The HI Service was implemented in advance of other components of the e-Health program. As a dependency for other programs this was appropriate, but has caused some challenges for wide-spread adoption as the benefits of the HI Service only become evident to end users when it has a practical application. Without these other services in place, it is difficult to generate the impetus for the data cleansing and change management activities that are needed for effective use of Healthcare Identifiers.
The focus of Healthcare Identifiers registration may be more effective if it is changed from a standalone activity, with health services performing bulk searches and downloads of IHIs for their patients, to a “just in time” implementation model where IHIs are downloaded when a patient presents at a service so that demographic details can be resolved when the individual is present. If this approach is aligned with increasing availability and maturity of other services and applications that actively require the HI Service there will be more of a context for the adoption of the Service that may facilitate uptake.