The Australian Digital Health Agency has added a capability to generate an aged care transfer summary in the My Health Record and will now work with software vendors to add the capability to their products, with a view that residential care transfer records being accessible at receiving hospitals.
The agency is also working on new functionality to follow the discharge of a patient back into residential care, as well as the completion of aged care clinical information system (CIS) standards and the integration of My Health Record and My Aged Care (MAC) to provide access to aged care assessments held in MAC.
ADHA branch manager for national program delivery Laura Toyne told a Department of Health and Aged Care webinar today that the agency was supporting residential aged care facilities to register for My Health Record, with 35 per cent of all facilities now signed up. The plan is to increase that to 70 per cent over the next six months.
The agency is also working with aged care software vendors to support their conformance and interoperability with My Health Record. Thirteen vendors now have products on the market for residential aged care sector that support and are interoperable with My Health Record, Ms Toyne said.
A second industry offer subsidising conformance work was released this year with the aim to get more software vendors conformant with the system. This program is also supporting the implementation of the new aged care transfer summary into My Health Record.
Ms Toyne said a capability was released in My Health Record in recent weeks to generate an aged care transfer summary.
“This will enable, once we have the software vendors with the same capabilities, is for the digital transfer of information, the collation and the transfer of information to follow a patient as they move from a residential aged care facility into a hospital for emergency or non-emergency care,” she said.
“It’s quite a significant development in being able to support the clinical care of someone as they move to hospital. We’ve worked really closely with clinicians, aged care providers and others to develop and support and identify what those critical bits of information would be, how they come together, how they’ll be collated, and how they will move to be accessed at the hospital.”
Information will include the reason for transfer, a summary of the person’s health status, and their current medication list. “All of that information can get collated from a clinical information system, from an electronic medication management system, from existing documentation in My Health Record and collated into what’s called a residential care transfer and therefore be accessible at the hospital when that resident or patient arrives.”
Ms Toyne said 2024 will see the agency work closely with software providers to enhance their systems to support the new capability, but also to develop training programs for aged care facilities as there will be a change to workflows. Work will also be done on how to use hospital discharge summaries to facilitate the transfer of patients and residents back to their homes.
2024 will also see ADHA progress work with DoHAC to integrate My Aged Care and My Health Record to support access to care assessments held in My Aged Care.
“We’ve done a little bit of work … over the last months of this year to look at what that integration roadmap will look like, to look at what our solution architecture between these two systems should be,” Ms Toyne said.
“Next year, we’re very much looking forward to progressing with that integration, to make sure that we can actually start having the capability to share information across systems, starting with the sharing of the Support at Home assessments, and making sure that they’re accessible through My Health Record.”
The agency is also hopeful of releasing aged care CIS standards by August 2024, with a roadmap of how to implement them. It is really that first point of interoperability to two fairly significant systems that support healthcare outcomes.
“Standards … enhance care coordination, and they support interoperability between systems and all sorts of applications,” Ms Toyne said. “The agency, over the last 12 months, has done its environmental scan of the existing standards that might actually be required to be built in to an aged care clinical information system standard.
“Over the course of the next 12 months, predominantly the first half of next year, we will work with developers around finalising the standards, we will look to set out what those minimum requirements can be, and we will look to pull together a roadmap for how you can adopt the standards in the future.”
A final piece of work the agency is involved in is around digital maturity and literacy in aged care. ADHA has worked with the Aged Care Industry IT Council (ACIITC) on a benchmarking survey for digital maturity in aged and community care organisations.
Next year, in collaboration with the Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH), ADHA plans to pilot a self-assessment tool for the aged care sector. “We’ll look at doing this in those first few months of next year, with a few residential aged care facilities and the workforce,” Ms Toyne said.