- The department is implementing a secure health information sharing platform so clinicians can access critical patient health information at the point of care
- The secure platform will be progressively implemented across Victorian public health services from February 2024 and is subject to strict privacy and confidentially controls and oversight arrangements.
- The system will reduce the need for patients to re-tell their medical story to multiple public health service providers and treating clinicians.
Better health care by improving the way health information is shared in Victoria
The Victorian Government is improving the safety and continuity of health care through the sharing of health information across Victoria’s public health system.
Complete and accurate information at the point of care is essential to providing patients the best medical care possible. The Department of Health is implementing a new secure health information sharing platform. This will enable clinicians to access critical patient health information at the point of care.
The system will reduce the need for patients to re-tell their medical story to multiple public health service providers and treating clinicians.
Through this secure system, a patient’s treating clinician will be able to access the following clinical information:
- Patient details, including demographics, emergency contacts and next of kin.
- Patient hospital visits as an inpatient, emergency, and outpatient.
- Clinical documents including diagnostic test reports, hospital discharge summaries and letters associated with each hospital visit.
- Information about the patient’s diagnosis such as onset date and description.
The system will support a more seamless patient experience. It will reduce unnecessary and duplicated tests and build a more integrated public healthcare system focused on improving patient safety and outcomes.
This new platform is being established under Health Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2023. The legislation will come into effect on 7 February 2024, followed by a staged roll out of the system in public health services across Victoria.
Safer and more secure health information sharing
The confidentiality and security of patient data is the government’s highest priority. The Department of Health will be responsible for ensuring health information in the system is kept safe, secure, and protected from unauthorised access.
A robust Privacy Management Framework will govern operation of health information sharing. The Framework will address privacy obligations, detail the conditions required to access information about sensitive health conditions and details additional protections for vulnerable groups in circumstances like family violence. Clinicians, health services and the department will be legally required to comply with the Framework.
Reviewed 02 November 2023