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Digital Health Evidence Review: This section provides you with additional resources - a glossary, methods, list of key websites, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and acknowledgements.

Active user

Healthcare provider who performs minimum level of regular interaction with electronic health record system set within their country.

Assisted Registration

Assisted registration enables healthcare providers to assist their patients to register for a My Health Record

Authored/Authoring Organisation

The Authoring Organisation is the Healthcare Provider Organisation which created the content of that document.

Clinical information system (CIS)

A Clinical Information System is used by a healthcare provider to manage patient and practice records. It may include a software component connected to the My Health Record system.

Department of Human Services

The Commonwealth Department of Human Services is responsible for the development of service delivery policy and provides access to social, health and other payments and via Service Centres. DHS operate Medicare Service Centres and the Healthcare Identifiers Service.

Discharge Summary

A Discharge Summary is a record of an individual's hospital stay and any follow up treatment required.

Dispense Record

A document containing information about the medications a consumer has been dispensed by a pharmacist. Also includes information relevant to the pharmacist who dispensed the medication and the pharmacy where the medication was dispensed. Medication specific information recorded in your dispense record may include:

  • medication brand name and strength dispensed;
  • generic medication name;
  • dosage instructions;
  • the number of repeats already dispensed and the number of remaining repeats; and
  • the date the medication was last dispensed.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

A type of digital record containing health-related information about an individual that is created and resides within a single healthcare organisation (such as a clinic, medical centre, or a hospital).

Electronic Health Record (EHR)

A type of digital record containing health-related information about an individual that can be created, managed and accessed across multiple healthcare organisations and by all authorised healthcare providers involved in the care of an individual.

eHealth practice incentive payment

A type of practice incentive payment in Australia that aims to encourage general practices to keep up to date with the latest developments in digital health and adopt new digital health technology as it becomes available. To find out more please see:

Event Summary

An Event Summary is a clinical document that may be uploaded to an individual’s My Health Record summarising one or more episodes of care.

Individuals (or consumers)

An individual or patient is a person who has received, receives or may receive healthcare in Australia.


The ability to move information easily between people, organisations and systems. It is imperative that when information is shared between people and systems, its meaning is preserved from one context to another so that information is interpreted in the same way (1)

Medicare Overview

The screen that provides a consolidation, or overview, of the Medicare information in the My Health Record. It is accessed via the Medicare Records menu.

Medicines Information View

The Medicines Information view quickly sorts and displays the most recent and available medicines information and documents in the individual’s My Health Record. It can include the individual’s latest Shared Health Summary or Discharge Summary, up to two years of Prescription and Dispense records, and any Allergy or Adverse Reactions. The Medicines Information section can be found under the Documents tab in an individual’s My Health Record.

My Gov account

A secure myGov account gives individuals access to a range of Australian Government services.

My Health Record

My Health Record of an individual is the record of information created and maintained by the System Operator in relation to the individual, and information that can be obtained by means of that record, including the following:

  • information that relates to the individual in the record relating to the individual’s registration;
  • health information connected in the My Health Record system to the individual, including information included in a record accessible through the index service;
  • other information connected in the My Health Record system to the individual, such as information relating to auditing access to the record; and
  • back-up records of such information.

Non-authored information

This refers to health-related information that a healthcare provider can view in My Health Record but was generated by a different healthcare provider


The process of creating an electronic health record for a citizen only when they have consented to having one created


The process of automatically creating an electronic health record for a citizen unless they indicate that they do not wish to have a record

Personal Health Record (PHR)

A PHR is an electronic application through which individuals can access, manage and share their health information, and that of others for whom they are authorised, in a private, secure and confidential environment.


A means for care providers to allow individuals to access and edit information within their Electronic Health Record (EHR). Portals can also be used as a communication tool between care providers and individuals.

Prescription Record

A document containing information about the medicine that a consumer has been prescribed by a healthcare provider. Also includes details about the healthcare provider that prescribed the medication and the healthcare provider organisation that the consumer visited.

Medication specific information recorded in the prescription record may include:

  • medication brand name and strength prescribed;
  • generic medication name;
  • dosage instructions; maximum number of prescription repeats; and
  • the date the medication was prescribed and the prescription expiry date.


An individual can register for a My Health Record through Assisted Registration, online at, over the phone, in person at a Medicare Service Centre or in writing on an application form.

Shared Health Summary

A Shared Health Summary is a clinical document summarising an individual’s health status and includes important information such as allergies/adverse reactions, medicines, medical history and immunisations. Only a Nominated Healthcare Provider can create or update the Shared Health Summary.

1 Australian Digital Health Agency. National Digital Health Strategy. 2017.
Available from: [Accessed 8th January 2018]

The approach to identifying evidence from the grey and peer reviewed literature to support the Digital Health Evidence Review is outlined below, describing our search terms and evidence sources that were included in the search strategy.

The identification section provides information on the key sources for identifying resources: database searches of grey and peer-reviewed literature, Google search, targeted searches of websites of digital health organisations internationally, and consultation with international experts. A list of key websites is shown below.

The screening section provides information on the search terms and strategy as well as key inclusion and exclusion criteria that were considered. The last section provides an overview of where included information originated from.

1. Sources identified through database searches and Google
  • Use of databases: Pubmed, Ovid Medline and using search terms for grey literature documents published on the internet.
  • Search terms: Electronic health record, personal health record, portal, EHR, PHR.
  • Topic terms: Adoption, use, active use, implementation.
  • Country names: Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
  • A combination of search terms, topic terms and country names were used. Results filtered by criteria below.
2. Key web-based searches
  • Relevant international health organisations and digital health agencies (see list below).
  • Search terms: EHR, PHR, portal, electronic health record, personal health record.
  • Topic terms: Adoption, use, active use, implementation.
  • Combination of search and topics terms were used.
3. Consultation with international experts
  • Consultation with international content experts to source and fact check information
  • International experts were asked to review information for accuracy. Additional information received is referenced throughout as written communication.
4. Selection criteria
  • Inclusion criteria: available in English, focus on national implementation, data and contextual information regarding EHR, PHR and portal adoption and use.
  • Exclusion criteria: unavailable in English, focus on small sample.






Hong Kong SAR




Global and regional organisations

1. What is the digital health evidence review?

The digital health evidence review aims to present an overview of the way Australians and their healthcare providers connect to and use My Health Record as well as provide an overview and comparisons of the international experience with shared digital health information systems. This website was designed for a broad audience of clinicians, policy makers and the general public.

2. How were these topics chosen?

The topics were chosen to present key introductory information and data on the adoption and use of Australia's My Health Record system. In order to complement the My Health Record information, the international sections of this website focused on electronic health records and personal health records at a national level in different countries where information was available.

3. Where does the information come from?

The search strategy focused on both academic and grey literature (e.g. government reports) as well as online information sources. Given the focus on providing national level information a large proportion was from the grey literature. International organisations and equivalents of The Agency were a key source of data.

4. How did you choose which countries were included?

In order to complement the information provided on Australia's My Health Record system, this site aims to focus on shared digital health information systems at a national level as much as possible. Best efforts were made to present a global contextual view and then deep dive into data for countries where this information was readily available.

5. Where can I find out more information about My Health Record?

You can learn more about My Health Record at

The Digital Health Evidence Review could not have been developed without the valuable input from our international partners who reviewed content and provided vital information regarding the implementation of shared digital health records in their countries.

The Agency thanks Ms Nadia Levin, CEO & Managing Director of Research Australia, and Professor Joanna Westbrook, Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, for their valued insights on the content.

Within the Agency, the development of the Digital Health Evidence Review was led by the Research Programs team. The Agency communications team, graphic designers, digital and IT teams were invaluable to the development of the website. Assistance in generating the content was also received from clinical and consumer engagement teams, designers and industry engagement.