General FAQs about the Register

This section contains general FAQs you may have about the National Cancer Screening Register or your participation. 

Why do we need a Register?

We hold nationally consistent health information within a single electronic record for each person no matter where they are in Australia.
 
We will invite eligible patients to start cervical screening when they turn 25 years, and send them a reminder when they are due or overdue for cervical screening.

We will follow up with healthcare providers and patients if test results show they need it. We will also support healthcare providers and specialists to communicate more effectively with pathology labs.

Who owns the data?

The Australian Department of Health is the data custodian.

As custodian of the information, the Australian Government has control over the information, especially with respect to use and disclosure of information from the Register.

See also: Privacy Policy

Why is it important to me?

The Register plays a vital role in the National Cervical Screening Program in Australia.

A key function is to promote regular participation in cervical screening.

The three main functions will be to:

Send invitation and reminder letters when tests are overdue.

Under Renewal, the new screening pathway, Cervical Screening Tests are recommended every five years for participants who do not require any further tests. The recommended interval may differ for some participants depending on the result of the previous test.

Provide a safety net for when a person is at risk.

Most Cervical Screening Tests are normal, but in a small number of cases, the test result may indicate that a person is at risk.

The Register provides a safety net by notifying healthcare providers when we have not received information to indicate a person who is at risk has been followed up. This helps to ensure continuity of patient care.

We will also notify participants when there is no information to indicate they have had a requested follow up after a screening test.

Provide a history of cervical screening results.

We play a vital role in giving healthcare providers access to a patient's cervical screening history to help manage participants identified as being at risk.

Medical scientists and pathologists use the Register to report Cervical Screening Tests and make recommendations for follow up, taking into account previous test results.

About the Register

Why has Telstra Health been appointed to manage the Register?

The Australian Government Department of Health appointed Telstra Health to build and operate the new National Cancer Screening Register in May 2016, following an open competitive tender process in accordance with Australian Government Procurement Rules.

Who is Telstra Health?

Telstra Health is a standalone business unit of Telstra Corporation. Telstra Health has a strong record of delivering health solutions through the use of transformative technology.

The infrastructure platform that is part of the Register has been in use over the last 20 years and is proven to be robust, scalable and capable of supporting the collection, storage, analysis and reporting requirements of the Register.

Can Telstra Health use the data in the Register for other reasons?

No. In accordance with the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 and other relevant laws, data in the Register may only be used for the purposes of the Register.  

Is my information safe on the Register?

Telstra Health complies with the same strict security standards that would apply to the Australian Government if it were building and operating the Register. 

Information collected is protected by legislation and is maintained under the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 and other relevant laws. Information is only used and disclosed for the purposes of operating the Register, and as otherwise authorised by the Australian Government in accordance with the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 and other relevant laws. 

The Register and Telstra Health must comply with all legal and legislative requirements applicable to the processing of and access to Health data. This includes the following Commonwealth Acts:

See also: 

For participants

This section contains FAQs that are relevant to members of the public.  

Using the Register

Can I access my personal information?

Yes. If you have participated in cervical screening, you can access and manage your contact information and screening status through our contact centre. Call us at 1800 627 701.

Can I change my name?

We obtain your name information from Medicare.

You can call us at 1800 627 701 to change your pseudonym or alternative name.

If you wish to change your formal name as recorded with Medicare, you will need to contact Medicare directly on 132 011 or visit www.humanservices.gov.au.

Can I change my address?

We obtain your primary address from Medicare.

If you wish to change your primary address details as recorded with Medicare, you will need to contact Medicare directly on 132 011 or visit www.humanservices.gov.au.
 
You can call us on 1800 627 701 to provide alternative contact details.

Can I change my date of birth?

We obtain your date of birth details from Medicare.

If you wish to change your date of birth details as recorded with Medicare, you will need to contact Medicare directly on 132 011 or visit www.humanservices.gov.au.

Do I have to pay?

No, there is no fee to access your record.

How do I request to cease correspondence?

Please download and complete the form Request to cease correspondence.

You can also call us at 1800 627 701 and a member of our team will guide you.

How do I opt out?

Please read important information about opting out of the Register.

About the National Cervical Screening Program

How do I know when I am due for a screening test?

If you are eligible for screening, the Register will send you an invitation to start screening, or a reminder of when your next screening is due.

I am going overseas – will you get my screen test results from my overseas provider?

We only collect screening test results that have been performed in Australia. If you have a screening test overseas, the Register will not get your result.

Discuss with your healthcare provider whether you are eligible to bring forward your next screening, or whether delaying your next screening test is an option for you. Your healthcare provider can update your record with information that you are going overseas.

For healthcare providers

This section contains FAQs that are relevant to healthcare providers around the Register.

Why do I need to access the National Cancer Screening Register?

Accessing the National Cancer Screening Register will allow you to request screening histories, National Cervical Screening Program forms, or enquire about a person’s eligibility or screening status. 

You can also look and search in the Register to follow up on screening results and pathways, as a supplementary source of information.

How do I access the National Cancer Screening Register?

Call us at 1800 627 701 to access the National Cancer Screening Register.

See also: Transition quick start guide for healthcare providers

I want to fax my patient’s results – how do I do this?

We support a fax service.

Fax completed forms for abnormal results questionnaire, colposcopy and treatment forms to 1800 627 702.  Please include a separate cover letter with:

  • additional information
  • number of pages faxed (including cover sheet)
  • your practice name
  • your fax number.

You must fax each participant report individually for privacy of personal information.

For pathologists or medical scientists

This section contains FAQs that are relevant to pathologists or medical scientists around the Register. 

Why do I need to access the National Cancer Screening Register?

This will allow you to enter test results, request screening histories, National Cervical Screening Program forms, or enquire about a patient’s eligibility or screening status. 

How do I access the National Cancer Screening Register?

If your laboratory is already connected to the Register through your laboratory system, please use your interface to the Register to request screening histories, National Cervical Screening Program forms, and send HPV molecular, Cytology and Histology test results to the Register or enquire about a person’s eligibility or screening status. 
 
If your laboratory is not yet connected to the Register, you can call or fax our Contact Centre to make a request or send results as follows:

Phone:  1800 627 701 to speak to a member of our Contact Centre team.
Fax:  1800 627 702.  Please include a separate cover letter with:

  • additional information
  • number of pages faxed (including cover sheet)
  • your practice name
  • your fax number.

You must fax each participant report individually for privacy of personal information.

What type of secure messaging does the National Cancer Screening Register use?

The National Cancer Screening Register uses HL7 messaging to provide a fast and efficient service for cervical screening history requests, and accepting HPV, Cytology and Histology results from pathology laboratories. Read more about HL7 messaging (PDF) from HL7 Australia. 

Where can I get HPV benchmarking reports?

You can view charts and tables relating to HPV detection rate national benchmark on our website.