The federal government hopes to have a new system which will allow health professionals to send referrals directly from their own clinical systems to My Aged Care ready to go by June next year.
The changes are part of a comprehensive overhaul of the aged care portal foreshadowed in the 2018-19 budget.
Addressing a medical software forum via video link on Monday, aged care minister Ken Wyatt briefed stakeholders on the referrals project, which will be funded through the more than $60 million earmarked to improve access to services through the gateway.
The new system will also enable GPs and specialists to track the progress of clients through My Aged Care, Mr Wyatt said.
“This will greatly enhance the user experience for health professionals and streamline overall client interaction with My Aged Care,” he told the Medical Software Industry Association Stakeholders Forum in Sydney via video link.
He said the health department would work closely with the sector to help integrate My Aged Care with clinical systems and have the project ready for implementation by June 2019.
The Australian Medical Association has long called for the gateway referral form to be interoperable with clinical software. It has also called for My Health Record to be synced with aged care software systems, however Mr Wyatt did not immediately commit to this in his address.
“Our members have reported that the main issues using My Aged Care is the burden of administrative processes creating delays in access to much needed care,” AMA president Tony Bartone said.
“The My Aged Care referral form needs to be integrated into general practice clinical software so that the form can be auto-populated, attached to the patient record and securely sent.”
The My Aged Care funding will also support a new website and improved service finder, a client journey dashboard and better and improved self service capabilities.
The upgrades would benefit GPs, hospital staff and allied health providers, as well as thousands of service providers and home support assessors, Mr Wyatt said.
He said My Aged Care currently enables more than 2,000 assesment and service provider organisations to receive client referrals and access a central client record.
In 2016-17 it answered over one million calls and had over 3.5 million visits.
The number of people aged over 65 is predicted to increase from 3.8 million to 5.2 million by 2027 and Mr Wyatt said My Aged Care was being enhanced to support the growth in demand.
“With so many people accessing My Aged Care it is important to make sure it is user-friendly and providing the right information to the right people at the right time,” he said.