What is FluCARE?
The InFluenza Outbreak Communication, Advice and Reporting application (FluCARE) is an innovative web-application designed to support staff in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) to detect symptoms of influenza in residents as early as possible. This enables RACF staff to respond to influenza outbreaks in a timely manner so they can effectively manage them.

Why is it needed?
Elderly people living in RACFs have a higher risk of hospitalisation and death due to influenza than other population groups. FluCARE aims to reduce this risk by allowing:

  • Early detection of outbreaks
  • Timely surveillance and monitoring of influenza outbreaks in RACFs
  • Support in the rapid implementation of outbreak control measures

How does FluCARE work?

  • RACF staff record a residents’ symptoms on the FluCARE application
  • FluCARE automatically detects when the definition of an influenza outbreak is met and immediately notifies the facility (and any partnered GPs)
  • FluCARE provides easy access to information resources and outbreak management checklists for RACF staff
  • FluCARE allows rapid information sharing between the RACF and Sydney Local Health District Public Health Unit (SLHD PHU) to ensure a more coordinated response to the outbreak

Where is FluCARE used?
FluCARE is now available to all RACFs in Sydney Local Health District, with consenting RACFs being part of a pilot study that runs until December 2020. FluCARE will be evaluated at the end of this pilot as part of a feasibility study aiming to determine if the application is user-friendly and useful for RACF staff. This pilot is being funded by a $100 000 research grant awarded to the PHU from Sydney Health Partners through the Medical Research Futures Fund program. The results of the pilot will be used to improve FluCARE as it continues to be available to all RACFs in the District in 2021, with a further effectiveness evaluation planned for this time. Ultimately, it is hoped that it will be used in RACFs across NSW.

Does your RACF want to use FluCARE?
More information about FluCARE is also available here. If you are a nurse, manager or GP working in a RACF in the District and would like to use FluCARE in your facility, please contact us via email at SLHD-CDTeam@health.nsw.gov.au.

Research partners: Sydney Local Health District Public Health Unit, Sydney Health Partners, University of Sydney, Central and South Eastern Primary Health Network, and National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.

The University of Sydney
Sydney Health Partners