Diagnostic imaging services are provided by radiology providers in the public and private sectors.
Private providers are majority funded by the Australian Government via a fee-for-service through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Public providers operating within public hospitals are mainly funded through the state government’s public hospital funding allocation, however they also access MBS where possible.
Context in digital health
There are a number of key business flows that occur within digital health in Australia, as outlined in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: High-level overview of radiology delivery
These flows are described below:
- A requesting clinician sends a referral (frequently in paper form via the consumer) to the diagnostic imaging provider. This form (electronic or paper) provides consent and identifying information for later use in interacting with My Health Record.
- The diagnostic services provider will provide the diagnostic imaging report (and any subsequent updates) to the requesting clinician and any other listed recipient on the request.
- eHealth diagnostic imaging reports can be used to share information about radiology tests via an individual's digital health record. The (pdf) report may contain one or more tests that are uploaded by the radiologist to the individual's digital health record. Clinicians can retrieve the reports from the My Health Record system using either their clinical information system or the national provider portal. Results are available in this way as soon as they have been loaded to My Health Record (images are not hosted by My Health Record).
- Consumers can view diagnostic imaging reports from the My Health Record system using the national consumer portal after a seven day period. This delay allows the requesting clinician to review the results and determine if further clinical counselling is required.