My Health Record

What is My Health Record?

My Health Record is an online summary of health information. You control what goes into your record, and who is allowed to access it. Share your health information with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers from anywhere, any time.   Having a My Health Record means your important health information including allergies, current conditions and treatments, medicine details, pathology reports or diagnostic imaging scan reports can be digitally stored in one place.  As more people and their health care providers use the My Health Record system, Australia’s national health system will become better connected. This will result in faster and more efficient care for you and your family.  My Health Record is part of the evolution of health care towards the use of digital health systems to enable better continuity of care for patients.  

What can be included on a My Health Record?

Health care providers, such as GPs, specialists and pharmacists can add  clinical documents about your health to your record. This includes: 

  • An overview of your health uploaded by your doctor, called a Shared Health Summary. This is a useful reference for new doctors or other health care providers that you visit;
  • Hospital discharge summaries;
  • Reports from test and scans, like blood tests;
  • Medications that have been prescribed and dispensed to you;
  • Referral letters from your doctors.

Everyone will be offered a My Health Record

The Federal Government announced in the 2017 Budget a commitment to continue to expand the My Health Record system. By February 2019, every Australian will have a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one. The opt out period runs through until 31 January 2019.   

My Health Record: For health care providers

What are the benefits of using a My Health Record? 

Through the My Health Record system you will access timely information about your patients such as shared health summaries, discharge summaries, prescription and dispense records, pathology reports and diagnostic imaging reports.    The key benefits of the My Health Record system are: 

  • Avoid adverse drug events;
  • Enhanced patient self-management;
  • Improvements in patient outcomes;
  • Reduce time gathering information;
  • Avoided duplication of services. 

The My Health Record system does not replace a health care providers existing clinical files or medical record system. It is a summary only, designed to compliment existing files and will not hold all of the information held in a patient’s record. 

Graphic showing the seven stages of Australia's National Digital Health Strategy

The implementation of My Health Record is phase one of the National Digital Health Strategy, an initiative of  the Australian Digital Health Agency and the state and territory governments. The Strategy proposes seven strategic priority outcomes to be achieved by 2022.

Registering and actively using the My Health Record platform and demonstrating the benefits to patients will mean we can provide better care to patients, while also accelerating the pace Australia’s digital health strategy.

What can your practice do?

Here are some quick tips on how you can get started in your practice:

Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions were answered in our April 2020 My Health Record webinar with the Australian Digital Health Agency. FAQs for consumers are available on the My Health Record website.

FAQs

Will the My Health Record contain the whole patient’s medical history?

No. The My Health Record is a summary of a patient’s health information, and will not be a substitute for the patient’s record.

The information that it may have can include:

  • Shared health summaries
  • Pathology and imaging reports
  • Event summaries
  • Specialist correspondence and referrals
  • Prescription and dispensing records
  • Hospital discharge summaries

If I begin using the My Health Record, will everything I upload into my system be automatically uploaded into the My Health Record?

No. For each software vendor, there is a different method of uploading the specified document into the patient’s My Health Record.

Can patients add their own information to the My Health Record?

Yes. Patients can enter:

  • Personal health summaries
  • Emergency contact details
  • Advance care documents and custodians

What if the patient has more than one GP?

As per the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), each patient should only have one nominated provider at one time who can create and update a shared health summary. Any other doctor, who is not the patient’s primary care provider, should use an event summary to upload relevant clinical information.

Do I require my patient’s consent to upload to their My Health Record?

No. Patients can however request that certain information or documents are not uploaded. The authority to upload without patient’s explicit consent is stated in the legislation.

The patient does not need to review a document before it is uploaded. We’d recommend that you discuss the information with the patient before uploading it.

Will patients be able to see the documents uploaded immediately?

No. Health care providers will be able to view reports immediately when they are uploaded to the patient’s My Health Record, the reports will not be visible to patients for 7 days.

What do I do if a patient asks me not to upload a document?

You may not upload the documents, however, you may wish to document the patient’s wishes in their record.

What can be billed to Medicare?

There are no item numbers for using the My Health Record. The doctor can bill Medicare for time taken in the consultation to educate and prepare the My Health Record, as this will be considered part of providing a clinical service.

What if my patient does not have a My Health Record, can they receive an Electronic Prescription?

Yes, all the patient will need is an IHI number. There is no need for a My Health Record if the patient does not wish to obtain one.

Do I need to notify my software vendor for my organisation to move to electronic prescriptions?

We’d recommend speaking to your software vendor and finding out when the electronic prescription functionality will arrive, as they might have a built-in solution for your practice.

Will a script sent by electronic prescription show in the My Health Record?

Yes, only if the prescriber is connected to the My Health Record.

Where can I find the conformance register to My Health Record to see which programs are conformant with My Health Record?

Please find the list of clinical software products here.

Can I access through National Provider Portal and my software program?

Yes.

Can My Health Record be used to send referrals, specialist care etc.?

Yes, all practitioners involved in their care will be able to see it immediately. Patients will also be able to view this after seven days of it being uploaded.

If you wish to utilise the My Health Record to communicate with other health care providers, we’d recommend using secure messaging.

Can My Health Record store team care arrangements?

At this current moment in Q1 2020, it will not be available as a clinical document. However, this information can be included in the Shared Health Summary (SHS) and Event Summary (ES).

Can previously uploaded pathology and/or diagnostics be re-uploaded into a patient’s My Health Record?

As a specialist or GP, that will not be possible – only pathology and diagnostic imaging organisations will be able to upload pathology and diagnostics. If you wish to upload this information; you can include the results in a new document.

Can my practice manager upload the specialist letter for me?

At this current moment, only authorised persons (such as a health care practitioner) will be able to upload information to the My Health Record. Software vendors are looking for ways to allow staff members, such as a practice manager, to assist on behalf of clinicians to send information to the My Health Record.

Where will I find the security practices and policies checklist?

We wish to advise you will be able to find the policies here.

Can a specialist restrict a document in a patient’s My Health Record so that it can only be seen by other practitioners?

No. Once the document is uploaded to the My Health Record, other clinicians and consumers will be able to view it. However, do take note that consumers will not be able to view the uploaded document until 7 days after the clinician has uploaded it.

How do patients register for the My Health Record?

There are two methods patients can utilise:

  1. Go online to myhealthrecord.gov.au and contact the My Health Record hotline on 1800 723 471.
  2. Speak to their GP, whom might be able to assist with registering them.

Can a GP or specialist opt a patient out of the My Health Record system?

No. A patient must choose to opt out of the system themselves and a health care practitioner will not be able to perform this on their behalf.

Do note that when a patient opts out of the My Health Record system, they information will be deleted, not archived. If patients do not wish for specific information to be uploaded the information must be withheld and not uploaded. A patient will be able to lock their record or lock that piece of documentation if they do not want other health care practitioners looking at it.

If I consult in several locations, would I need several logins?

If you work in different locations, for different organisation, you will need different logins as you are accessing the individuals’ file from a different organisation and the method of access will therefore be different. Ie. Different organisations have different software platforms, therefore the different login details.

As a health care practitioner, will I be able to see who else has viewed the document that I authored?

As a provider, you will not be able to see who else has viewed this information. At this point in time, only patients will have access to the audit log in their record.

Can other practitioners remove other documents form a patient’s My Health Record?

No, only a consumer can remove information from their My Health Record. A clinician will not be able to remove documents that they themselves have not authored.

How will a patient know that someone has accessed their record?

A patient will be able to view this information via their audit log. They will be able to see the time and date the hospital and/or practice which viewed their record.

What are some of the benefits for specialists to use the My Health Record?

  • Less administrative burden gathering information; instead of making calls to various practices and hospitals to find the patient’s information, the specialist can simply view their My Health Record and find their information
  • Medicine reconciliation; patients’ and carers will have all their information at the tip of their fingers and be able to provide the latest information

Find out more

The My Health Record website has information for health care professionals on how to register and set-up your practice to the system, how to view and upload information, how to support consumers with questions and answers about privacy and security and a range of tools and training modules. Please visit myhealthrecord.gov.au to learn more.

Contact us

Our dedicated My Health Record program officers are available to assist you with any queries. Please contact us on (03) 9347 1188 or email MyHR@nwmphn.org.au