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Government delivers first aged care digital plan

The Albanese government has announced the commencement of their first Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has developed a five year plan that aims to "enable a digitally connected aged care system that empowers older people and grows the sector’s digital capability."

"The focus is on preserving choice and leveraging technology to make in-person and face-to-face services more accessible and efficient."

Between October 2022 and November 2023 the government liaised with older people, care providers, tech companies and peak bodies to develop the strategy.

Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells said the digital plan is a step forward in modernising and streamlining the Australian aged care system.

“Digital reform is key to delivering the Albanese Government’s aged care agenda," Ms Wells said.

“With older people at its centre, the Digital Strategy aims to increase digital health literacy of older people, giving them greater choice and independence as they age.

“Designing the best aged care system for older people in Australia means embracing innovation and the technologies available so we can continue to restore dignity to aged care.”

With waitlists for residential aged care and access to Home Care Packages ongoing issues within the sector, the government plans to assist aged care providers with managing demand, and reducing administrative burden, which will give aged care staff more capacity to provide direct care.

For older Australians, the maintenance of choice and autonomy is of high priority, however barriers to overcome include digital literacy and affordability.

The strategy is based on four projected outcomes outlined by the Department of Health and Aged Care:

  • Older people and their support networks can navigate and actively participate in their care and wellbeing. Promote healthy ageing, independence and choice. Create simplified, user-friendly experiences.
  • Aged care workers, service providers and health professionals are digitally empowered to provide higher quality and better-connected care. Maximise time for direct care. Strengthen care connections.
  • Data is shared and reused securely to deliver a sustainable and continually improving aged care system. Improve security and access control. Optimise data collection and utilisation.
  • Modern data and digital foundations underpin a collaborative, standards-based care system.
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