Epworth HealthCare’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Luis Prado said that My Health Record has significant advantages to benefit many Australians, particularly people with complex and chronic conditions.
“My Health Record gives people access to their own healthcare information; and stores their important health records in a secure electronic environment, so that healthcare professionals can better manage their ongoing treatment, especially in an emergency situation,” Dr Prado said.
What is My Health Record?
My Health Record is an Australian Government initiative in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency,* that provides the technology to store an online summary of your health information.
Over time, your doctors and health providers can add summaries of the most important healthcare events, so that these records will help you receive prompt attention in future, avoiding the need for repetition of your health history and duplication of results.
What sort of information will My Health Record hold?
My Health Record will house health details such as medical treatments, current medications, results of tests, scans, allergies, prescriptions, referrals and even your end-of-life wishes.
You can control which information you want to have stored on these records. With your consent, the information uploaded by the government includes Medicare and the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), PBS medications, RPBS medications, organ donor decisions and immunisation history.
What about my privacy?
Only authorised health providers who work in Australia can see this information. The security and privacy of your information is important and strict rules and regulations on who can see or use your My Health Record are in place.
You control who can see your information. By setting access codes, you can choose who sees your record and what’s in it.
What capability does Epworth have for My Health Record?
Epworth is working towards providing medical staff with secure access to the My Health Record of patients admitted to Epworth facilities. The capability to enable will see a gradual roll-out planned for the months leading up to October this year.
Do I need to register?
Every Australian has until 15 October 2018 to opt out of My Health Record. After that, the Australian government, in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency will automatically create a My Health Record for you.
If you want to register now, you can do so through MyGov by following these three steps:
- Create a myGov account or login to your existing account if you already have one
- Verify your identity
- Set up your My Health Record
Is My Health Record already up and running?
The Australian Digital Health Agency* reports that more than 5.9 million Australians already have a My Health Record and 12,860 healthcare professional organisations are connected, including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices.
What do other peak health organisations say about My Health Record?
- Consumers Health Forum (CHF) CEO, Ms Leanne Wells: “My Health Record gives Australians the opportunity to be active partners in their own care, with many potential benefits for those that decide to have one. The opt out period is a great opportunity for individuals to learn more about My Health Record so they can understand the impact it could have on their treatments. We are looking forward to seeing more records be created by the end of the year, so more Australians have access to the benefits the platform enables.”
- Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Dr Tony Bartone: “The My Health Record will allow a range of benefits – from a full medication summary, to a record of diagnostic reports, through to the ability for patients to enter their own notes. Ultimately it’s a tool that will help patients better track their own health and medical history.”
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth and Practice Services Dr Nathan Pinskier: “Many Australians are already making use of digital services across a range of industries. My Health Record provides the opportunity for Australians to access their health information in a secure environment. The RACGP are working with GPs to obtain awareness on how to best use My Health Record to provide patients timely access to additional information and support better health outcomes.”
- Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President, Dr Shane Jackson: “In collaboration with the Agency we are helping our 30,000 pharmacists guide patients through this important healthcare decision. The information in the My Health Record System will allow pharmacists to deliver more effective and efficient care, and it is great that all Australians will have the option to benefit from this.”
- Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, Mr George Tambassis: “The Guild is committed to ensuring all pharmacy dispensing and medicine related services are fully integrated into My Health Record. By doing so we will help advance the efficiency, quality, and delivery of healthcare.”
- Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association (AHHA) CEO, Ms Alison Verhoeven: “Health care is a sensitive topic, and so it is only right Australians are given the right to decide how it is disclosed and who to. Patients are at the centre of My Health Record – realising the health benefits it enables and controlling those who have access to it. It’s a critical and exciting development in the progression of healthcare services in Australia.”
To find out more about My Health Record, or to find out more about the opt-out process, go to www.myhealthrecord.gov.au, call 1800 723 471 for more information, or collect an information pack from a Post Office. Additional support is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, people with limited digital literacy, and those living in rural and remote regions.
*About the Australian Digital Health Agency: The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au