The aged and community care sector in Australia is under pressure on a range of fronts to improve service delivery and comply with the increasing demands of regulation and compliance. To address these requirements the sector needs to embrace digital processes and delivery.
This outcome was highlighted in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendations 68 and 109. An important step in this journey is the need to have a collective understanding of the aged and community care sector’s current level of digital maturity and the significant opportunities technology and innovation can offer in providing a more sustainable and high-quality sector.
With this aim, Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) undertook the Digital Maturity in Aged and Community Care: The Current State and Resources Required project. The objective of the project was to review and access digital maturity in aged and community care. Furthermore, the project co-designed a digital maturity assessment and practice implementation framework to respond to the results of the assessment.
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Citation: Pearce, F, Livingstone, A, Gould, G, & Alexander, G 2023, ‘Digital Maturity in Aged and Community Care: The Current State and Resources Required’, Aged Care Industry I.T. Company, Australia.
This report has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency). The collaboration with the Agency has assisted in producing a document that can be used by the aged care sector to improve their digital maturity.
For the purpose of this report, digital maturity is defined as the organisation’s ability to adapt so that it can function effectively in an increasingly digital environment (Kane et al. 2017).
The purpose of the project is to co-develop a digital maturity assessment framework aimed at enabling aged care providers to assess their level of digital maturity and develop a tool for action improvement in organisations’ digital maturity. These deliverables were supported by a national survey that provided a benchmark on the aged and community care sector digital operations. This project undertook consultation activities with ACIITC National Roundtables to co-develop a digital maturity assessment framework aimed at enabling aged care providers to assess their level of digital maturity and develop a tool for action improvement in the organisation’s digital maturity.
A national survey was developed to gain information on the aged and community care sector emerging from and continuing operations through COVID-19. The national survey had three components:
The survey results indicated a wide spread of digital maturity results, from small organisation’s with almost non-existent digital maturity to large residential providers who scored well across a range of measures. However, there was not necessarily any strong correlation that was identified between an organisation’s size and its digital maturity.
Both surveys highlighted some areas of both strength and weakness. The sector generally scored well on cybersecurity measures, communication technology and digital leadership at a board level. Weaknesses identified included a significant lack of innovation, lower usage of predictive analytics and almost zero access to clients with digital systems. To compare this internationally, using the results from Survey B, Australian residential aged care facilities have significantly lower digital maturity than their American counterparts.
Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council 2017, “Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia”, Aged Care Industry I.T Company, Australia.
Alexander, G, Georgiou, A, Siette, J, Madsen, R, Livingstone, A, Westbrook J, & Deroche, C 2017, “Exploring IT Sophistication in New South Wales Residential Aged Care Facilities”, Australian Health Review.
Barnett, K, Livingstone, A, Margelis, G, Tomlins, G, Young, R 2019, “Aged and Community Sector Technology and Innovative Practice: A Report on What the Research and Evidence is indicating”, Aged Care Industry I.T. Company, Australia
Commonwealth of Australia 2021, “Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report: Care”, Dignity and Respect.
Duncan, R, Eden, R, Woods, L, Wong, I, Sullivan, C 2022, “Synthesizing Dimensions of Digital Maturity in Hospitals: Systematic review”, Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 24.
Kane, G, Palmer, D, & Nguyen-Phillips, A 2017, “Achieving Digital Maturity: Adapting your Company to a Changing World”, Findings from the 2017 Digital Business Report.