Participation Data Specification



The participation data specification is a foundation document for the suite of data specifications that the Australian Digital Health Agency is developing for the Australian Health Informatics community across a range of health topics.

It is generally agreed that standardising these specifications is a high priority in order to achieve the benefits of semantic interoperability in the Australian healthcare sector.

Participations in the Australian Context

Participations are a fundamental concept within the Agency's information model and are used extensively in Agency structured document templates and data specifications. Participations record context-specific information about relationships between participants and healthcare events. As a result participations are only meaningful within the context in which they are used and are not a stand-alone concept.

The primary purpose of a participation within the Agency structured content specifications is to describe one way in which a participant (a person, organisation or device) participates in an event. The participant can be identified by an identifier or by some combination of information, such as a name, address and date of birth.

Every detailed clinical model and structured content specification that supports the My Health Record system specifies the reuse of the participation data group. The creation of a clinical document based on a structured content specification requires instantiation of a constrained, context-specific variation of participation bound to specific use cases.

Context in Digital Health

There are a number of different participation types in Australia:

  • Person: This can be a patient, carer or health provider
  • Organisation: Including hospitals
  • Device: Such as a medical device sending information to a system, or a computer sending information to My Health Record, or between other systems



The Australian Digital Health Agency has provided the following specifications that apply to the participation business flows described above:

Current Specifications: 

The Participation Data Specification is a foundation document for the suite of data specifications that the Agency is developing for the Australian health informatics community across a range of health topics.

By operation of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Establishing the Australian Digital Health Agency) Rule 2016, on 1 July 2016, all the assets and liabilities of NEHTA will vest in the Australian Digital Health Agency. In this website, on and from 1 July 2016, all references to "National E-Health Transition Authority" or "NEHTA" will be deemed to be references to the Australian Digital Health Agency. PCEHR means the My Health Record, formerly the "Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record", within the meaning of the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth), formerly called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Act 2012 (Cth).

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