Other Digital Health Initiatives

Important Update

Primary Sense will be replacing the Pen CS systems CAT4 and Topbar in May 2023. Primary Sense is an evidence based clinical audit and decision support tool that provides on demand, pre-filtered reports at the click of a button.

From November 2022 your practice can gain access to Primary Sense. Simply complete the online form and our team will be in touch. For further information, visit our webpage.

The Digital Health team is here to support all health care organisations with a range of digital health technologies and programs, including:

  • NASH Certificates
  • eHealth Practice Incentive Program (ePIP)
  • Secure messaging
  • The eHealth Queensland Health Provider Portal (The Viewer)
  • Electronic Prescriptions
  • Recall templates
  • Smart Referrals
  • Telehealth (Virtual Care)
What is changing?

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and Services Australia have announced that on the 13th March 2022 all SHA-1 National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) certificates will expire and health service organisations will need to apply for a new SHA-2 NASH certificate.

What is a SHA-2 NASH Certificate?

The SHA-2 NASH certificate has been developed to keep up with advancing technology and security requirements.

The SHA-2 NASH certificate will replace the existing SHA-1 NASH certificate.

From September 2021 Services Australia will update HPOS to allow for health care organisations to apply for a SHA-2 NASH certificate. However, the certificate can only be installed into the health care organisations clinical system if the clinical information system vendors have completed their upgrades and the health care organisation is running the latest version of the software


NASH certificates are essential pieces of digital infrastructure that are required to access and/or use national digital health systems such as My Health Record, Health Identifiers Service, Electronic Prescriptions and Secure Messaging.These systems enable safe, secure and efficient patient care. For example: 

  • Systems like Electronic Prescriptions support patients to access their medicines quickly and efficiently, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns. 
  • Secure Message Delivery (SMD) supports timely and secure referral exchange, so that patients can be triaged in a timely manner. 
  • My Health Record supports accurate patient information at the point of care – whether that patient is travelling from interstate or between local communities.
  1. Contact your clinical software vendor to ensure your software is ready for the change. Healthc are provider organisations must be using the latest version of their clinical software to be compatible with SHA-2 NASH certificates. 
  1. If you haven’t already, create a PRODA and HPOS account. 
  1. Check your current SHA-1 NASH certificate expiry date to see when you need to apply for your new SAH-2 NASH certificate. Noting you can apply for the new certificate before yours have expired. 
  1. Apply for your health care organisation SHA-2 NASH certificate. There is a step-by-step guide here to support you. 
For further support

If you experience technical difficulties there are a number of contact options. The Agency via help@digitalhealth.gov.au, your clinical software provider, PRODA on 1800 700 199 or email proda@humanservices.gov.au or eBusiness email ebusiness@servicesaustralia.gov.au.

Secure Messaging Delivery (SMD) enables health care providers to send and receive sensitive and confidential clinical information like referrals, reports, pathology and radiology requests, results and discharge summaries in a secure and encrypted environment.

Benefits of Secure Messaging

Secure Messaging minimises the burden of manual and paper processes and is a timely and efficient means for sending and receiving clinical information. This frees up staff to complete other necessary tasks and reduces the costs of administrative tasks such as paper for scanning and faxing, postage and staff hours. Additionally, Secure Messaging:

  • integrates directly with clinical software systems
  • makes critical patient information more readily available and accessible
  • reduces the chances of communication breakdown
  • records send and receive audit trails, and
  • enables providers to receive priority clinical information in real time.

As part of the second requirement for the eHealth Practice Incentive Payment (ePIP) a general practice must have standards-compliant SMD capability.

More information

Useful resources

Secure Messaging information packs

Medical Objects help guides

For support phone: 07 5456 6000

Health Link

For support phone: 1800 125 036


For support phone: 03 9675 0600


For support phone: 03 9037 1000

Secure Transfer Services:

The eHealth Practice Incentive Program (ePIP) aims to encourage general practices to keep up to date with the latest developments in digital health technologies. Practices can apply for the ePIP through HPOS.

There are currently five requirements for practices to become eligible for the ePIP and they are:

  1. Integrating health care identifiers into electronic practice records
  2. Secure messaging capability
  3. Data records and clinical coding
  4. Electronic transfers of prescriptions
  5. My Health Record system access and uploading
Useful resources

Requirement 1:  Integrating Health care Identifiers into Electronic Practice Record

Requirement 2:  Secure Messaging Capability

Requirement 3:  Data Records and Clinical Coding

Requirement 4:  Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions

Requirement 5: My Health Record Access and Uploading

Uploading a Shared Health Summary instructions sheets

Shared Health Summary Calculators

Queensland’s general practitioners now have secure online access to their patients Queensland Health records through the Health Provider Portal (the Viewer). This read-only, online access will allow GPs to view public hospital information including appointment records, radiology and laboratory results, treatment and discharge summaries, and demographic and medication details. This access will bridge the information gap between Queensland’s GPs and public hospitals and help ensure patients receive consistent, timely and better coordinated care. All GPs need to register to access the Health Provider Portal here. For more information read the fact sheets below:

Please note The Viewer is different from the Provider Portal used to access My Health Record.

Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) supports the safe and secure transfer of prescription information between a Prescriber (doctor, specialist, dentist, optometrist, nurse practitioner etc.) and a Community Pharmacy using an electronic system known as a Prescription Exchange Service (PES).

There are a number of benefits to using ETP including:

  • improved confidentiality and security of medication information
  • better clarity and communication of prescription information
  • rapid information exchange
  • potential reduction in medication and dispensing errors
  • potential decline in adverse drug events.

Find out more about electronic transfer of prescriptions.

Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions Checklists

Recall and reminder notifications offer a great opportunity to inform, educate and motivate patients to better engage with their care.

The right wording in a recall notification is often the difference between an appointment being promptly made and a discarded notice. Patient-friendly templates are more likely to inform and motivate your patients.

Best Practice instructions

Medical Director instructions

Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) is a web-based service that streamlines Medicare related interactions with the Services Australia for health professionals such as general practitioners, specialists, allied health professionals, nurses, practice managers and practice staff.

To register, log on or find out more information visit the HPOS website.

To access the full range of information and services available through HPOS, log on through Provider Digital Access (PRODA).


PRODA is an online authentication system based on a username, password and verification code to log in to HPOS. This solution is an alternative to Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) individual certificates.

Follow our instructions for registering for PRODA or find out more online.

View a comparative document between HPOS, PRODA and PKI Certificates here.


Virtual Care and MBS

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia – and indeed most countries – experienced a rapid and momentous shift towards telephone and video consultations (virtual care) between health care providers and their patients rather than the traditional face-to-face consultations.

The Australian government has announced extended and, in some cases, permanent MBS funding for telehealth services to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and enhance access and patient-centred care for people living in rural or remote areas, those with transportation difficulties or reduced mobility as well as people accessing care while under isolation precautions.

A service may only be provided by telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate to do so. It is a legislative requirement that GPs and Other Medical Practitioners (OMPs) working in general practice only perform a telehealth or telephone service where they have an established clinical relationship with the patient.

As these items may change with the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment please check MBS online for the most up-to-date information.

Healthdirect Video Call services

The Department of Health is funding healthdirect Video Call as a free platform for health care providers to use for virtual care until 30 June 2022. healthdirect Video Call is the nationally preferred video consultation service, providing a secure, private platform ensuring all calls are fully encrypted. The healthdirect Video Call platform mimics the traditional appointment process including waiting rooms, secure consultation spaces and transfer to reception staff for payment and booking follow up appointments.

The health care provider or administration staff simply send the weblink from their healthdirect account to the patient via email or text and the patient accepts the link to enter the virtual waiting room.

Free and easy to use

Staff manage their clinics as usual. Video appointments are handled through existing processes and systems and are run like any other consultation.

Patients attend appointments via the link that the clinic sent and wait in their own private room, in the waiting area. No account, special software or dial-in details are needed.

Clinicians prepare to engage with their patients as normal, except they join patients via the clinic’s online waiting area instead of its physical one.

Brisbane South PHN will create a healthdirect Video Call account for your health care organisation, simply complete this form. Once registered, you can configure your organisation’s details to add your logo, customise messages for patients while they are in your virtual waiting room and add clinical and administration staff to the account.

Further information and resources

Brisbane South PHN is involved with Primary Health Insights.

Primary Health Insights is a new storage and analytics platform that hosts the de-identified primary health data of most of the Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across Australia.

It brings together industry leading data security, rigorous data governance and privacy, advanced analytics and primary health informatics experts from the PHNs to improve population health outcomes for all Australians.

The vision is to use reporting and analytics of de-identified primary care data to enable general practice, commissioned health care service providers and PHNs to make informed decisions about Australian primary health care delivery.

Primary Health Insights can make an important contribution to the delivery of the Australian Government’s 10-year Primary Care Plan.