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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin August 2010
5 AUGUST 2010 The Healthcare Identifiers Bill 2010 (News Bulletin, March 2010) was passed into legislation to set up the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service on 24 June 2010. The National eHealth Transition Authority (NEHTA) is working with jurisdictions to implement healthcare identifiers as a foundation to support key eHealth initiatives. It is important to note that eHealth and the HI Service are two different initiatives that sit under the one umbrella. The eHealth initiative was developed to transform the Australian healthcare system from one that is paper based that limits access to the patient's vital healthcare information to an electronic system that delivers vital healthcare information "to the right person in the right place at the right time". NATIONAL eHEALTH STRATEGY The National eHealth Strategy comprises five foundation building blocks to enable national eHealth: • Identification Unique numbers to identify patients, healthcare providers and places of treatment. • Authentication A nationwide authentication service to provide secure access to health information. • Interpretation Standard clinical terms to ensure information can be easily understood. • Security World-class security to ensure information is protected from intrusion or misuse. • Privacy Enhanced privacy safeguards through technical security and legislation. THE HEALTHCARE IDENTIFIERS (HI) SERVICE The Healthcare Identifiers Service comprises three unique healthcare identifiers which underpin the patient journey through the health system. Healthcare identifiers uniquely and accurately identify individuals, providers and organizations. Each identifier is a unique 16-digit reference number. • IHI for individuals. This is not the same as a Medicare number; • HPI-I for individual providers; and • HPI-O for organizational providers. Healthcare identifiers will: • allow healthcare information to be shared among authorized providers -- but no-one else; • link healthcare information to an individual, no matter how many providers they see or how many times they change address; • reduce the risk of: - information being sent to the wrong healthcare provider or assigned to the wrong patient; - medication errors; - incorrect surgical interventions; - diagnostic testing errors. • allow for the development of secure, person-controlled individual electronic health records. NEHTA advised the ADA that dentists will be treated as a 'Healthcare Provider', i.e., dentists will be assigned a Healthcare Provider Identifiers -- Individual (HPI-Is) and dentist practices / organizations will be assigned a Healthcare Provider Identifiers -- Organization (HPI-Os). HI Service will allow authorized users to: • attach nationally recognized individual, provider and organizational healthcare identifiers to patient records and local directories; • use the HI Provider Directory Service to locate other healthcare providers and facilities who have agreed to make their information available anywhere in Australia; • use the HI Service to routinely update local patient records to ensure they are accurate; and • easily access HI Service functions through their patient administration systems or provider's systems. BENEFITS FOR USERS The benefits for users are as follows: • increased confidence in communications; • improved data quality; • more efficient administration; • lower costs; and • fewer complaints about administrative errors, and delays. HEALTHCARE IDENTIFIERS Service Update The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health and Ageing with Dr Mukesh Haikerwal tour the model healthcare community in Canberra. The tour allowed for face-to-face discussion with the people behind the development of national eHealth.
ADA News Bulletin September 2010