eSignature v1.0

The technical mechanisms for digitally signing clinical documents are well supported by international standards. However, a digital signature alone is not always sufficient as a complete personal electronic signature mechanism. There is a range of trade-offs between the cost and complexity of implementation and use of personal electronic signatures, and the assurance they provide of the signer’s identity. The Agency’s Electronic Signatures Recommendations document explores the legal context for electronic signatures on clinical documents, explains key concepts relating to electronic signatures, and analyses the clinical and business risks associated with the signer’s identity in order to draw conclusions about the most appropriate signature mechanisms to use on different types of clinical documents.

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This document presents the agreed recommendations for the signing of clinical documents. The recommendations are intended to be used as a basis for the development of technical specifications, software systems, legislative instruments, and local policies.

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This document provides guidance on appropriate mechanisms for the signing of clinical documents where the originator and the potential recipient(s) of the document are in separate and independent healthcare organisations.

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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