2016 and beyond for the Aged Care Industry IT Council (ACIitC)

April 09, 2017

2016 and beyond for the Aged Care Industry IT Council (ACIitC)

Presented by Graeme Prior Independent Chair, Anne Livingstone Chair National Home Care Group and Gavin Tomlins Chair CIO Forum.

This year has begun with some exciting developments from the decision making of the Aged Care Industry IT Council Board paving the way for significant work to be undertaken in promoting and forwarding the technology agenda in the sector.

These developments include providing greater opportunity for targeted research to be progressed which is aligned to current reform agendas. The National Home Care Committee had previously submitted some research proposals for consideration and in the current context of reform the CIO Forum and this group will work together to development up new areas of research to add to the evidence base.

The ACIitC is about to concentrate efforts internationally in establishing global opportunities for sharing of experiences, benchmarking and research. As this version of technology review goes to print, work is being finalised on the international working agreement and scope of works to be progressed. In the next edition of Technology review we will bring you further details and outline our activities.

A major part of the ongoing work of the ACIITC Company has been concentrated on lobbying the Australian government for greater engagement and better system solutions for the Aged Care Industry and business to government (B2G). This includes a regular scheduled meeting with key Department personnel and a priority of activities and lobbying positions being undertaken. Following on from the My Aged Care User testing Group which the ACIitC Committees organized last year the Department of Health is bringing together a similar group to advise and test stage two business to government processes. A series of opportunities will arise in April and May where providers can be involved in discussions with the Department on a range of changes being made to B2G Processes. The Chairs of the National Home Care Group and the CIO Forum Anne Livingstone and Gavin Tomlins are working collaboratively with the Department to facilitate this activity and to promote extensive feedback and testing ahead of releases and changes being made. Participants are being recruited from committee membership .These sessions will form a series of Co-Design workshops and this is an opportunity for participants to provide input to design as well as help problem solve, innovate and evaluate solutions. The design phase for the programme is envisaged to run from April to July 2016.  Following the build of the solution, an End to End Solution Validation period will run between November 2016 and January 2017.  The end solution will be deployed into the training environment at the end of January 2017 to enable a 4 week period of stabilisation and transition activities in the lead up to 27 February 2017. This timeline is to be used as a guideline only.
The importance and value of having ACIitC at the table early in this process cannot be underestimated and builds on the work progressed by the ACIitC Gateway User Group which was convened throughout 2015. We wish to acknowledge the 23 individuals across a range of services who contributed to this activity in the past.
As we submit this article organisations are being asked to provide expressions of interest for consideration for the above activity. Due to the limitations on numbers we will undergo an evaluation process to ensure a broad cross section of the industry is represented with people who can contribute to the process. ACIitC are requesting organisations to consider nominating suitable candidates who can attend all planned activities to ensure that there is continuity, consistency and quality in the outcomes achieved. The series of workshops are to be a combination of teleconference and face-to-face engagements in Sydney and Canberra.
ACIitC also eagerly awaits the Aged Care Sector Committees Aged Care Roadmap. ACIitC plans to work with this Roadmap to overlay and outline the technological and approaches to innovation needed to ensure the elements of the Roadmap can be facilitated effectively. A working party of the Chairs of the Committees has been established and a tender for assistance with this activity will be released shortly. ACIitC is keen to have a fully scoped Technology Road Map to drive business transformation in the sector. We hope also this will provide a vehicle to identify and drive investment strategies required to fully position the sector. A series of activities are being planned in respect to this development and these will be reported on in further editions.

We acknowledge the planning for ITAC 2016 is well underway and note the efforts of Rod Young in Chairing this Committee of ACIitC. The ITAC Planning Committee recently recruited for new members and were overwhelmed by the response to this call for volunteers. Thank you to everyone who nominated the committee would have liked to have appointed all the applicants however a selection process was undertaken to ensure that we had geographical, service and special need groups covered in the committee. ITAC this year will be bigger and better with a revamped format and some leading speakers. Make a note in your calendar and more details to follow for ITAC 2016 November 29 and 30 in Melbourne. ACIitC will be arranging a series of activities around this important event.
2016 is a critical year of reform and change the ACIitC will concentrate efforts on having an informed sector wide Technology strategy. This will also involve continue discussions with our counterparts in the disability care sector as they transition to the full implementation of the National Disability Insurance scheme. The Chairs of the ACIitC National Home Care Group and the CIO Forum have been actively pursuing linkages and collaborations with the disability sector and a number of common issues and concerns are being identified. Many providers are trying to cover both sectors changing requirements and a key to smooth transition could be in the alignment of technology enhancements and offerings. This has also been an identified issue for vendors and we are actively engaging them in this discussion.
ACIitC continues to note the value of engagement with the vendor sector and this is being articulated through convening regular meetings and activities with the vendors group Aged Care Industry Vendors Association (ACIVA). ACIVA representation has been sought for the upcoming B2G Reference group and three members of this group will join the 12 Industry Representative at the table of discussions with the new developments being undertaken by Department of Health/DSS. The lack of lead up time and availability of detailed technical requirements for the various significant changes required in systems and processes has caused a united concern for both ACIitC and ACIVA. We will continue to identify all possible opportunities for collaboration to ensure a more smooth transition of systems can occur.
As this edition goes to print the ACIitC structure is being reviewed and new Directors are being recruited to assist with the increasing volume of work. Also during this time it is noted that both CEOs of the Industry Associations will be leaving their roles. We would like to acknowledge the roles which Adjunct Prof John G Kelly AM Chief Executive Officer Aged & Community Services Australia and Mr Patrick Reid from LASA have played in the revision of the structure and undertakings of ACIitC. Both John and Patrick have had significant commitment to enhancing the focus on technology in aged care and in promoting the work of ACIitC and we thank them for this contribution.