AHPA Insider: September 2023

Aged Care

Working in residential aged care suvey

AHPA’s Aged Care Working Group, led by Occupational Therapy Australia, is surveying allied health providers about their experiences of working in residential aged care since the introduction of the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) tool.

Data from last year’s survey has been crucial in allied health advocacy to government and aged care providers, and in communicating with consumers of residential aged care services.

The survey is open until 13 October 2023 and is applicable to all allied health professions. Case studies will be particularly useful in increasing our understanding of the impacts this reform has had on allied health in residential aged care and in building evidence for our communications to government, aged care providers and consumers. If you are completing the survey yourself, please include as much detail as you can, with a focus on impact on client outcomes.

Please also circulate the survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/G273ZQL to all relevant allied health professionals.


Meeting with NDIS Review Panel

AHPA and some of our member organisations met with the NDIS Review Panel for an update on the direction of the Review. The Review’s Final Report is unlikely to be public until at least November 2023. While detail of the meeting is confidential at this stage, allied health peak bodies at the meeting supported the Panel’s proposed broad directions for the NDIS, which include development of a new category of ‘foundational supports’, strengthening access to the Scheme based on significant functional impairment rather than medical diagnoses, and expansion of the quality and safeguard framework to include other disability supports and ensure a greater focus on quality services.

However, we emphasised that if the NDIS is to genuinely become a more person-centred scheme, the culture of the National Disability Insurance Agency has to change, including recognising and respecting the expertise of allied heath professionals, and facilitating clear communication about the information needed to meet ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria. We also told the Panel that development of a National Allied Health Workforce Strategy is long overdue, and that it is essential for the Agency and Government to collaborate with allied health peaks in planning to meet future workforce needs.

Digital Health

AHPA digital health working group

The AHPA facilitated Digital Health Working Group began monthly meetings to facilitate collaboration across all things digital health related for the allied health sector. This group will work together to support individual association project progression and produce sector wide information.

AHPA look forward to collaborating with the working group to respond to the Department of Health and Aged Cares consultation regarding Modernising My Health Record – Sharing pathology and diagnostic imaging reports by default and removing consumer access delays – Australian Government Department of Health – Citizen Space.

CSIRO facilitated working groups

AHPA encourage all allied health clinicians with the relevant knowledge to participate in the CSIRO facilitated working groups related to creating the Australian FHIR standards which will enable interoperability of health information in Australia.

To ensure the right health information is prioritised for seamless sharing between digital systems and the terminology to be used for this information, it is critical allied health professional generated information is considered.

Details regarding the working groups and how to register to participate are here: How to Register – Participant Information – FHIR Accelerator – Confluence (csiro.au)

Initial information focused on will relate to:

    • Core information related to organisations, patient details, practitioner details
    • Allergy and intolerance information
    • E-requests for diagnostic information – particularly digital imaging and pathology requests

Quality statements for residential aged care clinical information systems feedback

AHPA and its members continue to contribute to development of the Quality statements for residential aged care clinical information systems. You can provide feedback regarding the draft quality statements until 5:00pm Friday 29  September.

Aged care digital strategy

AHPA via its members within the Aged Care Working Group continue to liaise with the Department regarding the Aged Care Digital Strategy currently under development.

Digital health maturity assessment

AHPA are acutely aware there is a significant gap in knowledge regarding the true state of the digital health maturity of the allied health workforce as a sector. As such, AHPA are exploring any relevant work which has been conducted to date and how we can meaningfully contribute to a sector wide maturity assessment which can inform digital and data literacy education requirements.