Department of Health

Governance and use of National Health Service Directory data

The National Health Services Directory (NHSD) is a consolidated and comprehensive national directory of health services and provider information. It covers all Australian jurisdictions with services across the public and private sector. 

The NHSD has been implemented and developed using national and emerging international standards and is originally based on the Victorian Human Services Directory (VHSD). 

Digital Health standards make use of NHSD data. It is mandatory for health services to use this directory as the primary source for Practitioner information for the purposes of distributing discharge summaries to general practitioners and specialists and for identifying eReferral recipients.

The increased dependency on the NHSD’s accuracy has highlighted the need for transparency around the governance of its data and population in health applications. Health organisations are particularly reliant on the validity of Electronic Identifiers (EIDs). EIDs are essential for the delivery of discharge summaries via an Electronic Messaging Service (EMS), such as Health Link or Argus. Whilst the EMS providers are the assigning authorities for these identifiers, the NHSD is the data source for this information for health organisations.

Digital Health has developed a good governance guide for the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in relation to the delivery of discharge summaries and Electronic Identifier management in the NHSD.

Data from the NHSD is available via an API or HL7 MFN batch messages generated by the Digital Health on a weekly basis.

Health Direct Australia currently manages the NHSD. Jurisdictions across Australia have identified challenges in utilising the NSHD to achieve a national Secure Messaging Delivery (SMD) future. It is anticipated that changes will occur to the NHSD and that new infrastructure may be introduced into the overall solution space. This standard is focused on the current uses of the NHSD within Victoria for the distribution of general practitioner and specialist details into key health service applications that generate discharge summary documents for distribution to general practitioners and specialist. A separate specification/standard will be generated for management of provider/clinician within a health service.

Purpose

The purpose of this standard are:

  • To define the governance and use of National Health Service Directory. The increased dependency on the NHSD’s accuracy has highlighted the need for transparency around the governance of its data and population in health applications. 
  • As the primary source for Practitioner information for the purposes of distributing discharge summaries to general practitioners and specialists and for identifying eReferral recipients
  • Defines the governance guide for the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in relation to the delivery of discharge summaries and Electronic identifiers management in NHSD

Downloads

Reviewed 31 July 2022

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