NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MyHealthRecord @GregHuntMP Parliament speech ” Strengthening Privacy ” Bill : and @WinnungaACCHO #MyHealthRecord has a very positive role to play in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal people

This Government has listened to the recent concerns and, in order to provide additional reassurance, is moving quickly to address them through this Bill.

I appreciate the constructive consultations with the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and I welcome the recently reaffirmed support from all state and territory governments for this important health reform, for the opt-out process and for the strengthened privacy provisions at the recent COAG Health Council meeting.

The Bill will remove the ability of the System Operator – that is, the Australian Digital Health Agency – to disclose health information to law enforcement agencies and other government bodies without a court order or the consumer’s express consent. This is consistent with the System Operator’s current policy position, which has remained unchanged and has resulted in no My Health Records being disclosed in such circumstances.”

Minister for Health Greg Hunt

SECOND READING SPEECH MY HEALTH RECORDS AMENDMENT (STRENGTHENING
PRIVACY) BILL 2018 see part 1 Below 

We’ve been providing training and awareness sessions to health professionals to embed My Health Record use across health care providers, including Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services. We’ve also been out and about in the community actively engaging with consumers to increase their awareness of My Health Record.”

Mr Kelsey said the Australian Digital Health Agency has engaged with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) about how to communicate with health care providers and consumers, and has established partnerships with NACCHO and each of its State and Territory Affiliates.

For all Aboriginal people this is a great initiative. I will be encouraging our clients to stay with My Health Record,

We have 790 transient clients so if, for example, a client from the Northern Territory visits us, it is not easy to get hold of their doctor. Having a My Health Record means our GP can access their important information quickly.

What’s really exciting now is that more and more information is being uploaded into records. The more information you have, particularly medicines information, the more useful My Health Record is.

Maintaining privacy is paramount and I am glad that concerns about privacy have been addressed. So my advice now is to jump on board and support it. At the end of the day it will be worth it.”

Julie Tongs OAM, who is the CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services in Canberra has seen a significant rise in her clients’ use of My Health Record and is calling on more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around Australia to also consider the benefits of having one.

Material available on the My Health Record website See Part 2 Below for links 

Read Over 40 NACCHO E Health and My Health Records published over 6 years 

“It’s really, really important”. Find out how Esther manages her chronic health conditions using

Watch video

Part 1 SECOND READING SPEECH MY HEAL TH RECORDS AMENDMENT (STRENGTHENING
PRIVACY) BILL 2018

I am pleased to introduce the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018. The Australian Government takes seriously the security of health information.

This Bill will make amendments to the legislation underpinning the My Health Record system to strengthen its privacy protections.

A My Health Record puts consumers at the centre of their healthcare by enabling access to important health information, when and where it is needed, by consumers and their healthcare providers. Consumers can choose whether or not to have a My Health Record and can set their own access controls to limit access to their whole My Health Record or to particular documents in it.

The intent of the My Health Records Act has always been clear- to help improve the healthcare of all Australians.

The My Health Record system aims to address a fundamental problem with the Australian health system – consumers’ health information is fragmented because it is spread across a vast number of locations and systems.

A My Health Record does not replace the detailed medical records held by healthcare providers; rather it provides a summary of key health information such as information about allergies, medications, diagnoses and test results like blood tests.

The My Health Records system will improve health outcomes by providing important health information when and where it is needed so that the right treatment can be delivered safer and faster. It enables individual consumers to access all their own individual healthcare records privately and security for the first time.

The My Health Record system has now been operating for more than 6 years.

More than 6 million Australians have a My Health Record and more than 13,000 healthcare provider organisations are participating in the system.

Almost 7 million clinical documents, 22 million prescription documents and more than 745 million Medicare records have been uploaded.

In June 2012 the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records, or PCEHR, Act took affect and the PCEHR system began operating in July 2012. This Act contained the provisions around disclosure to third parties and the archiving of cancelled records that are being amended by this Bill.

In November 2013 the Coalition Government announced a review into the PCEHR system that subsequently recommended a move to an opt-out system.

In November 2015 the Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill came into effect. This changed the name of the system from PCEHR to My Health Record and enabled the opt-out approach. The Bill passed with unanimous support in both houses.

On 24 March 2017 the COAG Health Council agreed to a national opt-out model for long-term participation arrangements in the My Health system. This support was reaffirmed in August 2018.

In May 2017 the Government announced national implementation of opt-out as part of the 2017-18 Budget.

On 30 November 2017 I made the My Health Records (National Application) Rules 2017 to apply the opt-out model of registration to all consumers in Australia, and to specify the period in which consumers could opt-out. The opt-out period commenced on 16 July 2018 and will end on 15 November 2018.

As part of the 2017-18 Budget, this Government announced that, in order to achieve the benefits sooner, the My Health Record system would transition to an opt-out system whereby every Australian will get a My Health Record by the end of this year, unless they’ve opted out.

The opt-out period started on 16 July this year, and the Australian Digital Health Agency, together with many partner organisations, has been working closely with the healthcare sector to inform consumers about the purpose and benefits of My Health Record, the privacy settings for restricting access, and the right to opt-out.

Soon after the opt-out period concerns were raised by some groups – specifically, that My Health Record information could be disclosed for law  enforcement purposes, and that health information would continue to be retained in the system after a consumer has cancelled their My Health Record.

The system has operated for six years and no material has been released for law enforcement purposes. In any event, the policy has been that there would be no release of information without a court order. I think it ‘s important to be very clear about this – the My Health Record system has its own dedicated privacy controls which are stronger in some cases than the protections afforded by the Commonwealth Privacy Act. The operation and design of the My Health Record system was developed after consultation with consumers, privacy advocates and experts, health sector representatives, health software providers, medical indemnity insurers, and Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies. Further, the system has been operating without incident since July 2012.

Nonetheless, this Government has listened to the recent concerns and, in order to provide additional reassurance, is moving quickly to address them through this Bill. I appreciate the constructive consultations with the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and I welcome the recently reaffirmed support from all state and territory governments for this important health reform, for the opt-out process and for the strengthened privacy provisions at the recent COAG Health Council meeting.

The Bill will remove the ability of the System Operator – that is, the Australian Digital Health Agency – to disclose health information to law enforcement agencies and other government bodies without a court order or the consumer’s express consent. This is consistent with the System Operator’s current policy position, which has remained unchanged and has resulted in no My Health Records being disclosed in such circumstances.

The Bill will also require the System Operator to permanently delete health information it holds for any consumer who has cancelled their My Health Record. This makes it clear that the Government will not retain any health information if a person chooses to cancel at any time. The record will be deleted forever.

In addition to these amendments I have already extended the opt-out period by a further month to end on 15 November. This will provide more time for consumers to make up their own mind about opting out of My Health Record.

Even after this period a consumer can choose not to participate at any time and cancel their My Health Record – their record will then be cancelled and permanently deleted.

These legislative changes reinforce the existing privacy controls that the system already gives each individual over their My Health Record. Once they have a My Health Record, individuals can set a range of access controls. For example, they can set up an access code so that only those organisations they elect can access their record, and they can be notified when their record is accessed. They can also elect if they don’t want their Medicare or other information included in their My Health Record.

The My Health Record system will provide significant health and economic benefits for all Australians through avoided hospital admissions, fewer adverse drug events, reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people seeing multiple healthcare providers, and better informed treatment decisions.

The Australian Government is committed to the My Health Record system because it is changing healthcare in Australia for the better. The Australian Government is equally committed to the privacy of individual’s health information. These measures to strengthen the privacy protections demonstrate this commitment.

My Health Record system

On 15 August 2018, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:

The My Health Record system, with particular reference to:

  1. the expected benefits of the My Health Record system;
  2. the decision to shift from opt-in to opt-out;
  3. privacy and security, including concerns regarding:
    1. the vulnerability of the system to unauthorised access,
    2. the arrangements for third party access by law enforcement, government agencies, researchers and commercial interests, and
    3. arrangements to exclude third party access arrangements to include any other party, including health or life insurers;
  4. the Government’s administration of the My Health Record system roll-out, including:
    1. the public information campaign, and
    2. the prevalence of ‘informed consent’ amongst users;
  5. measures that are necessary to address community privacy concerns in the My Health Record system;
  6. how My Health Record compares to alternative systems of digitising health records internationally; and
  7. any other matters.

Submissions are sought by 14 September 2018. The reporting date is 8 October 2018.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

PART 2

My Health Record has a very positive role to play in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people according to leading health practitioners who work with Indigenous communities.

My Health Record is an online summary of a person’s key health information. It allows them to share and control their health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers from anywhere, at any time.

Julie Tongs OAM, who is the CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services in Canberra has seen a significant rise in her clients’ use of My Health Record and is calling on more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around Australia to also consider the benefits of having one.

The Australian Digital Health Agency’s CEO, Tim Kelsey and Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Meredith Makeham today visited Winnunga at Narrabundah in Canberra.

Winnunga has more than 7,000 clients, many with multiple chronic conditions. It was an early adopter of My Health Record and now has more than 2,430 clients with a registered My Health Record.

According to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey 2012-13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience more chronic disease overall and they tend to develop it at younger ages. Compared to non-Indigenous people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more than four times as likely to be in the advanced stages of a chronic kidney disease and more than three times as likely to have diabetes. They are also more likely to have more than one chronic condition.

“Having a My Health Record can be particularly beneficial for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have chronic health conditions, those who move around a lot and those who live in remote areas of Australia,” said Professor Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Adviser at the Australian Digital Health Agency.

“It can save lives in emergency situations, which is why people should consider having one.

“We know people struggle to remember important details about their own medical history, including what medicines they have been prescribed or when they received medical treatment – My Health Record can do this for you. By ensuring your medical history is up-to-date and shareable with your healthcare providers, it can help reduce adverse drug events and unnecessary hospital admissions.”

Capital Health Network, which is the ACT’s primary health network, has been actively supporting the expansion of My Health Record in the ACT.

“ACT PHN’s Digital Health Team has been actively training and engaging with general practice, community pharmacy, allied health and medical specialists,” said Chief Executive of Capital Health Network, Adj. Prof Gaylene Coulton.

“We’ve been providing training and awareness sessions to health professionals to embed My Health Record use across health care providers, including Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services. We’ve also been out and about in the community actively engaging with consumers to increase their awareness of My Health Record.”

Mr Kelsey said the Australian Digital Health Agency has engaged with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) about how to communicate with health care providers and consumers, and has established partnerships with NACCHO and each of its State and Territory Affiliates.

“My Health record will help to close the gap by being available for people across health providers, when they travel, go into hospital or see a specialist,” said Mr Kelsey.

All 146 NACCHO member organisations that provide clinical services have received at least one education session on My Health Record. The Agency has also invited collaboration from the Indigenous Allied Health Association (IAHA), the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA), and the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA).

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.

Material available on the My Health Record website also includes:

ENDS

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MyHealthRecord : @CHFofAustralia Do you have questions about #MyHealthPrivacy. ? Register for 6 webinars starting 8 August

My Health Record moving to an opt-out model is the most important digital health change for consumers in Australia in 2018.

To help people make an informed and considered decision about whether or not to opt-out of having a record created for them CHF are holding a series of 6 webinars, starting this week, that will cover the key information people need to understand the benefits and risks of My Health Record in the context of their own lives.

These interactive webinars will include knowledgeable panellists and provide a chance for questions from the public to be asked of them through the webinar service’s Q&A and chat functions.”

Full details and registrations Part 1 Below

 ” The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes is forcing patients to have a My Health Record to receive chronic care management through the program, raising ethical questions and concerns about discrimination.

The government’s Health Care Homes trial provides coordinated care for those with chronic and complex diseases through more than 200 GP practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services nationally, and enrolment in the program requires patients to have a My Health Record or be willing to get one

See Part 2 below for debate ACCHO Chronic care patients forced to have My Health Records to access government’s Health Care Homes program

  ” NACCHO endorses and supports the My Health Record system initiative provided patient information and privacy is protected. The patient is in control of what information is placed in their electronic record and who else has access to it.

But want an assurance from the Health Minister that all patient records will be protected and if that requires further legislation then so be it.’

Mr John Singer, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Read over 35 NACCHO E- Health My Health Records articles published since 2012

Part 1

Before each webinar, we are also surveying and collating questions on each week’s topic through our website and on Twitter.

Over the coming weeks, the webinars will cover privacy and security, and overview of digital health in Australia, the benefits and risks, digital inclusion and health literacy.

You can find out more about the entire series here: https://chf.org.au/introduction-my-health-record-webinar-series

Details for Webinar 1: Privacy and Security of My Health Record

The first webinar is being held next Wednesday, 8 August at 12:30pm AEST and will focus on privacy and security.

Register here: http://www.webcasts.com.au/chf080818/

Questions and concerns on the topic can be submitted through the CHF website here: https://chf.org.au/introduction-my-health-record-webinar-series/webinar-1-privacy-and-security#questions

They can also be shared on Twitter using the hashtag #MyHealthPrivacy.

Your questions and concerns will be collated, edited and aggregated by CHF to put to the panellists at the webinar. It will also be possible to ask questions during the event.

Panellists

  • Kim Webber – General Manager, Strategy at the Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Karen Carey – Consumer Advocate, former chair of CHF and Chair of the NHMRC Community and Consumer Advisory Group
  • Dr Bruce Baer Arnold – Assistant Professor, Law at University of Canberra and Vice-chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation Board
  • Dr Charlotte Hespe M.B.B.S. Hons (Syd) DCH (Lon) FRACGP, FAICD – GP, Glebe Family Medical Centre and RACGP Vice President

My Health Record is an important reform that will only work and evolve in the right way if clinicians and consumers understand, trust, value, use and discuss the system. We hope that you will join us for these webinars as we discuss and question the key issues and information about My Health Record.

Part 2 Chronic care patients forced to have My Health Records to access government’s Health Care Homes program

FROM HERE

The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes is forcing patients to have a My Health Record to receive chronic care management through the program, raising ethical questions and concerns about discrimination.

The government’s Health Care Homes trial provides coordinated care for those with chronic and complex diseases through more than 200 GP practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services nationally, and enrolment in the program requires patients to have a My Health Record or be willing to get one.

But GP and former AMA president Dr Kerryn Phelps claimed the demand for patients to sign up to the national health database to access Health Care Homes support is unethical.

“I have massive ethical concerns about that, particularly given the concerns around privacy and security of My Health Record. It is discriminatory and it should be removed,” Phelps told Healthcare IT News Australia.

Under a two-year trial beginning in late 2017, up to 65,000 people are eligible to become Health Care Homes patients as part of a government-funded initiative to improve care for those with long-term conditions including diabetes, arthritis, and heart and lung diseases.

Patients in the program receive coordinated care from a team including their GP, specialists and allied health professionals and according to the Department of Health: “All Health Care Homes’ patients need to have a My Health Record. If you don’t have a My Health Record, your care team will sign you up.”

Phelps said as such patients who don’t want a My Health Record have been unable to access a health service they would otherwise be entitled to.

“When you speak to doctors who are in involved in the Heath Care Homes trial, their experience is that some patients are refusing to sign up because they don’t want a My Health Record. So it is a discriminatory requirement.”

[Read more: Greg Hunt announces legislative changes to tighten privacy and security protections for My Health Record | Opposition calls for My Health Record roll out to be suspended as AMA seeks greater privacy protections]

It has also raised concerns about possible future government efforts to compel Australians to have My Health Records.

“The general feedback I’m getting is that the Health Care Homes trial is very disappointing to say the least but, nonetheless, what this shows is that signing up to My Health Record could just be made a prerequisite to sign up for other things like Centrelink payments or workers compensation.”

Human rights lawyer and Digital Rights Watch board member Lizzie O’Shea claims patients should have a right to choose whether they are signed up to the government’s online medical record without it affecting their healthcare.

“It is deeply concerning to see health services force their patients to use what has clearly been shown to be a flawed and invasive system. My Health Record has had sustained criticism from privacy advocates, academics and health professionals, and questions still remain to be answered on the privacy and security of how individual’s data will be stored, accessed and protected,” O’Shea said.

[Read more: Technical chaos and privacy backlash as My Health Record opt out period begins | My Health Record identified data to be made available to third parties]

Health Minister Greg Hunt this week announced legislative amendments to restrict access to individuals’ My Health Records by law enforcement and government agencies following a privacy backlash that had grown in momentum since the three month opt out period began on July 16.

Records of those who have chosen to opt out of the system will also now be deleted. Previously, data would remain in the system until 30 years after a person’s death, or when date of death was unknown for 130 years after the date of birth.

The three-month opt out period has also been extended to November 12.

About 6 million people currently have a My Health Record and remaining Australians will have a record created for them by the end of the year unless they opt out.

The Opposition’s Shadow Health Minister Catherine King claimed the government’s changes don’t go far enough.

“Minister Hunt’s response to this fiasco that has become the implementation of the My Health Record is entirely inadequate. We’ve had weeks where the minister has been out there saying there is nothing to see here, there is no problem, particularly no problem when it comes to the legislative provisions relating to court orders and access by law enforcement bodies. We now see that, again, that was entirely untrue,” King said.

“We don’t believe that anything less than a suspension of the opt-out of the My Health Record, whilst the government rebuilds community trust in the My Health Record, will be sufficient. This government has presided over a failure of implementation, and it comes with a litany of other failures. When it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme implementation, when it came to Census fail, when it comes to the roll out of the National Broadband Network.”

According to O’Shea, the Health Care Homes revelation raises further concerns about a system that has been mired in recent controversy. She said Indigenous people may be particularly wary of My Health Record, penalising some of the most vulnerable Australian patients.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #COAG Alice Springs 5 of 5 Posts : 1. Download or Read COAG Communique includes #Indigenous Health Roundtable #MyHealthRecord #Cancer #Hearing #Dental funding #Obesity #MentalHealth #Womens #Mens Health Strategies 2020 -2030 2.Download or Read Press Conference Transcript Ministers @GregHuntMP @KenWyattMP

 ” The Federal, State and Territory Health Ministers met in Alice Springs yesterday (2 August ) at the COAG Health Council to discuss a range of national health issues. 

The meeting was hosted by the Hon Natasha Fyles, the Northern Territory Minister for Health. The meeting was chaired by the Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA, Australian Capital Territory Minister for Health and Wellbeing.

On Wednesday 1 August Health Ministers held a Roundtable with Indigenous leaders to listen to what is important to Indigenous people and to talk about how we can work together to improve health and healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve equity in health outcomes.

A separate communique has been prepared for the Indigenous Roundtable.

Following the meeting the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care launched the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards – User Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

See full COAG Health Miinisters Communique Part 1 Below or Download HERE 

CHC Communique 020818_1

On Wednesday 1 August, COAG Health Council (CHC) members met with Indigenous health leaders for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Roundtable.

All Ministers welcomed and valued this momentous opportunity to hear collectively from Indigenous health leaders. 

The COAG Health Council welcomed Minister Ken Wyatt, the Federal Minister for Indigenous Health to the meeting and expressed its deepest thanks to those Indigenous Leaders from across Australia who participated.” 

See full COAG Health Miinisters Indigenous Health Rundtable Communique Part 1 Below or Download HERE

CHC Indigenous Roundtable Communique_010818

 ” So there’s work that we’ve centred our attention on, working very closely with the community-controlled health sector across the nation, because these are two very significant illnesses that prevail within Aboriginal communities – avoidable blindness, avoidable deafness.

But we also want to look at some of those other underlying issues that impact on a child in their early years – crusted on scabies, we’ve just committed a substantial piece of work around to tackle that issue and look at solutions.

But the underlying social determinants are absolutely critical. But with the state and territory health ministers meeting here in Alice Springs, it means we will have a very serious discussion around the way in which the Commonwealth and state and territories work in partnership with Aboriginal people, not for us to deliver programs to them.

Because often change will only come when families have the ownership, when communities are those who determine the priorities that are needed, that then are given the level of support and resourcing that is important in the way that we’ve done with Purple House.

Ken Wyatt Greg Hunt Press Conference Alice Springs see Part 2 Below or Download Transcripts of both 

Before meeting

Press Conference 1 . pdf

 ” The best health comes from the community.

The best health comes when Indigenous communities and Indigenous leaders are able to take control, and that’s what they want to do.

They are saying – particularly through the ACCHOs – that we are able to help our own people if you give us the support and the tools, and that’s why the workforce plan is fundamental, coupled with additional support for research by and into Indigenous health.” 

Minister Greg Hunt after the COAG meeting

Greg Hunt Ken Wyatt Alice Springs Indigenous Health Press Conference

NACCHO COVERAGE THIS WEEK

1 of 5 NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Download @GrattanInst #MappingPrimaryCare ‏Report : Reform primary care to improve health care for all Australians says @stephenjduckett

2 of 5 NACCHO Aboriginal Health #COAG meeting Alice Springs : Time for COAG Health Council to address the Indigenous funding myth & ‘market failure’ says Ian Ring

3 of 5 NACCHO Aboriginal Health #COAG : Indigenous Health Leadership , Ministers @GregHuntMP @KenWyattMP and Australia’s Health Ministers gather in #AliceSprings to shine a spotlight on #Indigenous health

4 of 5 NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Deadly Good News stories : Features #NT @DanilaDilba @EvonneGoolagong @DeadlyChoices #QLD @IUIH_ #SA @Nganampa_Health #WA @TheAHCWA #VIC @VAHS1972

 

Major items discussed by COAG Health Ministers today included:

1.National collaboration to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 

Health Ministers held a strategic discussion on national collaboration to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The wide-ranging discussion covered the impacts of potentially preventable rates of eye disease, ear disease, kidney disease, crusted scabies, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) and mental health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Ministers identified opportunities for collaborative action to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes that builds on the work already underway across Australia.

Roundtable Report

Ministers acknowledged the breadth and depth of Indigenous health knowledge, experience and leadership represented at the Roundtable, as well as the proven record of Aboriginal controlled health organisations in improving the health and wellbeing of indigenous Australians.

Indigenous leaders spoke of the importance of mutual trust and respect, the need to increase cultural capability and eliminate racism in all health settings and services, and the importance of cultural safety in improving the health and wellbeing of indigenous Australians.

Ministers welcomed this message and agreed that cultural safety in providing healthcare to indigenous Australians was essential.

Ministers agreed to progress cultural safety training within their own jurisdiction and committed to explore the requirement for cultural safety training in health professionals registration.

Ministers agreed to progress initiatives to implement a Safe Patient Journey through the health care system within their own jurisdiction and committed to explore the requirement for cultural safety training in health professionals and tasked the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to develop options  for the next CHC meeting in consultation with national bodies and indigenous health workforce representatives.

Indigenous leaders clearly outlined the importance of a workforce plan to guide action and inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to a successful career in health.

Ministers agreed to develop a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Plan with a first draft to be considered at the CHC’s next meeting, to be followed by consultation.

Ministers agreed to work with Indigenous leaders to develop a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Medical Workforce Plan.

Ministers acknowledged the many successes and achievements in Indigenous health outlined during the Roundtable and welcomed the expressions of hope for the future. Equally, Ministers acknowledged the challenges faced by indigenous people across urban, rural and remote communities.

Ministers acknowledged the experience of Indigenous people in health settings and noted the importance of a safe clinical and cultural health journey for Indigenous people.

Recognising the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  health and medical research and researchers, Commonwealth, states and territory Health Ministers commit to working together to strengthen Indigenous led health and medical research. This should include an enhanced focus on specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and medical research to improve outcomes for the community.

In recognition of the significant value of continuing to build mutual trust, respect and understanding, Ministers committed to an annual dialogue with Indigenous health leaders with the next Roundtable to occur in 12 months’ time. Further, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health has been established as a standing item on every COAG Health Council meeting.

Ministers further strengthened the accountability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by agreeing to invite the Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Health to every COAG Health Council meeting thus embedding consideration of these matters in all health discussions.

Ministers acknowledged the strong contribution by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in advancing improvements in Indigenous Health and the achievements of the Commonwealth, states and territories.

Ministers concluded a strategic discussion in the CHC meeting on Thursday 2 August by reaffirming their commitment to addressing gaps in Indigenous health outcomes.

The summary themes from the discussion are listed below:

  • Develop a National Indigenous Health and Medical Workforce Plan that provides a career path, national scope of practice and builds more balance of indigenous and non-indigenous people across all health professions, make health an aspirational career for Aboriginal people. This should include a specific focus on a national scope of practice for Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners.
  • Trust, hope, faith and strong relationships important to ensure services meet needs.
  • Need for deep listening at all levels.
  • Important to recognise and share the good things that are already happening and some of the recent positive announcements.
  • Tap into the centres of excellence that are already operating and build on success.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are invested in success and seek same investment from non-indigenous partners.
  • Need to have different approaches for urban, regional and remote communities to reflect the diversity of local needs, resources and capability across all settings.
  • Primary health care services critical to wellbeing to prevent the need for subsequent acute services, tackling chronic disease essential.
  • Make sure cultural capability and cultural safety are within legislation and policy frameworks.
  • It is important that there is collaborative, needs based planning and implementation rather than vertical disconnected programs, and funding needs to be long term to support sustainability.
  • Need a range of measures: personal health interventions as well as community strategies such as supply reduction of hazards.
  • It is important that other determinants such as housing, electricity and water are addressed.
  • In recognition of the importance of connection to country, services should also be on country where safe and appropriate.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait community leadership is critical to success

2.Mandatory reporting requirements by treating practitioners

Health Ministers approved a targeted consultation process for amendments to mandatory reporting requirements by treating practitioners. The targeted consultation process will seek feedback on proposed legislation that strikes a balance between ensuring health practitioners can seek help when needed, while also protecting the public from harm. The consultation process will involve professional bodies representing each registered health profession, consumer groups, National Boards and professional indemnity insurers. The

results of the targeted consultation process will inform a Bill to be presented to the Queensland Parliament as soon as possible.

Western Australia is not included in this process as its current arrangements will continue.

3.Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Health Ministers welcomed advice that all 15 health practitioner National Boards, their Accreditation Councils and AHPRA have partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector leaders and organisations to sign a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Statement of Intent to achieve equity in health outcomes.

This joint commitment aims to ensure a culturally safe health workforce, increasing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the registered health professions along with greater access to culturally safe health services.

This work will reach over 700,000 registered health practitioners, over 150,000 registered students and the 740 plus programs of study accredited through the National Scheme. The launch was held on traditional lands of the Wurundjeri Peoples of the Kulin Nation in Melbourne, Victoria with a Welcome to Country and a traditional smoking ceremony.

4.Update on 2016-17 determination of national health reform funding

Health Ministers received an update from the Commonwealth Health Minister on the process and timing of the 2016-17 determination, and of the importance of rapidly setting the 2016-17 determination of the national health reform funding to provide certainty for hospital services into the future. Health Ministers also noted the work on improvements to the reconciliation process for inclusion in the next National Health Reform Agreement.

Ministers welcomed the appointment of Michael Lambert as the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool.

5.Private patients in public hospitals.

Ministers agreed to commission an independent review of a range of factors regarding utilisation of private health insurance in public hospitals to report as soon as possible but no later than 31 December 2018.

6.Progress update on the National Health Reform Agreement

The Commonwealth Minister for Health provided an update on drafting of the National Health Reform Agreement. The Council noted the importance of a dispute resolution process.

7.National approach to hearing health

Minsters recognised that 3.6 million Australians currently experience hearing loss and that the prevalence of hearing loss is expected to more than double by 2060. Ministers discussed the economic, social and health impacts of hearing loss, particularly for the 90 per cent of

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in some remote communities who experience otitis media infections at any time. Ministers agreed to further consider a national approach to hearing health, following the Commonwealth’s response to the House of Representatives Inquiry Report ‘Still Waiting to be Heard’ expected later this year.

8.Public dental funding arrangements 

Ministers noted that the current National Partnership Agreement on Public Dental Services for Adults will end on 30 June 2019, and that the State and Territory public provider access to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule will end on 31 December 2019.

Ministers agreed that securing sustainable and fair future funding arrangements is critical to providing timely access to public dental care. Ministers agreed to commence formal negotiations to achieve fair, long-term public dental funding arrangements, including extension of access to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

9.Mutual recognition of mental health orders 

Ministers discussed the important issue of ensuring continuity of care for mental health consumers moving between jurisdictions with different legislation. Ministers agreed that work to ensure interoperability of mental health legislation between states and territories, as part of the 5th National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is prioritised.

10.Recognising Continuity of Care for Consumers of Mental Health Services

The Council discussed and agreed to South Australia’s proposal that the COAG Health Council monitor the ongoing transition to the NDIS of mental health clients and to identify any emerging services gaps that need to be addressed in order to ensure continuity of support.

Ministers agreed that the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council work with the Disability Reform Council Senior Officials Working Group and provide advice at the next COAG Health Council on actions to resolve interface issues between health and disability services.

11.Obesity – limiting the impact of unhealthy food and drinks on children

The Queensland Minister led a discussion on a suite of actions to improve children’s diets and prevent child obesity with a focus on health care settings, schools, children’s sport and recreation, food promotion and food regulation.

The development of cross-sectoral initiatives with education and sport and recreation sectors was noted. Health departments were tasked with developing national minimum nutrition standards for food and drink supply in public health care facilities. The Queensland Minister presented a national interim guide for reducing children’s exposure to unhealthy food and drink marketing. This guide was endorsed by Ministers, noting that the guide is for voluntary use by governments.

Health Ministers noted the voluntary pledge made by the Australian Beverages Council Limited to reduce sugar across their portfolio of products by 20% on average by 2025.

12. Implementation of National Cancer Work Plan – Additional Optimal Cancer Care Pathway

Health Ministers endorsed the Optimal Cancer Care Pathway (OCP) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which is the first OCP under the National Cancer Work Plan that specifically addresses the needs of a cultural group. It is critical that cancer service systems are culturally responsive and competent to address the current and growing disparities in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians relative to non-Indigenous Australians. This OCP is designed to provide culturally safe and responsive healthcare, including acknowledging how social determinants can impact health outcomes. This OCP is to be used in conjunction with the 15 tumour-specific OCPs.

The OCP for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was developed collaboratively by Cancer Australia in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Cancer Council Victoria. Ministers also gratefully acknowledge Aboriginal leadership in development of this pathway with input from an Expert Working Group and from Cancer Australia’s Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control, as well as feedback from many Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations and peak groups during the public consultation phase.

13. Public disclosure to support hospital and clinical comparisons

Ministers agreed to commit to create a data and reporting environment that increases patient choice through greater public disclosure of hospital and clinician performance and information.

Ministers noted it is the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) role to facilitate consistent and timely reporting of health and welfare statistics and performance information, including the publication of the MyHospitals and MyHealthy Communities websites following the cessation of the National Health Performance Authority.

All jurisdictions agreed to work with the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer in his investigation of the issue around a number of women being diagnosed with cancer, which may be linked to breast implants. This includes the role all jurisdictions play in reporting information to track the use of implants.

14.National Action Plan for Endometriosis

Ministers noted that the National Action Plan for Endometriosis has been finalised and was launched on 26 July 2018. All states and territories will be working with the Commonwealth toward implementation of the plan.

15.National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 and National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030

Ministers noted that the Commonwealth is developing a National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 and a National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030. Both Strategies are expected to be finalised and launched in early 2019.

16. Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-of-Pocket Costs

Ministers noted the work being undertaken by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-of-Pocket Costs. It was agreed that the Commonwealth release a detailed report of the activity of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-of-Pocket Costs including specific fee transparency options before the next COAG Health Council meeting so that decisive actions can be agreed.

17. Digital health

Jurisdictions reaffirmed their support of a national opt out approach to the My Health Record. Jurisdictions noted clinical advice about the benefits of My Health Record and expressed their strong support for My Health Record to support patient’s health.

Ministers acknowledged some concerns in the community and noted actions proposed to provide community confidence, including strengthening privacy and security provisions of My Health Record.

Part 2Press Conference Alice Springs

GREG HUNT: 
It’s a real honour to be here at Purple House with Ken Wyatt, Indigenous Health Minister, but of course the first Indigenous Minister in the history of the Commonwealth of Australia.

And then Sarah and her team, all of the members of Purple House. Purple House is about saving lives and protecting lives.

It’s about closing the gap so as in Indigenous Australians have a better shot at better kidney health. As the Chief Medical Officer was just explaining, dialysis means that the machines do the work of the kidneys where the kidneys have been damaged, and that means that people can help expel the toxins, can have a healthier life and deal with some of the challenges and they can be on dialysis and manage their lives for literally two decades or more in some cases, as Brendan was setting out.

Today, I am delighted to announce that the Australian Government will under the National Health and Medical Research Council. These projects will cover things such as lung function, reducing smoking during pregnancy, improving the health of blood and Ken will talk to you in particular about point-of-care testing in dialysis.

It’s about ensuring that whilst we clearly have not closed the gap yet, which is why we asked together – the Council of Australian Governments – to come to Alice Springs and to focus on Indigenous Australia. Whilst we haven’t closed that gap, we are making progress, important steps, but a whole lot more to go.

This funding builds on what we’ve done in supporting Purple House and builds on what we’ve done in supporting additional remote dialysis. I’ll ask Ken to talk about those, but today is a critically important day for investment in Indigenous health, research and training and improved outcomes. Each one of these projects, each one of these 28 projects has the potential to save lives and improve lives. Ken?

KEN WYATT:

It’s great to be here. I was in Darwin and I heard an elder from Tiwi Island talk about living life and enjoying it fully, until he had to go to Darwin, and he said when he went to a Royal Darwin Hospital he thought he was going for a prescription and tablets that would allow him to go home.

He said he never realised he would be married to a machine and never return to country. And what’s great is Purple House now provides that opportunity for elders and senior people within the community and younger ones who experience renal failure to go back to the point of where they grew up. Point-of-care testing makes it easier now to identify where we have renal problems and start to address the needs of individuals.

The $23 million that the Australian Government, the Turnbull Government have provided to Purple House means that the purple bus will reach further out into remote and isolated communities, but more importantly an increase in the number of dialysis point of access that enables both the use of chairs and other support programs that are important.

Over a period of time we’ve seen senior Aboriginal people make a decision to disengage from dialysis in regional hospitals, go back to country and die on country. This now changes that. This gives an incredible opportunity for people to spend time with their family, for culture and law to be passed on through those who have that task.

But more importantly, to keep families together and I think that the combination of the work that the Turnbull Government, and in particular Minister Hunt in his strong commitment to looking at the research that is required to close those gaps, has made an incredible difference. And it’s great having you here as well because you have also been an advocate and I’d like to invite you to make a couple of comments as well.

GREG HUNT:
Okay. We’re happy to take any questions.

JOURNALIST: 
Well, if I may kick it off. Minister Hunt, we’ve heard a lot of concerns about privacy issues regarding My Health. What benefits though are there in digitising health records?

GREG HUNT: 
Well, enormous benefits, and I have to say that the Northern Territory is one of the nation’s leaders on that front and I’ve been discussing this with the Northern Territory Minister, who’s been a great advocate and it crosses party lines.

But when you have a mobile population and they may not have their own records as most people don’t, they don’t carry their records with them, if they’re a mobile population, or if the medical community is moving, then what this does is it marries up your history and your chronic conditions and your medicines across the different points of care.

So this gives every Australian the capacity to have their health care system with them, if they want it. And in Indigenous Australia, and in particular in the Northern Territory, we see that this area is leading the nation in terms of engagement with the population on digital health. So for Indigenous Australia it’s going to be a real game-changer.

JOURNALIST:
Are you confident, Minister, that the changes you’ve made address the privacy concerns?

GREG HUNT: 
Yes, these are changes which come directly from the advice, request and sensible proposals put forward by the AMA and the College of GPs and really we’re doing two things, one, we are lifting Labor’s 2012 legislation to the same level as the practise of the last six years, which is an ironclad legislative guarantee that no health records will be released without a court order.

Secondly, once somebody seeks to have their record deleted, it will now be cancelled and fully deleted forever from the record so. If you seek to have it cancelled, if you seek to opt-out after a record’s been created, it’s gone forever, rather than the 130 years which was put in under Labor’s legislation.

JOURNALIST: 
Labor says the opt-out period should be put on hold. Will you do that?

GREG HUNT: 
That’s not the advice of the medical authorities who are very clear that they want this done this year, so we’ve extended by a month and we’ve worked with the medical authorities. I understand that Labor at the moment is being, shall we say, a little bit curious because only a few weeks ago they were welcoming this as a long-overdue step and when the legislation went through, unanimously, through the Parliament they praised this as an important and vital step forward.

JOURNALIST:
The Women’s Legal Service in Queensland says you haven’t done enough to address new concerns around My Health Record and that it may risk the safety of women fleeing abusing partners. Have you heard of those concerns and are you doing anything on that front?

GREG HUNT:
Yes, I’ve asked the head of the Digital Health Agency to talk with them and meet with them as a matter of priority. The advice I have is that there are very, very strong protections, but we’re always working with different groups and these have been raised and so the head of the Digital Health Agency will meet with and talk with those groups and take their concerns very, very seriously.

JOURNALIST:
Minister, what else is the federal government doing to help ensure that Indigenous people can live a healthy life in remote communities?

GREG HUNT:
Well, there’s a comprehensive program and I’ll ask Ken to address this in more detail. But you have of course the health treatment, and these 28 new projects are each about improving health in different areas, whether, as I say, it’s in relation to smoking rates for pregnant women, point of care for dialysis, whether it’s improving outcomes in relation to lung function.

But we’re also working through the education system on activity, on diet, and then of course there’s economic development, because you cannot escape the social determinants of health, they are a reality. That’s why Indigenous Australia has worse outcomes, because there are challenges that are unique to that community and we have to have a comprehensive program.

Now, Ken has, as much as any person in Australian history, helped drive that forward and he’s being supported on the ground. I have to say, Jacinta was one of the motivating sources for the COAG meeting to be here in Alice Springs. Ken?

KEN WYATT:
Some of the priorities that we’re working on are premised on rheumatic heart disease and the impact that that has from birth through to later adult life. The increasing number of people living with renal failure and certainly our research is showing that the onset might be as early as 19 years in males.

So there’s work that we’ve centred our attention on, working very closely with the community-controlled health sector across the nation, because these are two very significant illnesses that prevail within Aboriginal communities – avoidable blindness, avoidable deafness. But we also want to look at some of those other underlying issues that impact on a child in their early years – crusted on scabies, we’ve just committed a substantial piece of work around to tackle that issue and look at solutions.

But the underlying social determinants are absolutely critical. But with the state and territory health ministers meeting here in Alice Springs, it means we will have a very serious discussion around the way in which the Commonwealth and state and territories work in partnership with Aboriginal people, not for us to deliver programs to them. Because often change will only come when families have the ownership, when communities are those who determine the priorities that are needed, that then are given the level of support and resourcing that is important in the way that we’ve done with Purple House.

On the ground approaches work far better than if we try and tackle them from capital cities, and so this whole focus means that we bring health and health thinking and design and planning much closer. Our roundtable this afternoon with the Indigenous leaders is a reflection of us seeking their advice to look at what are the directions that we need to seriously consider, given the geographic diversity of our nation.

JOURNALIST:
Minister Wyatt, do you think there’s been enough done to explain, I guess, My Health? I mean, you’re here at Purple House where many languages are spoken other than English. Are you confident that the message is getting out there to those regional communities where English is perhaps third or fourth languages?

KEN WYATT:
Look, I think our Aboriginal health workers who are employed by many organisations, including state and territory health systems, provide that front line interaction. Because I once made a comment to a group of Aboriginal health workers in New South Wales that power doesn’t sit with the director or with the minister, the power of change and impact sits with the Aboriginal health workers who understand the families, understand the communities, that can speak language and understand the nuances of the relationships within a community. I think that’s where our best opportunity lies.

JOURNALIST:
Minister Wyatt, I think everybody would agree the syphilis epidemic is very high, too high, in Indigenous populations. What’s your plan to bring down those numbers?

KEN WYATT:
Well when that was first raised with us there were two steps we took. One is the Chief Medical Officer undertook a piece of work with the Australian Health Minsters’ Council because the predominance of that work in terms of surveillance, treatment, and the provision of treatment, really reside with state and territories. But also, Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations play a key role. James Ward has also developed community awareness materials that are pragmatic and practical and kids can relate to the messages in the materials that he has produced.

But also having the community-controlled health services now turn their attention to point of care testing, but more importantly around some of the messages of why it’s important to practice safe sex. The other avenue we use which is a great one is through some of the big sporting events – Adrian Carson in Brisbane will be holding a rugby knock out carnival in Townsville. Now, at that they’re anticipating somewhere between 10,000 and 16,000 people will turn up along with all of those playing, so it gives a great opportunity for the community-controlled health sector to get some of those messages into the community.

But our strategic approach is working with the jurisdictions and with the Aboriginal communities in making sure that we entrench a practice of identification of STIs, including HIV and blood-borne viruses where they may prevail, but then providing the level of treatment that is important in eradicating the challenge that we’ve had. We’ve seen this outbreak across the top end of Australia and certainly the level of commitment that we’ve had from states and territories has been tremendous.

JOURNALIST:
Is that going to be a similar approach for HLTV-1 virus?

KEN WYATT:
Yes, we’ve set aside through the AHMAC process $8 million, which will be part of a process of a round of discussions involving Aboriginal community-controlled health services, key researchers, but also the jurisdictions in identifying the priorities. We have to ascertain the extent of the spread of the virus and not only consider that, but consider research that’s been done overseas.

I’ve certainly read some of the research out of Japan in terms of transmission points, but we need to have a look at what is the challenge here in Australia. I know it was something that was identified in the Fitzroy Valley in the 80s and 90s and certainly I want to compliment my own department and Minister Hunt’s department on the work that they’ve been doing with our state and territory colleagues and the community-controlled health sector.

GREG HUNT:
Thank you very much.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MyHealthRecord : NACCHO endorses and supports the My Health Record system initiative provided patient information and privacy is protected.

 

” NACCHO endorses and supports the My Health Record system initiative provided patient information and privacy is protected. The patient is in control of what information is placed in their electronic record and who else has access to it.

But want an assurance from the Health Minister that all patient records will be protected and if that requires further legislation then so be it.’

Mr John Singer, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Read over 35 NACCHO E- Health My Health Records articles published since 2012

Understand privacy, security and consent Learn more about/how to:

My Health Record in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services see Part 2 Below

Mr Singer noted electronic health records have been operating in the NT for over the last decade without any problems. In remote areas patient medical records travels electronically with a patient.

Mr Singer said that ‘clinicians can now have easy access to life saving information, which is especially vital if they are in acute care, for allergies, medications, scan results, up to date records of all visits by a patient to their own community controlled clinic, regional hospital or interstate emergency departments.’

My Health Record has widespread support not only from NACCHO but also from national health and consumer peak bodies that are aligned with NACCHO including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Consumer Health Forum (CHF) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Many of these organisations have now publicly requested that Health Minister Hunt review the privacy legislation and ensure that there is no way of access to the system for anyone other than the nominated people by the patient.

This section contains information for the use of My Health Record in the delivery of healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

My Health Record provides an important source of information for healthcare providers and patients, enabling continuity of care within the healthcare system. My Health Record keeps key health information together in one place, which reduces time spent sharing information between treating healthcare providers. Access to the My Health Record system means healthcare providers can quickly gain an understanding of a patient’s health history, which can assist in the treatment of chronic medical conditions.

Digital Health hits the road with the Awabakal Medical Service

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P00aQfCBG6I

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Register and set up access to the My Health Record system

Prior to registering your organisation you will first need to establish your team members’ roles and responsibilities as they relate to interacting with the Healthcare Identifiers Service and the My Health Record system, and train yourself and/or your team in how to use the My Health Record system.

You can familiarise yourself with the registration process for organisations and individuals here.

While your registration is being processed, this is an opportune time to:

If you are going to use conformant clinical software which integrates with My Health Record, you can read more about the set up process here.

If you are not using conformant clinical software, you can access the My Health Record through the National Provider Portal via your web browser. Refer to this page for more information.

If your practice intends to participate in the Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP), there are further registration and connections requirements you will need to complete.

Contact your State or Territory peak or local primary health network if you would like assistance to register your organisation.

About Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical services

There are important differences between an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) and an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS). All ACCHS are AMS but the reverse is not the case;

  • An AMS is a health service funded principally to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals. An AMS is not necessarily community controlled.
  • If an AMS is not community controlled it is a health service run by a State or Territory government. These non-community controlled AMSs mainly exist in the Northern Territory and the northern part of Queensland.
  • An ACCHS is controlled by the local Aboriginal community via elected boards of management.
  • Only AMSs that are also ACCHSs are eligible to be members of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and its Affiliates, the State and Territory Peak bodies for Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath.

The term Aboriginal Community Control has its genesis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ right to self-determination.

View and upload clinical information

Learn how to:

Understand privacy, security and consent

Learn more about/how to:

Access training and resources

My Health Record online training

This online training introduces My Health Record and outlines its benefits, features and functionalities. It covers topics such as:

  • the types of information in the My Health Record system;
  • how to view a patient’s My Health Record and upload information to it;
  • the legislation which underpins healthcare providers’ use of the My Health Record system;
  • how the My Health Record system can improve clinical outcomes; and
  • healthcare providers’ participation obligations.

Access My Health Record online training

Clinical software simulators

There is a range of clinical software simulators or ‘sandboxes’ with which you can simulate viewing, creating and uploading clinical information to a fictional patient’s My Health Record, as well as carrying out Assisted Registration. There are simulators for Bp Premier, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Genie, and Communicare.

Access clinical software simulators

Clinical software summary sheets

There are summary sheets for a range of clinical software products with step-by-step instructions and screenshots for viewing, creating and uploading clinical information, as well as carrying out Assisted Registration. The software products covered include Bp Premier, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Genie, Medtech32 and Communicare.

Access clinical software summary sheets

Clinical software demonstrations

There is a range of slideshows showing how to perform a variety of functions in a range of clinical software products, including Bp Premier, MedicalDirector, Zedmed, Genie, and Communicare.

Access clinical software demonstrations

Education and training request form

The Agency can help with organising face-to-face education and training for your practice.

Request education and training

Support and inform patients

Brochures

A range of brochures are available to support you in introducing My Health Record to your patients. Further brochures will be uploaded as they are developed and published.

Consumer portal guides

A range of step-by-step guides are available to support patients in interacting with their My Health Record, including uploading a personal health summary, setting privacy controls and a range of other functions.

Assisted registration

Most software products used in ACCHSs and general practices have the functionality for you to assist consumers/patients to register for a My Health Record.

  • The PDF iconAssisted Registration Guide provides important information for practices who wish to register their patients.
  • The PDF iconAssisted Registration Checklist provides a summary of the key steps to prepare for registering patients.
  • There are also range of summary sheets with step-by-step instructions for assisting patients to register through clinical software.

Get help and support

Contact us

See the Contact us page for guidance on who to call for help and support.

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal #Telehealth News Alert : 1.@RuralDoctorsAus and @ACRRM call for a strong commitment to boost access to telehealth services for patients in the bush. 2. #TeleOutreach improving hearing outcomes for children in remote communities

Telehealth is already proving its worth in making healthcare more accessible to rural and remote patients, through enabling them to undertake follow-up consults with distant specialists via videoconferencing (accompanied by their local GP) or to undertake mental health consults with psychologists.

 This has been a great start, and we commend the current and previous governments for investing in this important area.

 But it is now time to take telehealth to the next level.

 We are calling on the Federal Government to now fund telehealth consultations for rural and remote patients with their local GPs, and for Federal Labor to commit to doing the same if they are elected.

Boosting access to consults with local rural GPs via telehealth for those living in the bush would be a tremendous step forward in making it easier for more rural and remote patients to improve their health outcomes.”

RDAA President, Dr Adam Coltzau see full Press Release Part 1 Below

Download Submission Here

RDAA ACRRM telehealth submission

Watch NACCHO TV example here

 ” Our new tele-follow up prog for children with hearing aids in remote communities includes a family-nominated Hearing Helper role. We support them to support family & they help us connect via video. Wondering if this is novel?”

Australian Hearing has launched a trial of a teleOutreach service that provides a follow-up appointment with hearing impaired Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote locations via video-chat ”

Sam Harkus See Part 2 Below

As the major political parties develop their election platforms in the lead-up to the next federal election, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) are calling for a strong commitment to boost access to telehealth services for patients in the bush.

RDAA and ACRRM have lodged a submission with the major parties that proposes increasing access to telehealth consults with rural GPs as part of a cycle of care arrangement for rural and remote patients.

The patient would first see their regular rural or remote GP face-to-face and then be able to access and MBS rebate for a fixed number of follow-up consultations by telehealth — not just for specific conditions, but also for routine general practice health care checks.

The submission has been supported by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

ACRRM President, Associate Professor Ruth Stewart, said: “The tyranny of distance discourages many rural patients from seeing their doctor.

“For many rural patients who live on properties far from town, or who live many hours’ drive away from their nearest GP, a trip to the doctor even for a short consultation can entail a full day away from the farm, work or home.

“Sometimes this can be a big contributor in rural and remote patients not visiting their doctor, even when they have an underlying health condition and should be seeing the doctor regularly for checkups.

“Increasing access to telehealth consults with their regular GP for these patients will make it much easier for them to get their health checked regularly.

“The initial rollout of telehealth in the specialist care and mental healthcare space has shown that it can be very successful in making healthcare more accessible in the bush, provided it is used to support, rather than replace, face-to-face services.

“It would be great to see telehealth now expanded to increase the ability of rural and remote patients to consult their local rural GP for a wide range of conditions, including  follow-up checks and ongoing care for chronic conditions.”

Part 2

For the past three decades Australian Hearing has been dedicated to improving access to hearing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Now Australian Hearing has launched a trial of a teleOutreach service to further our support. This service provides a follow-up appointment with hearing impaired Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote locations via video-chat.

The service, called TeleFUP, is led by Australian Hearing’s dedicated team of outreach audiologists and delivers support to children in remote communities after they are fitted with their first hearing aid.

The six-month trial will focus on providing follow up support to children and some adults within two to three weeks of receiving their hearing aid. These children and their families currently wait on average three months for a face-to-face follow-up. A small teleOutreach team of Sydney and Melbourne-based audiologists will connect with remote community clients across the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

A strength of the TeleFUP program will be community Hearing Helpers. These are people who live and work in the community, who already play a role in the child’s life. Australian Hearing will also support the Helpers remotely so they can provide assistance to families.

“For over 30 years, the aim of Australian Hearing’s outreach program has been to improve access to hearing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through building strong community connections. The program has reached a new landmark with the launch of the TeleFUP trial,” says Samantha Harkus, Principal Audiologist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, Australian Hearing.

“The first few weeks with a hearing aid are critical. It’s a time when extra support is needed.  However, in remote communities there is usually less assistance available for families. Through TeleFUP, Australian Hearing can provide better support from a distance and help to strengthen community support. This will make it easier for children to make great use of their hearing aids so they can hear easily,” says Samantha.

TeleFUP is Australian Hearing’s second teleOutreach program, now joining TeleFIT which started in 2016. TeleFIT is a video-fitting clinic aimed at children under five years in remote communities.

As an Australian Hearing initiative implemented in partnership with Queensland’s Aboriginal Hearing Health program Deadly Ears, TeleFIT has significantly reduced waiting time and tripled the number of children receiving hearing aids before they start school.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #MensHealthWeek 3 of 3 #OchreDay2018 News 1. @GregHuntMP announces a National Male Health Strategy to support the health of men and boys 2. @MyHealthRec Men encouraged to connect with their health with a #Myhealthrecord

During 2018 Men’s Health Week it is important to remember that in Australia, like most countries, males have poorer health outcomes on average than females.

More males die at every stage of life. Males have more accidents, are more likely to take their own lives and are more prone to lifestyle-related chronic health conditions than women and girls at the same age.

This is why I am announcing today, the beginning of a process to establish a National Male Health Strategy for the period 2020 to 2030. “

The Hon. Greg Hunt Minister for Health full press release Part 1

The AMA welcomes today’s announcement of the establishment of a 10-year National Male Health Strategy that will target the mental and physical health of men and boys.

The AMA called for a major overhaul of men’s health policy in April this year, including a new national strategy to address the different expectations, experiences, and situations facing Australian men.

Australian men are less likely to seek treatment from a general practitioner or other health professional, and are less likely to have the supports and social connections needed when they experience physical and mental health problems

We look forward to engaging with the Turnbull Government to develop initiatives to address the reasons why men are reluctant to engage with GPs, and the consequence of that reluctance, and to invest in innovative models of care than overcome these barriers “

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the AMA was pleased that the Federal Government recognised that Australian males have poorer health outcomes, on average, than Australian females. In full Part 2 below

Encouraging men to discuss their health with their doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare specialist can be difficult.

My Health Record supports and assists men to have these conversations, enabling better connected care and, ultimately, better health outcomes,”

My Health Record gives men and the broader community the capacity to upload important health information including allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details, test results and immunisations; supporting them in remembering the dates of tests, medicine names, or dosages “

Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Medical Adviser Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham said My Health Record provided many valuable benefits for men. in full Part 3 Below

NACCHO Aboriginal #MensHealthWeek and #OchreDay2018 Launch :

Download 30 years 1988 – 2018 of Aboriginal Male Health Strategies and Summit recommendations

To celebrate #MensHealthWeek NACCHO has launched its National #OchreDay2018 Mens Health Summit program and registrations

The NACCHO Ochre Day Health Summit in August provides a national forum for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male delegates, organisations and communities to learn from Aboriginal male health leaders, discuss their health concerns, exchange share ideas and examine ways of improving their own men’s health and that of their communities

The two day conference is free: To register

Part 1 Greg Hunt press release

The Australian Government will establish a decade-long National Male Health Strategy that will focus on the mental and physical health of men and boys.

During 2018 Men’s Health Week it is important to remember that in Australia, like most countries, males have poorer health outcomes on average than females.

More males die at every stage of life. Males have more accidents, are more likely to take their own lives and are more prone to lifestyle-related chronic health conditions than women and girls at the same age.

This is why I am announcing today, the beginning of a process to establish a National Male Health Strategy for the period 2020 to 2030.

Building on the 2010 National Male Health Policy, the strategy will aim to identify what is required to improve male health outcomes and provide a framework for taking action.

The strategy will be developed in consultation with key experts and stakeholders in male health, and importantly, the public will be invited to have a say through online consultation later this year.

Australian men and boys are vital to the health and happiness of their families and communities, but need to pay more attention to their own mental and physical wellbeing.

During Men’s Health Week, men are encouraged to talk about their health with someone they trust.

I encourage all men to take time this week to think about their own health and wellbeing and participate in events happening across the country.

The Turnbull Government provides funding to a number of organisations that focus on the health of men and boys including Men’s Health Information Resource Centre at Western Sydney University, Andrology Australia and the Australian Men’s Health Forum.

The National Male Health Strategy builds on and complements the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020 to 2030 I announced at the National Women’s Health Summit in February.

Part 2 AMA WELCOMES NATIONAL MALE HEALTH STRATEGY

The AMA welcomes today’s announcement of the establishment of a 10-year National Male Health Strategy that will target the mental and physical health of men and boys.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the AMA was pleased that the Federal Government recognised that Australian males have poorer health outcomes, on average, than Australian females.

“In Australia, men have a life expectancy of approximately four years less than women, and have a higher mortality rate from most leading causes of death,” Dr Bartone said.

“Australian men are less likely to seek treatment from a general practitioner or other health professional, and are less likely to have the supports and social connections needed when they experience physical and mental health problems.

“An appropriately-funded and implemented National Male Health Strategy is needed to deliver a cohesive platform for the improvement of male health service access and men’s health outcomes.

“This does not mean taking funding away from women’s health strategies. Initiatives that address the health needs of one gender should not occur at the expense of the other.

“Men and women should be given equal opportunity to realise their potential for a healthy life.

“The AMA congratulates Health Minister, Greg Hunt, for his decision to begin the process to establish a National Male Health Strategy for the period 2020 to 2030.

“We look forward to engaging with the Turnbull Government to develop initiatives to address the reasons why men are reluctant to engage with GPs, and the consequence of that reluctance, and to invest in innovative models of care than overcome these barriers.

“Compared to women, Australian men not only see their GP less often but, when they do see a doctor, it is for shorter consultations, and typically when a condition or illness is advanced.

“Men’s Health Week is an opportune time for Australian men to do something positive for their physical or mental health – book in for a preventive health check with a trusted GP, get some exercise, have an extra alcohol-free day, or reach out to check on the wellbeing of a mate.”

The AMA Position Statement on Men’s Health 2018 is at https://ama.com.au/position-statement/mens-health-2018

Background

  • Australian men are more than twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than Australian women.
  • Men have a lower five-year survival rate for all cancers than women.
  • Australian men experience approximately 75 per cent of the burden of drug-related harm.
  • More than three in four suicide deaths in Australia are men, and intentional self-harm is the leading cause of death in men under 54 years of age.
  • Men are more likely to be in full-time work and may have less time for medical appointments.
  • Men are traditionally employed in high-risk jobs, especially in the trades, transport, construction, and mining industries.
  • Australian men are twice as likely as Australian women to exceed the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption, with one in four men drinking at a rate that puts them at risk of alcohol-related disease.

 

Part 3

Creating a My Health Record is one way men can be proactive about their health and make it a priority this Men’s Health Week, running between June 11 – 17.

My Health Record is a secure online summary of a person’s health information that can be accessed at any time by the individual and their healthcare providers.

Australian Men’s Shed Association Executive Officer David Helmers said My Health Record will make it easier for men who may find visiting healthcare professionals difficult or uncomfortable.

“We know that men often avoid having conversations about their health – particularly when those conversations involve visiting a healthcare provider.

“My Health Record takes some of the pain out of keeping a consistent record of our health and is a great platform for ongoing health management.

“Right from the get-go males are more likely to be involved in accidents or become ill, so as we age, it becomes even more important to stay on top of health information,” Mr Helmers said.

33 year-old Nick Morton was forced to take a serious look at his overall health after suffering a heart attack while working in North Queensland.

“I had a rupture in my artery wall – it was a big wake-up call going into cardiac rehab and I was the youngest by 20 years. I ended up really thinking about my health and becoming more aware of my medical history so I registered with My Health Record,” Mr Morton said.

After Nick returned to the family doctor back in his home state, his Melbourne based doctor was able to securely log onto My Health Record and view Nick’s Queensland medical history.

“It helped me having a digital copy of everything instead of having to go to my GP or cardiologist with a binder full of all my records,” Mr Morton said.

All Australians will have the benefit of receiving a My Health Record before the end of 2018, unless they choose not to have one.

Getting familiar with what is included in an individual’s personal record can assist in being prepared in an emergency like the one Nick Morton experienced. Nick now advocates a more proactive approach.

“I thought I was in control of my health and took it for granted like most blokes my age. There’s no excuse not to keep track of your health. Go to your GP and ask about my Health Record.”

Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Medical Adviser Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham said My Health Record provided many valuable benefits for men.

“Encouraging men to discuss their health with their doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare specialist can be difficult.”

“My Health Record supports and assists men to have these conversations, enabling better connected care and, ultimately, better health outcomes,” Dr Makeham said.

My Health Record gives men and the broader community the capacity to upload important health information including allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details, test results and immunisations; supporting them in remembering the dates of tests, medicine names, or dosages.

A major advantage of having a My Health Record is individuals having 24-hour, 7 day per week access to their own health information.

For further information visit www.myhealthrecord.gov.au or call 1800 723 471

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ehealth #MyHealthRecord : Download @CHFofAustralia @georgeinstitute Report : Digital health to transform Australia’s health system and save lives

“The time is now ripe to leverage this maturing digital health capacity in ways that are meaningful to both consumers and providers. If done well, it has potential to be transformative for Australia’s health system bringing about rapid enhancements in quality, safety, accessibility and efficiency,”

Digital disruption is not coming in health care – it is already here. For too long health has been lagging behind other sectors.

For Australia to embrace digital health and benefit from its huge potential, we need national leadership.

We need to invest in implementation and change management to avoid the risks and pitfalls that can accompany the roll-out of such powerful technology into a complex and sensitive area like health care “

CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells

Download full report here

GDigital_Report

Australia now has many of the building blocks in place to roll out a digitally enabled health system that could transform care services, an expert report has found.

The report, developed after an expert roundtable initiated by the Consumers Health Forum and The George Institute for Global Health, says “the time is now ripe” to support the expansion of digital health technology in vital areas including chronic care and residential aged care.

The report is based on discussions held by around 40 consumers, clinicians, academics, government and industry supported by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Roundtable attendees considered four sectors — chronic care, residential aged care, emergency care and end of life care — in terms of what is wanted from digital health, the current state of digital health in that sector and how to meet goals for the future.

The report says major progress is being made with My Health Record, e-prescriptions, patient registries, shared care portals, state-based digital health strategies and linked hospital patient information systems.

Professor David Peiris, Director of Health Systems Science at The George Institute, said emerging digital health strategies had the potential to transform Australia’s health system for both health care providers and consumers.

“Our report sets out clear recommendations on what is needed to enable people to be much more in control of their own health needs and to make informed choices about the care they choose – from urgent life-saving situations through to respecting their wishes at the end their life.

“We also want to ensure that every health professional in Australia can take full advantage of the digital health eco-system to improve people’s healthcare experience and provide care that can be co-ordinated across the system. Many Australians are tired of having to constantly repeat their story to multiple care providers and it’s vital that we tap into digital technology to ensure we deliver a more person-centred, safer and sustainable healthcare system.

“Australia has made a great start in its uptake of digital health technology and we have identified practical steps in several areas that could be rolled out rapidly. The challenge now is to ensure they are adopted.”

 

The recommendations identified by the roundtable included:

In chronic care: To trial virtual care teams to support patients with high care needs; and trial a “Patients Like Me” platform to enable patients with chronic and complex care needs to safely connect and share experiences with one another.

In residential aged care: Ensure that residents’ health and social services information is available in a single location, on a platform easily accessible by consumers and providers anywhere, anytime and on any device. Collate and publicise data that allows patients, their carers and future consumers to compare residential care facilities based on health outcomes and patient experiences.

In emergency care: Develop digital health technologies that leverage My Health Record data to be rapidly accessible to paramedics and other emergency providers; develop a text/image message system to support improved communication between emergency care and other medical teams and assist with referrals to other health care providers for post-discharge care.

In end of life care: Develop and promote existing professional and consumer portals that provider information on care options, medical services and pathways for those nearing end of life; and engage in targeted social media campaigns to encourage consumers and medical professionals to normalise conversations about death

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

 

” Martu country is in the Little Sandy Desert in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia.

It’s remote. Very remote. The communities here are living rough and the healthcare teams who support them have to deal with a vast array of serious issues and health conditions, from dog bites to domestic violence, babies with temperatures and elderly people with septicaemia. I’m here to educate and train the Aboriginal Medical Service teams about the benefits of My Health Record.

Kathy Rainbird is Digital Health Programme Manager – Education, Learning and Development – Clinical and Consumer Engagement and Clinical Governance Division at the Australian Digital Health Agency and has been supporting the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) in the Pilbara since June 2017

 ” With a My Health Record, both a patient and their healthcare professional can gain immediate access to important health information on-line.

This can improve co-ordinated care outcomes, reduce duplication and provide vital information in emergency situations.

“It also enables us, as a consumer, to become more active in managing your health and provide links between the multiple services many of us may need through our lives.”

                     MY HEALTH RECORD WEBSITE

 HISTORY OF E-Health/My Health Record from NACCHO

” COAG Health ministers decided on Friday 24 March that the My Health Rec­ord system would be opt-out, making electronic medical records compulsory for all Australians unless they said otherwise, despite trials of that model having yet to report.

Those trials concluded this year, with only 1.9 per cent of individuals deciding to opt-out — so proving the success of this approach “

Visiting Martu country

I sit in the clinic, feeling slightly helpless as more and more people come through the door to see the doctor who I shared the plane with in over the desert this morning.

I wait to have the chance to talk to the clinic staff, in between them sorting out eye drops, mail deliveries, checking over those patients who are less crook, taking phone calls, welcoming people as they come through the door, making sure people don’t walk back out the door before they get the chance to see the doctor.

I’ve been supporting the local Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) since June 2017, when I was first introduced to their now CEO, Robby Chibawe. So I was very pleased in March 2018 when I heard from their clinical manager, Cynthia, that they now had their HPI-O number and NASH certificate to connect to the My Health Record system. I joined their regular all-staff meeting by phone to give them an introduction to My Health Record.

Then Robby and Cynthia invited me to come in person, on their doctor’s charter flight. It’s an invitation I can’t refuse. I am honoured to accept.

I arrive in Newman, a mining town in the Pilbara, and meet Katie, PAMS’ clinical quality improvement officer.

We talk about the challenges of connecting to their remote clinics. The Newman and Jigalong clinics have an online version of their clinical software, but the clinics further away use an offline version that is synced via a side-loader to their server in Jigalong overnight. We agree that the best solution at this stage will be for the remote clinics to access My Health Record via the Provider Portal.

We put this theory to the test on the online version in Newman. The green My Health Record appears; a good sign. But when we click on it to try to view a record, an error appears. Luckily, I know our Agency Help Centre team are on hand and likely to be able to provide a solution. We give them a call and I leave Katie on the path to getting it resolved while I head to Jigalong via 4WD.

After two and a half hours of bumpy, red-dirt roads, I arrive at the clinic in Jigalong. This remote aboriginal community was made famous as the place where three aboriginal girls walked the Rabbit Proof Fence in the 1930s. At the clinic, I squeeze into a consultation room with the team of three remote nurses, an aboriginal health worker and the clinic receptionist.

We try opening My Health Record, and it works! Katie has resolved the error. Then I go into training mode and take them through access and viewing, uploading and registering patients for My Health Record. The nurses can immediately see the potential benefits for their patients.

Coming in to land at Kunawarritji community

Lance, the eldest and most experienced of the team, says “This is going to save us so much time chasing information. It sometimes takes us three weeks to track down a discharge summary.”

Christine, their clinic receptionist, is more circumspect. She points out that there are many people in this community who aren’t known to Medicare and were born “in the bush.” This is really one of those hard-to-reach groups.

There has been an emergency overnight and the Royal Flying Doctors (RFDS) are on their way. The doctor’s charter plane is also scheduled to arrive.

The doctor’s plane arrives first, but cannot land immediately because of wild horses on the airstrip. A low buzz over the airstrip sees them off – a practised manoeuvre in these parts. The doctor’s plane lands first, with the RFDS flight following close behind.

Two planes on the airstrip at once is an unusual sight around here. The RFDS plane is, however, unfortunately a regular visitor to Jigalong, with Christine informing me they’ve had over 50 emergency retrievals in the past year – that’s one every week.

The flight over the desert is beautiful. It is a truly awesome landscape. I reflect on the songlines of the seven sisters and the amazing cultural history infused in this place.

My training is well received. I spend the evenings chatting with the nurses and visiting doctor about their experiences, how things work out here and showing them the demonstration version of My Health Record in their clinical software.

I am confident they will see real benefits from My Health Record before long, especially now the expansion program is underway.

Visiting Martu country has been an amazing experience and one that will stay with me for a very long time.

My thanks to PAMS for inviting me to visit and helping organise my journey. I also wish to pay my respects to the traditional custodians of the land which I was honoured to visit, Martu Country, and the elders past, present and future.

Kathy Rainbird is Digital Health Programme Manager – Education, Learning and Development – Clinical and Consumer Engagement and Clinical Governance Division at the Australian Digital Health Agency.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #MenziesOration2017 by Professor Ian Anderson AO Democratising Indigenous Data

 

 ” Democratised data is key to unlocking genuine regional empowerment in people taking responsibility for their own futures

We are committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Establishing data governance arrangements will be important.

We need to engage fully with Indigenous Australians in the process of developing, designing, collecting and utilising data.

We need to place a greater emphasis on the use of regional data.  This will allow communities to take ownership of placed based actions and to hold governments and service providers to account.

We also need to look at ways to improve data access while at the same time always ensuring individual privacy is maintained.

Improved access to data can help drive research, and help build an evidence base to support and drive policy that improves outcomes for First Australians.

We know a one-size-fits-all approach is not the most effective way to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It will put behind us the negative mindset, replacing it with a positive narrative focused on enabling Indigenous Australians to lead lives they value while at the same time ”

 The 2017 Menzies Oration delivered by Professor Ian Anderson AO. Speaking about ‘Democratising Data/Building a platform for Indigenous Development’. Darwin NT Friday 24 November
Introduction

Ya Pulingina. Pangkerner Ian Anderson Palawa Trowunna: Trawlwoolway, Pairrebenne, Plairmairrerenner. Kartoometer mynee larrakia teeanner. Carnee meenee nenener nicer Lanena.

I would like to thank the Menzies School of Health Research and Director, Professor Alan Cass, for inviting me to speak tonight and for hosting this event.

It is a great honour to deliver the 2017 Menzies Oration.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Menzies School of Health Research for its ongoing commitment to examining and understanding Indigenous health. Research undertaken by the school has made a significant contribution in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

I would also like acknowledge the many distinguished guests attending today:

  • the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory;
  • Professor Lawrence Cram, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Research and Research Training; and
  • Professor Alan Cass, Director of the Menzies School of Health Research

Today, I would like to discuss the importance of data within the policy context.

Data can be an extraordinarily powerful tool.

Data shapes so much of our society. Governments, businesses, non-profit organisations and individuals all use data to inform their decision-making.

We live in a data age.

The Australian Productivity Commission in their inquiry on Data Availability and Use drew on IBM estimates [1]:

‘the amount of digital data generated globally in 2002 (five terabytes) is now generated every two days, with 90% of the world’s information generated in just the past two years’

In addition to significant growth in the amount of data being collected, we also have the opportunity to better use our data assets.  We have more sophisticated technologies to analyse and integrate data—in fact, we are also able to analyse more data, more quickly at lower cost.

By way of example, decoding the human genome involves analysing 3 billion base pairs—when this was first done in 2003, it had taken over 13 years at a reported cost of around $1 billion. Presently, it can be done in a day at a cost of approximately $3,000. [2]

Many people here tonight are in some way involved in the production of data. You might collect data as part of service delivery or part of a research project, analyse data to build information and evidence, or use this information and evidence to make policy decisions.

Data collected through research, survey and census or from the administration of government programs and activities, has played an important role in guiding policy and practice, particularly in Indigenous affairs.

Public data is a national asset. However, its value is only realised when data is transformed into information, and more importantly knowledge.

Data can help shape debate, identify areas of need, and be used to analyse the effectiveness of policy and other actions.

But, for this to occur, the data must be of high quality and we must collect the right data. Moreover, it must be accessible to all. I would also like to stress that data is not useful in isolation and must be combined with the skills and capabilities to make the most of it.

Democratising data – Data and Indigenous peoples, changing approaches

Now, in using the phrase—democratising data—I am signalling a change agenda to create the systems and platforms that ensure end-users are able to access data in a timely way. One that is relevant to a wider audience and allows data to be used.

The availability of data on Indigenous Australia has reflected broader politics.

It is reasonable to infer that in the late 19th century when representatives of the then six British colonies—New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania—came together to draft up Australia’s constitution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were not factored in.

It is probable that those who considered how the soon-to-be-federated country might operate did not want to include Indigenous people in financing arrangements for the states, or for the development of services or planning purposes.

It is also possible the founding fathers of the Australian federation did not think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were long for this world. That they were a dying race.

Under such scenarios, there would have been no need for information about Australia’s Indigenous population to be collated. The ‘race’ clauses included in our original constitution reflect this.

It was not until the successful 1967 referendum that paved the way for the Commonwealth to take on responsibility for the administration of Indigenous Affairs at a national level that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were formally included in our population counts. This marked the start of the first phase of Indigenous data development in Australia.

In the years that have followed, data sets concerning Indigenous Australians have slowly been built up. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, for example, has developed a clear picture of the lives and experiences of Indigenous Australians.

Over the past three to four decades, significant improvements have been made in the availability and quality of Indigenous data.

This includes Indigenous data obtained through our national survey program run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Equally important has been the collection of vital statistics—such as, data on births and deaths, hospital data and Medicare data.

However, the most significant innovation over the last two decades has been the development of performance measurement systems. These systems draw on data made available through our data collections systems. They have been developed with the specific purpose of enhancing policy decision making processes.

Perhaps one of the most sophisticated data sets relating to Australia’s Indigenous population can be found in the Indigenous health sector.

The move earlier this century to start strategically using data through vehicles such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework reports marked the beginning of the second phase of Indigenous data development in this country.

The first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework report was produced in 2006. Commissioned by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC), the data in these reports, updated every two years, and has been used by Australia’s political leaders to inform their decision-making in Indigenous Affairs.

Data is collated across three tiers: health status and outcomes; determinants of health; and health systems measures. Significantly, the measures had strategic value and ‘buy in’ from the states and territories.

The data contained in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework played a pivotal role in the decision by the Council of Australian Governments to allocate resources in 2008 to address Indigenous disadvantage. However, just as importantly, the data informed where the resources would be allocated.

The collation, analysis and strategic use of Indigenous data by our political leaders is one thing—I will discuss this further when I describe our proposed approach to the refresh of Close the Gap—but making data accessible and relevant to a wider audience—and in this case, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—is another thing altogether.

Too often, data is not presented in a way that is accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Furthermore, it is interpreted in a way that is not connected to Indigenous reality.

Our apologies that we cannot publish the full oration speech here :

Read in Full Here

https://www.pmc.gov.au/news-centre/indigenous-affairs/2017-menzies-oration-democratising-indigenous-data