Noting that that’s not always possible. The next three principles talk through the need for funding models to be equitable and sustainable. So that comes back to our point about easy to understand, equitable, meaning that the contributions made by individuals are fair for what they are paying but also equivalent between different people based on perhaps how they pay, the type of services they receive and so on.

The Taskforce recommended that the Government would continue to be the major funder of aged care – that’s particularly the case for their care costs – and that the role of older people should be focused more on what we call everyday living or hotelling and accommodation costs. And those are the sorts of things that people pay all throughout their lives, so their house. Their sort of everyday living expenses will be included, things as simple as toilet paper that we all pay for through our lives but there was a sense that it is fair to ask for a continued contribution for those sorts of things, that that’s just a continuation of life’s journey effectively, and that the residential aged care sector should be able to access enough capital to improve the quality of accommodation in particular. We know there’s a really large looming capital gap at the moment where the sector’s in need of around $37 billion out to 2050 to build and maintain aged care rooms to deliver on that quality aged care accommodation.

And then I think the third group, quality innovation and transparency is probably where I’ll focus for the remainder of my time. The aged care system – look we think it’s really important, or the Taskforce thought it was really important that reform should deliver person-centred quality care. And that’s including a skilled workforce and that is reflecting the fact that there’s not a desire to just put more money into the system for no change of outcomes. There’s a real desire to say funding delivers and drives continued improvement of the aged care system. Innovation was a really important point for the Aged Care Taskforce. They felt that not just innovation for its own sake but innovation that improves the services delivered by the sector, that delivers innovative approaches to care that helps residents to see real value for money in the services that they receive, but also they had a real interest in what it might do for the interaction between the health and hospital system. So not just someone’s journey through in-home care and then potentially their journey through residential aged care but how that interacts with the care they receive from their GP, where they need to go into hospital, trying to make that a – it will never be a totally seamless journey but at the moment they’ve really identified a lot of friction points in that space. And whilst the Taskforce did not make specific recommendations in that space, it identified it as an area for further work.

And then the last point was about transparency and accountability for how aged care funding is received and spent but also minimising the regulatory burden. So we did hear from a number of providers a perspective that we ask for a lot of data and sometimes we ask for the same data in lots of different ways. And so one of the things that the Taskforce suggested was making sure that this sort of reporting is genuinely adding to transparency and it’s not asking you all to incur too great of a regulatory burden cost for no actual real benefit to the sector or to participants in the sector. So I’ll just jump to the next slide.

And then I’d just like to briefly focus on particularly recommendation 19. The Taskforce made several recommendations in that innovation and transparency space, noting that financial viability issues and reporting requirements are currently limiting providers’ ability to innovate. We heard through consultation a desire to be able to do innovation but a real sense that at the moment the financial position of the sector means that all the money is sort of focused on maintaining the status quo and there’s a real barrier to innovation. And so the Taskforce really did see this opportunity to improve innovation and space for innovation by addressing those viability and sustainability issues. So effectively that’s a precondition to an innovative culture but there was also a sense that more could be done to improve innovation, that it’s not just a money thing.

There was a real sense that it would be great to be able to find ways to share innovation best practice and to embed an innovative culture across the sector. So one of the things that the Taskforce considered would be useful in that would be a role of Government in amplifying good innovative practice to encourage those who are already being innovative to find ways that they can share that with other providers and effectively raise the standard across the sector.

One potential way that the Taskforce recommended doing that would be to task the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission as an agency that could promote adoption of best practice across the sector. That would be based on what they see day to day engaging with providers on the ground. They have a good understanding generally of the operations of businesses and would have much more latitude than other parts of Government to understand operations and identify and encourage innovation where practices that could be shared more widely are found. But we are I think still very much open to other ways to deliver on these ways to develop and scale innovative care models. So I think that the Taskforce identified some ways but also noted that there’s a real appetite to continue to drive this once that viability piece has been settled. So I’ll just jump to the next slide.

I guess the key question that many, many people have for us now is what’s next? So it’s really important to note that at this point this is a report to Government and with the exception of the recommendation that the Taskforce made to not introduce a new tax at this stage the Government has not responded to the recommendations of the Taskforce. They are carefully considering them. There’s a lot to this report and I think it’s probably fair to say there’s a lot of additional detail. So the Taskforce made some really great recommendations but there’s a lot of detail that would need to be worked through before any of these recommendations would be I think ready to roll on the ground. So there will be a continued need for us to work with providers, older people and other stakeholders on the details as the work progresses towards a response and then from a response towards implementation and having something that both delivers on the intended goals of the Taskforce but is also workable for the broader sector. So that is something we’re really eager to hear from those attending today as well as the wider aged care community as we continue to progress on this work this year.

So I think everyone’s really keen to get into the Q&A Fay so I’ll pass back to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Thank you so much Susan. And I found that really informative. Reading the report is one thing but when you do your explainer over the top it gives it so much more context. So thank you so much for that. If anyone’s got any Q&A around the report now is the time for you to slip it into that Slido because we’ve got Susan here on the panel with us to help us answer it. In the meantime I’ll ask Janine and any of the other panel members to join us back up on stage. We do have a few Q&A items in the list already.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Q&A’, ‘1 Type your question into Slido’, ‘2 Click ‘Submit’ to post your question’, ‘3 If you see a question you like, VOTE IT UP’, ‘Happy to ask your question directly to the panel?’, ‘Simply use your name when submitting your question in Slido and we’ll invite you to join us on our ‘virtual’ stage’, ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’]

Janine I’m going to throw to you to start with but I just thought I might bring everyone’s attention to some of the links that Gary’s already put into the Slido. I think there was a question around how they could become a sector partner and where they can find the recordings. And so I think you guys have already answered those ones.

Janine Bennett:

We’ve answered those two. We’ll put all of those links into the post-event email as well just in case you have trouble accessing from here. The other thing you can do, really easy, is Google ‘Digital Transformation Tech Talks’ or ‘Digital Transformation Sector Partners’ or go to the Department of Health and Aged Care website and search for both of those terms. It comes up nice and easy for you. So hopefully anyone who’s interested can get into those.

So we do have some good questions already today. Thank you to Fay, Lisa and also Susan for being on the panel with us. I’ll start by just issuing a bit of a stage warning to a couple of our very popular questions and our people who are asking those. So first of all if we can queue up Stuart Smith, Emma Hossack and also Michelle Jones. So we will get those folks ready to come to stage.

In the meantime as our tech team are setting you guys up just keep in mind that when you come to stage we’ll just get you to turn your camera on if you can and definitely your audio. To get us started though I’d like to open with an anonymous question. So this one actually is from Rob Slattery. So it’s not anonymous. Rob’s in an environment today that isn’t conducive to turning on video so I’m going to go ahead and ask the question on his behalf. The question is:

Q:        Will the Agency be considering ambient listening for MAC – My Aged Care I’m guessing that is – and the providers to assist with transition between customers, providers and the Agency?

Fay Flevaras:

I think that’s to assist with translation between customers, providers and the Agency. And I think I’m going to need a little bit more information on this one. So I think Rob, ambient listening, it’s not something I’m familiar with. I probably should. But I don’t know Susan if you’re across that at all. But otherwise maybe can you post another piece in and do a little bit more of an explainer to me because I’m not exactly sure what the ask is. So I don’t think I can answer that one.

Janine Bennett:

I think that might be one of our emerging technologies that we were talking about earlier. Hopefully we can get a little bit more detail and we can come back to that one. In the meantime how are we going getting Stuart ready for stage? Can we bring Stuart up? So just for the information of our panellists Stuart has a comment and a couple of questions all quite popular in terms of their interest to the audience. So one is around the emerging tech and then we have a couple of questions discussing the similarities across the care economy providers in aged care and disability and then also in relation to the FHIR standard. So do we have - - -


Janine unfortunately it looks like we may have lost Stuart. We’re hoping you might be able to read his questions off on his behalf.

Janine Bennett:

All right. Let me bring those up and we’ll get those going. Thanks.

Give me one sec. Okay. So first of all there was a comment.

Q:        Great to see recognition of a range of technologies that are being considered by the Department to ensure maintained independence in older adults. Keen to see a deeper dive into emerging technology in future webinars.

Did you want to respond to that comment at all Fay?

Fay Flevaras:

Say it again. Sorry.

Janine Bennett:

So effectively Stuart’s just saying that they’re keen to see a deeper dive into emerging technologies in future webinars. Do you think that’s something we could accommodate?

Fay Flevaras:

I think we could definitely do that. And if anyone’s got any innovative examples of things that have worked – I know there was a provider who won an award during this month’s ITAC conference for using robots in the residential facility. I think we could definitely curate some examples of where innovation with technologies has helped to reduce administration of some form that would then free up time for people to do more face-to-face physical caring. So yeah absolutely. I think we can do that one.

Janine Bennett:

Great. And then the next question was around the overlap with NDIS. So Stuart says:

Q:        Regarding the technologies to enable independence how much communication is occurring between aged care and disability?

I think that’s another one for you Fay.

Fay Flevaras:

It might be but I’m curious to see – just a quick question. I shouldn’t really ask all these ones on the fly but I’m going to anyway. So Susan in the Aged Care Taskforce was there any NDIS discussion at all when you guys had some of that?

Susan Trainor:

I mean not within the Taskforce Report itself. The Taskforce did of course have regard to the broader social services space. That included relationship to disability as well as to of course the pension system. That’s a really important interaction with the aged care funding model. There was a parallel NDIS Taskforce over at PM&C at the time and the two Taskforces did work together to try and make sure they were complementary in everything they did.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Lovely. And I can say that there was a policy proposal last year in the MYEFO round of funding that I have led around ICT harmonisation in the care sector. There is an active piece of work that we’re doing around looking at some of the technology, digital platforms that we’ve created, being GPMS and B2G, and the potential reuse of those across the NDIS, NDIS Quality Safety Commission and DVA, the Department of Veterans Affairs. That is currently in progress and I can definitely say that we can bring that in a few months to this agenda but also maybe as a topic area in our sector partner community to get some input from everyone.

But the answer to the question, probably not as much as we would like around discussions. I think we can definitely be working with our counterparts in the business. I think they’re doing a little bit more around policy harmonisation as well but nothing sort of in the development stage at the moment. So all around the discovery and ideation stages.

Janine Bennett:

Great. And then the last question from Stuart was an interest in understanding better the role of FHIR technologies that will enable older Australians to remain living independently in their own homes – so you can see a real theme from Stuart’s comments around independent living – rather than being focused more on residential clinical care settings. I think this would be one for Lisa and then maybe a follow up from Fay.

Lisa Murphy:

Sure. I think we have to remember that FHIR is a standard. So it’s agnostic of the setting that it’s being used for. So the context in which I provided an update about the Aged Care Clinical Information Systems had a specific remit to focus on residential aged care facilities but the same principles and standards and technologies apply agnostic of setting. So I would say that FHIR plays the role in enabling patients to manage their healthcare information and to securely share it with their healthcare providers and others. So that’s the benefits of sort of using FHIR as a standard there but it is agnostic to the setting in which you’re using it for.

Fay Flevaras:

And just to extend on that one so far as very much a clinical standard, but you do reference in your question around aged care and its care and there is another standard called Intereye that actually interplays with I think the FHIR standard nicely. It does have a little bit more around the different types of care levels that you would more want to track in a care setting as opposed to a health setting. And so we are actively talking in the Department. Because there’s not really one standard to rule them all in my mind and so it’s about having that data dictionary or lookup that says how does one language map to the next language and we use the most appropriate one depending on the information domain that we need to exchange data with. So I’m getting quite technical here a little bit but it is about then having that catalogue of APIs that we have out there in the software community and just having clear indicators to go these ones were clinical APIs but actually these ones are care APIs and here’s the standard that we used here. And so I think the more that we can align and understand each other I think the more flexible we’ll be able to be around how to exchange information in a meaningful fashion.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thank you for those answers. Okay. So we will bring Emma up to stage now if she’s available. And in the meantime we’ll just ask a quick anonymous question.

Q:        How can a software vendor get access to the test environment?

And I’m assuming Fay this is the B2G environment so that question is over to you.

Fay Flevaras:

Okay. So the B2G environment – and I think the team did put the link there I think. Maybe not. But otherwise I’ll ask the team to post the link to the website. It absolutely has the process by which you guys can register your intent to be able to just create an account. That’s where you’ll start the process of identifying who you are, authenticating yourself and actually then going through a conformance process. Whilst you go through that process you do have access to all of the APIs that we have in the catalogue and all of the resources there to start coding and testing against those APIs. You won’t get to production. You don’t get to the end until you’ve passed your conformance process and you’ve proven that you can connect with us in a safe, secure way, and that you sign up to all of the rules that we’ve put in place to say that you will keep the systems private and confidential and safe on your end. And it’s all part of that raising the tide in the community to make sure that everyone’s managing the security and privacy of the data of the customers that we hold at the same level, security posture level. So hopefully the team will plug that in for you. But yes you can get started on the journey now. Look there it is. Gary’s put it up. Thanks Gary.

Janine Bennett:

Excellent. Thank you. And Emma’s joined us on stage. Emma feel free to turn on your audio and video. And Emma has a comment around the interoperability journey.

Fay Flevaras:

Do we have her?

Janine Bennett:

I’m thinking she may not be getting it. All right. I’m going to go ahead and ask on Emma’s behalf. So Emma mentioned that the scale of what Fay you and your team are doing in transformation is breathtaking. That’s a nice compliment.

Q:        Can it be leveraged through the Agency and other areas of the Department of Health and Aged Care to speed up deliverables, leverage great work and put concrete shape into interoperability for all of health including aged care?

That’s an ambitious question.

Fay Flevaras:

I know. Wouldn’t expect anything less from Emma. Go for it Lisa.

Lisa Murphy:

I was just going to say I think it’s just an opportunity to point out the collaboration obviously that the Agency and the Department of Health have been having through this whole process to do with the B2G and the work that we’re now doing on the My Aged Care and My Health Record kind of work. So I think we are learning from each other if I can say that Fay. I don’t know if you want to add anything onto that.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. Definitely. So I think this is where ADHA does in the background to us assist in actually executing the conformance and doing that piece. I think that as a platform though, the B2G Gateway as a platform and as a method of interacting with the sector, I do believe there is some opportunity to extend that more broadly and put other APIs there that go beyond aged care. I’m currently in discussions with another area of the Department over in the TGA and the pharmaceuticals area and so forth. The platform is agnostic in that sense and given that it’s been codesigned I will keep hitting up my colleagues over in the digital health space. Maybe when they get past the first Sparked phase and they want to start putting up what the first version of the catalogue could look like I would love to see that we start leveraging the B2G Gateway for that. So let’s see. Watch this space. I think all of you in the community should advocate out in your respective areas and I’m happy to try and publish up a catalogue that’s outside of the aged care domain and see how it might work more broadly.

Online Audience Member:

Thanks Fay. It’s Emma here. I’m sorry. The video is – I don’t know what’s going on. But anyhow thank you very much for that answer. And to be clear I wasn’t trying to insinuate that the Agency and the Department weren’t working together at all. What I was trying to say, perhaps not very well, is that because you’ve been able to go so fast, perhaps because of this format which is a first of course, and you’ve got so many people involved and you’ve been able to shape it, you’ve kind of leapfrogged a lot of other areas that I know as an industry we’re involved in. And because you’ve done that, and maybe unexpectedly but you’ve done it, it would be marvellous rather than having two catalogues, product catalogues, if there’s one that’s working can we please use that? It makes it so much easier for industry and it means that all the agencies and departments don’t have to divide all of their skills and can really focus on getting stuff done and not really replicating infrastructure.

And the other thing was Stuart I think it was said that it would be great if we could obviously leverage what is happening in this area for NDIS or is that intended. And I kind of always assumed it had been and I should have said that in my question as well. But it’s such a good point because on the call as well there’s a lot of people who are involved with aged care at home rather than just the resi care which all seems to get the focus despite the numbers going the other way. Far more people at home looking for home care. So if you’re doing anything as far as focuses and timelines it would be so great if we could now start leveraging what you’ve got and put some shape into the care at home, similar to NDIS too, that kind of model.

Fay Flevaras:

Yeah. So on the ICT harmonisation space absolutely. I think that’s where we could leverage GPMS and B2G in NDIS and Veterans. I think as you guys are talking to other counterparts, my counterparts in the sector when they’re doing work, it would be great to keep it front of mind with them and go ‘Well have you thought about leveraging this?’ It requires I think a few people pulling in the same direction. We are having conversations but needs I think a little bit more to get it across the line. I think Lisa we can take it as a takeaway to see is there a possibility of there’s a use case that you guys might be doing that maybe we can accelerate through this forum. And if anyone’s got any suggestions let us know.

Lisa Murphy:

Yeah. I think we’ve got some. I took an action before listening to you Fay as well that maybe we can connect about potential collaborations between our catalogue for example and lots of things that we are doing that we can accelerate for each other I think is a great point.

Fay Flevaras:

Great. Thanks Emma.

Janine Bennett:

Thanks very much Emma. Okay. Just a reminder to bring Michelle to stage for my team. And I’ll also give a quick heads up to Brandon and George who we’ll queue up for the stage after that. In the meantime we’ve had a little bit more detail from Rob about what he means by ambient listening. So it’s related to the way in which a clinician does not need to take written notes crafted during the engagement with the customer or client. It enables AI based translation of what has been heard into notes which can then be included in the client health record. So that is that sort of note taking element that you had mentioned during the Tech Talk Fay. Did you want to add any other comments about that?

Fay Flevaras:

No not really, in the sense that I think there’s a number of ways that AI can work. Some people see it as they’ll take notes and then get an AI to summarise it. I think that doesn’t actually stop the person having to do the administration in the moment, or they’ve got to remember it, they’ve got to walk out the room and remember everything. I think there is a notion that you can just bring it in, turn it on and let it hear the interaction and let it summarise it itself. I think that’s definitely an experiment that someone could try and see how it goes. AI I think is going to be one of those things where you’re going to have to test and learn and iterate in a very safe way and figure out where it applies and where it doesn’t. And I don’t think it should be in its first instance used anywhere where it makes a decision on behalf of a human. It’s there as an enabling technology not as a replacement. But that would only be a little bit more context and insight into some of the comments I make.

Janine Bennett:

Great. And we’ve got Michelle. Michelle if you’re able to turn on video that would be great but definitely audio. For the panel Michelle is a community home support provider. Michelle welcome.

Online Audience Member:

Hi. Can you hear me?

Janine Bennett:

We can.

Online Audience Member:

I’m not sure if I can turn the camera on.

Janine Bennett:

You have. We’ve got you there.

Online Audience Member:

Okay. All right. Sorry I’m in an open office. I’m a CHSP provider. We provide services to clients in their own home, domestic assistance, personal care etcetera. We use a third party software vendor and we’ve often talked to them about these changes that are coming and they said ‘Yep. Tell us what you need from us and we’ve got an undertaking that we will enable you to be able to do your job’. There is no ‘Let’s come and collaborate’ or ‘Let’s see what’s going on’. It’s ‘Whatever is done and dusted, we’ll do the reporting for you so that you can…’ – whatever the requirement is so that we can function. So while I want to get involved I’m not really at that level. I support the system. We do testing. But how do I get involved?

Fay Flevaras:

So there’s a number of things. It really comes down to pretty much the time you’ve got. But maybe just invest a little bit of time and sign yourself up as a sector partner to start with. You can come for a couple and then when you see a topic area that you think might be relevant you can get an understanding of the process or the method that we go through. When we’re going to enhance our system, it might be – let’s just take the 24/7 nursing. Maybe that’s not a good example for you. Maybe the approved provider operations reporting. I can’t remember which of the exact regulatory reporting we’ve put out that maybe you get in at the moment and have to provide us. But there will come a time when we want to offer up an API where your software vendor can connect to us. So instead of you getting onto the portal and keeping track of it once in your own system and maybe twice in ours, that’s where the software provider can connect to us automatically.

So we’ve really got to find what’s that next project that we’re going to do together and I think post-Budget I’m definitely sure we’ll find one for the Support at Home environment where we can then get your software provider to go ‘The next lot of regulatory reporting that we’re going to have to do to Government in the CHSP space will be X. Can I get involved in designing how we do that and so we can automatically enhance it to Government?’ I’m thinking at the moment there probably hasn’t been too many in the last six months opportunities that have not been outside of that residential aged care facility space. And so I don’t know. Do you guys do quality indicator reporting? I don’t think so. Yeah. So I think most of the new reforms that we’ve done to date have been in that residential side as Emma has said. I think you’ll find post-Budget we’ll start focusing more on the CHSP side and I think that’s where you’ll have the opportunity to get involved and get your software vendor to work in with us.

Online Audience Member:

Just to let you know the software vendor would be saying ‘We don’t have the resources’. I mean we’ve gotten that before. Because it’s not built. It’s not a requirement to experiment or to collaborate. It’s a requirement for them to make us functional. I mean that’s just one of our challenges.

Fay Flevaras:

You’re right. And I think maybe this is having a very open and transparent conversation now. I think this is where, as software providers, we need to ask them ‘What is that requirement?’ So if Government hypothetically puts out a new mandatory reporting for CHSP providers, let’s say for example – and this is by no means that I’ve heard anything – but let’s just say that tomorrow they say that you guys will have to start submitting quality indicators. It becomes a mandatory thing. It will go live maybe in 12 months’ time. Who knows. I’m making things up now. Then it becomes a discussion with the software vendor to say ‘Well shouldn’t you maybe come to the party on that?’ If not that software vendor maybe someone else will. And I think that’s the discussion we need to have with software vendors to go ‘When we sign a contract with you, what’s in the contract?’ Have you signed it with a clause that says that they will have their software – it will stay up to date with all mandatory reporting for Government? And I think this is what this Tech Talk is about is having really open and transparent discussions around how do we transform the sector. Because they’re providing a product that will service many customers like you and others, so you guys can’t be expected to drive it. As a product you want them to do it. I’m not sure if that’s helped and I’ve been a little bit controversial. Anyway.

Janine Bennett:

We like a bit of controversy in this webinar so that’s all good. Thanks Michelle. Really appreciate the question and obviously prompted a good discussions. We’ve got Brandon queued to come to stage next and in the meantime a quick anonymous question.

Q:        I can see on the roadmap personal care workers would have a way to register. Do domestic care workers also have a way to register?

Fay we don’t have the business partner in the room for that one. Are you able to have a go?

Fay Flevaras:

I think the registration roadmap is about GPMS workers registrations and it’s around providers registering their workers. So unless they’re a provider the context of this one is a provider who’s on GPMS and who are going to register their workers. They won’t register themselves. No. It’s in that context. Yeah.

Janine Bennett:

Thank you. And Brandon over to you. And just a reminder that we’ll get George straight after Brandon.

Fay Flevaras:

Is Brandon off mute? Because we can’t hear you if you’re not.

Janine Bennett:

Hi Brandon.

Online Audience Member:

Hi there. Sorry. I wasn’t in the quietest spot, so I just had to move quickly. Hi. I’m actually a reporter at so thank you very much for the updates today. I just had a quick clarification question for Lisa. I was just wondering if there’s any more clarity on the timeline regarding the other deliverables of the CIS standards, whether the draft recommendations have a specific date you’re aiming to before the final version is released in late 2024? Thanks.

Lisa Murphy:

It will be released around August 2024 by the time we’re finished.

Online Audience Member:

Cool. Thanks very much. Cheers.

Fay Flevaras:

Thanks Brandon.

Janine Bennett:

Great. Thanks Brandon. Thanks for dropping in. Okay. How are we going with George? I just know that we’re quite close on time so if we can get George straight to the stage. Hi George. Great to have you back.

Audience Member:

Hi everyone. Thank you. Just two questions. One follows up on Michelle’s around providers having a challenge with how do they make sure the software they buy is standards compliant. So conformance and certification, is that sort of on the agenda from the standards group?

Janine Bennett:

Okay. So just a replay of that if anyone had any problems hearing. It’s a little bit muffled on my end. But it’s around certification of software. So how do providers know that they’re buying software that is compliant and do we have a plan for that? Fay to you.

Fay Flevaras:

So look I know – and Lisa maybe you can add to this a little bit – the ADHA has a list of software vendors that have been endorsed to connect with them. In B2G we’ve taken a slightly different approach. We’ve opened it up for everyone. At the moment as people are going through the conformance process it’s a good question. I think I can take it away to say that once people have passed the conformance process maybe what we need to do is publish them so they can see which people have been passed and for which parts, which APIs. Because they might have passed conformance but only registered for one API. And people are going to want to know that they’ve registered for all ten mandatory APIs or whatever.

I think we’ll definitely take that one on as some feedback to make sure that we build it into the next tranche of enhancements for B2G to be able to publish who’s connected and endorsed. That won’t necessarily tell you are they approved for all standards per se in a sense but it will tell you which ones from a reg reporting perspective that they’ve got covered in their software.

Hopefully that helps.

Online Audience Member:

Yep. And I guess when you had that discussion with Emma as well about the industry bodies. The next question is around AI.

Fay Flevaras:

Sorry George. We can’t hear you that well.

Online Audience Member:

Just read out the question. Yeah.

Janine Bennett:

Yeah. I can jump in for you George. Thank you. So the question was around:

Q:        Obviously there’s lots of excitement around AI in aged care however the limiting factor to date is data quality both for training and use. The Department’s work on the use of AI opens the way for a better use of standards. Can we ride on that activity to develop and test AI use cases?

Fay Flevaras:

It’s definitely a good idea. I’ve had that suggestion made from someone else in the sector as well. I think we need to take that back internally and have a discussion around how much data can be shared. I think Lisa it’s one for the Department as well. I think you guys are also talking about an information exchange. Maybe that’s a topic area that we need to include there as well. How do we get all of the data available.

Lisa Murphy:

Yeah. I think it’s something that we can continue talking about. It’s obviously not a sector problem. It’s a whole healthcare thing which we’ll have to tackle like that.

Fay Flevaras:

But I think it’s great that you guys raised them because it really shows that when we get a question maybe that comes up on repeat it’s a topical area. And so it helps prioritise what areas that we focus on next. And that one has come up as a little mini theme so I think we should definitely focus on that one a bit more. Thanks George.

Janine Bennett:

I think those challenges around AI are facing the world as well. It’s not just aged care or Government or providers. This is a big one for all of us.

I am actually going to have to call it there. Unfortunately, we had a bunch of other questions that we haven’t been able to get to but with three minutes to go, and we like to end on time, I’d better just take my moment to say thank you to Lisa who’s joined us on a quick return from leave filling in for someone. So thanks so much for coming again from the ADHA. We love it when you guys come to visit. Susan thanks. Good to have you first time joiner. Hopefully not the last for our Tech Talks. It’s great to have you with us as well.

We might just make the closing slide bigger again thanks guys just so people can see the contact details there. Really appreciate all the excellent questions we got to today and the great discussion that we’ve had between our attendees and panellists. Getting really close to being out of time so I just wanted to acknowledge the video contributors, Tate Johnson and Steve Smith and Jess Holmick who pulled that video together. That was a fantastic B2G interview. We really loved that and we’ll try and produce more of that type of content for you in the future.

Some quick reminders. Please remember to register for My Health Record. That’s a message from our ADHA friends. If you need support to do this you can go ahead and contact the ADHA and they’re able to step you through the registration process. We also encourage everyone to visit the residential aged care web page. There are links and resources there that the sector will find useful and informative. As always we’ll put today’s recording and slide deck up on the Health and Aged Care website. You can expect that in the next two weeks. You can find all the recordings for our past Tech Talks there or you can go to YouTube and have a look at us on the Department of Health and Aged Care YouTube channel.

In the meantime, please take a moment to complete our post-event survey. The QR code is on screen now. We’ll send you a link in the post-event email as well. The survey is quick to do. It helps us make these sessions more useful for you so we really encourage you to take a sec just to get that completed. We’ll be back in six weeks for the next Tech Talk. That will be our last one for the financial year so stay tuned for details on that one. Any agenda items or topics that you’d like to see please let us know. Pop it into the survey response or email us.

And that it is from me. Thanks for hosting Fay and over to you for closing us out.

Fay Flevaras:

Yes. Thank you, Janine. And big thanks to our speakers and everyone for joining us here today. Remember this is an open forum. Everyone is welcome. You might have a colleague that you know who has a great idea and some insights into the kind of topics that we cover off here so please encourage them to come along. I’m not sure if you noticed but sometimes the attendees we have are actually older Australians who join us here to have a listen. You’re at the centre of all the work that we’re doing here and we would be thrilled to have you here and put your hand up and ask a question. So love to have anyone who’s our true customer come on and give us some insights. Like Janine said we’re here to share information with you, talk, listen, and that’s where we get the real value of these events and with the broader community.

Thanks for coming. I look forward to speaking to you again in May. Have a good month.

[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘In Closing’, ‘Visit the Digital Transformation page on the Health and Aged Care website’, ‘Email:’, ‘Take the Event Survey’, with image of QR code’]

[End of Transcript]

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