Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Secure Messaging and ReferralNet

What is ReferralNet?
What is SMD?
What’s message types can ReferralNet transport?
What are the benefits of ReferralNet?
Is ReferralNet a separate software product or can it integrate with my current systems?
What happens if I don’t use a clinical system?
What do I need to get started with ReferralNet?
What is ReferralNet?

ReferralNet is a secure message delivery application (SMD) that enables the exchange of patient information between healthcare practitioners. ReferralNet is used extensively across the healthcare industry by GPs, Specialists, Allied Health, Community Health, Hospitals, Pathology, Radiology and many others.

ReferralNet enables the information produced by one system to be sent, encrypted, received into the recipient system so that the information can be viewed and actioned.

What is SMD?

Secure Message Delivery is the secure transfer of electronic information. It means that healthcare organisations can safely send patient and clinical information using the required Government standards (Australian Technical Specification (ATS) 5822 E-Health Secure Message Delivery (SMD) in March 2010.)

ReferralNet conforms with these standards and is listed in the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) PIP eHealth register.

What’s message types can ReferralNet transport?

ReferralNet can send and receive almost any file type including reports, referrals, pathology results, radiology results, discharge summaries and letters.

Predominantly, Australian healthcare applications create and consume HL7 messaging.  These include REF I^12, ORU, ORM.  Additionally, many systems can create and consume CDA messages.  ReferralNet can transport all HL7 and CDA messages.

What are the benefits of ReferralNet?
  • Conforms to Australian SMD standards for the secure exchange of information between healthcare providers
  • Interoperable with Argus
  • Reduces your business risk of privacy breach
  • Significantly saves time and money by reducing manual processes
  • Eliminates the use of Fax, post and printing
  • Integrates with most clinical and practice systems
  • Hosted within Australia
Is ReferralNet a separate software product or can it integrate with my current systems?

ReferralNet integrates with most clinical and practice management solutions. ReferralNet is configured to place incoming files into the designated directory for the clinical application allowing users to view these in their respective inbox or holding file.  Similarly, information sent is created in the clinical application letter writer, addressed to the intended recipient and passed to ReferralNet to send.

Current clinical software integrations include Medical Director, PrimaryClinic, ZedMed, MasterCare, Best Practice, Genie and Medtech. Read the full list on the Secure Messaging Page.

What happens if I don’t use a clinical system?

ReferralNet can be used as a stand alone product via a Microsoft Word Plugin. Global Health also offers a lightweight interface for managing the flow of referrals and documents.

What do I need to get started with ReferralNet?

You can register for ReferralNet on our website. 

Our support team will contact you to schedule an installation with your or your IT support.

Once installed you need to identify who you will send to, and who you would like to receive from.  Assessing your fax and paper copies of patient information is a good way of doing this.

You should advise health practitioners that you prefer to send and receive securely and to send all information to your practice and practitioners via ReferralNet.  You can place this information in the footer of common letter templates or send these practitioners a letter advising them directly.

Questions about Interoperability

What is interoperability?
Who can I send to?
Who can send to me?
How do I send to practitioners using Argus?
What certificate do I need for sending to Argus?
What is interoperability?

Interoperability relates to the ability to send and receive messages between different secure messaging providers. Both ReferralNet and Argus has made this as seamless as possible for health practitioners to use by integrating our addresses into our respective address books.

Who can I send to?

Anyone using ReferralNet or Argus. If you have a practitioner that uses neither please advise the ReferralNet team who can offer them to join ReferralNet – or advise the practitioner to contact us directly.

Who can send to me?

Anyone using ReferralNet or Argus. If you have a practitioner that uses neither please advise the ReferralNet team who can offer them to join ReferralNet – or advise the practitioner to contact us directly.

How do I send to practitioners using Argus?

Practitioners and sites using Argus can be found in the ReferralNet address book.  If using the address book interactively with your clinical software you can look these up as you send.  Alternatively, you can look these up in the standalone address book and add them to the address book of your clinical practice software.

What certificate do I need for sending to Argus?

Either a NASH or ReferralNet certificate can be used to send and receive from practitioners using Argus. If you have an incorrect certificate the ReferralNet Agent will send you an error notification if you send to an Argus practitioner or site. If you receive this notification please contact our support to update your certificate as soon as possible.

Technical Questions

How do I apply for a NASH PKI Certificate?
What does PKI mean?
What is a digital certificate?
Why does my certificate expire? What do I need to do?
Will I need to create a new email address for secure messaging?
What is a manifest report?
How do I monitor my ReferralNet activity?
How do I update the practitioners at my practice?
When I receive Agent notifications what should I do?
How do I apply for a NASH PKI Certificate?

A NASH certificate is preferred for all secure messaging however a ReferralNet certificate can also be issued to your user account.

To apply for a NASH certificate, you must have HealthCare Identifiers (HPIO/HPII) and apply here.

Our support team can change your certificate to your new NASH one when you receive it.  Please contact support to schedule this.

What does PKI mean?

PKI is an acronym for Public Key Infrastructure

In cryptography, a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is an arrangement that binds public keys with respective user identities by means of a Certificate Authority (CA). The user identity must be unique for each CA. The binding is established through the registration and issuance process, which, depending on the level of assurance the binding has, may be carried out by software at a CA, or under human supervision. The PKI role that assures this binding is called the Registration Authority (RA) . For each user, the user identity, the public key, their binding, validity conditions and other attributes are made unforgeable in public key certificates issued by the CA.

What is a digital certificate?

A digital certificate is an electronic “credit card” that establishes your credentials when doing business or other transactions on the Web. It is issued by a Certification Authority (CA). It contains your name, a serial number, expiration dates, a copy of the certificate holder’s public key (used for encrypting messages and digital signatures), and the digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority so that a recipient can verify that the certificate is real. Some digital certificates conform to a standard, X.509. Digital certificates can be kept in registries so that authenticating users can look up other users’ public keys.

Why does my certificate expire? What do I need to do?

Certificates are issued with an expiry date and the expiry date is recorded in ReferralNet. Once expired you will not be able to send and receive messages.  Our support team actively monitors the expiry of certificates and will contact you to schedule an update.

When a new NASH certificate is received you should contact ReferralNet support and schedule a certificate update to prevent the previous one expiring and impacting on your message activity.

Will I need to create a new email address for secure messaging?

ReferralNet does not use email to transport your information.  You will receive a unique ReferralNet ID which is what is discoverable by people looking to send to you. Your practice and your practitioners will be listed in our provider directory which others can use to search, select and send to you.

We can link your preferred email to the ReferralNet account, this will be where we send notifications and manifest reports.

What is a manifest report?

A manifest is a report of your messaging activity and a useful record to ensure all messages are sent and received.  These are enabled in the ReferralNet HUB and can be email daily, weekly or monthly.  Please contact support to update your Manifest preference.

How do I monitor my ReferralNet activity?

The ReferralNet HUB provides an online and real-time view of your practice messaging activity. Contact support to gain access to the ReferralNet HUB and obtain a username and password.

Alternatively, you can request a manifest report can be emailed to you daily, weekly or monthly.

How do I update the practitioners at my practice?

Please advise our support team of changes to practitioners working at your practice. We will update these and these changes will be reflected in the ReferralNet and Argus address books.

When I receive Agent notifications what should I do?

ReferralNet Agent errors will notify you when something went wrong.  That may relate to the operation of ReferralNet or that specific messages sent have failed.

Operational messages should be checked with our support team.

Failed messages should be checked to ensure you have send to the correct ReferralNet ID.  Use our address book to look up the intended recipient and check the ID entered into your clinical system.

Many clinical systems have their own log of messages sent.  You can use this to identify the patient and recipient, update as required and resend the letter.

It is your responsibility to attend to these errors in a timely manner to ensure the information is sent successfully to the intended recipient.

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