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Recent media releases • My Health Record

It’s your health and it’s in your hands

Published 9 April 2021

Floods, bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia has faced ongoing emergency situations and it’s impossible to know when the next one might be.

That is why you need online access to your health information including medicine documents, a summary of your medical history and recent pathology and diagnostic imaging reports.

Having your critical health information in My Health Record can help you to get life-saving medicines during natural disasters when you can’t see a GP, make it home or your paper-based information has been destroyed.

My Health Record can be accessed by emergency departments if you are rushed to hospital and the doctors need to know of any health issues, allergies or medicine you may be taking if you can’t speak.

Also, you can use the information in your My Health Record to prove you have a specified health condition that may make you eligible for an earlier COVID-19 vaccination and to display the date of that vaccine when you have had one. 

Independent Clinical Adviser to the Australian Digital Health Agency, Dr Steve Hambleton, said Australians can take more control of their health and use their My Health Record to keep their important medical information up to date.

“Now is the time to look at your own and your loved ones’ records (with their permission) and if they are missing documents, ask your healthcare providers to update information so you and they don’t get caught out,” he said.

Australians are increasingly looking at the information in their My Health Record. Since the beginning of 2021, there has been a 57 per cent increase in consumer viewing compared with the same time last year. They are using the mobile apps and their computers via the MyGov login.

The recently introduced consolidated immunisation view in My Health Record has become one of the top 10 items Australians are looking at.

“All of the immunisations recorded and uploaded by your GP and all of the immunisations in the Australian Immunisation Registered are visible on one page,” Dr Hambleton said.

“When healthcare providers upload their patients’ information not only can they save the patient from having to remember and repeat their medical history and carry around hard copies of medical documents. Up to date information can also prevent unnecessary duplication of diagnostic imaging and pathology testing, and improve the safe use of medicines.

“This is why I want my patients’ other healthcare providers such as hospitals and specialists to have rapid access to relevant information when they are caring for them, and for my patients to be able to access their medical history if they can’t contact me.”

“It is great to see that healthcare providers and consumers are seeing the benefits of My Health Record as the volume of relevant information grows over time,” Dr Hambleton said.

In the 12 months to February 2021, there has been a 139 per cent increase in the number of documents uploaded by GPs, which have been viewed by other healthcare providers.

Did you know that Australians are now choosing to have a record where previously they didn’t want one? Since February 2019, more than 70,000 people now have a record after either opting out or cancelling their previous record. This is increasing at a rate of four per cent each month.

In the 12 months to February 2021, there has been a 46 per cent increase in the number of documents in all My Health Records.

Nearly 23 million Australians have a My Health Record and more than 20 million records have some form of data in them. This includes 122 million clinical documents uploaded by hospitals, pathologists and radiologists (which has more than doubled in the last year), and 213 million medicine documents (up from 112 million in Feb 2020) including prescriptions uploaded by pharmacies and GPs.

There are also nearly six million shared health summaries (up from four million a year ago), which provide a consolidated view of your medical history uploaded by your doctor and can include your medical conditions, medicines, allergies and adverse reactions and immunisations. You can find shared health summaries by going to the 'Documents' dropdown list in My Health Record and selecting 'Clinical Records'. These summaries are also easy to find using the mobile apps.

Use by hospitals has seen the volume of discharge summaries grow by 40 per cent in the last year (from six million to 10 million).

Patients or their authorised representatives have full control over what appears in their record and who can access their record, they can restrict access to the whole record, particular documents or even delete particular documents if they prefer they were not there.

The My Health Record system is built and tested to Australian Government very high standards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the health records so that Australians can receive the highest quality digital health services in a safe and secure way.

Media contact

Media Team
Mobile: 0428 772 421
Email: [email protected]

About the Australian Digital Health Agency

When it comes to improving the health of all Australians, the role of digital innovation and connection is a vital part of a modern, accessible healthcare system. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, digital health has seen exponential growth in relevance and importance, making it more pertinent than ever for all Australians and healthcare providers.

Better patient healthcare and health outcomes are possible when you have a health infrastructure that can be safely accessed, easily used and responsibly shared.

To achieve this, the National Digital Health Strategy is establishing the foundations for a sustainable health system that constantly improves. It underpins and coordinates work that is already happening between governments, healthcare providers, consumers, innovators and the technology industry.

For further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au.

The Australian Digital Health Agency is a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity.

Media release - It's your health and it's in your hands (PDF, 208.05 KB)

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