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Streamlined practice administration and better patient outcomes

Published 20 December 2019

20 December 2019: The new Service Registration Assistant – now entering the evaluation phase – can be used to reduce paperwork, keep healthcare practice details accurate and improve patient outcomes and experiences.

Setting up a healthcare practice is a bit like moving into a new house and needing to set up a variety of services, like gas, electricity, internet and water to live comfortably. When a healthcare practice starts up, they have to connect with a range of external services to do their job, for example, Medicare, a secure messaging provider and their insurance provider, just to name a few. Each time the organisation has a change, for example, when a new health practitioner joins, they must update those same services. A typical practice could complete up to 20 different forms to update a variety of external services, each time using the same information.

This is where the Service Registration Assistant (SRA) can help.

Reducing the burden of maintaining accurate data

The SRA collects core data that is needed for almost every transaction with an external service, such as the organisation’s name, ABN, healthcare identifiers, healthcare services, and the practitioners that work in the organisation. This data is validated against authoritative databases to ensure the data is accurate, before it is published to nominated external organisations.

Data icons

The Service Registration Assistant can automate routine updates to healthcare provider services

The tool offers immediate benefits for healthcare organisations by reducing the burden of needing to complete the same details across many different forms.

Improving patient outcomes through better data quality

SRA saves time and resources for organisations, but it can also contribute to better patient outcomes and experiences by improving the quality of data available to practitioners when addressing and sending electronic communications. For instance, discharge summaries from hospitals often don’t make it back to general practitioners because of missing or inaccurate addressing information that is necessary for communicating between organisations. This means discharge summaries are being written but they aren’t making it to their destination.

Use of the SRA should reduce this problem, among others. The evaluation phase will enable the Agency to confirm the effectiveness of the tool in improving data quality to close the gap on the number of discharge summaries that are written but never make it back to a patient’s GP.

Evaluation phase commencing soon

The Agency is collaborating with the North Coast Primary Health Network (NC PHN) and the Northern NSW Local Health District, which is currently in the recruitment phase for the evaluation and will be starting before the end of the year.

If you choose to participate in the SRA evaluation, your practice and practitioner information will flow securely to external services to which you choose to disclose, such as:

  • Northern NSW Local Health District – will ensure that discharge summaries reach the right person at the right place
  • Secure message providers
  • Pathology services providers
  • The National Health Services Directory (NHSD) – will ensure that your organisation details listed are kept current.

If you would like more information or are interested in joining the evaluation, please contact the NC PHN’s digital health team at [email protected].1

  1. Please note that only organisations in the northern NSW region are eligible, and participation is capped at 100 organisations. 

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