30 May 2019

More than 90 per cent of Australians now have a My Health Record (MyHR), with millions of new records being created following the end of the opt-out period.

An online record that stores a person’s medical information and history all in one place, MyHR is set to be an integral component to Australia’s health system. Health professionals will be able to access health information about new and existing patients wherever they present, helping ensure people can receive more coordinated care.

Lisa, a nurse working in general practice in Williamstown, has found the system to be very useful and something all health professionals should consider promoting.

“At my clinic, we had a target of asking every patient if they had a My Health Record or if they wanted one,” Lisa said. “If you pitch it the right way, patients are really receptive to it.”

“I always make sure I tell my patients how beneficial the records are if they are going to go interstate or don’t have access to their own doctors. Any new health professionals they therefore have to see will still have access to all the information they need.”

MyHRs are also proving to be very beneficial for immunisation and vaccine records, with GPs no longer having to rely on blood tests to conclude which patients are immunised against which diseases.

Over the past few months, the MyHR team at North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has been working tirelessly to promote the new records and provide assistance to practices, health professionals and the general community.

The team attended a total of 227 community events discussing the benefits of the records and answering any questions people have had. More than 12,000 community members were engaged through these events and a further 148,804 people were reached online through other promotions and social media.

This is in addition to around 1000 visits to health providers, to help them learn how to best use the system to support existing and new patients and their day-to-day operations.

All this hard work is paying off, with strong active use of the MyHR system across our region (see ‘By the numbers’, left).

With the opt out period now over, every Medicare card/DVA card holder in Australia who didn’t choose to opt out of the system now has a MyHR. This means that currently 90.1 per cent of the population have a record, with 9.9 per cent of community members choosing to opt out of the system. People can still opt in or out of the system at any time, with records able to be permanently deleted upon request.

By the numbers

  • 7 of the 9 public hospitals in our region are registered to MyHR and are uploading discharge summaries, with the remaining two set to being using the system this year.
  • Approximately 85 per cent of general practices in our catchment are registered and uploading health summaries, prescription records and viewing.
  • Approximately 65 per cent of pharmacies in our catchment registered and uploading dispense records and viewing

 Read more about NWMPHN’s involvement in My HR at nwmphn.org.au/priority-area-topic/my-healthrecord/

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