National Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme
Accreditation provides a commitment to the community that a diagnostic imaging practice meets expected standards for safety and quality. It is a formal program where trained assessors review an imaging practice’s evidence of implementation of the Diagnostic Imaging Practice Standards.
Imaging practices not accredited under the National Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme cannot provide Medicare funded diagnostic imaging services. Unaccredited imaging practices must inform clients prior to carrying out imaging they are not accredited and a Medicare benefit is not payable.
The Accreditation Model
The National Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme includes all diagnostic imaging practices who provide Medicare funded services on the Diagnostic Imaging Services Table.
Accredited imaging practices are accredited every four years via a desktop audit and address the full suite of Diagnostic Imaging Practice Standards.
Accreditation decisions include:
- Accreditation for all diagnostic imaging modalities with or without conditions.
- Accreditation for some diagnostic imaging modalities with or without conditions.
- Refusing accreditation.
Accreditation agencies accept applications for accreditation, perform desktop audits and grant accreditation. They advise the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) of diagnostic imaging practices’ accreditation status, provide data and liaise with the Commission as required.
Accreditation agencies assessing imaging practices against the standards are confirmed by the Commission. They are required to
- demonstrate their credentials and capacity to provide independent, timely and affordable accreditation services to a diversity of imaging practice types.
- assess all imaging practice types.
There are 3 accreditation agencies for the National Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme.
Diagnostic Imaging Practices
Diagnostic imaging practices require accreditation through the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme to access Medicare benefit payments.
Accredited imaging practices are required to
- have an approved accreditation agency at all times.
- comply with the standards at all times and to notify their accreditation agency when they become aware of a failure to meet the standards or satisfy an accreditation condition.
Changing accreditation agency
Imaging practices can choose to change accreditation agencies at any time. To change, notify your current accreditation agency of your intention to change, request release of your records and then apply to the accreditation agency of your choice.
Pathway to Accreditation
Diagnostic imaging practices seeking accreditation for the first time can address the entry level or full suite of Diagnostic Imaging Practice Standards.
Imaging practices initially accredited against the entry level standards (Standards 1.2, 1.3, 1.4) have two years to achieve accreditation against the full suite of standards. While practices initially accredited against the full suite of standards are accredited for four years.
Steps to accreditation
Obtain a Location Specific Practice Number (LSPN) or to check that the LSPN you hold is still valid by visiting Services Australia.
Choose to be accredited against the entry level standards or the full suite of standards.
Select an approved accreditation agency.
Apply for accreditation in writing, specify the diagnostic imaging practice, modalities for which accreditation is being sought and provide sufficient information to support the application.
Information requirements for accreditation
Each accreditation agency has their own forms and process for accepting applications. However the information to support accreditation and establish compliance to the standards will be similar. A diagnostic imaging practice is required to provide:
- Registration and licencing of staff involved in the capture or reporting of diagnostic images
- Compliance with state or territory radiation safety legislation
- An inventory of diagnostic imaging equipment
- Servicing reports or contracts of equipment
- Collection and review of data regarding the practice’s diagnostic imaging services
- Information available to patients about diagnostic imaging services
- Patient records including medical history and consent to procedures where applicable
- Feedback and complaints records
- Incidents and improvements registers
Policies, procedures or guidelines
- Governance and management structure
- Consistent and safe diagnostic imaging practices
- Provision of services, including managing requests for diagnostic services and reporting
- Management of medications and patient reactions
- Infection control
- Patient identification and transfer of care
- Management of patient feedback and complaints
Reapplying for Accreditation
Diagnostic imaging practices which have previously held accreditation need to apply for and obtain accreditation against the full suite of Diagnostic Imaging Practice Standards.
The desktop audit must be completed within 30 business days of the accreditation agency being selected. Practices awarded accreditation will be re accredited every four years.
Medical Imaging Accreditation Program
The Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme(DIAS) recognises the Medical Imaging Accreditation Program (MIAP). It is a voluntary program delivered by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and National Association of Testing Authorities.
Diagnostic imaging practices with MIAP accreditation can apply for recognition of their accreditation under DIAS. Imaging practices providing evidence of current accreditation to their accreditation agency will be granted DIAS accreditation.
Imaging practices must notify their accreditation agency if their MIAP accreditation lapses, is not renewed or is revoked. If this occurs the imaging practice no longer satisfies the recognition arrangements under DIAS.
Eligibility to provide Medicare funded diagnostic imaging stops and is not re-established until the imaging practice either renews their MIAP accreditation or is accredited against the full suite of Diagnostic Imaging Practice Standards.
Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme Advisory Committee
The Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme Advisory Committee (DIASAC) provide oversight, expertise and consumer input to the accreditation scheme and practice standards. Members advise on matters to ensure appropriate quality and safety standards of practice are applied to diagnostic imaging.
Role and Function
The role of the committee is to:
- Provide expert advice on safety and quality in diagnostic imaging.
- Provide expert advice and oversight for the review, interpretation, application, implementation and future of the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme standards and accreditation model.
- Where appropriate, align the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme with relevant accreditation programs.
- Provide advice on changes to the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme standards and accreditation model.
- Suggest and participate in strategies to engage diagnostic imaging practices, consumer organisations, professional membership bodies and teaching institutions with the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme.
The Committee is appointed till June 2023 and is chaired by the Commission’s National Standards Director.
The membership has expertise in diagnostic imaging policy, standards development and accreditation, health administration and health consumer advocacy. Members include nominees from consumer representative groups, diagnostic imaging practices (private and public), jurisdictions and professional membership bodies.
The members are
- Mr James Abbott, Queensland Health
- Dr Eleanor Chew OAM, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Professor Stacy Georgen, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
- Dr W.F (Eddie) Lau, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
- Mrs Fiona Law, Medical Imaging Nurses Association
- Dr William MacDonald, Australasian Association of Nuclear Medicine Specialists
- Mr Patrick Meehan, Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association and Sonic Health
- Dr Karen Mizia, Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Dr Deborah Nisbet, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Associate Professor David Prior, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Mrs Geraldine Robertson, Consumer Health Forum
- Dr Sally Sojan, Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association
- Dr David Thiele, Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine and Queensland Health
- Mr James Wood, Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association and I-MED Radiology Network
Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme was established in June 2007 through the Health Insurance Act 1973. Stage 1 of the scheme was introduced in 2008 and covered imaging practices providing diagnostic radiology services only.
In July 2010 the scheme expanded (Stage 2) to include practices providing non radiology services such as cardiac ultrasound and angiography, obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound and nuclear medicine imaging services
In 2016 the Diagnostic Imaging Practice Standards were revised.
For questions and feedback on the Commission’s Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme and Practices Standards please contact Safety and Quality Advice Centre or phone 1800 304 056.