The Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service is a national system for allocating a unique identifier to healthcare professionals, organisations and consumers. Healthcare Identifiers will help ensure consumers and healthcare professionals can have confidence that the right information is associated with the right individual at the point of care. The HI Service allocates three types of healthcare identifiers:
- Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) – for individuals (consumers) receiving healthcare services
- Healthcare Provider Identifier – Individual (HPI-I) – for healthcare professionals involved in providing patient care. Healthcare professionals who are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will have been be assigned a HPI-I, and AHPRA will advise them of this number.
- Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) – for organisations that deliver health care (such as hospitals or general practices)
An important component of the HI Service is the Healthcare Provider Directory (HPD), which is a listing of healthcare providers (individuals and organisations) who are registered with the HI Service and have opted to list their nominated information in the directory. It includes contact and location details, as well as details of services provided. The HPD is not a public directory and is only available to healthcare providers and authorised users of organisations registered with the HI Service.
Communicare has developed a function which allows the patients “Individual Health Identifier” number (IHI) to be downloaded from the national Health Identifier Service into the patients Communicare file. This process happens in the background when a patient’s file is opened. It is recommended for services to turn this module on so that patients IHI numbers can be collected now. These numbers will be the building blocks for ehealth into the future as they are required for sending to and viewing from the PCEHR, and will also be used for Secure Electronic Messaging.
NT ACCHSs are also encouraged to record their organisations Health Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPIO) and Health Provider Identifier – Individual (HPII for health providers) within Communicare (instructions also in the Help Menu).