Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Person—Individual Healthcare Identifier, N(16)

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termIndividual Healthcare Identifier
Synonymous names:Help on this termIHI
METeOR identifier:Help on this term432495
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 08/05/2014
Definition:Help on this termThe numerical identifier that uniquely identifies each individual in the Australian healthcare system.
Data Element Concept:Person—Individual Healthcare Identifier

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termIdentifier
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN(16)
Maximum character length:Help on this term16

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termCancer Australia
Reference documents:Help on this termNational E-Health Transition Authority 2010. HI service: concept of operations. Version 2.0-final release. Sydney: National E-Health Transition Authority

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Each person's Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) is unique within the Australian health care system.

Record the full Individual Healthcare Identifier for an individual.

The IHI is part of the government's e-health initiative developed to enhance the way information is exchanged, shared and managed in the Australian health sector. Electronic identifiers and the systems underpinning them were developed and are maintained by Medicare Australia.

Individual Healthcare Identifiers are automatically assigned to all individuals registered with Medicare Australia or enrolled in the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) programs. Those not enrolled in Medicare Australia or with the Department of Veterans' Affairs are assigned a temporary number when they next seek healthcare; this is then validated by the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service Operator and becomes their unique IHI.

Only the individual, authorised healthcare providers and their authorised staff can access an individual's IHI number.

Each Individual Healthcare Identifier has an Identifier Status; this describes whether verification of the identifier of the individual has occurred and is based on the evidence available of a person's identity:

  • Verified: All individuals eligible for Medicare or DVA benefits are assigned a verified IHI automatically.
  • Unverified: For individuals whose identifier cannot be retrieved and who have an IHI created for them at the point of care. This caters, for instance, for newborns and overseas visitors.
  • Provisional: Individuals who present at the point of care unconscious or unknown may be assigned a provisional IHI by the healthcare provider. This IHI expires after 90 days of inactivity on the assumption the patient will become known and a verified IHI obtained for them, or their IHI will be converted to an unverified IHI.

The IHI number does not change regardless of the person's Identifier Status.

All healthcare identifiers use the International Standard ISO 7812-1:2006 that specifies the numbering system for identification cards.

The format of the number is as follows:

Digits N1-N6: The issuer identification number, which in turn is made up of:

N1-N2, Major industry identifier: 80 = health
N3-N5, Country code: 036 = Australia
N6, Number type: 0 = IHI

Digits N7-N15: Individual account identification (9 digits for the unique identifier)

Digit N16: Check digit

Collection methods:Help on this termAuthorised healthcare providers and their authorised staff can access an individual's IHI online through the HI Service at the Medicare website.
Comments:Help on this termThe Individual Healthcare Identifier is an initiative of e-health and supports the accurate retrieval, discovery and recording of an individual's electronic health information, as part of the delivery of healthcare in Australia.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termCancer Australia
Reference documents:Help on this termNational E-Health Transition Authority 2010. HI service: concept of operations. Version 2.0-final release. Sydney: National E-Health Transition Authority

Relational attributes

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Lung cancer (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 14/05/2015

Lung cancer (clinical) NBPDS Health, Standard 14/05/2015

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