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National roadmap released to drive adoption of healthcare identifiers across healthcare settings

Published 1 July 2024

The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) has published the National Healthcare Identifiers Roadmap 2023-2028 (the HI Roadmap), a strategic plan devised in collaboration with the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) and Services Australia to drive uptake of the Healthcare Identifiers Service (HI Service). Healthcare identifiers are unique numbers used to identify individuals and are used by healthcare providers and healthcare organisations to connect the right information with the right person at the point of care.

The Agency’s Chief Digital Officer, Peter O’Halloran, said the HI Roadmap, developed as one of the priorities of the Connecting Australian Healthcare - National Healthcare Interoperability Plan 2023-2028, outlines a vision for the broad adoption of national healthcare identifiers to enable a connected and interoperable health system where every person, healthcare provider and organisation can be accurately and quickly identified.

"Healthcare identifiers are the linchpin for safe, secure and seamless information sharing across the nation’s healthcare system in near real time. They are central to the evolution of digital health and will empower Australian healthcare consumers to have continuous care across all healthcare facilities in every corner of Australia,” Mr O’Halloran said.

DoHAC’s Assistant Secretary of the Digital Health Branch, Simon Cleverley, said the HI Roadmap is the result of working closely with the states and territories and key delivery partners to develop the foundations of a more connected health system and better health outcomes for Australia.

“Increased adoption of the national healthcare identifiers will mean Australians will avoid having to retell their story as they move across the health system. Access to information in real time will also support healthcare providers to make well informed clinical decisions and care plans,” Mr Cleverley said.

“The Healthcare Identifiers Roadmap follows the release of the Australian Government’s Digital Health Blueprint and Action Plan 2023 – 2033 and other key digital health strategies and plans and furthers the commitment to leverage national infrastructure.

General Manager of the Health Programs Division at Services Australia, Stuart Turnbull, acknowledges the importance of the HI Roadmap as a stepping stone for future innovation that will impact health, disability and aged care services.

“Services Australia has a long history of developing systems in support of Australia’s healthcare delivery. As the HI Service operator, we look forward to working with our colleagues and the broader healthcare industry in this initiative, which will promote a modernised, better connected healthcare system,” Mr Turnbull said.

The HI Roadmap highlights activities to drive wider up-take of the HI Service to improve quality and consistency in the identification of individuals, providers and healthcare organisations. These include:

  • Improving the quality and accuracy of the HI Service and associated data
  • Enhancing the functionality and usability of the HI Service
  • Increasing the awareness and adoption of the HI Service across the health sector
  • Enabling innovation and future-proofing the HI Service

The HI Roadmap is available on the Agency's website: https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/about-us/strategies-and-plans/national-healthcare-identifiers-roadmap.

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Download the media release (PDF, 198.4 KB).

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About the Australian Digital Health Agency

When it comes to improving the health of all Australians, the role of digital innovation and connection is a vital part of a modern, accessible healthcare system. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, digital health has seen exponential growth in relevance and importance, making it more pertinent than ever for all Australians and healthcare providers.

Better patient healthcare and health outcomes are possible when you have a health infrastructure that can be safely accessed, easily used and responsibly shared.

To achieve this, the National Digital Health Strategy is establishing the foundations for a sustainable health system that constantly improves. It underpins and coordinates work that is already happening between governments, healthcare providers, consumers, innovators and the technology industry.

For further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au.

The Australian Digital Health Agency is jointly funded by the Australian Government and all state and territory governments.

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