Technology and Innovation Considerations: The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report

March 01, 2021

Today marks a historical day for innovation and technology in the aged and community care industry.

The Royal Commission Report titled Safety, Care, Dignity, and Respect calls for fundamental reform of the aged care system. This presents an opportunity to identify the roles innovation and technology can play in significantly improving the quality and safety of aged and community care services, as well as enhancing personalisation and efficiency of service delivery.

The Final Report tabling 148 recommendations includes a significant spotlight on the role technology can play. A various number of recommendations speak to technology, including:

  • Recommendation 34: Assistive Technology and Home Modifications Category.
  • Recommendation 40: Transition to care at home (access to assistive technology).
  • Recommendation 68: Universal adoption by the aged care sector of digital technology and My Health Record.
  • Recommendation 107: Aged Care Research and Innovation Fund.
  • Recommendation 109: ICT Architecture and investment in technology and infrastructure.

The Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) welcomes this focus, and this directly builds on research and projects undertaken by the ACIITC over a decade.

The ACIITC was established in 2007 with the express intent of promoting the evidenced-based benefit of incorporating innovation and technology in aged and community care. The ACIITC engaged in a range of international and national activities, research, and undertakings to spotlight best practice, digital enhanced service delivery and more quality outcomes for older Australians and their families.

Our landmark publications have been:

  • Technology Roadmap for Aged and Community Care in Australia (2017): A strategic roadmap developed to drive research, decision making and strategy that acknowledges innovation and technology across the Aged Care, Community and Health Sector. This report provides 24 recommendations.
  • Aged and Community Sector Technology and Innovation Practice: A Report on what the Research and Evidence is Indicating (2019): A summary of the contemporary evidence (2016 – 2019) of impactful and quality technology and innovation which provides the latest and greatest to inform strategic thinking.
  • Capabilities in Aged & Community Care Readiness: An Evaluation of Innovation & Technology (CARE-IT) (2020): Aimed at assessing the innovation and technology capabilities and readiness of the aged and community care industry in five (5) key areas (1) Business Support and Administration, (2) Reporting and Online Access to Government (3) Surveillance and Monitoring Technologies (4) Telehealth and (5) Smart Care at Home Technologies. A report tabled nine (9) recommendations covering digital maturity, investment strategies, business to Government, national benchmarking, new innovative service models, workforce, standards, assessment strategies and economic recovery.

Since the announcement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in October 2018, the ACIITC has focused on ensuring technology and innovation is on the agenda by submitting several submissions, meeting with Royal Commission Staff, involving Royal Commission Staff in our national activities and responding to all information requests. The ACIITC activities have focused on technology and innovations, critical roles in determining the quality of aged care and system fit for purpose in a digital world, and a customer-directed aged care market model. The ACIITC looks forward to working with the Government to ensure the recommendations are implemented and ensure the quality and safety of services and support for Older Australians are underpinned by impactful, evidence-based innovation technology approaches.