Frequently Asked Questions

What is ReferralNet?

ReferralNet Messaging is a secure framework for the exchange of clinical and patient information between healthcare practitioners. ReferralNet includes an email-like client that runs on both Windows and Macintosh computers, however it uses Web Services technology to send and receive messages rather than SMTP/POP3, IMAP or MAPI.

Security is ensured by the use of digital certificates to encrypt and decrypt messages. To use ReferralNet Messaging you need either a site certificate or an individual certificate issued by Medicare Australia.

What do I need to get started?

If you do not want to integrate directly with the ReferralNet services then take a look at our product suite, otherwise contact us to organise access to the developers section.

How do I apply for my Medicare Certificate?

Information and instructions on how to go about this can be found here.

What do the terms PKI, Digital Certificate, Digital Keys, Secure Token & Smart Card all mean?

  1. PKI, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Secure Token
    • A security token (or sometimes a hardware token, hard token, authentication token, cryptographic token[1], or key fob) may be a physical device that an authorized user of computer services is given to ease authentication. The term may also refer to software tokens. Security tokens are used to prove ones identity electronically (as in the case of a customer trying to access their bank account). The token is used in addition to or in place of a password to prove that the customer is who they claim to be. The token acts like an electronic key to access something. Hardware tokens are typically small enough to be carried in a pocket or purse and often are designed to attach to the user's keychain.
  4. Smart Card
    • A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit card (ICC), is any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits which can process data. This implies that it can receive input which is processed — by way of the ICC applications — and delivered as an output. There are two broad categories of ICCs. Memory cards contain only non-volatile memory storage components, and perhaps some specific security logic. Microprocessor cards contain volatile memory and microprocessor components. The card is made of plastic, generally PVC, but sometimes ABS. The card may embed a hologram to avoid counterfeiting. Using smartcards also is a form of strong security authentication for single sign-on within large companies and organizations.

What are the pre-requisites for running the ReferralNet desktop client?

The ReferralNet Desktop Client is being phased out and is no longer actively developed.

As a replacement and to give even more functionality we offer MasterCare Connect. See our product information for more details:

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP, Vista, or higher
  • Apple Macintosh OS X 10.4 (Tiger); Intel x86 Architecture (OS X 10.5+ (Leopard) is possible depending on the capabilities of the Medicare Certificate Manager that is installed, PowerPC is currently not supported)

Network / Firewall

ReferralNet uses the following ports:

  • port 80 and port 443 (http and https)
  • port 9443

Is the ReferralNet Agent supported on Windows 8+

The ReferralNet Agent is fully supported on Windows 8 and 8.1 on desktop architectures (i.e. Some tables and netbooks may not work if they are using non x86 processor architectures.

Do I have to use the applications provided by Global Health to send and receive secure messages?

No not at all, ReferralNet provides industry standard Web Services for direct integration with its messaging infrastructure, allowing seamless integration with 3rd party applications. The standard Global Health suite of applications are themselves consumers of these services and may well not suit all business domains.

ReferralNet supports the following standards:

  • WSDL 1.1 and WSDL 2.0
  • WS-Security
  • WS-Policy
  • WS-Reliable Messaging
  • WS-Addressing
  • SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM) and XML-Binary Optimized Packaging (XOP)
  • REST

To obtain detailed specifications, sample code, SDK's etc, contact us to obtain an account to the developers section.

What kind of data can I send and receive through the ReferralNet Messaging service?

The ReferralNet Messaging service does not discriminate when it comes to data formats, pretty much any flavour of payload is supported, limited only by size limitations governed by your subscription type. As an example of this, our ReferralNet desktop client application routes through images, HL7 messages, RTF, HTML, XML, binary documents such as Microsoft Word, Excel spreadsheets and even voice capture. In fact you can define your own messages and publish their specification on our public web site, this will allow other ReferralNet subscribers the ability to locate and interoperate with you in the format that you specify.

My Discipline isn't listed in the list, can you add it?

The list of organisation and provider disciplines in ReferralNet are sourced from Medicare Australia's type references for health identifiers. Please find the most appropraite dicipline type in the list that matches your situation. Changes to the list will only be done if the official Medicare Supported list is changed.

See also: Medicare Provider and Organisation Types

faq.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/11 23:25 by damong