My Health Record roll out

The number of Australians with a digital health record will jump by more than a million with automatic record creation and the Government giving people the choice of opting out from the scheme if they wish.


Minister for Health Sussan Ley today officially launched the Federal Government’s new “My Health Record”, which will give both patients and health professionals immediate access to all of their necessary health information on-line to improve co-ordinated care outcomes, reduce duplication and provide vital information in emergency situations.


The initiative will include trialling the automatic creation of electronic health records for more-than one million residents in Western Sydney and North Queensland.


Ms Ley said the Government had particularly focussed on protecting patient privacy as part of the new “My Health Record”, passing supporting legislation mandating fines of up to half a million dollars and even jail sentences for anyone who tries to deliberately misuse or access information in the health record.


“Our new “My Health Record” means people will not have to remember the names of the medications prescribed, 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.


Under the trial, patients will be able to share vital health information securely online, at any time, with authorised healthcare providers, such as doctors, pharmacists, specialists, hospitals or allied health professionals.


However, Ms Ley said patients would have ultimate control over who accessed their information, including adding additional password protections.


Ms Ley said a life-saving “break-glass option” was included in the new “My Health Record”, allowing patients to have maximum security protections whilst 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.


Residents in the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network and Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network will shortly be receiving a letter informing them of the trial and telling them how they can opt out if they choose. By mid-June 2016 residents participating will be able to change their access controls to the record, ahead of their doctor accessing the “My Health Record” in mid-July 2016.


Key Facts:

  • 2.6 million Australians already have a record

  • This will instantly increase to 3.6 million, as a result of these trials – a 40 per cent increase.

  • Nearly 8,000 healthcare providers are registered to use it

  • The new “My Health Record” seamlessly connects with GP and hospital systems

  • Stronger privacy controls for YOUR “My Health Record”:

    • Password protection

    • Lock down access to specific GPs or hospitals

    • View every person who has opened the record

    • Delete files that are unwanted

    • New criminal penalties for deliberate misuse

    • Fines up to half a million dollars per breach for deliberate misuse or access

  • If all Australians are signed up to a functioning “My Health Record”, it is estimated that it could save 5,000 lives per year and could help avoid:

    • 2 million primary care and outpatient visits

    • 500,000 emergency department visits

    • 310,000 hospital admissions

  • Potentially, $7.6 billion annual savings by 2020 could also be achieved by reducing medical duplication and adverse events. For example:

    • Around 10.4% of patients every year treated by a GP will have an adverse drug event

    • As many as 18,000 Australians die each year as a result of adverse drug events

    • With “My Health Record” patients receive better care, and therefore forecast to save $2.8 billion annually through reduction of medical errors.

4 March 2016.