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Reading & Development: 2 hours 

Quick Intro

Your software will need to conduct lookups for Individual Healthcare Identifiers (IHIs) for patients. This is conducted when registering a new patient, updating a patient in your local system, and in some other specific circumstances. This can be done in batch, or individually. Our example will focus on looking up a patient IHI individually. To do an IHI lookup you will send patient demographics (i.e. Name, Sex, Medicare Card, DOB) to the web service, and you will receive back an IHI or information as to why an IHI could not be returned. You will store the IHI in your local system so that you have an ongoing mechanism to uniquely identify that patient.

In this example, you will;

  • Create a sample Windows Forms Application and setup the required libraries for the Healthcare Identifiers Service (HI) Service integration
  • Conduct IHI Lookups to the HI Service for the following 2 Use Cases: Adding a new patient to your local system (UC.010) and updating a patient in your local system (UC.015)
  • Understand some of the test cases from the conformance test specifications
IHI add patient screenshot

Use Cases, Test Cases

When developing to connect to the HI Service it is important to consider which Use Cases you are conforming to. This will assist you later with testing. This developer guide will walk you through 2 important Use Cases. For a complete list you can review HI Service Use Cases;

  • UC.010 (adding a new patient in your local system and retrieving their IHI), and
  • UC.015 (updating patient details in your local system and revalidating their IHI).

Both Use Cases are very similar and can be fulfilled by the same HI Service web service (For a complete understanding of the web service please refer to the “HI.TECH.SIS.06 - IHI Inquiry Search via B2B” specification accessed via Services Australia as part of the HI Licenced Material). 

The next developer guide will focus on;

  • UC.131 (searching for a provider individual’s HPI-I).

Each of the Use Cases above have Test Cases which you will need to pass, this guide will discuss some of the more difficult test cases.


Step 1: Create a new application

1. From the Visual Studio File menu, select New > Project.

2. Create a new Windows Forms Application using .NET Framework and select Next.


3. Enter the Project and solution name as per your preference & click Create.


Step 2: Set up client libraries and NuGet packages

You can install libraries using Package Manager Console or Manage NuGet Packages Solution Screen. In this tutorial, we will be installing libraries using Package Manager Console.

1. From the Tools menu, select NuGet Package Manager > Package Manager Console.


2. Copy the commands one by one and paste on Package Manager Console and hit enter to install each of library 

Install-Package Nehta.VendorLibrary.Common

Install-Package Nehta.VendorLibrary.HI 

3. With these libraries, we require an additional library called System.ServiceModel available from .NET Framework. Right click on References and click Add Reference and Type “System.ServiceModel” inside the search box of Reference Manager windows, check the System.ServiceModel and OK.


4. After installing the HI Services libraries, Project references should have the libraries as per the screenshot below.


Step 3: Prepare an “Add Patient” form

A new form has been added to the project for Add Patient. Your software will have an existing Patient Details form or similar which you may be using.

1. Add a new Windows form called Add Patient with the following fields and name your text fields and buttons appropriately. If you are using an existing form you will need to add the Healthcare Identifier panel and utilise the console or a control to output while testing. Note that this example will look up an IHI using patient demographics and Medicare card number. Other identifiers (such as IHI and DVA number) and patient address can also be used to look up an IHI. Please refer to “HI.TECH.SIS.06 - IHI Inquiry Search via B2B” for more information such as the variations of demographics which can be used.


Step 4: Add code to call an IHI lookup

1. Right click on the Add Patient form and click view code to add following namespaces in the class in addition to existing namespaces

using System.ServiceModel;
using System.ServiceModel.Channels;
using System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates;
using nehta.mcaR3.ConsumerSearchIHI;
using Nehta.VendorLibrary.Common;
using Nehta.VendorLibrary.HI;

2. Double click on the IHI Lookup button to add the following code on button click event. This IHI lookup code will be reused so you would likely build into into a library.

private void btnIHILookup_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    // Obtain the certificate by serial number
    X509Certificate2 tlsCert = X509CertificateUtil.GetCertificate(

    // The same certificate is used for signing the request.
    // This certificate will be different to TLS cert for some operations.
    X509Certificate2 signingCert = tlsCert;

    // Set up client product information (PCIN)
    // Values below should be provided by Medicare
    ProductType product = new ProductType()
        platform = "",     			// Can be any value
        productName = "",            	// Provided by Medicare
        productVersion = "",         	// Provided by Medicare
        vendor = new QualifiedId()
            id = "",                   	// Provided by Medicare               
            qualifier = ""  						// Provided by Medicare

    // Set up user identifier details
    QualifiedId user = new QualifiedId()
        id = "User Id",                	// User ID internal to your system
        qualifier = "http://<anything>/id/<anything>/userid/1.0"    
	// Eg:

    // Set up organisation identifier details, only required for CSP software. If run as a CSP software, the certificate needs to be a CSP certificate

//QualifiedId hpio = new QualifiedId()
//    id = "", // HPIO internal to your system
//    qualifier = "" // Eg:

    // Instantiate the client
    ConsumerSearchIHIClient client = new ConsumerSearchIHIClient(
        new Uri(""),
        null, // or hpio if implemented as a CSP software

    // Set up the request IHI
    searchIHI request = new searchIHI();

    request.medicareCardNumber = txtMedicareNo.Text;
    request.dateOfBirth = DateTime.Parse(txtDob.Text);
    request.givenName = txtGivenName.Text;
    request.familyName = txtFamilyName.Text;
    request.familyName = txtFamilyName.Text;
    request.medicareIRN = txtMedicareIRN.Text; // optional. Please provide any value otherwise comment out this code as sending blank IRN in the request returns format error.

// For the sake of simplicity, example use simple text box with the following options. 
    // M - Male
    // F - Female
    // I - Intersex or Indeterminate
    // N - No stated. 
    // In actual CIS software, Select list / Combo box is used.
    switch (txtGender.Text)
        case "M":
   = SexType.M;
        case "F":
   = SexType.F;
        case "I":
   = SexType.I;
   = SexType.N;

        // Invokes a basic search
        searchIHIResponse ihiResponse = client.BasicMedicareSearch(request);
        string ihiNumber = ihiResponse.searchIHIResult.ihiNumber;
        txtIHINumber.Text = ihiNumber.Substring(ihiNumber.Length-16, 16);
        txtIHIStatus.Text = ihiResponse.searchIHIResult.ihiStatus.ToString();
        txtRecordStatus.Text = ihiResponse.searchIHIResult.ihiRecordStatus.ToString();

        txtSoapRequest.Text = client.SoapMessages.SoapRequest;
        txtSoapResponse.Text = client.SoapMessages.SoapResponse;

    catch (FaultException fex)
        txtError.Text = "";
        txtSoapResponse.Text = "";

        string returnError = "";
        MessageFault fault = fex.CreateMessageFault();

        if (fault.HasDetail)
            ServiceMessagesType error = fault.GetDetail<ServiceMessagesType>();

            // Look at error details in here
            if (error.serviceMessage.Length > 0)
                returnError = error.serviceMessage[0].code + ": " + 		error.serviceMessage[0].reason;

        txtError.Text = returnError;

        // If an error is encountered, client.LastSoapResponse often provides a more
        // detailed description of the error.
        string soapResponse = client.SoapMessages.SoapResponse;
        txtSoapResponse.Text = soapResponse;

    catch (Exception ex)
        txtError.Text = ex.Message;


Step 5: Replace the IHI lookup values

For the sake of simplicity, we have hard-coded some configuration values in our method. In the next tutorial, we will add these configuration settings inside the App.Config file

1. Replace the Certificate search value, Product details, and vendor information as provided to you.

MemberReplaceNew Value
 Certificate Details 
X509CertificateUtil.GetCertificate (parameter 1)“Serial Number”See the previous guide to locate your certificate Serial Number.
 Organisation Details 
new ProductType() platform"Your system platform (Eg. Windows XP SP3)"This can be any value, i.e. “Windows 10”.
new ProductType() productName"Product Name"This is located in your email from Services Australia.
new ProductType() productVersion"Product Version"This is located in your email from Services Australia.
new ProductType() vendor = new QualifiedId() id"Vendor Id"This is located in your email from Services Australia.
new ProductType() vendor = new QualifiedId() qualifier"Vendor Qualifier"This is located in your email from Services Australia.

2. Modify the code sample to match your control names defined in step 3.

Step 6: Run your code

1. Add the Add Patient button to the main screen and code it to open “Add Patient Form” using the following code.

private void btnAddPatient_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    AddPatient addPatient = new AddPatient();

2. Run the application and test the IHI Lookup web service on the Add Patient form. To test, fill the mandatory patient demographic data to search for an IHI. You will be able to find test data in your test data pack provided by Services Australia.

IHI add patient screenshot

3. To force some errors, make changes to invalidate the following organisational values; Certificate Serial Number, HPI-O, Vendor Id, Vendor Qualifier and test the response with the IHI Lookup button. You will see the errors in the response from the HI Service as per the screenshot below.


4. Make changes to invalidate consumer demographic details, i.e. familyName, givenName , dateOfBirth, or medicare card No and conduct the IHI Lookup. Familiarise yourself with the properties returned from the Web Service. 

Step 7: Workflow

The code examples and UI screenshots throughout this guide will give you a good idea how to conduct IHI Lookups, however consideration should be made to when you conduct these lookups.

For the purposes of UC.010 and UC.015 it is reasonably straight forward because the patient demographic screen is open and the patient is being created or updated. The suggested behaviour is to incorporate the IHI Lookup when the ‘Save’ (or equivalent) button is pressed. This is an approach which will minimise interference with the user’s workflow and provide some additional data validation regarding the patient details. It is important that while there may be a designated ‘IHI Lookup’ button, the user should not need to push this separate button for the IHI to be applied to the local record.

If you are developing to connect to the My Health Record system, along with the IHI Lookups conducted for UC.010 and UC.015 you will also need to conduct IHI Lookups to meet the requirements outlined in the PCEHR Connecting Systems – Conformance Requirements. You will be required to read this document in full a little later, for now you should refer to Req No 019100 in Section 3.1 (this reference is valid as at v1.5 of the document).

This requirement states that your system must revalidate the IHI before use. The length of time before use should be a configurable period and determined by the local healthcare provider’s policy. Your system will likely set a default value for this period and can be set as 2-3 days.

These IHI Lookups are best performed as a background process off the back of existing workflows and should definitely not require users to follow a new workflow or press a button. Some suggested triggers for an IHI Lookup to meet Req 019100 might be:

  • The evening before a scheduled appointment;
  • An appointment is scheduled;
  • The patient presents to the healthcare provider organisation’s waiting room;
  • The clinician opens the patient’s local health record or patient context.

While the HI Service does provide a batch search capability it is not recommended to perform batch lookups for all patients stored in the clinical information system unless there is a likelihood the patient will be visiting the healthcare provider organisation in the very short term. This is because patients are able to audit who has accessed their IHI and may raise concerns that their IHI has been accessed without the occurrence of a healthcare interaction with the organisation. 

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