Decision time approaches on My Health Record

Australian consumers now know the dates of when they will be able to opt-out of having a My Health Record created for them. The first date that consumers can opt out is 16 July and ends on 15 October 2018. A month after that, every Australian who has not opted out will have a record created for them.

Consumers Health Forum CEO Leanne Wells said she welcomed the announcement, as it would give Australians time to learn more about My Health Record, and to consider whether they should opt out of having a record created for them.

“My Health Record is a key step in the shift from health consumers as passive patients, to consumers as active partners in their own care.

“For too long, healthcare has lagged behind in exploiting the clear benefits of information technology to provide prompt, secure, and precise patient information. For these benefits to be realised and a consumer-centred and digitally enabled health care system to become a reality, consumers will need to be involved in using and improving innovations such as My Health Record,” Ms Wells said.

“Consumer trust and confidence in My Health Record is essential for its success, and an effective awareness and education campaign that reaches all Australians is necessary to allow each of us to make an informed decision about whether or not to opt-out.

“The clinical benefits of My Health Record for patients are significant and compelling: hospital admissions avoided, fewer adverse drug events, reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex conditions, and better-informed treatment decisions.

“The potential benefits of the secondary uses of My Health Record data are also large for the health system and the Australian public. The sensible approach taken in the Department of Health’s recently released framework for guiding the secondary uses of My Health Record data for purposes like research or planning promotes a consumer-centred system with appropriate privacy protections and controls. These measures include not allowing access to data for commercial uses or to private health insurers, a future move towards enabling dynamic consent for each specific use, and an explicit statement that no secondary use data will be released until the proposed governance structures and processes have been developed.

“There are however issues and concerns that remain to be addressed, especially enforcing laws protecting security and privacy, and ensuring robust and transparent rules and processes to govern access by law enforcement or other government agencies. CHF looks forward to taking part in the national discussion and working through these in the lead up to and during the opt-out period, and we hope consumers will seek information on this important and fundamental reform around issues important to them and their families. CHF will be developing and providing further resources and information over the coming months to help in this process.

The next opportunity to amplify your voice and share your thoughts with CHF on digital health will come through the first survey delivered through the soon to be launched, ‘Australia’s Health Panel’. Register to be a voice on the panel here: https://chf.org.au/australias-health-panel

If you have questions, concerns or hopes about My Health Record that you’d like to share, please email your inquiries, with ‘My Health Record’ in the subject, to info@chf.org.au.

Resources

My Health Record Website - https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/

Framework to guide the secondary use of My Health Record system data - http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/eHealth-framework

OAIC resources on Privacy and Complaints - https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/other-legislation/my-health-records

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Media contact

Mark Metherell

Em.metherell@chf.org.au
T:  02 6273 5444 
M: 0429 111 986