[WWW - 2023.07.31]
Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 040002 v4
Data Element
Data Element
The part of a name a person usually has in common with some other members of his/her family, as distinguished from his/her given names.
Clinical and administrative purposes and individual identification
Family name
Representational Attributes
Permissible Values


Supplementary Values


Collection and Usage Attributes
The person's full family name should be recorded. A history of family names should be retained. All parts of the family name are to be displayed and printed in CAPITAL letters to clearly differentiate it from other parts of the name.
Must not be null
A person should generally be registered using their preferred name as it is more likely to be used in common usage and on subsequent visits to the facility. The family name by which the person wants to be identified should be indicated by the preferred name indicator data element as their preferred family name. This family name may be different from the family name on the person's Medicare card, or other family names the person may be identified by and these other family names should be recorded and indicated by the name usage type data element.

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

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

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 person informs the facility of a change of family name (e.g. following marriage or divorce) the former family name should be recorded as an alias name. A full history of names should be retained. E.g. Mary Georgina SMITH informs the hospital that she has been married, changed her family name and wishes to be known as Mary Georgina JONES. Record JONES, as her preferred family name and record SMITH as an alias name.

If non alphanumeric characters form part of the family 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.

If the person has a hyphenated family name it should be recorded with a hyphen, for example WILSON-PHILLIPS. Do not leave a space before or after a hyphen, i.e. between the last letter of WILSON and the hyphen, nor a space between the hyphen and the first letter of PHILLIPS.

Sometimes people with hyphenated family names use only one of the two hyphenated names for example WILSON-PHILLIPS. Record the family name indicated by the person as the preferred name, for example WILSON and record each of the family names as an aliases.

Apostrophe e.g. O'BRIEN
If a person has an apostrophe in their family name, do not leave a space before or after the apostrophe, i.e. between the O and the apostrophe, or a space between the apostrophe and BRIEN.

Full stop e.g. ST. JOHN
If a person has a full stop in their family name, do not leave a space before a full stop, i.e. between ST and the full stop. Do leave a space between the full stop and JOHN.

Spaces e.g. VAN DER HUMM
If the person has recorded their family name as more than one word, displaying spaces in between the words, record their family name in the same way leaving one space between each word.

Registered, unnamed, newborn babies
When registering a newborn, use the mother's family name as the baby's family name unless instructed otherwise by the mother. The family name by which the newborn is identified should be indicated by the Preferred name indicator data element and recorded under the newborn, name usage type or record as an alias name in the case of old or legacy systems that may only have this field available.

People 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.

Registering an unidentified client
The default for unknown family name, should be UNKNOWN in all instances and the name recorded as an alias name. Don't create a fictitious family name such as DOE as this is an actual family name. When the client's family name becomes known, record it as the family name and make every attempt to identify whether it is the preferred and / or Medicare card family name. Keep the UNKNOWN as an alias name.

Registering people from disaster sites
Clients treated from disaster sites should be recorded under the alias name usage type. Local business rules should be developed for consistent recording of disaster site client details. Care should be taken not to use identical dummy data (family name, given name, date of birth, sex) for two or more clients from a disaster site.

If the family name needs to be shortened
If the length of the family name exceeds the length of the field, truncate the family name from the right (that is, dropping the final letters). Also, the last character of the name should be a hash (#) to identify that the name has been truncated (refer to Punctuation).

Use of aliases and pseudonyms
It is recognised that some people may prefer to use an alias when they present to receive a health service.

If an alias name is recorded for the family name, it is recommended that a person be asked to also record their Medicare card family name. The family name that the person wishes to be identified by is indicated by the Preferred name indicator.

Baby for adoption
A newborn baby that is for adoption should be registered in the same way that other newborn babies are registered. Refer to the Department of Health Managing the clinical records of children available for adoption Standard and Guideline.

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 family name that they had previously registered. Record their current name as the family and record the discontinued name as an alias. The person's preferred family name should be indicated as such.

Ethnic Names
The Centrelink publication A Guide to Ethnic Naming Practices, provides information on the naming practices of people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Misspelled family name
If the person's family name has been misspelled in error, update the family name with the correct spelling and record the misspelled family name as an alias name. Recording misspelled names is important for filing documents that may be issued with previous versions of the person's name. Discretion should be used regarding the degree of recording that is maintained.

The Oral Health Data Supply Requirement (DSR):
External provider family name - provide the family name of the person registered as a health service provider in an outsourced dental care.
Must not be null when care was provided.
Names registered in Australia use the Latin character set and are governed in Queensland by the Births Deaths and Marriages Act 2003. In Queensland, prohibited names are proscribed in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act 2003.
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References

Related Metadata References_IR

  • 1 - 5
ViewRelationshipMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifier & VersionApproval Status
SupersedesData ElementData ElementHealth care client (name)-family nameQH 040002 Version 3Superseded
Has been superseded byData ElementData ElementPerson (name)-family nameQH 040002 Version 5Current
Relates toData ElementData ElementPerson (name)-first given name (HIU)QH 042069 Version 1Current
Relates toData ElementData ElementPerson (name)-given nameQH 040003 Version 4Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementPerson (name)-second given name (HIU)QH 042070 Version 1Current
Implementation in Metadata Sets


  • 1 - 15
ViewMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifer & VersionObligationApproval StatusEffective FromEffective To
Information AssetData CollectionElective Surgery Data Collection (ESDC)QH 020110 Version 1MandatorySuperseded29-May-201419-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementHHS Service AgreementElective Surgery Waiting List Census Data Supply Requirement (DSR) 2017-2018QH 020304 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementHHS Service AgreementElective Surgery Waiting List Removals Data Supply Requirement (DSR) 2017-2018QH 020303 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Information AssetData CollectionEmergency Data Collection (EDC)QH 020159 Version 1MandatorySuperseded29-May-201419-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementHHS Service AgreementGastrointestinal Endoscopy (GIE)-Removals Data Supply Requirement (DSR) 2017-2018QH 020625 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementHHS Service AgreementGastrointestinal Endoscopy (GIE)-Waiting Data Supply Requirement (DSR) 2017-2018QH 020626 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Information AssetData CollectionGastrointestinal Endoscopy Data Collection (GIEDC)-RemovalsQH 020277 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201519-Mar-2018
Information AssetData CollectionGastrointestinal Endoscopy Data Collection (GIEDC)-WaitingQH 020276 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201519-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementQld LegislationLegionella Periodic (Quarterly) Reporting Data Supply Requirement (DSR)QH 020294 Version 1MandatoryCurrent01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementQld LegislationNotifying a Detection of Legionella Data Supply Requirement (DSR)QH 020295 Version 1MandatoryCurrent01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementHHS Service AgreementOral Health Data Supply Requirement (DSR)QH 020579 Version 1MandatoryCurrent01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Information AssetData CollectionQueensland Cancer Registry (QCR) Data CollectionQH 020002 Version 1MandatorySuperseded29-May-201419-Mar-2018
Information AssetData CollectionQueensland Health Non-Admitted Patient Data Collection (QHNAPDC)QH 020262 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201419-Mar-2018
Information AssetData CollectionRadiation Therapy Data Collection (RTDC)QH 020274 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201519-Mar-2018
Data Supply RequirementHHS Service AgreementRadiation Therapy Data Collection (RTDC) Data Supply Requirement (DSR) 2017-2018QH 020288 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-201719-Mar-2018
Source and Reference Attributes
AS 4846-2014 Person and provider identification in healthcare, Sydney: Standards Australia