About this item

Issue date:
22 January 2023
Corporate Author:
Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO)
Copyright status:

Copyright Held by Non-Crown Party


The National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP) is a free programme for men and women aged 60–74 years who are eligible for publicly funded health care. The primary objective of bowel screening is to reduce the mortality rate by diagnosing and treating bowel cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage. The introduction of the NBSP in New Zealand followed a successful six-year pilot.

The new NBSP information technology system is called the National Screening Solution (NSS). This system will enable easy management of the bowel screening pathway, support planning and management of participants, monitor safety and quality, and enable ongoing evaluation of the programme. The NSS is a long-term strategic solution that can be extended to support future population health initiatives.

This implementation guide helps in the development of applications using messaging to report bowel screening histology data into the NSS. Also included in this guide is the structure of electronic messages using HL7® version 2.4 (HL7).

This implementation guide identifies and describes the structured message types that laboratories contracted to perform NBSP histology services need to send to the NSS. The data in these messages will support the monitoring, operation and quality of the NBSP and may also be used for research and education purposes. The purpose of this implementation guide is to ensure that consistent information is sent from various laboratories to the NSS in the same way.

This implementation guide should be read in conjunction with the standard: HISO 10072.1:2019 Bowel Screening Histology Data Standard.

Adoption plan

The National Bowel Screening Programme will be working with the current bowel screening providers and laboratory information system vendors to implement the standards. They will also work with new vendors, laboratories and district health boards as they come on board with the Bowel Screening Programme over the next year.

A review may be required in one year to ensure the standards are fit for purpose, based on implementation experience.  

An indicative timeframe of two years to adopt the standards will be included in the Laboratory Information Standards Adoption Roadmap. HISO will work with the National Bowel Screening Programme to track the level of adoption by laboratories, vendors and district health boards.