The aged care technology roadmap launched yesterday has been welcomed by government and the opposition for its potential to integrate into the ongoing reform process.
While the sector waits to see whether that leads to financial support, the provider peaks Leading Age Services Australia and Aged and Community Services Australia have identified how government could assist aged care services to realise the report’s goals.
As Australian Ageing Agenda reported yesterday, the Technology Roadmap for Aged Care is an initiative of the Aged Care Industry IT Company that tells the sector how to make technology a core part of operations and service delivery (read that story here).
It aligns with the Aged Care Roadmap developed by the Aged Care Sector Committee.
Launching the report at Parliament House yesterday, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said it would “help make a difference” to aged care reform.
The reform agenda aims to give seniors greater choice and higher standards through a more active market in aged care and innovative information technology and a ICT literate workforce were essential, he said.
“Technology in residential and home care will be critical to maintain and improve delivery of care and services,” Minister Wyatt told the audience.
He congratulated the ACIITC for investing in the research-based plan for the sector.
“It will ensure the council is an influential part of the discussion of where the aged care sector should go next and what underpinning technology it will need to enable that reform to be successful,” he said.
Shadow Minister for Ageing Julie Collins said the report fitted in well with the roadmap for future aged care reform.
“This report highlights how far we still have to go and the challenges but importantly it gives us the way to get there,” Ms Collins said.
“It gives us some things we need to do as policymakers, as parliamentarians in working together to ensure that as Australians age they have informed choice .. and technology’s role in that will be critical.”
LASA chief Sean Rooney told AAA that the roadmap offered providers useful insight into the role that technologies play in the provision of aged care and support services.
There are opportunities for government to support the technology roadmap such as with the system protocols and interoperability across the different departments involved in the provision of aged care, he said.
“There are also examples previously where government has supported industry to transition to new technologies,” Mr Rooney said. “A useful starting point would be with regards to the My Health Record.”
ACSA chief Pat Sparrow said that much of the sector committee’s roadmap for reform needed to be underpinned by technology and this report showed what was needed and how to do it.
“That includes assistive technology for people but also the technology that providers need to give true life to consumer choice,” Ms Sparrow told AAA.
She said it was important that technological requirements became an integral part of the reform process and the legislative or regulatory changes or funding required was addressed at every 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.”
Based on the research that informed the technology roadmap, the ACIITC has identified the following initiatives for ongoing investment and consideration:
- evaluation of new service models that are enhanced and underpinned by emerging technologies
- a workforce capability project to determine the digital maturity of the sector and the critical workforce requirements for the future of aged care
- an investigation into the requirements for standardisation and quality benchmarking of new service models and workforce arrangements focusing on areas such as interoperability and best practice
- an applied solutions improvement project to map business-to-government processes required to underpin a sustainable aged care industry.
Related AAA coverage: Aged care sector gets technology how-to guide
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