NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alert :My Health Record ; Improved Health Data to better coordinate care

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The Federal Government will drive better patient outcomes for Australians living complex chronic illness as part of its Healthier Medicare reform package, by improving digital heath records and data around health outcomes that will make it easier to co-ordinate their care and measure their progress. “

The Hon. Sussan Ley Minister for Health Press release PART A Below

“Lifesaving “break-glass option” was included in the new My Health Record, allowing patients to have maximum security protections while also not having to worry about blocking access to their vital information in medical emergencies such as anaphylaxis, heart attacks, stroke or accidents where a patient is unconscious.

The record would mean people will not have to remember the names of their medications, details of diagnosis and treatments, allergies, medical procedures and there will be no need to repeat the same information when they see another doctor or go to hospital”

From News report  PART B : Your personal health information is about to go online but you can stop it

Digital health measures including the new My Health Record , telehealth services, remote health monitoring and medication management technologies can improve patient access to services and increase the efficiency of the health system.

The My Health Record will be an essential element of these reforms that will support all members of a patient’s health care team to work in constant consultation with each other, through the seamless sharing of information such as medications, treatments, allergies and care plans.

This will also help keep patients engaged in their own care planning, by cutting down on frustrating duplication of tests and treatments for them, whilst also delivering efficiencies to the system.

Greater use of the My Health Record and other data reporting mechanisms is a key recommendation of the Turnbull Government’s clinician-led Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG).

This is backed up by PHCAG’s consultations, which found 90% of survey respondents agreed that it is important to measure and report patient health outcomes.

“Although existing data collections provide some useful information about primary health care in

Australia, they cannot be used to build a complete picture of why a typical patient went to a primary health care provider, what occurred during the consultation, what actions were recommended and taken, and with what outcome and cost. There are gaps in the picture of primary health care provider-patient encounters and of health care over time.”

As such, our Healthier Medicare reforms will also improve data collection on primary health care through the creation of a quality improvement framework and the foundation of a National Minimum Data Set.

This will include the collection of de-identified information and associated reporting to support continuous service delivery improvement.

It will provide a similar level of information on primary care to that available in other parts of the health system.

Improved primary care data will mean we can better measure a patient’s individual progress, tailor their care plan to their needs, and know when they are achieving their health goals

Better data collection will also allow Health Care Homes to compare the progress of their patients with that of other practices with similar health issues, and help them to improve the quality of care they provide. At a whole of system level it will provide higher-quality de-identified data to inform the work of policy makers and researchers.

Collecting data on health outcomes and patient and provider satisfaction will mean that we can evaluate the success of the Health Care Home model.

By rolling out Health Care Homes through trials in Primary Health Networks regions across the country we will also be able to refine the model to ensure it provides local flexibility to support care in communities with different demographics, health needs and access to health services.

Embracing new technologies and the My Heath Record along with stronger data collection, measurement and evaluation tools will help to better coordinate and manage care, particularly for those with chronic and complex health needs.

PART B : Your personal health information is about to go online but you can stop it

ONE million Australians will automatically have their personal health information uploaded onto the internet from July as the government tries to resurrect the failed $1 billion e-health record.

More than 360,000 residents of Penrith in Sydney’s west and 700,000 in North Queensland will be the first to trial the new opt-out My Health Record.

The record will contain a summary of their health status put in by their doctor, records of their medicines and allergies and eventually links to x-ray and medical test results.

Patients in these areas will have to notify the government by June if they do not wish their personal health information used in such a record.

The e-health record introduced by the previous Labor Government in 2012 has cost more than $1 billion but only one in 10 or around 2.5 million Australians have one.

Only 78,000 health summaries have been uploaded and virtually no doctors are using the records.

And e-health experts have warned the eight-year-old policy that underpins the records is so outdated it was written before the cloud and tablet computers, the first iPhone was less than a year old, Twitter was not open to the public, neither Google Chrome or streaming existed and there were only 500 apps on the Apple App store in 2008.

While the policy has yet to be brought up-to-date, the Coalition government hopes to make the record effective by switching from an opt in to an opt-out system.

This means Australians will automatically be given a record and have to opt out if they wish to protect information about private medical information such as abortions, mental health and sexual disease problems.

Fines up to half a million dollars and even jail sentences apply to anyone who tries to deliberately misuse or access information in the health record.

Patients would have ultimate control over who accessed their information, including adding additional password protections, she said.

They will be able to lock down access to specific GPs or hospitals, view every person who has opened the record and delete files that are unwanted.

Ms Ley said a lifesaving “break-glass option” was included in the new My Health Record, allowing patients to have maximum security protections while also not having to worry about blocking access to their vital information in medical emergencies such as anaphylaxis, heart attacks, stroke or accidents where a patient is unconscious.

The record would mean people will not have to remember the names of their medications, details of diagnosis and treatments, allergies, medical procedures and there will be no need to repeat the same information when they see another doctor or go to hospital, she said.

“I consider this a landmark turning point in improving our health system and bringing it into the 21st century,” she said.

Doctors say they’re unlikely to use the system until a critical mass of patients have a record but they are also concerned a patient may be able to make changes to the record without consulting a doctor and claim it can’t be trusted if this is the case.

To encourage doctors to start using the records the Government will from May require them to upload shared health summaries to five patients records every quarter in return for an e-health incentive payment worth $50,000 a year.

The government also estimates a fully-functioning national e-health system could save taxpayers $2.5 billion per year within a decade by reducing inefficiencies, with an additional $1.6 billion in annual savings also delivered to the states.

 

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