The preferred family name by which a person wants to be identified should be indicated using Code 11 – Preferred name in the Person(name)-name usage data element. This family name may be different from the family name on a person’s Medicare card or other family names a person may be identified by and these other family names should be recorded and indicated by the Person(name)-name usage data element.
The preferred family name indicated by the Person(name)-name usage data element should be recorded in the format preferred by the person. For example, this may be the same as that indicated by a person on a form. Where appropriate, the family name indicated by the Person(name)-name usage 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.
It is acknowledged that some people have more than one family name by which they have been known (e.g. maiden 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 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 a family name (such as hyphens, umlauts or commas), consideration should be given to a system’s capability to collect and interpret such characters. This is particularly relevant to older or legacy systems.
Hyphen e.g. WILSON-PHILLIPS
If a 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 alias.
e.g. WILSON PHILLIPS and WILSON-PHILLIPS
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.
e.g. O'BRIEN, D'AGOSTINO.
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.
e.g. ST. JOHN, ST. GEORGE.
Spaces e.g. VAN DER HUMM
If a 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.
e.g. VAN DER HUMM, LE BRUN, MC DONALD.
Recording an unnamed newborn baby
An unnamed newborn baby is to be recorded using 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 recorded as the preferred name using the Person (name)-name usage type data element and recorded under the newborn name usage type or recorded as an alias name in the case of old or legacy systems that may only have this field available.
Person 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 a person has only one name, record their name in the family name field, leave the given name blank and populate the Person (name)-one name indicator data element.
For HBCIS record the one name in the family name field and record a full stop “.” in the given name field.
Recording an unknown person
The default for an unknown family name should use the following format: UNKNOWN[facility abbreviation] and should be recorded as an alias name usage type. Don't create a fictitious family name such as DOE as this is an actual family name. When a person’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 UNKNOWN as an alias name.
For further information about recording an unidentified client please refer to Fact sheet: Recording unknown patients.
Recording people from disaster sites
People treated from disaster sites should be recorded under the alias name usage type. Local business rules shall be developed for consistent recording of disaster site person details. Care should be taken not to use identical dummy data (family name, given name, date of birth, sex) for two or more people from a disaster site.
Name requiring truncation
If the length of a family name exceeds the length of the field, truncate the family name from the right (that is, dropping the final letters). For further information on truncating a name please refer to Fact sheet: Recording a name requiring truncation
Use of aliases and pseudonyms
The Department of Health recognises that some people may prefer to use an alias when they present to receive a health service.
If an alias name is recorded for a 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 Code 11 – Preferred name in the Person(name)-name usage data element.
Baby for adoption
A newborn baby that is for adoption should be recorded in the same way that other newborn babies are recorded. Refer to the Department of Health Policy - Managing the Clinical Records of Children Available for Adoption and associated documents for further information.
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 recorded. 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.
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 a 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 a person's name. Discretion should be used regarding the degree of recording that is maintained.
Is implemented in Queensland Master Patient Index (QMPI) QH 020653 v1