Department of Health

Digital health standards and guidelines

Digital Health of Victoria Department of Health develops and publish digital health standards and guidelines to (a) Guide and support Victoria public health services (VPHS) on principles, best practices, and approach on their ICT delivery, thus improving maturity of health applications (b) Guide strategic approaches to architecture and standards on digital health programs of work to align with national and international practices to encompass and reflect the diverse health ICT environment in Victoria and (c) Guide digital health initiatives for Victorian health ICT eco system on its digital transformation journey.

Digital Health standards and guidelines

  • The Digital health capability framework for allied health professionals specifies core aspects of digital health for allied health professionals. This framework will:

    • guide allied health use of digital health technologies and clinical information systems
    • improve coordination of patient care, safety and clinical outcomes, and
    • drive innovation and research into new models of care.

    Overview

    The Digital health capability framework for allied health professionals aims to outline knowledge and behaviours required for safe, effective allied health practice in digitised health care environments. In addition, it articulates a pathway for allied health professionals pursuing a career in digital health and clinical informatics.

    The framework identifies four domains and outlines the capabilities essential to the provision of safe and high quality care:

    • Domain 1: The digital workplace
    • Domain 2: Digital professionalism
    • Domain 3: Data and informatics
    • Domain 4: Digital transformation.

    By enabling allied health workforce development, the framework contributes to best practice, service improvement and health outcomes. The self-evaluation tool will support individual allied health professionals, teams and departments to evaluate their digital health knowledge and skills. Learning and development plans can then be implemented.

    Downloads

  • Overview

    This standard defines the principles and design considerations to successfully implement and manage key Clinical and EMR applications within a complex eHealth environment.

    eHealth is a complex environment that consists of several healthcare applications required to interact with each other, the national initiatives including national identifiers (IHI, HOI-O, HPI-I) and the My Health Record.

    The standard also provides a foundation for health services that are aiming to implement to a Victorian Digital Health Maturity Level.

    Briefly, this standard is a guide that covers the following:

    • The application initiation requirements, which are standard requirements to successfully implement an eHealth project.
    • Function requirements to ensure the application covers the key scope for which the application is being delivered.
    • Governance to manage delivery of the application within the complex environment.
    • Design configuration, constraints and assumptions for EMR, Alerts and Allergy Design.

    Also included are the international, national and local Victorian standards appropriate for the implementation of the key clinical applications.

    Downloads

     

  • Application of this standard to the implementation of EMR/CIS by health agencies will ensure continued interoperability of data applications across the state, now, and position health services to exchange data in line with future Victorian initiatives such as state-wide unique patient identification and sector wide shared clinical information whilst enabling connectivity to the national eHealth infrastructure.

    Overview

    This Standard defines the minimum set of functional requirements for any implementation of Clinical Information Systems and Electronic Medical Record by health services in the Victoria Public Health Sector. They are a base set of interface, terminology and functions that enable interoperability within and external to a health service.

    The standard will enable health service EMR and CIS applications to integrate with current and emerging national digital health services such as My Health Record, the HI service, national electronic transfer of prescriptions.

    Prior to this standard, the department (i.e. DHHS) has spent many years delivering standard and guides to the Victorian Public Health Sector (VPHS) which not only supports interoperability within the state in the current environment, but positions health services to better receive and implement national initiatives, like My Health Record. The standard includes both mandatory and optional requirements.

    The mandatory requirements cover the categories of Terminology, Interfacing, ADHA, localisation to Australian and Victorian requirements and functional requirements, while the optional/future requirements cover the categories of terminology, ADHA and functional requirements.

    Downloads

  • Overview

    The Digital Design Unified Implementation Guide is intended to assist health services with definitive usage of the HL7 2.4 Standard for applications that send HL7 messages to, and receive HL7 messages from, Digital Design applications. Digital Design hosts the core financial, human resources, patient management, client management and clinical applications used by several public health services in Victoria.

    The guide is generic in its purpose, and although Digital Design specific products are nominated, this is also a foundation level interoperability guide for several standardised interfaces, e.g.: Pathology and Imaging Orders and Results, Medication Orders, Patient Administration, Emergency Department, Discharge Summary and general Clinical Systems interfaces.

    The guide supports the design and implementation of broadly accepted and standards based HL7 2.4 interfaces between vendor applications. This guide forms the basis on which standard interfaces should be designed and implemented, with any potential variations to the guide being agreed in consultation with Digital Design.

    Downloads

     

  • The Electronic prescription guide provide a collection of resources for VPHS to support their ePrescribing implementation in three scenarios – Emergency Department, on discharge and outpatient setting. It describes two implementation pathways for VPHS setting in Victoria (i.e., Open and Direct); it also includes key considerations to run the service as well as list of relevant international/local documents for reference.

    Downloads

  • This standard defines the minimum set of functional requirements for any implementation of electronic referrals by health services in the Victoria Public Health Sector. They are a base set of criteria, data definitions and functions that enable the secure and interoperable transfer of health information between healthcare providers external to a health service.

    The standard defines minimum technical requirements that enable healthcare providers to generate a written request for the review, diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition and with pre-existing information recorded in the local clinical information system.

    The standard includes both mandatory and optional requirements to be included in the eReferral. This information must be assembled in a structured format to enable the exchange of information between clinical systems. The information in the eReferral message is encrypted so only the intended referral recipient can access the information in it.

    The mandatory requirements cover the categories of terminology, interfacing and conformance to Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) specifications, localisation to Australian and Victorian requirements and functional requirements.

    For Victorian Public Health Service, this eReferral standard is based on the technical specifications that have been developed by the Agency with adjustments that are aligned to the Department of Health and Human Services (the department) policies and guidelines. This standard supports the department’s Access Policies for managing referrals.

    Downloads

  • 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

  • This document is a clinical system guide and standard for interfacing from an electronic prescribing system to a pharmacy application. Pharmacy Interfacing is a best practice guide that has been developed in collaboration with the VPHS, and aligns clinical system and EMR pharmacy vendors with a standards based approach for pharmacy interfacing. Current vendors have performed and implemented the necessary product modifications to meet these standards for the VPHS. Variations to this standard should first be reviewed and discussed with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Digital Health branch before enabling the variation.

    Overview

    This standard is for interfacing electronic prescribing system with pharmacy application. It includes Inpatient medications management, Outpatient medications management and Discharge medications management. The Inpatient medication management covers total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and Intravenous (IV) fluids (i.e. multi-component medication) while the Outpatient and Discharge medication management covers PBS prescribing.

    The standard describes a conceptual pathway that represent the medication management process within a Clinical system, and which include associated interfacing to the Pharmacy application. The associated interfacing is represented through an Interface model. The interface model depicts message flow from Clinical system, through the Integration engine of Digital Health and the Agency to the Pharmacy Application. The message flow varies depending on whether the Pharmacy application can receive an RDE message or an ORM Order message.

    The standard covers detailed process of message flow for various scenarios which include Alerts and Allergies, Prescriptions for Outpatients and Discharge Medications, PBS/RPBS Prescriptions for Inpatient (Day Oncology), Inpatient Prescriptions, Combination Drugs, Compound/Complex (Multi-Ingredient) Medications, Cancels/Modifications, Authority Notification System(ANS), Catalogues, The Stock Control Process, Electronic Medication Dispensing Cabinets, Barcode Scanning for Medications Administration and Blood Bank Orders.

    Also included in the standard is a Medication orders technical specification for the two message types of ADT (Update Person Information) and RDE (Pharmacy Encoded Order).

    Readers/users of this document can also leave feedback through our feedback form.

    Downloads

  • Application of this standard to the implementation of PAS by health agencies will ensure continued interoperability of data applications across the state, now, and position health services to exchange data in line with future Victorian initiatives such as state-wide unique patient identification and sector wide shared clinical information whilst enabling connectivity to the national eHealth infrastructure.

    Overview

    This Standard defines the minimum set of functional requirements for an implementation of Patient Administration System by health services in the Victoria Public Health Sector. They are a base set of interface, terminology and regulatory requirements that enable interoperability within and external to a health service. The standard will enable integration with national digital health services such as My Health Record, the HI service, national electronic transfer of prescriptions.

    Prior to this standard, the department (i.e. DHHS) has spent many years delivering standard and guides to the Victorian Public Health Sector (VPHS) which not only supports interoperability within the state in the current environment, but positions health services to better receive and implement national initiatives, like the My Health Record. The standard includes both mandatory and optional requirements.

    The mandatory requirements cover the categories of Terminology, Interfacing, Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), Localisation to Australian and Victorian requirements and Regulatory requirements, while the optional/future requirements cover the categories of ADHA, Terminology, ADHA and Episode management.

    Downloads

  • Application of this standard to manage outpatient appointments will:

    • Improve data integrity
    • Empowers patients to manage their own information
    • Streamlines the intake process and
    • Introduces resource efficiencies

    Overview

    This Standard provides a recommended approach and a flexible solution for interoperability between an Outpatient Appointment booking system and an Outpatient Queue Management application. Queue management solutions are technologies designed to arrange patient appointments and manage queues to support patient flow and consultation scheduling.  

    Typically, such systems are required to interface to and automatically update clinical, patient administration and/or billing systems.

    The approach taken to support such integration may be one of these two namely:

    This standard will fill the gap previously recognised by health agencies, of a need for a patient centred and integrated approach to manage outpatients' appointments. 

    Downloads

  • Overview

    The VPHS has defined a state-wide pathology and imaging catalogue. This catalogue was created through Digital Design, and by the Pathology and Imaging Clinical System Working Group. This group includes representation from health services across Victoria. A Victorian catalogue was created for use across Victoria and contains substantial input from Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and specifically designed to move towards a national catalogue once this catalogue becomes available. Should you wish to use the catalogues for implementation purposes, please contact Digital Design for the latest version and further advice.

    Downloads

  • Overview

    Virtual care standard and guide recommends minimum set of functional requirements to successfully implement and maintain virtual care services in VPHS. The document includes key considerations to run virtual care services in Victoria and apply appropriate cautions when making key decisions. It also includes a list of relevant and informative international/local standards/guides.

    Downloads

Reviewed 14 January 2022

Health.vic

Was this page helpful?