According to data released by the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency), general practices increasingly lead the way in using My Health Record, with usage (viewing and uploading) rising substantially since March 2019.
In data released in December as part of a refreshed My Health Record statistics dashboard, general practices averaged around 200,000 My Health Record views per month throughout September and October, a 62 per cent increase since March this year.
- Since March, monthly cross-organisation views have increased by 140 per cent.
- General practices are viewing the most documents uploaded by other healthcare providers, and the documents they upload are most frequently viewed by other healthcare providers (including other general practices).
- 90 per cent cent of general practices are registered for My Health Record, with 71 per cent using the system as at November 2019.
- General practices are one of the leading healthcare provider groups in both registration and usage, along with pharmacies (90 per cent registered and 69 per cent using) and public hospitals (94 per cent of beds registered).
- General practices also upload between 2 and 3 million documents to the system every month.
Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said general practitioners may be more inclined to use My Health Record because of the nature of their work.
“Many general practitioners are treating patients with complex or chronic conditions, so they need to be able to make decisions that are informed by a wider view of a patient’s health.
“Further, general practitioners tend to facilitate patients’ interaction with the health system as a whole, so they may be quicker to look for information from other healthcare professionals,” said Dr Nespolon.
Using My Health Record allows general practitioners to access and contribute to a digital summary of their patients’ previous diagnoses, outcomes, medications, reactions and allergies. But My Health Record can also directly empower health consumers, too.
That was the case for Corey, a 24-year-old man who was once under the care of a pain specialist and was prescribed a complex medication regimen. “I was on a lot of medications, many of which made my memory far more unreliable,” says Corey. “During this time, I used the medications list on My Health Record to help me remember which medications to take and when. There was also a section where you could keep your own notes, which I used to keep questions to ask my doctors.”
Even though Corey is no longer taking medication that impacts his memory, he’s still using My Health Record to take a more active role in managing his health with his regular general practitioner and two specialists.
“I still find the pathology results section useful for getting my results and reviewing them before seeing my doctors, which often helps me to assess and question the information being given to me. After discussion, I sometimes make requests based on what I believe will work best for me. My doctors sometimes accept those requests, other times they’ll recommend alternatives,” Corey said.
The Agency will regularly release statistics offering more detailed insights into how healthcare provider organisations and consumers are engaging with My Health Record.
Professor Meredith Makeham, the Agency’s Chief Medical Adviser, noted “While registration is an important metric for the volume and type of healthcare provider organisations moving toward My Health Record, views and uploads can be better measures for showing how the system is being used meaningfully for patient care.” “These figures demonstrate the way healthcare providers are sharing information and show the increasing value that My Health Record is delivering to practicing clinicians. My Health Record allows us to see important details that we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to view,” Professor Makeham said.
Australian Digital Health Agency Media Team
Mobile: 0428 772 421
Email: [email protected]
About the Australian Digital Health Agency
The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au
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