Nicky Of Oz

A series revealing practice management wizardry from Nicky’s health industry experience of 30+ years

Chapter 2 : Practice Management is like working at NASA!

Setting up a general medical centre can be daunting anyway, and then you have to deal with the acronyms i.e. PRODA, PKI, HPOS, SEED, NASH etc. I swear that my partner thinks I am speaking another language when I am on the phone.

So, let us start at the beginning so you know what is required for your practice setup so you can receive payments from Medicare and be able to send E-prescriptions and letters to patients and doctors.

PRODA- Provider Digital Access- INDIVIDUAL

All GPs, practice managers, medical receptionists and nurses should register for an individual PRODA.

This allows doctors to acquire a provider number quickly but also allows staff to look up patient item numbers. For example, if you are seeing a patient and don’t know whether they are eligible for a care plan or team care arrangement, you can search the patient’s item numbers. You can also search for patients Medicare numbers.

PRODA belongs to the individual and upon leaving a practice, PRODA stays with the individual. All staff are linked to the ORGANISATIONAL PRODA, hence when you leave, your PRODA will be deleted from the organisation and then get linked to a new centre.

When registering for PRODA, you will need 100 points for identification. Each time you log onto PRODA, you will be sent a code via email or your smartphone.

When Practice Managers are set up with PRODA, they can be linked to the Practice Incentive Payments, Workplace Incentive Payments and ATSI enrolment of patients. We will look into these items a little further into the blogs.


This is new to general practice. An Organisational PRODA is required to link the medical management software i.e. Best Practice to Medclaims or the Medicare server. The cut-off date for this has been moved from 13 March 2022 to the end of June for Best Practice software clients.

When the doctor/owner of the practice has an individual PRODA, they can then register for the organisation. This is done through the PRODA portal. Once this has been set up, then all staff are linked to the organisation. Here is a good link for instructions on how to register an organisation..

When the organisation has been set up, you link the organisation to HPOS (Health Professional Online Services) and AIR (Australian Immunisation Register). You should then add all doctors and staff as members to the organisation.

NASH or SEED organisation i.e. eHealth

A NASH certificate is required for a doctor to be able to upload MY Health Records, send scripts via e-script and also send letters via Medical Objects, Health Link etc. This can be done via your PRODA account.

When you log into PRODA :

  • Click on Health Professional Services
  • Online services
  • And then – No organisation- Proceed as an individual
  • My Programs
  • Health Identifiers and My Health Record
  • Health Identifiers – Register SEED Organisation
  • Follow the instructions

Once this has been done, then Register for My Health Records. This usually has to be done by the Director of the company or the people who are associated with the company via ASIC.

The digital certificates don’t take long to come through and once you have received them, you must let your IT company know so they can be downloaded onto the server and have the information stored within your medical software.

On top of all of this, the doctor must register with eRX to be able to send scripts.

I know what you are thinking! Yes, it is confusing, and it is full-on. Your Primary Health Network should be able to assist you with this and most IT companies now have their head around this. If you are setting up a new medical practice, we can also assist as part of our practice setup costs.

PRODA, NASH, SEED etc is new to all practices so don’t beat yourself up if you are having problems. Even “ancient” practices have had issues with this. Gone are the good old days when you just picked up a phone and dealt with a human!

However, these strong measures do alleviate issues with fraudulent behaviour, cyber attacks etc. it is just the new “norm” as they call it now.

Although this chapter of the blog may seem a little intense, I promise the next one will be more relaxed!

What is ‘Nicky Of Oz’

Being a Practice Manager in General Practice is challenging, rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. Protocols are consistently changing along with Medicare item numbers and new initiatives which are thrown onto General Practice at the last minute. Don’t get me wrong, it is an exciting profession to be in and you are constantly learning. It also helps if you have a good sense of humour and thick skin.

I have been in the Australian health industry for over 30 years. I migrated from the UK and started working for an ENT surgeon in Sydney. He was also new to Australia and setting up a new practice. It was also the first time that computers were used in general practice. I can still remember going in for a typing test for my interview. I was tapping away and nothing was happening. Both the ENT surgeon and I were complaining about the typewriter as it was new and appeared to be broken already. It turned out that the typewriter was not plugged in. Those were the days. Plenty of laughs over the past 30 years and many friends and colleagues made.

The aim of this blog is to supply as much information as I can to you as it currently stands in 2022. I hope to retire in the next few years and have learnt so much. It is a shame to retire without passing on what I have learned. You will also read some funny stories – all anonymous of course, but refreshing and real. I hope you enjoy reading these blogs.

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