Norfolk Island gets ready for My Health Record

30 July 2018: The Agency's Provider Readiness Education Support Team is getting the message out, even in the parts of Australia you might forget about.

When you think about the different parts of Australia, it’s easy to forget about Norfolk Island. And many of the local inhabitants of this South Seas jewel probably like it that way. Norfolk islanders have traditionally valued their independence, and impose customs restrictions even on visitors from the Australian mainland.

Fortunately, the Agency’s Provider Readiness Education Support Team has not forgotten about Norfolk Island, and recently travelled out there to get the local healthcare providers up to speed on My Health Record.

Ben Cohn, Danny Agnola and Yvonne Cheong from the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN arrived on Friday, and met with Annie, who runs the Anglicare organisation on the island. Annie was extremely helpful in outlining some of the struggles that young families have on the island, especially with regards to domestic violence. Annie was also able to provide a number of insights into the opinions of the locals with regards to the Australian government. Many of the locals had yet to use Medicare services yet, and unsurprisingly had misgivings about registering and accessing their MyGov accounts.

Saturday marked the start of the Health and Well Being Expo. The Agency and PHN were lucky to have a booth in the middle of the Expo, and were inundated by consumers as well as members of organisations present. For the most part, the attendees were excited and could see the benefit of the My Health Record system. Danny presented in front of around 15 attendees, and answered numerous questions. Two locum GPs also approached the booth, and were excited to discover the benefits of the My Health Record system, especially due to the numerous elderly tourists who visit the Island, many of whom tend to forget the details of their conditions and medications.

NI expo Norfolk Island Health and Well Being Expo

The next day the team met with Gerry, the pharmacist in Burnt Pine. Danny previously spoke with Gerry at the expo, and was able to discuss the benefits of the My Health Record for her customers, as well as her pharmacy. Ben and Danny were able to sign up Gerry’s pharmacy to the My Health Record system, and explained the process of configuring her NASH certificate. Gerry anticipates that connecting to My Health Record will help her to obtain background information for her regular patients (when they visit clinicians on the mainland) as well as those tourists visiting the Island.

On Monday, the final day of the trip, the team met with nine allied health professionals at the hospital/GP clinic. The clinic uses Medical Director, which supports My Health Record, and Ben and Danny were able to have a robust discussion with these professionals about the My Health Record system. Most could see the benefits of the system with their patients, many of which they would never see from the mainland, especially with regards to pathology and diagnostic imaging reports.