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What is My Health Record (MHR)?

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 2 December 2018
What is My Health Record (MHR)?
  • MHR is Australia's national electronic health record system. 
  • It provides online storage for documents and data containing information about your health.
  • The information can be uploaded by you, your healthcare providers, or by Medicare.
  • It is you who will decide whether to make your information available to healthcare organisations and health care practitioners.

The My Health Record system has been running for several years. In the past it required you to opt-in, the change is that you will now be automatically registered unless you 'opt-out' before 31st January, 2019.

What are the benefits of having a My Health Record?

  • Your- "My Health Record" may provide an additional source of information for your doctor that was previously not available.
  • A doctor that you don't see regularly will be able to access your past medical history.
  • In the event of an emergency, if you are unable to provide information about your medical history, healthcare providers will be able to access your My Health Record to see your health information such as allergies, medicines and immunizations.
  • It enables you to better track and manage your own health

What about your privacy?

  • Your My Health Record is personally controlled by you; it's your choice who sees the information.
  • You are able to track who have accessed and updated your My Health Record
  • The uploaded documents in the My Health Record are set to general access for healthcare providers by default, however, you can change your access controls at any time.
  • Your My Health Record can be used by The Department of Health for secondary purposes such as research, policy and planning. However, you can elect for your information not to be used for such purposes.
  • Your information cannot be used non-health related purposes, this includes commercially.
  • Your information cannot be provided to insurance agencies.
  • You can nominate whether you wish to give access to other people such as carer's, friends or other family members.

Note: You are NOT able:

  1. Alter the content of clinical documents created by a healthcare provider
  2. Restrict particular healthcare providers access to your record (only able to restrict access to the health organisation as a whole)

So what next?

  1. You can choose not to have a My Health Record at all (by opting out by 31st January 2019 or cancelling an existing record at any time)
  2. If you choose to opt-out, you can still register for a My Health Record at a later date.
  3. You have the power to instruct your healthcare provider/GP to not add particular information into your My Health Record.
  4. You can set a record access code to give access only to selected health organisations.
  5. You can choose to give access to a nominated representative such as a family member, close friend or carer.
  6. You can remove particular documents from the record.
  7. You can set up automatic notifications via an email or text to alert you when a new healthcare provider accesses your record.
  8. Feel free to discuss your decision regarding your My Health Record with your GP

For further information: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/

If you wish to opt-out of My Health Record: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/opt-out-my-health-record

Author: Dr Michelle Woolhouse
About: Dr Michelle Woolhouse, Whole Medicine founder and principal GP, and her team understand the challenges patients face because they have experienced it either as doctors or patients. The practice was founded in 2009 out of a strong desire to redefine whole person care, to include nutrition and environmental medicine, and integrating mind-body techniques. The practice gained a reputation that challenged the traditional way of delivering patient care. Whole Medicine has flourished to become the choice for an inspired Mornington Peninsula community.
Connect via: LinkedIn
Tags: Women's Health Men's Health Children's Health Health and Well Being Family GP

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