The Shared Health Summary is a crucial part of the My Health Record system. This page presents an overview of who can create shared health summaries, when they should be created, and how to create them.
What is a shared health summary?
The Shared Health Summary represents the patient's status at a point in time. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioner’s (RACGP's) Digital Business Kit and My Health Record position statement provides additional guidance on digital health records including shared health summaries. Shared health summaries can be created at any consultation, and may include information about a patient's medical history, including:
- Medical conditions
- Allergies and adverse reactions
The most recently uploaded shared health summary in a patient's My Health Record is likely to be the first document accessed by any other healthcare professional viewing a patient's My Health Record.
Who can create a shared health summary?
A shared health summary can be created and uploaded to the My Health Record system by:
- a Registered Medical Practitioner
- a Registered Nurse
an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner with a Cert IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care.
By uploading a Shared Health Summary, the healthcare provider automatically becomes the patient's 'nominated healthcare provider.' A patient can have only one nominated healthcare provider at a time, who should be delivering continuing, coordinated and comprehensive care to the individual. (Note: a provider who is not the patient's usual provider could use an event summary instead to upload clinically relevant information to the patient's My Health Record).
When to create or update a shared health summary?
A shared health summary can be created at any consultation; however uploading a shared health summary will be particularly beneficial for patients with chronic conditions and co-morbidities. As part of putting the My Health Record system into practice, the RACGP recommends that a healthcare provider creates and uploads a shared health summary when completing a patient health assessment, because this is a time when the health summary within the local GP clinical system is being updated. For example:
A GP management plan
Patients who have one or more chronic medical conditions and need a GP management plan may also benefit from having a SHS uploaded to their My Health Record at the same point in time.
75+ health assessment
This structured assessment of a patient over 75 years may be a good opportunity to upload a Shared Health Summary to their My Health Record given the in-depth review that is undertaken. It also supports ongoing management for the patient, their family and other healthcare providers.
4 year-old health check
As with all patient health assessments, inclusion of a shared health summary after conducting the "4 year-old health check" would likely be a timely capture of an individual's health status. This may also increase a parent's understanding of their child's needs.
Another opportune time to upload a shared health summary is when offering the flu vaccination. Many of the high-risk patients to whom your practice offers the flu vaccination may also benefit from the creation of a shared health summary to manage their health.
Do I need my patient's consent to upload a shared health summary?
To create a shared health summary, the healthcare provider will need to obtain the patient's agreement that:
- the healthcare provider is to be the individual's Nominated Healthcare Provider;
- the healthcare provider is to create a shared health summary for the patient.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) states that it is good medical practice to advise a patient that you will be uploading information to their My Health Record, particularly if this information might be considered sensitive.
However, there is no requirement for the patient to review the shared health summary before it is uploaded to their My Health Record.
Can I charge for uploading a shared health summary?
In billing the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), healthcare providers will be able to take into account the time taken to register patients for a My Health Record, prepare shared health summaries and event summaries if these activities are undertaken as part of providing a clinical service and the patient is present at the time. These activities are considered to be part of the documentation of treatment of the patient. See MBS Online for information on item numbers relevant to actions related to a patients' My Health Record, which can be found by searching for "PCEHR" on the MBS website.
Can I edit or delete a shared health summary once it is uploaded?
The author of a clinical document can delete a clinical document from the My Health Record system if, for instance, it has been uploaded in error or contains a mistake.
If a nominated healthcare provider wishes to change the information in their patient's shared health summary, e.g. the medicines listed, they will need to upload a new shared health summary with the updated information.
Note that there is no additional responsibility for a nominated healthcare provider to update a shared health summary outside of a consultation with the patient.
Sections 4.5.3 and 5.4 of the AMA's Guide to using the My Health Record system provide recommendations to medical practices in these and related areas.
This page outlines resources for healthcare providers on how to create and upload a Shared Health Summary to a patient’s My Health Record.
How do I create and upload a shared health summary?
Clinical software simulators
There are a range of clinical software simulators or ‘sandboxes’ with which you can simulate creating and uploading a Shared Health Summary to a fictional patient’s My Health Record. The software simulators include: Bp Premier, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Genie, and Communicare.
Clinical software demonstrations
There is a range of demonstrations showing how to upload a shared health summary.
Clinical software summary sheets
There are a range of summary sheets with step by step instructions for uploading a shared health summary.
- MedicalDirector (1.42 MB)
- Genie (1.72 MB)
- Bp Premier (1.59 MB)
- Zedmed (1.48 MB)
- Communicare (1.49 MB)
- Medtech32 (1.54 MB)
If your software is not included here, contact your software vendor for guidance.