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Provider Connect Australia: Helping healthcare providers stay connected

February 03, 2022

Provider Connect Australia (PCA) will be rolled out nationally later this year, allowing healthcare providers to keep information about their healthcare services and practitioners up to date, in just one place. When healthcare providers update their contact details in the PCA service, this will automatically send their new details to nominated hospitals, pathology and radiology services, eliminating the need to keep multiple directories up-to-date manually.

How it works

Reducing red tape for healthcare provider organisations and improving the quality of healthcare service information throughout the healthcare ecosystem.

Healthcare provider organisations will soon be able to use Provider Connect Australia to connect with their business partners and streamline updates of the services they provide and the practitioners that provide them. By providing consistent, up to date information about healthcare services to funders, hospitals, health service directories, communications services and other key partners in healthcare delivery, Provider Connect Australia will ensure that providers and consumers have access to the information they need when they need it. This will lead to a more efficient, connected, and accessible healthcare system.

The PCA also creates unique identifiers for healthcare services, service delivery locations and practitioners’ service delivery roles, allowing these to be reliably identified and linked across the healthcare system. Accurate and reliable information about healthcare services is a key foundation to improving interoperability and supporting a digitally connected healthcare system.

The current registration challenge

Healthcare provider organisations rely on many business partners to support their healthcare service delivery. In most cases these business partners require the healthcare provider organisation to register details of the services they provide and the practitioners that provide them. Registering these details with these partners and keeping them up to date with changes can be a significant burden.

For example, when a new practitioner joins a healthcare service, forms must be completed to update each partner. Conversely, when a practitioner leaves a healthcare service, the business partners also need to be notified.

The impacts

Manually notifying business partners whenever an organisation’s service delivery details change is not only cumbersome, but can lead to human error, too. Common impacts include:

  • Time-poor staff may only notify the highest-priority partners like the funders, leaving other partners (such as health services directories and hospitals) with incomplete and out-of-date information.
  • Many might also not be advised when practitioners have left a healthcare service, resulting in referrals and reports not reaching the desks of the right healthcare recipient.
  • Errors are made in the completion of forms (both paper or online) and further errors made on transcribing the information into partners’ systems.
  • Poor usability of secure messaging. There is no way to reliably identify healthcare services, resulting in significant manual effort in the addressing of electronic messages. This is one of the most significant barriers to the success of secure messaging and will continue to hamper future efforts at healthcare system interoperability.

Benefits to business partners

Business partners using Provider Connect Australia can streamline their client registration process, and reduce or eliminate the potential for errors from manually transcribing information.

  • Lower cost of processing client registrations
  • Lower cost of processing client updates
  • Improved client satisfaction
  • Streamlined client registration and updates
  • Improved timeliness, completeness and accuracy of client data

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