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a culmination of the industr y, the
customer and the government to tr y to
meet those costs.”
The report calls for a fund resourced
by government and care organisations
to help providers develop and buy
technology to integrate into care ser vices.
It also suggests collaboration to
embed technology capability as a
requirement of aged care service deliver y
and get the various systems used by aged
care to talk to each other.
There has been no announcement
of financial assistance, but the roadmap
was welcomed by government and the
opposition for its potential to integrate
into ongoing reform at the June launch
at Parliament House.
The technology roadmap will “help
make a difference” to aged care reform,
Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said.
Similarly, Shadow Minister for Ageing
Julie Collins said the report highlighted
technology’s role in ensuring seniors
have choice in aged care.
Financial assistance aside, the
provider peaks have identified other
ways government can assist aged care
ser vices to realise the report’s goals.
Pat Sparrow, CEO of Aged &
Community Ser vices Australia, says
it’s important that technological
requirements become an integral part of
the reform process and the legislative or
regulator y changes or funding required
is addressed at ever y step.
“The key thing is that there’s a
focus on technology and that it is not
overlooked... that’s what we want
from all partners and particularly from
government,” Sparrow tells AAA.
Similarly, Leading Age Ser vices
Australia chief Sean Rooney says
opportunities for government to support
the technology roadmap include with
system protocols and interoperability
across different departments involved in
the provision of aged care.
“Government has now moved to
adopt an opt-out process and older
Australians would get significant benefit
from being involved in the digital My
Health Record,” Rooney tells AAA. n
Connecting to e-health
Seniors have long been touted as key beneficiaries of the national e-health record. Latest
figures show that just over 4.9 million people – around 20 per cent of the population – are
registered for a My Health Record, and around one in seven of those are aged 65 or more.
The government allocated $374 million in this year’s Federal Budget to expand the My
Health Record, including rolling out the opt-out model nationally. While the opt-out model
will take care of registering the balance of seniors, there’s been no indication about how
the government or industry will increase aged care provider registrations.
The sector’s calls for financial support to connect to e-health continue to go answered.
There are currently 166 residential services are regsitered in the My Health Record
system, according to statistics from the Australian Digital Health Agency. This is up from
155 services at 29 February 2016 when the opt-out trials got underway, but down on 7
May figures showing 173 registrations.
The uptake of e-health among providers was not improved for those in the opt-out
regions despite aged care being a target group of the trials. Of the 139 known residential
aged care services in the opt-trial footprint encompassing the Nepean Blue Mountains
and North Queensland Primary Health Networks, only two in each region are registered to
use the system.
The two opt-out trial sites cited incompatible software and an unwillingness to sign up
among reasons for low uptake and reported challenges in engaging with aged care facilities.
The evaluation of the opt-out trials found a consistent view among individuals that
government should make it compulsory for healthcare providers to use the system.
This is not at odds with the technology roadmap calling for technology capability
to be formally recognised as an essential capability of aged care providers reflected in
australianageingagenda.com.au | 41
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