My Health – putting the record straight
MANY stories have been circulating about the My Health Record over the past couple of weeks; some good, some bad and some downright ugly, so, I would like to use this opportunity to put the record straight.
The My Health Record is an extremely important addition to health treatment to all Australians, as the information it holds could potentially save your life.
Imagine, you are on holiday in another part of Australia. You collapse in the street and are rushed to hospital. At the hospital the doctor asks you what medications you are taking. You are feeling unwell and cannot clearly remember what you are taking or even who your GP is.
This leaves the hospital doctor in a quandary. He cannot be 100 per cent confident that the course of medication he needs to prescribe you will be effective because he doesn’t know your medical history.
This is where My Health Record comes in.
My Health is essentially an online summary of your health information that you or your healthcare provider can access at any time to ensure you receive the best medical treatment.
You have the power to control your own record. For instance, you can add notes about advance care plans or custodian details; set access controls to restrict who can and can’t see your information; review your own health information, or set-up SMS or email notifications so you know when a healthcare provider accesses your record.
My Health Records will be available to all Australians and their healthcare providers as of November 13.
If you want to opt-out of the system, you have until October 15 to do so. Simply go to myhealthrecord.gov.au or call 1800 723 471.
After the opt-out period a reconciliation will be undertaken to ensure records are not created for people who have opted out, or for those who are not eligible.
You can also cancel your record at any time after it has been created. Similarly, if you have opted-out then at a later date would like to opt-in, you will be able to do so.
The My Health Record is stored in Australia and is protected by high-grade security protocols to detect and mitigate against external threats. The system is tested frequently to ensure these mechanisms are robust and working as designed.
And to dispel another rumour; a Medicare card number alone does not allow My Health Record information to be accessed. Additional information will always be required to provide access to records.