Using innovation to improve aged care

12 Dec 2019

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that innovation and enhanced technology must be at the core of any reforms to improve the levels of care, compassion, and coordination in Australia’s aged care sector.

Releasing the AMA’s new Position Statement on Innovation in Aged Care 2019, Dr Bartone said that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety highlighted deficiencies in innovation and technology in the aged care industry, and the AMA Position Statement identifies specific examples where improvements can and should be made.

“The Royal Commission called for an increased use of technology in aged care, and the AMA supports that call 100 per cent,” Dr Bartone said.

“Innovation is vital to improve the level of care provided, to deliver consumer-centred care, and enable the sustainability of the aged care system.”

Dr Bartone outlined that the AMA’s Position Statement clearly sets out the role that innovation in technological developments can play in the improvement of care provision for older people in aged care settings. This includes electronic records, medication management, communication technologies, and data collection and research, amongst others.

“Older people often move between aged care, primary care, and acute and multiple other care settings. Innovation will improve information sharing between these settings and help avoid the sorts of mishaps that we see happening in aged care, and which were exposed by the Royal Commission,” Dr Bartone said.

Dr Bartone highlighted that while residential aged care facilities (RACFs) have the responsibility to continuously strive to improve care, including through technological innovation, this will require significant new and recurrent funding. This funding is crucial as RACFs must be upgraded and upskilled to increase and improve integration and coordination - not only with primary care, but the wider health system in general.

The AMA Position Statement on Innovation in Aged Care is available here.  

Read the full media release here