Having access to your record allows GPs, specialists and other healthcare providers to understand your medical history and information and make informed decisions about your future healthcare.
Who can access a My Health Record
Only registered healthcare providers involved in your care are allowed by law to access your My Health Record.
All healthcare providers and healthcare provider organisations are bound by strict privacy under Australian law.
It is criminal for someone to access your record for a purpose other than providing you with healthcare. There are serious penalties that include up to 5 years’ jail time.
The types of healthcare providers who can access your record include:
- Specialists (e.g. cardiologists, surgeons)
- Allied health professionals (e.g. physiotherapists)
For a healthcare provider to view and upload information to your My Health Record they must:
- work for an organisation registered with the My Health Record system
- be authorised as an individual to use the My Health Record system
- use approved, secure software.
Healthcare providers also need five pieces of identification to access your record, including your:
- Medicare or DVA number
- First name
- Date of birth
What information healthcare providers can add to your record
Healthcare providers can add the following types of documents or information to your My Health Record:
- An overview of your health, called a ‘shared health summary’. This is a useful reference for new doctors or other healthcare providers you visit
- Hospital discharge summaries
- Reports from test and scans, like blood tests or x-rays
- Medicines that your doctor has prescribed you
- Referral letters to a specialist
- Event Summaries – information about healthcare events or consultations
- Specialist letters – documents added by specialists in response to a referral
If you don’t want your healthcare provider to add certain information to you record, discuss your concerns with them at your consultation.
Control access to your My Health Record
When you first create your My Health Record, your healthcare providers will be able to your access health information in it.
However, you can put controls in place to:
- Set an access code so you can choose which healthcare providers can access your record (except in the case of a medical emergency).
- Restrict access to specific documents in your record.
You can also see if a healthcare provider organisation has accessed your My Health Record at any time through your record access history.
Access to your My Health Record in an emergency
In an emergency, access to your health records by your treating doctors could save your life.
In this situation, doctors can use emergency access to view your record. When emergency access is used, your privacy settings will not apply. This access is logged in your record access history.