What we heard about My Health Record in November 2018
The Australian Digital Health Agency has partnered with PHN’s across Australia to deliver communications at a local, regional and national level to facilitate healthcare provider registration and meaningful use of the My Health Record system. In addition, to help consumers be informed about the My Health Record and opt out mechanisms.
Across the Murray PHN catchment and as at November 2018, 142,948 consumers already have a My Health Record and 373 healthcare providers are registered for the My Health Record system. On 14 November, the Government extended the My Health Record opt-out period from 15 November 2018 to 31 January 2019, noting that people can opt-out at any time.
Our Health Voices were asked about My Health Record and in most instances were able to select more than one answer or skip questions. See below for what we heard and further information and resources on My Health Record, are located at the bottom of the page.
From Colignan in the West to Wandiligong in the East and Cobram in the North to Kilmore in the South, our Voices were spread across our catchment in the following regions:
Of the Voices who participated, 38% were healthcare professionals.
- 97% of respondents had heard about My Health Record
- 70% knew what type of information was contained within a My Health Record
57% of respondents believe that the main benefits of My Health Record are all of the below options. While the most popular individual benefits, were the first (51%), second (41%) and fourth (43%) points:
- 24/7 access to a summary of your health information, including blood tests and x-ray results, accessible from anywhere in Australia
- Not having to find or remember details about a past diagnosis or treatment when seeing a new health professional
- The ability to keep track of medications, immunisations and allergies and not have to repeat unnecessary tests
- Better connected care, as healthcare professionals can be more informed about your overall health status
- A record that you can control, including deciding which healthcare professionals can or can't access your information
- The ability for healthcare providers to see your health information such as allergies, medicines and immunisations in a medical emergency
- A place to record your organ donation and future medical treatment (advance care plan) wishes, make notes and upload health additional information
29% of health professionals believed all of the below options were benefits, while the first dot point was the most favourable individual benefit (13%).
- Access to clinical information that is often missing, which will help to get a more complete medical history of a patient
- More time with patients and less time chasing clinical information and investigations, resending or chasing referrals, scanning, printing, filing and posting
- Better information sharing with other healthcare professionals in the patient's care team e.g. Doctor and dietitian
- Ability to view medications that have been prescribed and dispensed, and allergies, which can avoid medication misadventure
- Access to specialist letters and hospital discharge summaries
Who has a Record
- 95% are aware that a My Health Record would be created for them, unless they told the Government that they didn’t want one
- 94% of Voices are aware that they can opt out of My Health Record at any time
- 74% of Voices are not opting out of the My Health Record
- 26% of Voices are opting out for the following reasons:
50% of Voices felt that they had been adequately informed about My Health Record. Of the information Voices had received or seen, was via:
- 46% TV
- 44% online
- 33% through their doctor or health professional
- 31% newspapers
- 28% radio
- 23% social media
- 12% community events
- 8% work
- 2% billboards
- 2% letter
31% of Voices had spoken to their doctor or health professional about My Health Record. They told us about their experiences, which included:
- “I understand you can limit access etc. There is a community fear factor of government and technology but as progression of use of technology is linked to payments to GPs from Medicare then I do not believe we can stop this progression at all. We are already having to claim Medicare and private health insurance rebates online plus Centrelink payments are connected to immunisation records.”
- "The way of the future."
- “I think there is a lot of misinformation about My Health Record it will only be as good as the number of health professionals that are willing to record in it however.”
- "I love it, and have used it for many years with no issues."
- "There has been not enough advertisement and the program requires the entire population to have a great level of computer literacy skills, which I do not agree with."
- “It’s great for me to manage all the information and records for my type 1 diabetes. It will save extra tests because all the clinicians have up to date information.”
- "lots of concerns about privacy but once it's working it will be good."
- "Its usefulness will be directly impacted by the number of health professionals using it. This is where the focus needs to be - not just at the consumer end."
- "As long as the information is totally digitally secure, I feel it's a great thing for our mobile world."
- “As someone living with Type 1 diabetes and other health conditions, it makes sense for my health records to be accessible to health professionals anywhere in Australia - it may save my life some day whilst travelling away from home.”
- “It's a great idea and has been thoroughly thought through. I feel that my information is safe.”
- "Health Care professionals need to be more on board. I am still unable to get x-rays, ultrasounds etc on my health record as know one knows how to do it."
- "I welcome it. I don't have an issue with privacy. Health comes first.”
- “As someone with some significant health issues, it is a positive thing for all my records to be accessed by the right people. There are so many privacy issues in the community anyway, that this record is not an issue for me.”
- "For us it's a good idea because we travel quite a bit and it means our medical info is readily available wherever we are."
- "Data protection is essential I’m interested to see how well information is kept up to date by health professionals."
- "Allied health professionals software is still not linking with My Health Record. There needs to be a push for this."
- "I do realise that it is not perfect yet, but it has to start somewhere. It has been in train for way too long so it needs to settle in. The community should support it. Digital health will be in all settings sooner than later."
- "This is a logical development in Medical care enabled by modern digital records and communication."
My Health Record information
My Health Record is an online summary of your key health information. When you have a My Health Record, your health information can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time – even if you move or travel interstate. You can access your health information from any computer or device that’s connected to the internet.
In 2019, you will get a My Health Record unless you opt out. If you don’t want a My Health Record, complete the online process by 31 January 2019. You will need your Medicare card and driver licence (or other identification) to complete the opt-out process. Or if you want to register before being opted in, you can do so here.
Who can access my private health information?
Only healthcare provider organisations involved in your care, who are registered with the My Health Record System Operator, are allowed by law to access your My Health Record.
Can I choose what information is uploaded to my record?
Yes. Individuals can choose what kinds of information is stored in the record and who views it. This can happen both at the time of consultation or after the record has been uploaded.
Access by law enforcement and government agencies
Under the Agency’s official operating policy, no information within My Health Record can be released without an order from a judicial officer. To date, the Agency has never received such a request and has never released information.
Use of My Health Record information by employers and insurers
The Australian Digital Health Agency will not approve the release of an individual's personal or health information to a third party except where it is related to the provision of healthcare or is otherwise authorised or required by law.
The new measures ensure that insurers and employers are prohibited from using information within your My Health Record, or asking you to disclose your information, for insurance or employment purposes.
Permanent deletion of a cancelled My Health Record
You will be able to permanently delete a My Health Record at any time, if you decide you would no longer like one. No archived copy or back up will be kept and deleted information won’t be able to be recovered.
A number of legislative changes to strengthen My Health Record privacy were passed on 21 November 2018. Click here to read the full list of amendments.
Where to go for more information
Learn more by clicking any of the links below:
- What’s in a My Health Record?
- How is my record used in an emergency?
- Who can see my record?
- What privacy and security controls can I set?
- How secure is My Health Record?
- How do I find out about opting out?
- Frequently asked questions
If you are a health professional click here for more information on the My Health Record website. Our dedicated webpage also has a number of resources listed, including contact details for requesting support with registration and use here.
Register or access your My Health Record here.
For information about opting out click here.
For information in another language other than English click here.
Click here for My Health Record stories and news articles.
Click here to watch My Health Record videos on YouTube