How it works
Pathology reports you have requested or have been nominated to receive will be sent directly to you using existing processes in your practice.
If your patient has a My Health Record, their pathology reports can also be uploaded to their My Health Record by the pathology laboratory.
The reports will be immediately available to all members of the patient’s health care team.
Pathology reports will be available for your patient to view through their My Health Record seven days after the report is uploaded (except for COVID-19 pathology reports which are available after 24 hours).
This gives you time to review the report and contact your patient to discuss the results before they can see them in their My Health Record.
The benefits of viewing reports in My Health Record
Better access to test results will help your patients and other healthcare providers involved in their care make important treatment decisions that could improve patient care and health outcomes.
Sharing pathology reports to the My Health Record will support delivery of improved patient care through:
- improved access to information
- reduction of unnecessary duplicate testing
- time saved trying to locate or request copies of results
- improved relationship with patients.
Patients also benefit from being able to access their pathology reports in their My Health Record. This helps them to:
- keep track of their tests
- monitor results over time
- access their results at any time.
Find out more about how your patients can benefit from My Health Record.
Patient consent to upload pathology reports
A patient can request that their reports are uploaded to their My Health Record. However, it is not necessary for you, or the pathology laboratory, to seek consent from patients every time.
If you or your patient does not want a pathology report uploaded to a My Health Record the pathology laboratory should be notified.
A patient may withdraw consent or ask that a report not be uploaded at any time before the report is uploaded to their My Health Record.
If a patient changes their mind about a report upload, after it has been sent to their My Health Record, they can do one of the following:
- they can remove the report online or with the support of the My Health Record helpline (1800 723 471)
- they can apply a ‘limited document access control’ to the report, which will prevent it from being viewed by providers unless the code is shared.
There may be times when you have not been in contact with a patient before their reports are available to them in their My Health Record.
It is recommended that you adopt a general policy that reports be included in a patient’s My Health Record even if you have not contacted them before the seven-day window.
You should only indicate that a report not be shared with the My Health Record system if your patient requests they not be shared.
You should not upload reports if the information may cause a serious threat to the life, health or safety of a patient.
In the event a ‘do not upload to My Health Record’ request is made regarding an investigation report, the reason for this decision should be documented in the clinical information system or patient record.
If the results of a pathology test could be considered sensitive, you may wish to discuss with your patient whether to upload the report.
A pathology service will not upload a report to a My Health Record where existing state or territory legislation prohibits the disclosure of sensitive information without the express consent of the patient.
Uploading of reports by pathology laboratories
Pathology reports can be uploaded to the My Health Record once the pathology service is registered to participate in the My Health Record system.
The service will also need to use software that allows their reports to be uploaded.
Medical practices can check the list of conformant software systems.
Practices can also confirm with their software vendors that their requesting process options are supported with their version of software.
See the list of pathology providers that are connected to and sharing information to the My Health Record system.
Notify a pathology lab about withdrawn consent
If you do not want the reports uploaded, or the patient requests that they do not want their reports to be uploaded to their My Health Record, you should notify this withdrawal of consent to the pathology provider by:
- checking the Do not send reports to My Health Record check box in your practice management software, or
- checking the Do not send reports to My Health Record check box on the paper referral form, or
- writing Do not send reports to My Health Record on the request form.
View a patient’s pathology reports
You can view pathology reports which have been uploaded to your patient’s My Health Record, including reports ordered by other healthcare providers.
Let your patients know how their reports are being shared to their record
View reports in the National Provider Portal
If you do not have software that is conformant with linking to the My Health Record system, you can find out how to access your patients’ reports through the National Provider Portal.