AIDH’s Role in Australia’s Digital Health Blueprint
The projects in the Blueprint include an online hub for digital career pathways developed by the AIDH and the Australian Government’s Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA.) The hub assists clinical and non-clinical professionals to build digital health confidence and capability, better preparing the health workforce to use digital technologies. It assesses individual capability and organisational workforce readiness.
>A second project focuses on developing foundational national digital health capability statements applicable to the entire healthcare workforce to address standard and unique digital health capability needs of various healthcare professions.
The Blueprint, developed by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care and released just before Christmas, outlines the Government’s 10-year vision and roadmap for a more connected, personalised and sustainable health system aided by digital health technologies. The Blueprint aims to steer the nation towards a seamlessly connected healthcare experience from preventive wellbeing across the spectrum to tertiary care.
The accompanying Action Plan highlights initiatives the Government is investing in to meet outcomes identified in the Blueprint and outlines key delivery partners and progress. It will be refreshed regularly to outline progress and include new digital and data investments.
AIDH Interim CEO Mark Nevin FAIDH said the Institute was proud to have contributed to the national digital health strategy and to co-lead workforce initiatives in the Action Plan.
Online hub for digital career pathways
The Australian Digital Health Agency (Agency) partnered with AIDH as part of the National Digital Health Capability Action Plan (CAP) to establish the online hub which went live in December.
The CAP is a program of work under the Agency with initiatives to equip the health workforce for a digitally enabled future with standard capability frameworks, guidelines, resources, and tools.
“The hub will serve as a central repository for educators, professional bodies, employers, and individuals to access information and resources related to digital health careers, workforce development, career pathways, skills attraction, and future job skill growth,” the Action Plan states.
“Work will continue with stakeholders including government jurisdictions, professional groups, and peak bodies to increase the availability of easily accessible training, resources, guidance, and tools on digitally enabled healthcare for health workers and health service organisations.”
Digital health capabilities and guidelines
The second workforce project under the CAP involves the Agency partnering with the AIDH and ADHA to develop foundational digital health capability statements applicable to the entire healthcare workforce.
Activities will include the promotion and adoption of the national standardised digital health capabilities, development of a workforce digital health readiness framework, and foundational digital health practice guidelines to support healthcare providers.
Blueprint and Action Plan
The Blueprint and Action Plan’s vision is that ‘’trusted, timely and accessible use of digital and data underpins a personalised and connected health and wellbeing experience for all Australians.’’
“Our strategic priorities aim to help Australians access and manage their health information, and strengthen digital health foundations through policy, legislation and standards that are proactive and long-lasting,” the Blueprint states.
The Blueprint’s strategic priorities will support learning and strengthen Australians’ trust in data and how it can be shared and reused to deliver healthcare improvements and encourage innovation.
Four key outcomes
The Blueprint’s four key outcomes are:
- Australians have choice in how they manage their health and wellbeing and can navigate the health system knowing their story follows them
- The Australian health workforce is digitally empowered to provide connected care with confidence, whenever or wherever it is needed
- Data and information are shared and reused securely to deliver a sustainable learning health system
- Modern digital foundations underpin and strengthen a collaborative, standards-based health system that is safe and secure.
The workforce outcome aims to build a health workforce confident in delivering digital health services by linking skills development and career pathways, achieving consistency and competency in education and training, and promoting the need for digital skills and education.
The skills development pipeline will focus on high-demand skills in areas such as medication management, medical diagnostics, genomics and virtual care. Connected systems using AI analytics and clinical data are intended to deliver insights that enhance clinical decision support, personalised care, and population-level health and service delivery. Transparent information sharing, underpinned by consent and authorisation frameworks, is set to ensure security and appropriate use of Australians’ data.
Other target areas
The Blueprint and Action Plan outline many other digital initiatives to strengthen Medicare, improve management of mental health, public health, healthy eating in young children, reduce harmful alcohol, smoking and drug consumption, and improve First Nations health.
Interoperability will be enhanced through policy, legislation and standards for MyHealth Record (including connecting allied health professionals), an Australian Core FHIR standard, enhancing electronic medication management and ePrescribing, a single national Healthcare Identifier and eRequesting capability for pathology and diagnostic imaging. A further priority is a national legislative framework authorising national health information sharing across care settings and borders.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, said these digital reforms were essential to strengthen Medicare and ensure it meets the need of patients today and into the future.
“The Blueprint recognises that over the next ten years, secure and standardised data sharing between clinical systems, in real-time, will ensure our health workforce has the tools it needs to provide multidisciplinary, team-based care, particularly to patients with complex conditions or in regional, rural and remote Australia” he said.
The Blueprint complements other national, state and territory strategies and plans, including the National Digital Health Strategy, by outlining outcomes for the Department’s areas of responsibility to complete a federated view for digital health in Australia’s health system.