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The Australian Digital Health Agency announced on 14 May 2018 that every Australian will be offered a record, unless they choose not to have one during the three month opt out period that will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018. The Agency media release is available here.

The Agency is working in partnership with clinical and consumer organisations to ensure all Australians have an opportunity to make an informed choice about having a My Health Record. Below our partner organisations share their support for the My Health Record system and the benefits it will bring to Australians and their healthcare providers.

Allied Health Professionals Australia                                   

AHPA Chair and Australian Physiotherapy Association CEO Cris Massis said My Health Record will help the organisation’s 100,000 allied health professionals to improve delivery of healthcare across Australia.

“Allied health professions provide crucial support for people experiencing disability, chronic illness and a wide range of other health issues. Use of My Health Record will allow allied health services to be fully integrated into our health system and to ensure delivery of quality health care for every Australian.”

Arthritis Australia

Arthritis Australia CEO Ms Ainslie Cahill said My Health Record would be of great benefit both to people with arthritis and their healthcare team by providing access to all of an individual’s health related information in the one place.

‘If you have arthritis you often have to see many health professionals to help you manage your condition, and it can be difficult to remember information about tests or treatments they have prescribed.

“Communication between providers can also break down sometimes, leading to fragmented care. With a My Health Record, you and your health care team can access all your up-to-date health care information whenever it is needed, so your care is safer, more effective and better integrated.”

Australian Association of Practice Management

Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) President Cathy Baynie said that the organisation supports digital health technologies such as My Health Record that help reduce the administrative burden on practice managers.

“Practice managers have an important role to ensure their organisations operate efficiently to maximise productivity while providing a safe service to the satisfaction of patients. The national expansion of My Health Record will improve our member’s efficiency, increase clinical utility, and help deliver improved patient healthcare.”

Australian College of Nursing

Australian College of Nursing (ACN) CEO Kylie Ward said that the organisation strongly supports the opt out approach to My Health Record which will ensure Australians are provided with improved health care delivery.

“It is an exciting time for patients in Australia to be empowered by having their health records accessible on a digital platform. A shared electronic health record will allow health professionals looking after patients to have access to their medical history, regardless of where they are in Australia.

“My Health Record will improve patient safety by making a patient’s medical history accessible to all members of the health care team. An opt-out approach makes it quick and hassle-free for Australians to participate, while still enabling people to opt-out if they so choose.”

“Nurses will have a key role in educating patients on the use of electronic health records and their options,” Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine 

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) President Dr Simon Judkins said providing quality care in a modern health system relies on accessible and accurate clinical and patient information.

“The continued support of the My Health Record, with centralised clinical information and appropriate protections in place, ensures that health practitioners and patients can work together to allow for safe, effective and inclusive care.

The ability for hospital emergency departments to coordinate with primary health care providers through using a digital health record is valuable.

“This offers the potential to improve the interaction of patients and emergency physicians, the quality of patient care as well as improving efficiency of health care delivery.”

Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia               

Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) Chair Mary Patetsos said the organisation is pleased to work with the Agency to ensure that culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Australians are empowered to make an informed decision about the My Health Record.”

“My Health Record has many benefits for CALD consumers, particularly those who are older or who have lower levels of English proficiency. The My Health Record will support communication between CALD consumers and their health provider leading to better outcomes.. 

“It is also important that CALD consumers are comfortable engaging with the tool – and know how to opt out if they wish.”

Leading Aged Services Australia

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said it is well accepted that providing integrated care for patients as they transition across the primary care, acute care, mental health and aged care sectors is of benefit.

“By enabling information sharing between the various parts of the Australian health system, including aged care, digital health has the potential to enable programs and initiatives that integrate care, wrapping it around the needs of patients. 

“LASA, Australia’s voice of aged care, is pleased to undertake this collaborative communication work with the Agency around the My Health Record Expansion Program (MHREP), both prior to and during the MHREP opt-out period.”

National Farmers’ Federation                                                                      

National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson said the federation was well placed to reach rural and remote Australians.

“The NFF is the peak body representing all Australian farmers. The farm sector is the bedrock of our regional communities. The health of our farmers and those in our communities is a number one priority.

“The opportunity to improve the health services offered to regional Australians is always welcomed. To this end, the NFF supports the My Health Record initiative.

“We are pleased to be working with the Digital Health Agency to communicate to regional Australians the benefits of My Health Record.”

National Rural Health Alliance

NRHA Board Chairperson Tanya Lehmann said the National Rural Health Alliance has worked for decades to improve the health of people in rural and remote areas, and she strongly supports the benefits of a digital health record.

“My Health Record will give country people and their healthcare providers a summary of their medical condition, past treatments, and prescribed medicines. It will be a one stop shop of someone’s health history.

“This is critical for people in rural and remote areas who need to travel long distances for treatment, and often don’t see the same GP or health provider.

“The Alliance is well placed to reach rural and remote Australians because of the diversity of its membership including consumer groups such as the Country Women’s Association of Australia, key organisations in the Aboriginal and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations, and service providers such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”

Public Health Association of Australia                                               

Public Health Association of Australia President David Templeman said that beyond the initial benefits of helping doctors and patients keep more accurate and detailed medical histories in electronic form, My Health Record also holds great potential for preventive health.

“The PHAA advocates strongly for better management of chronic disease in Australia through preventive health measures, and the My Health Record program will allow for significant data collection which will help us to map out hotspots of chronic disease. The identification of high-risk areas will demonstrate further the importance of the social determinants of health and health equity for which PHAA strongly advocates,” Mr Templeman said.  

Further information

Media contact

David Cooper, Senior Media Manager

Mobile: 0428 772 421

Email: media [at] digitalhealth.gov.au   

About the Australian Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au.