Tag: My Health Record

My Health Record Webinar 1 – Privacy and Security – Key Takeaways

Consumers Health Forum has been funded by the Australian Digital Health Agency to run a series of free webinars on My Health Record. You can register for them here.

The webinars are just under and hour, and are available on replay on the link above. As everyone is so busy, I have watched this and include key takeaway messages which I have summarised from comments made.

  1. There are three options for consumers – opt in, opt out or opt in but include protections on data you don’t want to be publicly available. (Karen Carey)
  2. You have to make the assumption that the data you have in My Health Record may at some time be inadvertently made public and identify your own risk level and mitigate that risk by using security controls. It is not helpful to try and assuage consumer concern by talking about how high-grade the security is and that a breach will never occur. The chances are it will, so consumers need to proceed on that basis. (Karen Carey)
  3. Risk mitigation means considering your own personal circumstances and make sure that any relevant information is not included (Karen Carey)
  4. My Health Record is just a summary of the rich data that at GP or specialist may have about you – a summary page, not the whole thing (Charlotte Hespe)
  5. You can work with your GP on the summary – (Charlotte Hespe)
  6. The protections on our data and privacy over the last thirty years have been eroded, drip by drip. Policy and legislation can be altered and so we do need to be mindful of this when given assurances that our data won’t be shared with other agencies. (see point 2) (Bruce Arnold)
  7. These are important conversations about My Health Record but a) they should have taken place some time ago and b) they need to be with a much broader audience (Karen Carey and Bruce Arnold, various comments)

I have had a My Health Record for three years now, and when I applied you needed to have all your key documents with you and it was a cumbersome process. There was not much data on it but it is increasing. I personally feel like Facebook knows more about me that the Australian Government ever will. My Health Record is a necessary step towards simplifying our complex health system and literally saving people’s lives by the access to key information about allergies and medications. However, as it was mentioned several times in the webcast, people’s care will be impacted by certain things – mental health diagnosis, drug and alcohol history and on and on – for myself personally this is not an issue and it is important to consider your own circumstances. If in doubt, opt out.

How easy the privacy controls will be for someone with no or low literacy or minimal computer access is not really considered, as in so much of how our systems work.

Panellists:

Kim Webber – General Manager, Strategy at the Australian Digital Health Agency
Karen Carey – Consumer Advocate, former chair of CHF and Chair of the NHMRC Community and Consumer Advisory Group
Dr Bruce Baer Arnold – Assistant Professor, Law at University of Canberra and Vice-chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation Board
Dr Charlotte Hespe – GP, Glebe Family Medical Centre and RACGP Vice President

 

Pip Brennan, Executive Director, Health Consumers’ Council

My Health Record Opt Out Period

You have from 16th July until 16th October to opt out…


Did you know that by the end of 2018, an online summary of your health information “My Health Record” will be created for every Australian?

If you don’t want to have a My Health Record, you need to take action by 15th October and opt out.

There are a range of ways to support you to opt out, and these will come on line by 16th July. You can sign up on this web page for updates as they are released.

Why have a My Health Record?

In simple terms, a My Health Record connects the dots between, for example, your GP and your hospital care. Over the last several years, WA Health services have been working on linking your hospital discharge summary to a My Health Record. So when your discharge summary is created, it looks for a match with a My Health Record and if there one, it will connect the two. Your GP will then be able to see the discharge summary, and so will you. Getting a My Health Record will mean important information like this will be at your fingertips 24/7. This will result in faster and safer care for you and your family.

Do you have any allergies???

Patients often wonder why they have to keep repeating tests and explaining allergies over and over again. but currently, we have on way of easily sharing that information across our systems. A My Health Record will help with this.

Across Australia

Having a My Health Record will mean your important patient information follows you no matter where you travel in Australia.

Advanced Care Plan

You can also upload your Advanced Care Plan if you have one, on your My Health Record.

Whose records?

In our Advocacy service we often encounter people needing assistance in accessing their medical records. This will, over time, be a thing of the past, where people can maintain control over their own health information via the My Health Record. This is vital when seeking follow-up treatment, understanding our own health care and knowing what has happened to us.

What about privacy?

This is a huge consideration, and many will know that the My Health Record, which used to be called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, has been in the planning stages for many years, in part because of the important considerations of protecting privacy. If you are really concerned, you can opt out.

Extra privacy protections

One of the new features of the My Health Record will be the ability to set it up so that you get a text if someone accesses your health record. This is not something our current paper based medical records provide. You will also be able to control certain aspects of it yourself.

To find out more please ensure you, your family and friends go to the government website for information and updates.

My Health Record. Your Say.

my-health-record-sign-up

In May of 2015, Australia’s flagging electronic health record received a much-needed resuscitation by then Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley (let’s not go there!)

Since that time, the new Australian Digital Health Agency has been created, opening its doors on 1st July 2016. A new Chief Executive Officer, Tim Kelsey was appointed.

One of the key problems with the first version of Australia’s digital health record was the fact that we needed to opt-in, to take the decision to sign up for one. Overwhelmingly, we didn’t. In fact, only 10% of Australians ever did.

Since My Health Record’s rebirth, there has been a trial in Western Sydney and Northern Queensland for an opt-out trial. This means you need to make the decision to un-register. Overwhelmingly, people didn’t. 98% of people on the trial didn’t, while 2% of people did. Since that trial, the number of Australians with a My Health Record has increased from 10% to 18%. In people terms, currently 4.3 million Australians have a My Health Record.

And? So?

You may have experienced that disconnect between your GP or community health care provider and hospital. In part this is because hospitals are funded by our state governments while GPs and community care providers are funded federally. It makes for a massive data divide which we continue to bump up against. My Health Record is the missing link between the two systems and can provide a better integrated, safer health system. And you can always opt out if it is not something you want to be part of. AND you can also put notes into the My Health Record too. Sure, it’s early days, and I have had one for some time now with a bit of data but not a whole lot. Over time though, there is going to be a tipping point, and My Health Record will be populated with enough data to ensure it will become an invaluable tool for a more connected, safer health system.

What do you think? Fill in the survey…

On 3rd November 2016, the Australian Digital Health Agency launched their consultation. The consultation includes an online survey which closes on 31st January 2017.

Make sure you have your say!

Pip Brennan, Executive Director.