The data elements specified in this metadata set provide a framework for improving the positive identification of persons in health care organisations. This metadata set applies in respect of all potential or actual clients of the Australian health care system. It defines demographic and other identifying data elements suited to capture and use for person identification in health care settings.
The objectives in collecting the data elements in this metadata set are to promote uniformly good practice in:
recording identifying data so as to ensure that each individual's health records will be associated with that individual and no other.
The process of positively identifying people within a health care service delivery context entails matching data supplied by those individuals against data the service provider holds about them. The positive and unique identification of health care clients is a critical event in health service delivery, with direct implications for the safety and quality of health care.
There are many barriers to successfully identifying individuals in health care settings, including variable data quality; differing data capture requirements and mechanisms; and varying data matching methods. These definitions provide a base for improving the confidence of health service providers and clients alike that the data being associated with any given individual, and upon which clinical decisions are made, is appropriately associated.
Collection and usage attributes
This metadata set is primarily concerned with the clinical use of Health care client identification data. It should be used by health and health-related establishments that create, use or maintain, records on health care clients.
Establishments should use this metadata set, where appropriate, for collecting data when registering health care clients or potential health care clients.
The collection of data based on this metadata set is voluntary.
National reporting arrangements
Collectors of this metadata set should refer to relevant privacy legislation, codes of fair information practice and other guidelines so as not to breach personal privacy in their collection, use, storage and disclosure of health care client information. There is no comprehensive privacy legislation covering both the public and private sectors across Australia so users need to consider their particular set of circumstances (i.e. location and sector) and whether privacy legislation covers those circumstances.
A Commonwealth legislative scheme applies to the private sector. Users may refer to the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s web site for assistance in complying with their privacy obligations. In the public sector, in instances where no legislation, code of fair information practice or other guidelines covers the particular circumstances, users should refer to AS 4400 Personal privacy protection in health care information systems.