Almost 6 million Australians now have a place to securely store an online summary of their health information. It’s called My Health Record.
As more people use it and it contains an increasing amount of information, My Health Record will become more valuable — hopefully resulting in faster, more efficient healthcare.
While it’s not new, My Health Record is changing from an ‘opt in’ to an ‘opt out’ system, meaning the number of Australians with a My Health Record is set to grow.
At the moment, you'll only have one if you've chosen to opt in. But if you don’t already have one, you will soon be given a My Health Record, unless you choose not to have one created (you opt out).
The benefits of My Health Record
My Health Record stores a summary of your health information all in one handy, online place. It won’t contain all your medical data, but it could contain information that will significantly help your doctors make the best decisions.
It's hoped that My Health Record will improve information sharing and access, reduce medication errors and avoid duplication of tests.
What information does My Health Record contain?
When your My Health Record is first created it will contain little or no information at all. Over time, you, your healthcare providers and Medicare can add information.
As the info in your My Health Record grows, you might find additions such as:
- a summary of your health uploaded by your regular GP
- discharge summary letters from hospital admissions
- reports from tests, such as some scans and blood tests
- medications you have been given
- referral letters
You might also find important information from Medicare such as organ donation registration and your immunisation history. You may also be able to upload some pieces of information yourself, such as your medication and any allergies that you might have.
My Health Record and your privacy
You retain control of your own record and can log in and view information, and — if you wish — delete things or update access permissions. My Health Record has strong security and there are laws in place to protect your privacy.
Do I want a My Health Record?
Having a My Health Record could make an enormous difference in an emergency where you can’t speak for yourself, or when you’re away on holidays and need to see a doctor who is not familiar with you.
But it is not compulsory, and you can choose not to have one. If you haven’t already created one yourself and you’d prefer not to participate, you’ll need to opt out by November 15. Otherwise, a My Health Record will be created for you automatically.
You can learn more from the My Health Record website or call their helpline on 1800 723 471. You can also watch this video for more information on how My Health Record can benefit you.
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