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Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 040003 v3
Data Element
Data Element
The client's identifying name(s) within the family group or by which the client is uniquely socially identified.
Clinical and administrative purposes and individual identification.
Given name
Forename, First name, Christian name, Middle name, Second name, Other givenname
Representational Attributes
Permissible Values


Supplementary Values


Collection and Usage Attributes
A client may have more than one given name.

A client's full given name(s) should be recorded. Where applicable it is essential that the given names are recorded for the first 3-recorded given names of a client and desirable for the fourth and subsequent given names.

All parts of the given name are to be recorded in CAPITAL letters.

Given name(s) (first and other given names) may be recorded in one field or several fields. If recorded in the one field a delimiter should be used between each given name. This metadata item definition applies regardless of the format of data recording.

A full history of given names is to be retained.

This data element should be used in conjunction with the 'Given name sequence number' to record all the given name(s) used by a health care client. That is, the first given name would have a sequence number of 1, the second given name a sequence number of 2 and so on. It is essential that the 'Given name sequence number' be recorded for the first 3-recorded given names of a client. It is desirable if a 'Given name sequence number' could be recorded for the fourth and subsequent given names.

If additional information is required for the recording of client name data, refer to the collection methods below and to the CI DSS Annexe 2 Health Care Client Name data elements.
Use in conjunction with the 'Given name sequence number'.
May be blank where the 'One name indicator' is recorded as Yes.
A health care client should generally be registered using their 'preferred name' as it is more likely in common usage and more likely to be used on subsequent visits to the health care facility. The given name by which the client wants to be identified should be indicated by the 'Preferred name indicator' data element as their preferred given name. This given name may be different from the given name on the client's Medicare card, or other given names the client may be identified by and should be recorded and indicated by the 'Name usage type' data element.

If given name is not known or cannot be established, record UNKNOWN.

The given name indicated by the 'Preferred name indicator' should be recorded in the format preferred by the client. For example this may be the same as that indicated by the client on a form. Where appropriate, the given name indicated by the 'Name usage type' data element should be the same format as that printed on the relevant identification card (eg. Medicare card) to ensure consistent collection of name data.

It is acknowledged that some people use more than one given name (eg. formal name, birth name, nickname or shortened name, or tribal name) depending on the circumstances. In Queensland a person is able to change his or her name for usage. Care should be taken when recording a change of name for a minor, all relevant legal documentation should be obtained and diligently managed. Ideally, the name recorded for the minor should be known to both of his/her parents or guardian/carer, so the minor's records can be retrieved and continuity of care maintained, regardless of which parent accompanies the minor to the facility.

Whenever a health care client informs the facility of a change of given name (eg. now prefers to be known by their second given name), the former given name should be recorded according to the appropriate 'Name usage type'. Do not delete or overwrite a previous given name.

eg. 'MARY GEORGINA SMITH' informs the hospital that she now prefers to be known as 'GEORGINA' record 'GEORGINA' as her given name, and indicate as preferred and record 'Mary' according to the 'Name usage type' data element.

eg. The facility is informed that 'BABY OF LOUISE JONES' has been named 'MARY JONES'. Retain 'BABY OF LOUISE' as the 'newborn name' using the 'Name usage type' where this option is available, or record it as an 'alias' name in the case of older or legacy systems that may only have this field available. Record 'Mary' as the given name, and indicate as preferred and also as the Medicare card name if appropriate.

Multiple given names (eg. first, second, third names)
All of the health care client's given names should be recorded against the relevant given name sequence number.

For example, 'OSCAR PETER' would be recorded with 'OSCAR' as the First Given Name (code 1) and 'PETER' as the Second Given Name (code 2). The 'Given name sequence number' data element provides more information about allocation of sequence numbers.

Registering an unidentified health care client
If the client's given name is not known record 'UNKNOWN' in the 'Given Name' field and use the 'alias' name usage type. When the health care client's name becomes known, add the actual name as the given name and make every attempt to identify whether it is the preferred and/or Medicare card name and retain the 'alias name' of 'UNKNOWN'.

Use of aliases (incomplete names or fictitious names):
QH recognises that some people may prefer to use an 'alias' when they present to receive a health service. This may particularly be the case in sexual health.

Use of an alias is not recommended because it prevents QH from identifying and accessing all the information held on a client and providing the best possible care. Facilities should discourage clients from the use of aliases in the interests of their broader health care by explaining the benefits that may flow to them in the event that they are admitted to other QH facilities in an emergency situation and important information held under an alias, but relevant to their care, may be unavailable to the treating care team (Queensland Health Sexual Health Clinical Services and Privacy Policy).

If an alias given name is provided, it is recommended that a client be asked to also record their Medicare card given name. The given name that the client wishes to be identified by is indicated by the 'Preferred name indicator'.

Use of first initial
If the health care client's given name is not known, but the first letter (initial) of the given name is known, record the first letter as the given name and indicate as preferred. Do not record a full stop following the initial.

Clients with only one name
Some people do not have a family name and a given name and they have only one name by which they are known. If the client has only one name, record it in the 'Family Name' field and populate the 'one name indicator' data element.

Shortened or alternate first given name
If the client uses a shortened version or an alternate version of their first given name, record this as their 'given name' and indicate as preferred and also record their 'Medicare card name' or 'alias name' whichever applies.

eg. The client's given name is JENNIFER but she prefers to be called JENNY. Record 'JENNY' as the given name and indicate as preferred and 'JENNIFER' as her 'Medicare card name' or an 'alias' whichever applies.

If special characters form part of the given name, consideration should be given to a system's capability to collect and interpret such characters. This is particularly relevant to older or legacy systems.

Do not leave a space before or after the hyphen, ie. between last letter of 'ANNE' and the hyphen, nor a space between the hyphen and the first letter of 'MAREE'.

Spaces eg. JEAN CLAUDE
If the client has recorded their given name as more than one word, displaying spaces in between the words, record their given names in data collection systems in the same way.

Registering an unnamed newborn baby
An unnamed (newborn) baby is to be registered using the mother's given name in conjunction with the prefix 'B/O'. For example, if the given name of the baby's mother is FIONA, then record 'B/O FIONA' in the given name field for the baby. 'B/O' maps to 'Baby of' in the national standards.

The unnamed newborn name is recorded under the 'Newborn name' name usage type. If a name is subsequently given, record the new given name and indicate as preferred and/or Medicare card name and retain 'B/O FIONA' as the newborn name or as an alias (older or legacy systems may only have this field available).

Registering unnamed multiple births
An unnamed (newborn) baby from a multiple birth regardless of if stillbirth (providing this meets the Queensland Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act) or live birth should use their mother's given name plus a reference to the multiple birth. For example, if the baby's mother's given name is 'FIONA' and a set of twins is to be registered, then record 'TWIN1 OF FIONA' in the 'Given Name' field for the first born baby, and 'TWIN2 OF FIONA' in the 'Given Name' field of the second born baby.

The following terms should be used for recording multiple births:
Triplet Use TRIP ie. TRIP1 OF FIONA
Quadruplet Use QUAD ie. QUAD1 OF FIONA
Quintuplet Use QUIN ie. QUIN1 OF FIONA
Sextuplet Use SEXT ie. SEXT1 OF FIONA
Septuplet Use SEPT ie. SEPT1 OF FIONA

Numbers (1, 2, 3...) are used, not Roman Numerals (I, II, III...). Also note there should not be a space between Twin and the number.
These names should be recorded under the 'newborn' name usage type. When the babies are named, the name indicated as preferred and/or Medicare card name should be updated. The 'newborn' name should be retained or recorded as an 'alias' in the case of old or legacy systems that may only have this field available.

Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander names not for continued use
For cultural reasons, an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander may advise a facility that they are no longer using the given name that they had previously registered and are now using an alternative given name. Indicate the given name the client wishes to be identified by as the 'preferred' and record other given names as Medicare card name or alias name as appropriate.

Indigenous clients traditionally name family members the same given name and family name for example Senior John Smith and Junior John Smith. Indicate the given name the client wishes to be identified by as the 'preferred' and record other given names as Medicare card name or alias names as appropriate.

Ethnic names
The Appendix C of the Australian Standard AS5017-2006 Health Care Client Identification or the Centrelink publication A Guide to Ethnic Naming Practices, provide information on the naming practices of people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Misspelled given names
If the health care client's given name has been misspelled in error, update the 'Given Name' field with the correct spelling and record the misspelled given name as an 'alias' name. Recording misspelled names is important for filing documents that may be issued with previous versions of the client's name. Discretion should be used regarding the degree of recording that is maintained.
Based on Australian Standard AS 5017-2006 Health Care Client Identification. Sydney: Standards Australia.
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References

Related Metadata References_IR

  • 1 - 4
ViewRelationshipMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifier & VersionApproval Status
SupersedesData ElementData ElementFirst nameQH 040003 Version 1Superseded
SupersedesData ElementData ElementGiven nameQH 040003 Version 2Superseded
Has been superseded byData ElementData ElementPerson (name)-given nameQH 040003 Version 4Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementHealth care client (name)-family nameQH 040002 Version 3Superseded
Implementation in Metadata Sets


No Metadata Items
Source and Reference Attributes