Blue Mountains News

Strong Community Support for My Health Record in the Nepean and Blue Mountains Region - A Model for the Rest of Australia

Source: Digital Health Media
Archived 10 Oct 2018 - Posted: 11 Aug 2018
Residents and healthcare providers in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region are actively using My Health Record, showing the benefits for all Australians.

New data shows 203 healthcare provider organisations are now connected to My Health Record in the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network. This includes all of the major healthcare providers including General Practices, pharmacies, private hospitals and clinics, and public hospitals and health services.

All of these connected healthcare provider organisations are ready and able to support nearly 346,000 residents, representing 95 per cent of the total population in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region, who have a My Health Record.

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.

The Australian Digital Health Agency's CEO, Tim Kelsey and Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Meredith Makeham have been visiting healthcare provider organisations in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region over the last two days to witness firsthand how My Health Record is being used in the community.

Professor Meredith Makeham said, "It is terrific to see so many major healthcare providers and residents in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region getting behind this great initiative."

"Having a My Health Record can save lives in emergency situations, which is why you 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."

Nepean and Blue Mountains region - My Health Record statistics

Data from the Australian Digital Health Agency shows that 203 major healthcare provider organisations in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region are now connected to My Health Record representing:

  •        100 per cent of Public Hospitals and Health Clinics
  •        100 per cent of Private Hospitals and Clinics
  •        84 per cent of General Practices, and
  •        70 per cent of Pharmacies.

The main activities of these organisations are uploading prescriptions and dispense records and viewing the medicines view of My Health Record users. People aged between 40 and 64 are the largest group (31 per cent) of consumers who have a My Health Record in the Nepean Blue Mountains region followed by those aged between 0 and 19 (28 per cent) and then those between 20 and 39 (26 per cent). People in the region are mainly uploading consumer-entered health summaries and notes and viewing consumer-entered health summaries and diagnostic imaging reports.

2016 opt out trials

Residents in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region and Northern Queensland participated in a My Health Record opt out trial in 2016. Where an individual's address registered with Medicare was in a trial area at the time, they would have received a letter informing them that they were going to get a My Health Record unless they chose to opt out. The trial results revealed that almost all of the residents in both regions chose to have a My Health Record created for them. With the success of the opt out trials, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Health Ministers agreed to move My Health Record to an opt out process.

My Health Record making a difference at Springwood

Mr Kelsey and Professor Meredith Makeham today heard how My Health Record is making a difference in the community including from Sheryn Phillips, Pharmacist-in-Charge at Blooms, The Chemist at Springwood.

Pharmacist, Sheryn Phillips said, "My Health Record really helps me to identify potential medical risks early for my customers. My Health Record is particularly beneficial for people with chronic health conditions on multiple medications and who have multiple healthcare providers. Having all their information together in the one place helps to reduce the risk of medical errors, especially if someone has been prescribed multiple medications that could be harmful."

Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said, "Residents in the region are already witnessing how My Health Record can help improve the coordination of care for those with chronic and complex conditions. With an ever increasing number of GP organisations and pharmacies in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region using My Health Record, patients can really see how it leads to better informed treatment decisions."

Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network CEO Lizz Reay said, "My Health Record is a valuable healthcare tool for people in our region, especially as we have high rates of chronic illness, vast distances to travel and large numbers of tourists. Having healthcare information safely and easily available in one place can really provide peace of mind."

My Health Record is already in use by more than 6 million Australians and 13,150 healthcare provider organisations including general practice organisations, hospitals, pharmacies and pathology and diagnostic imaging services. The current expansion of the system means all Australians will have a My Health Record by the end of 2018, unless they choose not to have one.

The Australian Digital Health Agency is encouraging all Australians to find out more about the benefits of having a My Health Record through their local GP, pharmacy or other healthcare providers they deal with as well as through the website. People in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region who may no longer want a My Health Record can choose to cancel their record at any time 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.

This article archived 10 Oct 2018

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