Pathology laboratories are now sharing reports with the My Health Record.
This means that you, your patient and other healthcare providers involved in their care will be able to access a patient’s pathology results in their My Health Record wherever and whenever they are needed, regardless of the health care provider who has requested them.
How does it work?
Pathology reports you have requested or been nominated to receive a copy of, will still be sent directly to you using the existing processes. If your patient has a My Health Record:
- the pathology report will also be uploaded to their My Health Record by the pathology laboratory and will be immediately available to all members of the patient’s health care team; and
- the pathology report will be available for your patient to view after seven days. This gives you time to review the report and, if necessary, contact your patient to discuss the results before they can see them in their My Health Record.
Benefits for healthcare providers
Uploading pathology reports to the My Health Record will support delivery of improved patient care through:
- improved access to information;
- reduction of unnecessary duplicate testing; and
- time saved trying to locate or request copies of results.
Benefits for patients
Patients will also benefit from being able to access their pathology reports in their My Health Record. They will be able to:
- keep track of the tests they have had and when they had them; and
- allow them to monitor results over time.
Patient consent to upload pathology reports
If a patient has a My Health Record, pathology reports may be uploaded to that record. It is not necessary for you, or the pathology laboratory, to seek consent from patients every time.
If you or your patient, in consultation with you, do not want a pathology report uploaded to the My Health Record, withdrawal of consent should be communicated to the pathology laboratory.
A patient may withdraw consent or ask that a report not be uploaded at any time up until the report is uploaded to their My Health Record.
If the results of a pathology test could be considered to be sensitive, you may wish to discuss with your patient whether or not to upload the report.
A pathology service will not upload a report to the My Health Record where existing state or territory legislation prohibits the disclosure of sensitive information (e.g. AIDS or HIV status) without the express consent of the individual. See Guides to HIV and the law for more information.
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 and is using software that allows their reports to be uploaded.
Changes are being made to many of the clinical information systems used to record pathology requests to support communication of the instruction that you, as the requestor, or the patient does not want the report associated with the request form to be uploaded to their My Health Record. If you do not want the resulting report uploaded, or the patient expressly advises that they do not want the resulting report to be uploaded to the My Health Record, you should communicate 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.
Medical practices will need to upgrade their software for these changes to the requesting process and forms to occur.
See the list of pathology providers that are connected to and sharing information to the My Health Record system.
Viewing pathology reports
You can view your patient’s list of pathology reports using your clinical information system, in the same way that you view other documents in your patient’s My Health Record. The reports may also be available in a specific pathology view. This view may include reports that have been ordered by other health care providers and are not in your own system.
As a clinician, you can also download diagnostic reports into your clinical information system if required.
Once a report is uploaded to the My Health Record, patients are able to see the report listed in the clinical documents section of their My Health Record. After seven days, patients will be able to open the document and read the contents of the report in full.
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 Provider Portal.
For more information, watch the adoption and registration of My Health Record webinar or go to the overview for healthcare professionals.