Digital records pilot to deliver lifesaving benefits for hospital patients

Patients requiring urgent medical care will benefit from a hospital emergency department pilot that gives clinicians fast, secure access to health information such as allergies and medicines that may not otherwise be available in hospital information systems.

The pilot will help drive the uptake of My Health Record, a digital system that enables healthcare providers to share secure health data and improves the safety and quality of patient care. To date, over 5 million people have a My Health Record and over 10,143 healthcare providers are connected.

“Where My Health Record is being utilised, we are seeing reductions in duplicated testing and lower hospital re-admission rates.

“However, we need to identify potential barriers to the uptake of My Health Record in hospitals, and enable better integration with primary and secondary healthcare providers,” Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said.

The pilot was announced today by the Agency in partnership with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Commission CEO Adjunct Professor Debora Picone AM said that when a patient presents to an emergency department, hospitals can have limited information about the patient and a limited window to provide lifesaving treatment.

“It is time-consuming for hospital staff to gain information on the patient’s medicines, what their GP has been doing to manage the condition, and the procedures provided by other hospitals. This time could be better used treating the patient,” Professor Picone said.

The pilot is based on the successful My Health Record participation trials conducted by the Nepean Blue Mountains and the Northern Queensland Primary Health Networks (PHNs). These trials demonstrated that clinicians working in hospital emergency departments were able to obtain valuable additional information by accessing My Health Record in real time.

The pilot is expected to take two years with an interim report due to the Agency in June 2018. The project will be led by a senior emergency department clinician and will be overseen by the Agency, the Commission, NSW Health and Queensland Health as well as consumer and clinical representatives. Stakeholders and consumers will also be consulted via roundtables, workshops and targeted interviews.

The Commission will work with hospitals within Nepean Blue Mountains and North Queensland Primary Health Networks to develop a pilot model over the course of the project. This model will then be piloted in other hospitals in Australia.


Media contact: David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: [email protected]

About the Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency was established on 1 July 2016 by the Australian Government as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, and reports to all Australian governments through the COAG Health Council.

Download: Media Release - Australian Digital Health Agency and Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) Hospital Emergency Department Pilot - 27 July 2017 (PDF, 348kB)