Using My Health Record

 

When can you use My Health Record?

The My Health Record can only be used for the purpose of providing healthcare to a registered healthcare recipient (e.g. the patient or client). The patient need not be present when you access their record, as long as the access meets this condition. 

 

 

Do you need patient consent?

No. Any person involved in a patient’s healthcare who is authorised by the My Health Record registered healthcare organisation, can use information from and upload to a patient’s record as permitted by the My Health Records Act 2012.

This can occur during a consultation, or outside the consultation without the patient being present, provided it is for the purpose of provision of healthcare. 

The Australian Medical Association states that it is good medical practice to advise a patient that you will be uploading information, particularly if it might contain information that a patient may regard as sensitive.

See also the section on consent in the Shared Health Summary article.

 

 

What documents can you create and upload?

Depending on the capabilities of their clinical software, participating general practices can upload two key documents to the My Health Record:

  1. Shared Health Summaries - see the Shared Health Summary article.
  2. Event Summaries - see the Event Summary article.

General practices can also upload scripts if they are using an electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP) product.

 

What types of information can be viewed?

Any information uploaded to the My Health Record can be accessed by healthcare providers in the provision of healthcare. The exception is a patient’s Personal Health Notes, which is purely for a patient’s own use and can only be viewed by them.

Information that is most commonly available in My Health Record include:

The following may also be available, though at this stage they are less common. They are expected to be more common as usage of My Health Record increases.

 

 

How do you view documents from other providers?

There are summary sheets for a range of clinical software products with step-by-step instructions and screenshots for viewing a My Health Record:

The Australian Digital Health Agency has more information on how to view information in My Health Record

 

 

How do you explain My Health Record to patients?

For patient resources see the article on promoting My Health Record to patients

 

 

How do you stop information being uploaded?

If a patient has a My Health Record, pathology reports, diagnostic imaging reports and prescription records may be uploaded to that record. This will occur automatically, and it is not necessary for you to seek consent from your patients.

Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging

If you, or your patient in consultation with you, do not want a pathology/diagnostic imaging report uploaded, withdrawal of consent should be communicated using your clinical software or with a handwritten note on the request. Your patient can also communicate this verbally when presenting at the pathology or imaging laboratory. 

The links below are to information for how to change the consent status for the upload of pathology or diagnostic imaging results

Prescription Records

Preventing a prescription from being uploaded must be done before the prescription is printed, as by that point it is automatically uploaded. 

The links below are to information for how to change the consent status for the upload of prescription records:

Note: If the prescription has already been printed, then the consent status cannot be changed retrospectively. It will need to be deleted and re-prescribed with the consent status changed as required.  

Confidential Items in Shared Health Summaries

Some of the clinical software products permit medical History items to be flagged as Confidential. This can be used to omit these items from a Shared Health Summary.  

  • BP Premier
    • If a Medical History item is flagged as Confidential = Yes, then the column headed My Health Record changes to = No.
      The item is NOT included in the Shared Health Summary. The confidential status will need to be changed for it to appear on the Shared Health Summary.
  • Medical Director
    • If a Medical History item is flagged as Confidential = Yes, then item will appear in the Shared Health Summary with an “unticked” checkbox to avoid accidental uploading. You can still choose to tick the item if you desire to include it in the Shared Health Summary.
  • Other clinical software: refer to your software user guide or contact your software vendor for support.

 

Addressing GPs' concerns

  • Katrina Otto's Top 30 questions doctors ask about My Health Record.
  • While it was originally called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, “personally controlled” does not mean that patients can change data. They do have the ability to remove or hide a document, but they cannot change anything within that document. 

Medico-legal questions

 

 

Penalties for misuse

There are penalties for The Australian Digital Health Agency describes in detail the penalties for the misuse of health information.

The My Health Records Act includes the obligation to notify of an eligible data breach.

 

 

Training

The Australian Digital Health Agency has an eLearning portal for My Health Record and a training environment, which includes On Demand Training where clinicians can practice using a demo version of the same clinical software they use for work. Call your local PHN for advice on training. 

Tips for On Demand Training:

  1. From the Online Training page, scroll down to the section headed “Get Started with On Demand Training”.
  2. Once you’re in the virtual computer, you will sign on to the software as normal. The password is: P@ssw0rd (that’s a zero, not an O!)
  3. If you have trouble connecting:
    • Use a different browser (e.g. if you're using Chrome, switch to Firefox).
    • Use another computer.
    • Wait a couple of hours and then retry.

The On Demand Training resource also has a demo version of the patient’s view (which is called the Consumer Portal). Seeing what patients see may help doctors and nurses to talk to patients about it. Look for the section headed “Get Started with On Demand Training”.

 

 

More information