Digital health is a HUGE topic. This page brings together some of the key information you need to know about digital health in WA and some opportunities to be involved in shaping this.
Consumer Involvement Opportunities
Electronic Medical Record Program
In 2021, Health Consumers’ Council was commissioned by the WA Department of Health to work with consumers across WA to create a Consumer Charter for an Electronic Medical Record. Following this, there has been a pause in work before funding was confirmed for WA Health to continue rolling out the Digital Medical Record.
In 2023, work on WA’s Electronic Medical Record is ramping up. In collaboration with the Department of Health Electronic Medical Record program team, HCC is establishing a systemwide consumer network and consumer group with a focus on the work being done as part of the Electronic Medical Record program. We anticipate there will be a range of ways for consumer perspectives to shape and influence this program.
You can register your interest for the consumer group and consumer network here.
On July 25, we hosted an online presentation and interview with the Electronic Medical Record team at WA Health to discuss what progress has been made and what is on the horizon. You can view the conversation below.
What is Digital Health?
Digital health can refer to:
- health records being digital rather than paper-based
- administrative interactions that occur online, such as booking, cancelling or re-scheduling appointments
- health care delivered digitally rather than face to face (for example, via a video call)
This page brings together updates about the rapidly changing digital health projects and initiatives in WA.
My Health Record versus an Electronic Medical Record
While they might sound similar, your My Health Record is different to an Electronic Medical Record.
My Health Record was put in place Australia-wide in 2019, with a record created for every Australia unless they opted out. My Health Record encompasses all aspects of your health care, from the GP to hospital.
An Electronic Medical Record usually refers to your health information within the walls of a hospital, or group of hospitals. It contains information relevant to your hospital admission, but doesn’t necessarily encompass your whole health history.
Do I have a My Health Record?
A My Health Record was created for every Australian, unless you specifically opted-out of having one. If you don’t remember opting out, or you don’t know if you have a My Health Record, you probably do.
My Health Record holds all your key health information, such as immunisations, test results and imaging reports, medication information, and hospital summaries. It can be accessed by your healthcare providers at any time, including in an emergency.
If you don’t know if you have a My Health Record, or you’ve never looked at your My Health Record before, we recommend you take a look at what information is included. You can find out how to set up your My Health Record here.
Do we have an Electronic Medical Record in WA?
WA does not yet have an Electronic Medical Record. But we have begun the process of getting one. Some WA hospitals and health services have a forerunner to this, which is called a Digital Medical Record (see video below). The WA Government has funded the WA Department of Health to roll out a Digital Medical Record across the whole of WA.
The following video was produced in 2021 and explains the rollout plan for WA’s Electronic Medical Record.
- “Digital health – we have come so far, but still so much to do” – Leanne Wells, former CEO of Consumers Health Frum of Australia, 2022 blog post
- Healthy WA – Digital Medical Record
- Healthy WA – Electronic prescriptions for medication
- Electronic prescriptions FAQ
[Last updated 07/23]