Clinical terminology for allied health a first for Australia

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A suite of allied health clinical reference sets is now available from the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Liza-Jane McBride, Chief Allied Health Officer for Queensland, said the Queensland Allied Health Clinical Reference Sets (QAHCRS) are specific to allied health clinical information. They link to nationally endorsed clinical data elements in the National Allied Health Best Practice Data Sets.

‘Once implemented in the Queensland Health integrated electronic medical record (ieMR), QAHCRS enables consistent sharing and interoperability for allied health clinical information.’

‘Using a specific list of terms can improve the user experience by limiting the amount of content users need to search for to find their selected term, and for enhanced data analytics and reporting.

This can assist to effectively report clinical outcomes for clinicians and managers,’ Ms McBride said.

It is the first of its kind for allied health in Australia.


Kylynn Loi, Terminologist Australian eHealth Research Centre, CSIRO and Alicia Chaplain, Senior Workforce Officer, Allied Health Professions’ Office Queensland, worked together to develop the allied health clinical reference set

QAHCRS consists of the Queensland allied health:

  • assessment reference set
  • clinical findings reference set
  • indicator for intervention reference set
  • intervention reference set.

Ms McBride said QAHCRS was the result of extensive work from the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland (AHPOQ) in conjunction with the Australian eHealth Research Centre, CSIRO, and representatives from the audiology, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, nutrition and dietetics, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, speech pathology, and social work professional networks.

‘These groups mapped allied health terms to SNOMED CT-AU for allied health.’

SNOMED CT-AU is the standardised clinical terminology used to provide coded terms for clinical documentation and reporting in the Queensland ieMR.

‘They can also be used by other jurisdictions for implementation in clinical information systems and have potential to be a nucleus for a national allied health code set.’

QAHCRS is a starting point to collect clinical information for reporting purposes in the ieMR.

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Last updated: 26 August 2019