My Health Record is a major government initiative to create an online summary of everyone's health information.
All Australians will automatically get a My Health Record by the end of this year, unless they choose to opt out of the system.
There is a three month period in which to do this. It begins July 16 and runs through to October 15.
My Health Record is an online summary of a person’s health information, a Federal government initiative backed by the National Rural Health Alliance.
More than five million people already have a My Health Record, and the system is expanding.
By the end of 2018, a My Health Record will be automatically created for every Australian unless they opt out of the system.
There is a three month period during which to opt out. That period begins on July 16 and runs until to 15 October. Individuals can cancel their My Health Records at any time after the opt-out period. You can also chose to opt in at any time.
The Alliance is partnering with the Australian Digital Health Agency to provide information about My Health Record and its benefits, as well as providing information about opting out.
Doctors, pharmacists and authorised healthcare providers will be able to access a person’s My Health Record to assist in their treatment of patients, and to store other health information like prescriptions and advance care planning.
Board Chairperson Tanya Lehmann said the National Rural Health Alliance has worked for decades to improve the health of people in rural and remote areas, and she strongly supports the benefits of a digital health record.
“My Health Record will give country people and their healthcare providers a summary of their medical condition, past treatments, and prescribed medicines. It will be a one stop shop of someone’s health history.“
“This is critical for people in rural and remote areas who need to travel long distances for treatment, and often don’t see the same GP or health provider,” Ms Lehmann said.
Ms Lehmann said the Alliance is well placed to reach rural and remote Australians because of the diversity of its membership including consumer groups such as the Country Women’s Association of Australia, key organisations in the Aboriginal and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations, and service providers such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said that the benefits of digital health for patients are significant and compelling.
“Having a My Health Record means that your important health information such as allergies, current conditions and treatments, medicine details, pathology and diagnostic imaging reports are digitally stored in one place."
“My Health Record also places Australians in control of their healthcare and gives authorised healthcare providers secure digital access to key health information at the point of care, wherever that may be,” Mr Kelsey said.
The Agency says additional benefits include reduced hospital admissions, reduced duplication of tests, better-coordinated care, and better informed treatment decisions.
The government is also allowing third parties access to My Health Record data for public health and research purposes from 2020.
This means that academics and commercial organisations may be granted access if they can prove it is in the public interest.
Individuals can control access by third parties by classifying information as restricted.
The agency insists that the safeguards are sufficient to protect online health information.
“The protection of patient information is critical and the My Health Record system has strong safeguards in place to protect the health data. It is also subject to some of the strongest legislation in the world to prevent unauthorised use."
For further information on My Health Record go to www.myhealthrecord.gov.au
For more information on how to opt out visit: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/howtos/opt-out
Click here for the Framework to guide the secondary use of My Health Record system data
And here to access the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which has further information and tips on managing your online data.
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 in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of the 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 professionals to provide informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au.