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9 August, 2019 - 9:00

Mental healthcare providers and their patients will benefit from the launch of a new My Health Record Mental Health toolkit, released today by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

The toolkit was developed to ensure healthcare providers are equipped to assist their patients with clear and specific information to make an informed decision about the benefits of using My Health Record. The toolkit addresses how to reap the benefits of the system, and how to manage patient information securely, sensitively and privately.

The toolkit was designed in collaboration with the Agency’s Mental Health Working Group, established by the Agency to provide ongoing advice on how digital health initiatives can be tailored to improve mental health outcomes. The group includes consumers, mental health advocates, mental health researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists and GPs.

Specifically, the information pack provides guidance on:

  • A provider’s obligations regarding privacy, security and consent when using the My Health Record system.
  • How clinicians can register to the My Health Record system, including the registration process for providers, clinicians and responsible officers.
  • Talking to patients about the benefits of the system and risks associated with not uploading information.
  • How individuals can view, amend and upload information to their My Health Record and add privacy settings to further secure their information.

The President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Associate Professor John Allan, says the toolkit is welcome news to psychiatrists who are looking for advice on how to talk to their patients about My Health Record.

“Our patients rely on us for advice on how to manage their health and wellbeing. My Health Record is a tool we can use to help patients make informed choices about their care and improve the continuity of care they receive from different healthcare providers. More and more psychiatrists are being asked questions from our patients on My Health Record and how it can support their care, and this toolkit gives us many of the answers we need,” he added.

Chief Medical Advisor of the Australian Digital Health Agency, Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham, says the toolkit is a great initiative to improve guidance and materials for healthcare providers supporting people living with a mental illness.

“My Health Record can play an important role in helping us stay safe when accessing the health system, including the great many people who are living with a mental illness. The Agency is pleased to release this toolkit to support healthcare providers and their patients to speak about whether My Health Record is right for them, and how it can support them to receive more coordinated and potentially safer care,” she added.

At the Working Group’s first meeting in 2018, it was established that health providers and clinicians working in mental health treatment, along with their patients, would benefit from additional practical guidance and information about the advantages and privacy controls for using the My Health Record system.

Members of the Mental Health Working Group include the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Australian Psychological Society, Queensland Health, Allied Health Professionals Australia, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapy Australia, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Dieticians Association of Australia, Mental Health Australia, National LGBTI Health Alliance, Headspace, National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum, Colours of Grey Matters and the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia.

The Agency’s Mental Health Forum will continue to meet over the next year to assess the needs of this particular patient group to ensure the My Health Record system supports their improved health outcomes.


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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: