ACIITC update

The Aged Care Industry IT Company is pressing ahead with the department on improving business to government processes in collaboration with vendors, and is working on a sector-wide and cross-sector technology strategy in conjunction with disability counterparts, it writes in this update.

The Aged Care Industry IT Company (ACIITC) is pressing ahead with the department on improving business to government processes in collaboration with vendors, and is working on a sector-wide and cross-sector technology strategy in conjunction with disability counterparts, write Graeme Prior, Anne Livingstone and Gavin Tomlins.

This year has begun with some exciting developments arising from decisions of the Aged Care Industry IT Company (ACIitC) board that pave 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 that 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 develop 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. Work is being finalised on the international working agreement and scope of works to be progressed and we will bring you further details on this and outline our activities.

A major part of the ongoing work of the ACIITC has been concentrated on lobbying the Australian Government for greater engagement and better systems for the aged care industry and business-to-government (B2G) activity. This includes a regular scheduled meeting with key department personnel and a priority of activities and lobbying positions being undertaken.

B2G collaboration

Following on from the My Aged Care user-testing group, which the ACIitC committees organised last year, the Department of Health is bringing together a similar group to advise and test stage two B2G 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 Committee and the CIO Forum (Anne Livingstone and Gavin Tomlins respectively) are collaborating 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 the 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 program is envisaged to run from April to July 2016. Following the build of the solution, an end-to-end 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 four-week period of stabilisation and transition activities in the lead up to 27 February 2017. This timeline is to be used as a guide only.

The importance and value of having ACIitC at the table early in this process should not be underestimated and builds on the work progressed by the ACIitC gateway user group, which was convened throughout 2015. We acknowledge the 23 individuals across a range of services who contributed to this activity in the past.

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 is 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.

The road ahead

ACIitC plans to work with the Aged Care Sector Committee’s Aged Care Roadmap to overlay and outline the technological and innovative approaches 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 roadmap to drive business transformation in the sector. We hope also that this will provide a vehicle to identify and drive investment strategies required to fully-position the sector. A series of activities is being planned in respect to this development and these will be reported on in the future.

We acknowledge the planning for ITAC 2016 is well underway. The ITAC planning committee recently recruited for new members, via a call made in Technology Review online, and was overwhelmed by the response.

Thank you to everyone who nominated. The committee would have liked to have appointed all 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 new leading speakers. Make a note in your calendar and more details will follow for ITAC 2016 on November 29 and 30 in Melbourne. ACIitC will be arranging a series of activities around this important event.

Cross-sector and vendor collaborations

This year is another critical year of reform and change. The ACIitC will concentrate efforts on having an informed sector-wide technology strategy. This will also involve continued 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 Committee 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 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 and Department of Social Services.

The limited lead 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 Adjunct Professor John Kelly, outgoing CEO of Aged & Community Services Australia, and Patrick Reid, outgoing CEO of Leading Age Services Australia, 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.

Graeme Prior is independent chair of the Aged Care Industry IT Company Ltd, Anne Livingstone is chair of the National Home Care Committee and Gavin Tomlins is chair of the CIO Forum.

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