- My Health Record is a summary of an individual's health information and key to supporting continuity of care across the health ecosystem
- My Health Record is consumer controlled, it's their choice who can view and contribute information to their record
- Every eligible Australian has a My Health Record, unless they have asked not to have one created
- Healthcare providers can access My Health Record to review additional clinical information to support and improve clinical decision making and optimise the care delivered
- The Australian Digital Health Agency is responsible for the management of the My Health Record system and is known as the "system operator"
What is My Health Record?
The My Health Record system is a secure, consumer-controlled online service operated by the Australian Government that supports better patient and consumer outcomes through better access to information.
Authorised healthcare providers can access My Health Record to view and add patient health information to inform important clinical decisions and achieve positive health outcomes.
My Health Record will support better patient outcomes by providing timely access to health information in all treatment settings.
My Health Record contains:
- medical history (shared health, event and discharge summaries)
- medicine and prescription details
- allergies and adverse reactions
- immunisations from the Australian Immunisation Register
- Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) items
- pathology and diagnostic imaging test reports
- advance care planning
- specialist letters.
As My Health Record matures, the range of content contributed by different healthcare providers will support improved health outcomes for healthcare recipients. This will enhance the safety, quality and efficiency of Australia's healthcare system.
Who operates the My Health Record system?
The Australian Digital Health Agency is the system operator of My Health Record.
Working closely together, the system operator and the Victorian Public Health Sector, will continue to raise consumer awareness, offer professional development for healthcare providers and assist front-line staff to understand and use My Health Record in their day-to-day work practices.
Who has a My Health Record?
Medicare or Department of Veterans Affairs card holders and those serving in the Australian Defence Force, have had a My Health Record created unless they specifically asked for this not to be done (opt-out of the system).
In 2019, approximately 90 per cent of eligible Australians have an active My Health Record. Information uploaded by healthcare providers can be used to improve health outcomes regardless of where you live.
Newborn babies will be issued with a My Health Record on Medicare registration.
When a child turns 14 years old, control of My Health Record automatically transfers to the teenage individual. Parents who previously had automatic access to their teenager’s record will no longer have access. If the teen wants their parent to be able to access their record, they can create a account, activate the link to their My Health Record and invite their parent to be a “Nominated Representative” of that record.
Children in Care
Children may be placed in out-of-home care, by the Children’s Court of Victoria when conditions exist that prevent the child living safely with their family.
If the child is under 14 years of age, the secretary (and authorised delegates) can access the child’s My Health Record and apply access restrictions that limits who can access the My Health Record in accordance with the court orders issues by the Children’s Court of Victoria.
Where a child is in permanent care and is under 14 years of age, the appointed carer can apply to become the authorised representative of that child. Once the child attains the age of 14, any nominated and/or authorised representatives will automatically have their access revoked and control will automatically default to the owner of the My Health Record.
For people who are unable to manage their own My Health Record, a family member or guardian can apply to formally become their "Authorised Representative". Once approved, the Authorised Representative can read and manage information in My Health Record and make all decisions regarding access and operation of that record, including viewing health information and adding pertinent information to inform treating health care providers of a person's health status, including medications or allergies.
Cancel My Health Record
My Health Record is consumer controlled and there is no obligation to have a My Health Record. A consumer can opt out of the program at any time. If a My Health Record exists and there is information in the record, a request to delete the record will result in the record, including any backups and audit information, being permanently deleted from the system.
Once deleted, information cannot be reinstated. If the consumer decides to request their My Health Record be created at a later date, the new My Health Record will only contain information from that point forward and will not contain any information from the previous record.
Where a sole authorised representative has been appointed to manage an individual’s My Health Record, they can cancel the record.
If there is more than one authorised representative (e.g. a second parent), the other representatives will have 28 days to review the decision before the record is permanently deleted. During this time, the record will be suspended. A suspended record cannot be accessed by any authorised representatives or healthcare providers.
What does this mean for Victorian health services?
My Health Record does not affect the way core services are delivered by health services and does not change current workflows or applications used to support clinical decision making (i.e. electronic medical records, paper drug charts etc.). Additional information available via My Health Record will enhance clinical decision making as the number and type of clinical documents uploaded to My Health Record increases.
The record will also give clinicians an opportunity to view information from other healthcare providers that is not available through current systems, i.e. shared health summaries created by general practitioners can be viewed by emergency department clinicians.
As knowledge and use of the My Health Record becomes more established, it is expected that there will be an increase in questions from consumers. Health services have existing policies and procedures for managing consumer queries which should be reviewed and updated to incorporate information about the My Health Record.
What are the benefits for clinicians?
My Health Record will enable better care coordination between healthcare providers for people who are experiencing chronic and/or complex conditions. Summary documents uploaded by all treating healthcare providers give an overview of the timeline and treatment received by the healthcare recipient. Contact details for the author of each uploaded clinical document are included in the header information of that document, enabling direct contact if needed.
Having immediate access to information in My Health Record at point of care enables healthcare providers to focus on providing the best care possible (even in an emergency situation) using a combination of the presenting and prior history. This access allows time to be spent treating the healthcare recipient, rather than searching for important information.
My Health Record does not replace existing medical records held in healthcare providers’ local clinical information systems. More effective health management will be achieved at point of care (through supported and improved clinical decision-making) as additional clinical information is accessed via My Health Record.
Clinical documents uploaded by healthcare providers to My Health Record will include information derived from their clinical system. Information about diagnosis and medications (type, dose and frequency) will be clinically validated, eliminating dependence on the healthcare recipient being able to accurately remember and describe their medical history.
What are the benefits for healthcare recipients?
My Health Record supports healthcare recipients to be more actively involved and take greater ownership of their own healthcare. It is a single, convenient and accessible record that they control. The information contained in My Health Record supports conversations with healthcare providers and encourages an active partnership for optimal healthcare management by all involved.
What's happening in Victoria?
Victorian public health services are building capability to interact with My Health Record. Approximately 80 per cent of Victorian Public Health Sector hospital beds are connected to the My Health Record.
Many health services are contributing discharge summary information and are working towards supplying diagnostic imaging and pathology reports to My Health Record.
The department will continue to engage, encourage and support Victorian public health services to make use of this important system.
Health services can upload documents including:
- discharge summaries
- prescription and medication reports
- pathology reports
- diagnostic imaging reports.
Trials relating to advance care directives information, community health viewing and ambulance service use are also being considered.
Reviewed 17 August 2023