NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MyHealthRecords : Australia’s peak GP, pharmacy, and healthcare bodies support My Health Record and the Government’s decision to move the system to an opt out model

“The My Health Record will allow a range of benefits – from a full medication summary, to a record of diagnostic reports, through to the ability for patients to enter their own notes.

Ultimately it’s a tool that will help patients better track their own health and medical history,” 

Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Dr Tony Bartone believes the opt out model is the fastest and most effective way to realise the benefits of My Health Record. See sector support Part 2

VIEW Rob and Sandra’s My Health Record Story VIDEO HERE 

 “At Galambila we aim to provide a culturally appropriate service to our local Aboriginal community. We have a range of clinics and services aiming to close the gap and keep our community healthy and living longer.

Galambila has six GPs and allied health services such as podiatry and been active in setting up My Health Records for patients and in uploading patient summaries.” 

My role is to provide linkages with community pharmacy, as well as actively enhancing our quality use of medication at a clinic level. I play an important role in the care of our clients as they transition through care settings by ensuring correct and appropriate medication usage.

It is an innovative role that adds value to the primary health care outcomes of our clients.”

Pharmacist, Chris Braithwaite Galambila ACCHO Coffs Harbour

See full ACCHO story Part 4 below

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MyHealthRecord : Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) remote clinics to access My Health Record

Part 1 :From Monday 16 July all Australians will be able to decide if they want a My Health Record – an online summary of their key health information where they can safely store, access and share their important health information.

More than 5.9 million Australians already have a My Health Record and 12,860 healthcare professional organisations are connected, including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices. The My Health Record is already making healthcare management for individuals and healthcare providers easier and safer, and could save lives in an emergency situation.

Australians can manage privacy and control access to their My Health Record including what information gets uploaded and who has access such as family members, carers and healthcare providers. This empowers them to share and control their health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers from anywhere, at any time.

By the end of 2018, a My Health Record will be created for every Australian, unless they choose not to have one. If people choose not to have a My Health Record, they will be able to opt out of having one created for them during a three-month period, starting on Monday 16 July and ending on October 15 2018.

Professor Meredith Makeham, family General Practitioner and Chief Medical Adviser to the Australian Digital Health Agency said, “My Health Record empowers Australians by giving them secure access to their own healthcare information and supports them in managing their health conditions.”

“People can choose which healthcare information they’d like to store in their My Health Record and who they’d like to share it with.”

“My Health Record aims to deliver better healthcare outcomes and safer care for people. It will reduce harm caused by medication errors because people and their healthcare providers will have access to important information about medicines and allergies. This could save your life in an emergency.”

“My Health Record will help people with chronic and complex health conditions have better coordinated care. It will enable all of their clinicians to see the same healthcare information. This should also reduce avoidable hospital admissions and the unnecessary duplication of pathology and imaging investigations.”

“My Health Record has the potential to have a significant and long-lasting positive impact on healthcare services for every Australian, and we encourage all Australians to find out about the benefits of the My Health Record,” said Mr Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive of the Australian Digital Health Agency.

“My Health Record is a key priority in the Government’s National Digital Health Strategy, and a great example of the collaboration underway as government, healthcare providers, industry bodies, and Australians all work together to deliver it.”

 

Part 2: Australia’s peak GP, pharmacy, and healthcare bodies support My Health Record and the Government’s decision to move the system to an opt out model

Consumers Health Forum (CHF) CEO, Ms Leanne Wells said the opt out period is an important time for Australians to learn more about My Health Record. “My Health Record gives Australians the opportunity to be active partners in their own care, with many potential benefits for those that decide to have one. The opt out period is a great opportunity for individuals to learn more about My Health Record so they can understand the impact it could have on their treatments. We are looking forward to seeing more records be created by the end of the year, so more Australians have access to the benefits the platform enables,” said Ms Wells.

Download full press release

My Health Record CHF opens new era

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – eHealth and Practice Services Dr Nathan Pinskier said My Health Record is one of the best examples of how technology can make a positive difference to society.

“Many Australians are already making use of digital services across a range of industries. My Health Record provides the opportunity for Australians to access their health information in a secure environment. The RACGP are working with GPs to obtain awareness on how to best use My Health Record to provide patients timely access to additional information and support better health outcomes,” said Dr Pinskier.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President, Dr Shane Jackson is also looking forward to seeing more Australians take ownership of their healthcare. “In collaboration with the Agency we are helping our 30,000 pharmacists guide patients through this important healthcare decision. The information in the My Health Record System will allow pharmacists to deliver more effective and efficient care, and it is great that all Australians will have the option to benefit from this,” said Dr Jackson.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, Mr George Tambassis said increased use of the system will result in sustainable healthcare delivery. “The Guild is committed to ensuring all pharmacy dispensing and medicine related services are fully integrated into My Health Record. By doing so we will help advance the efficiency, quality, and delivery of healthcare,” said Mr Tambassis.

Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association (AHHA) CEO, Ms Alison Verhoeven applauded the Agency’s decision to expand the My Health Record platform while respecting a patient’s right to privacy. “Health care is a sensitive topic, and so it is only right Australians are given the right to decide how it is disclosed and who to. Patients are at the centre of My Health Record – realising the health benefits it enables and controlling those who have access to it. It’s a critical and exciting development in the progression of healthcare services in Australia,” said Ms Verhoeven.

Part 3

More information on My Health Record can be found at

www.myhealthrecord.gov.au.

People who do not want a My Health Record can opt out by visiting the My Health Record website or by calling 1800 723 471 for phone-based assistance.

Additional support is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, people with limited digital literacy, and those living in rural and remote regions.

Part 4

Pharmacist, Chris Braithwaite has worked in a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health locations since graduating in 2012, including at Katherine in the Northern Territory, Mount Isa and Cape York in Queensland. He has been working at Galambila Aboriginal Health Service at Coffs Harbour in northern NSW – in Gumbaynggirr country – since October 2016 .

I was attracted by the opportunity take on the emerging role as a practice pharmacist working closely with GPs, Aboriginal Health Workers, nurses and other allied health professionals. Working with Aboriginal people is a unique and rewarding use of my skills.

My Health Record is particularly exciting for pharmacists as we have, for too long operated in an information poor silo and this will be a step in the right direction to close the loop and increase our capacity to deliver targeted care.

For patients, it will provide a platform for empowerment regarding their health and an accessible record for those Australian’s who find health literacy a challenge. This is really a priceless advance for the health system.

I have always been attracted by the concept behind My Health Record, but what’s really convincing are the case studies and examples I have heard where pharmacists and other health professionals have delivered more effective and efficient care. When these stories come to light, you can always recall a situation where having access to My Health Record would have made an enormous impact on the way you delivered care.

To me, this was especially relevant in Cape York, where the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is particularly transient. My Health Record will be invaluable in these situations.

Galambila

At Galambila we aim to provide a culturally appropriate service to our local Aboriginal community. We have a range of clinics and services aiming to close the gap and keep our community healthy and living longer.

Galambila has six GPs and allied health services such as podiatry and been active in setting up My Health Records for patients and in uploading patient summaries.

My role is to provide linkages with community pharmacy, as well as actively enhancing our quality use of medication at a clinic level. I play an important role in the care of our clients as they transition through care settings by ensuring correct and appropriate medication usage.

It is an innovative role that adds value to the primary health care outcomes of our clients.

In my work at Galambila I find the dispensing record and medicines view particularly useful. When performing a Home Medicines Review (HMR), this helps me assess dispensing intervals and gives an indication of medication adherence.

A phone call to the community pharmacist is still useful and important for their insights given the regularity of contact with patients. However this saves a major aspect of the conversation as well as unnecessary paperwork.

I also find discharge summaries particularly useful in ensuring the patient’s transition back into community is smooth. This is especially pertinent when they are discharged from a non local hospital and it isn’t sent directly to us.

A simple, but powerful example was when an unknown patient presented to see the GP. The patient did not have strong recollection about their previous treatment. They were asking for prescriptions but couldn’t remember what it was they took, nor could they name a recent community pharmacy (only the town). We were unable to get in contact with their previous GP.

In the past, it would have taken me 30 minutes to obtain the information I need. However, they had an active My Health Record and I was able to quickly access this with the GP and we were able to provide the care the patient needed immediately.

I believe the potential for My Health Record is incredible, especially for patient safety in terms of medication management. As time goes on and the conformity with clinical software increases, having someone’s renal function at your fingertips when dispensing medicines such as rivaroxaban, for example will revolutionise the dispensing process in the community.

In the future I imagine it will be part of my daily practice and widely accepted by the public and health professionals as an incredibly useful tool for more effective and efficient care.