There are implicit and explicit takeaways from the Royal Commission’s (RC) findings. This article is an abstract of Steven Strange's presentation (an analysis) from the 2021 Leader’s Summit where he outlined the items of interest from the RC. The items are predominantly from Volume One.
No analysis is complete without addressing the criticisms. And this one hurts - Page 77 of volume one:
“…the aged care system is well behind other sectors in the use and application of technology, and has no clear information and communications technology strategy…”
It’s a sad but true indictment of where we find ourselves in terms of the technology that underpins Aged Care. That said, there are ways to right the wrong.
Interoperability (The case for Middleware)
Interoperability is essentially “data logistics”. That is the ability for meaningful data to move between systems. Data movements or data logistics must be underpinned by security, performance and privacy. At Health Metrics (HM), we have interoperability as part of our technology DNA. We call it eCoWare™ and it forms the basis for our vision for a Health & Social Care data-ecosystem.
eCoWare™ (middleware) takes point-to-point connections to the next level. It enables web services (API’s) to be managed and maintained. Middleware is now a “must-have” for the technology kitbag of Providers.
The next three years will see the standards like FHIR® (HL7®) and possibly interRAI™ become de facto data standards for Aged Care, and more broadly, the Health & Social Care sector. HM continues to work with people like Prof Len Gray (UQ) and others on being part of the data standards solution for Aged Care.
Continuum of Care (SCRA™)
If you’re a Provider and you provide services across the continuum of care (ie. RAC, RV, Home Care, NDIS), then you must adopt a multi-pillar platform solution. eCase® is the only multi-pillar technology platform that can simultaneously serve multiple lines of service delivery from a single interface/single experience.
Workforce – Workforce - Workforce
Key to the RC recommendations was the call to manage the Health & Social Care workforce better. Recommendation 39 calls for the Government to clear the Home Care Package waiting list which will impact the workforce substantially. Amongst other things, the industry needs visibility of a secure, certified workforce. With that in mind HM in conjunction with Workday® (see www.workday.com) plan to introduce a Workforce (carer/worker/clinician first) oriented platform that incorporates HRIS, Finance, Clinical and Administration functions into one end-to-end solution. We’re a people business, the application space needs to be people-first.
ABC (Activity Based Costing)
It will be a requirement for Providers to be able to report on and analyse the day-to-day tasks/activities of all facility staff. Effectively, ABC. Just like the acute sector and other parts of the health continuum already do. eCase® already supports the concept of ABC with its sophisticated worklog functionality. For HM Customers, this is already built into their systems today.
Support for Assistive Technology (AT)
The RC lends great support for Assistive Technology. The spectrum for AT is broad. AT can be a handrail or a device (Internet of Things). My advice at the Leader’s Summit was that Providers should be wary of gimmicks. That getting one’s platform and transactions in order was of paramount importance. That sometimes, RAC Providers are sitting ducks for the gimmicks of the industry.
Real-time and Automated Reporting
In order to get to a point where a Provider can attest to “real-time” and “automated” reporting, the Provider needs a great deal of confidence that their transaction base and their real-time collection of data is being matched by solid process engineering. Otherwise, this will become a mere pipedream. At HM, everything we do is on the basis of real-time operations.
HM welcomes the RC notion of certification for software and hardware vendors. We believe the move to certification is long overdue. It will not only delineate between the serious enterprise participants and the rest. It will also give Providers a level of certainty with respect to compliance.
The Three-Year Horizon
I estimate that Providers have a three-year horizon, during which they need to engage with and be compliant with all of the items above.
The question Providers need to ask themselves is “…are we ready…if not, when will we be ready…”?
Author: Steven Strange