Getting started with digital health
Healthcare Identifiers Service
The Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service is a national system for uniquely identifying healthcare providers, organisations and individuals. Healthcare identifiers help ensure individuals and providers have confidence the right information is associated with the right individual at the point of care, so that we know for whom care was provided to, who provided it, and where it was provided. They are an important building block for the My Health Record (MHR) system, electronic prescriptions and secure messaging.
As part of the HI Service, every Australian resident is allocated a unique 16-digit IHI. All individuals who are eligible for Medicare, or who are eligible for a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) pension, automatically have an IHI assigned to them.
Do individuals need to remember their IHI?
Individuals don’t need to remember or do anything with their IHI. It has been created to be used by healthcare providers to improve the security and efficient management of patient personal health information. Non-residents such as overseas travellers may also be issued with an IHI when seeking medical treatment in Australia.
What information does the HI Service hold?
The information held by the HI Service is limited to demographic information (such as patient’s name, date of birth and sex) which is needed to uniquely identify the patient and their healthcare providers. It is not a health record. Healthcare identifiers do not replace Medicare or DVA numbers and do not affect the way medical benefits are claimed.
What types of healthcare identifiers does the HI Service allocate?
- 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).
Provider Digital Access (PRODA)
Provider Digital Access (PRODA) is an identity verification and authentication system used to access online government services.
In order to use PRODA, you will need to set up an individual account (PRODA accounts are individual for each healthcare provider, not organisation wide).
PRODA has replaced Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) individual certificates. After registering for a PRODA account, health professionals and their delegated administrative users, such as practice staff, can access Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) with their username, password and verification code.
For more information and assistance, you can contact Services Australia’s eBusiness Service Centre on 1800 700 199.
Health Professional Online Service (HPOS)
Health Professional Online Services (HPOS), accessed via a PRODA account, is a fast and secure way for health care providers and administrators to do business with Services Australia.
You can access things like services, payment and programs, Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), Centrelink forms, online claiming and request and manage PKI certificates.
Public Key Infrastructure Certificates
A National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Certificate is issued by Services Australia and designed to adhere to high encryption standards. This certificate uses the SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2) cryptographic hash function to provide an enhanced level of security. The addition of an authentication process ensures integrity and confidentiality of patient information when healthcare providers access and share health information.
A NASH certificate helps your healthcare organisation to:
- access, view, and upload information to My Health Record
- securely share health information using software that meets secure messaging delivery requirements
- use Queensland Health GP Smart Referrals
- allow connection to the Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service
- validate Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI)s for electronic prescriptions.
Healthcare providers use NASH by installing a NASH PKI certificate into their clinical software (confirm with your software provider for further instructions). The software conformance register can be accessed the Australian Digital Health Agency NASH SHA-2 Readiness Register.
Note: Support for NASH SHA-1 and Medicare PKI expires 24 March 2024.
If you have not yet transitioned to NASH SHA-2, please contact your software vendor, or follow the instructions available on the ADHA website.
How do I request, renew, or revoke NASH PKI Certificate?
Step by step instructions for how to request, renew, or revoke a NASH PKI certificate can be found on the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) page.
Certificates can only be managed by a Responsible Officer (RO) or Organisation Maintenance Officer (OMO) through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) tile.
Personal Identification Code (PIC), a secure code, will be assigned to you to access your certificate when it is ready to download. The certificate will be locked if the PIC has been entered incorrectly 3 times.
How long does the NASH PKI Certificate last?
NASH PKI Certificate has a two-year expiry from a date of issue. Your organisation will receive notification when the certificate is due to expire. You can apply for a new certificate before the expiry date.
Services Australia upgraded its digital health and aged care channels to web services and Provider Digital Access (PRODA). It strengthened their authentication process by replacing Medicare PKI Site certificates with PRODA for organisations.
Provider Digital Access (PRODA) is an online secure individual identity or organisation verification and authentication system.
PRODA and web services are used to securely link to and access the following digital health and aged care channels:
- Medicare Online
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) via Medicare Online
- Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) via Medicare Online
- Electronic Claim Lodgement and Information Processing Service Environment (ECLIPSE)
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Online
- Aged Care Web Services.
Note: Health Professional Online Services (HPOS), although not part of web services, enables access to services, payments and programs including (AIR, DVA, PBS and the Patient Verification (Find a patient) service using PRODA.
Resources to help your organisation move to web services and PRODA can be found on the Services Australia website. For information how to transition please contact your software vendor.
eBusiness Service Centre for help relating to progress a NASH PKI Certificate request and for support with HPOS & PRODA enquiries
P: 1800 700 199
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time