Topic: Interoperability in Aged Care: Coming to a Common Understanding

Day: Thursday 22 October 2020

Time:  2:10pm-2:30pm AESDT


Interoperability is a (relatively) new word for an old concept. When two things – be they people, systems, machines – can understand each other and work together, they are interoperable.

In aged care, interoperability enables different information technology systems to communicate and exchange usable data.

For a resident or client, this means their personal data – including important clinical information – can be shared across multiple systems ensuring all relevant information is available to those caring for the resident or client. This enables a better care outcome for each individual.

For the organisation, the exchange of data across multiple systems has a range of benefits. From improved productivity and reduced costs as all employees have access to the information and data required to perform their roles, to a reduction in errors as data is not entered multiple times in multiple systems. Additionally, the improved resident and client experience contributes to improved client and resident satisfaction.

Furthermore, as the aged care and broader healthcare industries continue to compete for nursing, allied health and other scarce medical employee resources – technology and the simplicity of its use that interoperable systems allow – continues to be a deciding factor in employment choice.

So, while the importance of achieving interoperability in aged care is well understood, exactly how to do this remains up for debate.

Common data standards, APIs, and data management practices all have a part to play. Simply agreeing on a common vocabulary for aged care (e.g. describing the mobility of a care recipient) will be crucial. Differences in philosophy will also need to be resolved. Within providers, the all-in-one platform and the best-of-breed approach to software each have their pros, cons, and implications for interoperability. Between providers, some propose using one system across the entire industry, while others remain committed to best-of-breed systems at this level too.

Being able to share information with commonly understood meaning will enable better coordination of care provision, continuity of care, improved efficiency, visibility of operations, data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and ultimately better customer experiences and care outcomes.

Ash Priest will discuss interoperability in aged care, specifically:

– Interoperability – what is it and provider considerations;
– Benefits for employees, residents, clients and providers;
– Risks and issues when systems are not interoperable;
– Common data standards and terminology;
– Approaches to integration;
– Best-of-breed vs. platform software;
– Privacy and security issues;
– Interoperability in other aged care systems; and
– Leaders in Interoperability across industries.


Ash Priest, Managing Partner at Novigi, is an executive level business and technology strategist with over 20 years of experience delivering digital transformation solutions to improve business outcomes – predominantly across aged care and wealth management industries.

Ash is an experienced entrepreneur, executive level business strategist and technology consultant with a background in enterprise architecture, software engineering and programming. In addition, Ash has more recently focused on building and leading a diverse and skilled team that specialise in consulting on data, platform architecture and process automation within the aged care industry.

With a passion for improving the lives of older Australian’s through forward-thinking, digital transformation approaches – Ash is committed to driving innovation within the aged care industry to support providers in improving organisational processes and delivering quality care outcomes.