Start of content
22 November, 2018 - 11:00

Australia’s My Health Record system was purpose built just over 6 years ago and became operational shortly after. Since then, more than 6 million My Health Records have been successfully created. The My Health Record is internationally recognised for its consumer protections and the choice and control every Australian has over their record.

The My Health Record system was developed through extensive consultation with clinical, consumer and technology experts. The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) is constantly evolving and improving the system – to keep pace with technology and with cyber security and will always place the privacy and security of Australia’s health information first.

  • Every year the Agency releases a number of new updates and improvements to the My Health Record system, updates like Medicines View – a digital tool which searches your My Health Record for all your medicines information.
  • These changes also keep pace with new proven health technology. For example, our mobile developer program already uses FHIR APIs (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), the latest in interoperable health standards.
  • The My Health Record platform is proven, tested and has never had a cyber security breach of the system.
  • The system was designed around privacy, security and consumer choice – and has been assessed by Australia’s leading cyber security agency the Australian Signals Directorate.

The future of My Health Record

The Agency will be conducting a national conversation in early 2019 on the future of My Health Record. This conversation will focus on how the system can take advantage of new and emerging technology in the health system, whilst maintaining the highest security and privacy standards.

World leading consumer control

A recent international comparison review of digital health record systems shows My Health Record consumers in Australia have more ability to personally control their digital health information than in similar countries worldwide. Out of 50 countries surveyed, only digital health systems in Australia and France allow individuals to edit or author parts of their record, demonstrating My Health Record’s advanced technology and offering to users.

What documents are in the My Health Record system?

Over 98% of documents in My Health Record are computer (machine) readable. Only 1-2% of the content in My Health Record is in the form of PDF documents – many of these are also computer readable.  

My Health Record includes a variety of rich clinical information, including from sources like:

  • the Australian Immunisation Register (operated by Medicare)
  • the Australian Organ Donor Register (operated by the Department of Human Services)
  • the Medicare Benefits Schedule and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (operated by Medicare)
  • discharge summaries from connected hospitals (over 1.2 million discharge summaries are in the system)
  • shared health summaries from GPs (over 1.3 million are in the system today across 5.4 million registered consumers)
  • medical documents from specialists, pathology and radiology clinical settings.

The system continues to be developed in close consultation with clinical experts, such as the Agency’s Clinical Reference Group (CRG). The CRG, as users of the system, ensure that the Agency’s digital health systems, products, services and programs are quality assured to be user-friendly, clinically safe and provides what users and patients need.