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Person and provider identification in healthcare National Best Practice Data Set

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term529511
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 05/10/2016
DSS type:Help on this termData Set Specification (DSS)
Scope:Help on this term

The Person and provider identification in healthcare National Best Practice Data Set (NBPDS) provides a framework for the accurate identification of individuals (clients and providers of healthcare) and healthcare organisations. It covers identifiers used in the Australian healthcare system, including but not limited to, national healthcare identifiers.

The data set helps identify the following three groups:

  • clients of the healthcare system (including potential clients and carers for clients)
  • individual providers of services in the healthcare system
  • organisations that provide healthcare services.

The data set is intended for use by health and health-related establishments that create, use or maintain records on individual clients and healthcare providers.

The data set supports uniform good practice in identifying individuals and healthcare organisations, and recording and using their identifying data. The correct application of this data set will assist in ensuring that records relating to each individual or organisation are associated with that individual or organisation, and no other.

Unambiguous identification of an individual in healthcare—particularly when communicating between computer systems or organisations, and when referencing files of information about an individual—requires the use of a unique identifier. Unique identifiers may be allocated by national authorities (for example, Medicare number), state or territory authorities, local government authorities, individual healthcare organisations (for example, the record number) or by departments within an organisation (for example, the diagnostic service number).

The data set supports the concept of an index of identifiers that allows the use of multiple and multilevel identifiers for a given individual.

Collection and usage attributes

Statistical unit:Help on this term

Individual healthcare client; individual healthcare provider; organisational healthcare provider.

Guide for use:Help on this term

The data set is intended to complement the requirements of the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service.

Relationship to the HI Service

The HI Service is funded by all Australian governments and is the foundation for the broader eHealth system. This service is underpinned by the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 (the HI Act), the Healthcare Identifiers Regulations 2010, the National Partnership Agreement on E-Health, and the service level agreements between the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Australian Government Department of Human Services.

The HI Service provides services to the health sector that will assist in the identification of individuals (patients and healthcare providers) and organisations involved in the receipt or provision of healthcare. This service is in evolution and is likely to change over time. The HI Service uses a unique 16 digit identification number. However, these are not the only identifiers used in healthcare, nor do they necessarily replace the use of local identifiers in individual healthcare organisations.

The HI Act restricts the way in which the national identifiers and the HI Service can be used and specifies three types of national healthcare identifiers:

  • Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) for individuals receiving healthcare services
  • Healthcare Provider Identifier–Individual (HPI-I) for healthcare professionals involved in providing patient care
  • Healthcare Provider Identifier–Organisation (HPI-O) for organisations that deliver healthcare (such as hospitals or general practices).
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Glossary items

Glossary terms that are relevant to this NBPDS are included here.



Data exchange agreement



Geographic indicator

Healthcare provider

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Reference documents:Help on this term

Standards Australia 2014. AS 4846:2014 Person and provider identification in healthcare. Sydney: Standards Australia.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Health care client identification DSS Health, Retired 20/03/2013

See also Health care provider identification DSS Health, Retired 20/03/2013

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

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Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
1Identification in healthcare clusterOptional1
2Individual name clusterOptional1
3Individual demographic identifiers clusterOptional1
4Address group clusterOptional1
5Electronic address clusterOptional1
6Healthcare provider qualification and registration clusterOptional1
7Healthcare provider organisation clusterOptional1
8Biometric identifiers clusterOptional1
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