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 : 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 ” Opt out ” My Health Records News : Why aren’t more people using the My Health Record?

 

 ” 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 “

Update March 24 2017

 ” The opt-out approach, which was first proposed in a 2013 Department of Health review, has been trialled in both the Nepean Blue Mountains and Northern Queensland since June last year.

Around 1 million new My Health Records were automatically created for all people living in the areas, unless they responded in the negative.

Nationally the number of people signed up to My Health Record is 4.6m, according to figures shared today by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA).”

 ” The Australian Medical Association has called on the government to tackle barriers to the use of ehealth and telemedicine in rural and regional Australia.

In a position paper released earlier this year the AMA argued that “the utilisation of telehealth and telemedicine in rural and remote Australia remains patchy and is not used to full potential, because of no, or inadequate internet access”.

Internet connections in rural areas are often expensive, slow and have relatively small download allowances.”

Download the AMA Position paper

Better access to high speed broadband PS_Final_0

Read moreEhealth: AMA call for bush broadband boost

The AMA Position Statement on Shared Electronic Medical Records 2016 can be found here

Why aren’t more people using the My Health Record?

Published in The Conversation 24 March

 

The My Health Record is an online summary of personal health information that patients can share with health providers. As many as one in five Australians have a My Health Record.

But recent statistics show the My Health Record is only being used by a small percentage of consumers, and even then not to its fullest uses. So how can we get a greater return on the estimated A$1.2 billion taxpayer dollars invested in the system?

1. More health professionals need to add information

To date, approved health-care providers in the system have uploaded only about 1.7 million clinical documents, for the 4.6 million Australians who have a My Health Record. Just over one third of these clinical documents are Shared Health Summaries – listing health conditions, allergies, medications, and immunisations.

Information about health-care recipients is also added to the My Health Record from other sources – including Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, along with pharmacy medications information and hospital discharge summaries. Some health-care providers might be willing to share clinical documents, but hold concerns about privacy and may be unsure how sharing the information will improve patient care.

The shared health information in the My Health Record could help many patients recall vital health information. It could be particularly useful for those who struggle with medication management, have multiple health conditions, enter hospital frequently, or have multiple health providers.

The main purpose of the My Health Record is to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. Reducing medical errors related to the poor exchange of health information between patients and their health providers, or across multiple health providers, is a high priority.

We need more health information added into the system before it’s going to be useful for more people in supporting their health-care decisions. Patients prompting their GP or practice nurse to upload a Shared Health Summary at each visit could increase use of the system, which is designed to improve patient control over their health information.

2. We need to add more information ourselves

Many consumers with a My Health Record have only had one since June 2016 through a trial of “opt-out” sites. Lacking experience or guidance in using the My Health Record, they will not know what they can upload or why, or how to use the technology.

Currently, there are only about 80,000 “Consumer Entered Health Summaries” in the My Health Record. These summaries contain emergency contact details and very brief information on allergies and medications. There are also about 35,000 “Consumer Entered Health Notes” – similar to a health journal or diary.

Fewer than 900 people have uploaded a copy of their Advance Care Directive – a critically important document outlining a person’s wishes for future medical treatment – into the My Health Record. As it is the only national online repository for Advance Care Directives that can be accessed anywhere, more legal information websites need to prompt people to store their Advance Care Directive in the My Health Record.

Not knowing how to use computers, navigate the My Health Record, or save and upload documents will prevent many people from taking advantage of the system.

3. More people need to know how to use it

Currently, the My Health Record places high demands on reading and e-health literacy, making it difficult for many people to use. This could be a barrier for a large number of people.

People with low health literacy, people who lack engagement with digital health, people who lack access to a computer and the internet, and people with limited English literacy could struggle with these online records.

Information about the My Health Record needs to be inclusive, easier to read, and translated into many languages – and use pictures and videos – to enable everyone to use the system.

4. The people who need it most need support to use it

As many as one in five Australians have a disability. Anyone with a condition that affects their ability to explain their health history to others might need help to use the My Health Record. This includes people with dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injury, intellectual or developmental disability, autism spectrum disorder, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, and people with a wide range of social, physical, cognitive, or sensory impairments affecting communication.

People with communication difficulties have three times the risk of preventable harmful adverse events in hospital, relating to their problems communicating their needs to health providers. The My Health Record might be particularly helpful for this group, who are at risk of exclusion because of their communication impairments and low levels of digital inclusion.

While the My Health Record is set up for use by all Australians, people with communication difficulties and their families may need additional information, funding, and other supports to enable their participation. They might also need help to identify who would be their Nominated or Authorised Representative in the system.

Future enhancements of the My Health Record need to take into account the views and experiences of people with multiple health conditions who are engaging with the My Health Record. Gathering their stories of experience could lead to a greater understanding of the types of support needed for more people to use and benefit from this important e-health initiative.

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

 E health-WEB-300x271

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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