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My Health Record opt-out period announced


Paul Hayes


15/05/2018 2:07:22 PM

Australians will soon have three months in which they can opt out of My Health Record, the Australian Digital Health Agency has announced.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has said My Health Record will allow people to take more control of their own health.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has said My Health Record will allow people to take more control of their own health.

People who do not want a My Health Record can opt out from 16 July to 15 October.
 
Australians can also cancel their My Health Record – a national online summary of an individual’s health information – at any time after the end of the opt-out period, or create one if they have opted out.
 
More than five million Australians currently have a My Health Record.
 
According to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, My Health Record allows people to take more control of their own health.
 
‘My Health Record provides many benefits to patients, including reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex conditions, and better informed treatment decisions,’ he said.

While some have raised concerns about security of patient data, the Australian Digital Health Agency said ‘the My Health Record system has strong safeguards in place to protect the health data. It is also subject to some of the strongest legislation in the world to prevent unauthorised use’.
 
In addition, individual users set their own privacy controls, classifying information as ‘restricted access’ in order to determine what data can be accessed by third parties.
 
A number of Australia’s peak health bodies have voiced their support for My Health Record, including the RACGP, the Australian Medical Association, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and the Consumer Health Forum.
 
‘Most Australians are digitally connected and make everyday use of digital services across a range of industries, so it makes sense that both healthcare providers and their patients have access to digital health services,’ RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said.
 
‘The RACGP is supporting GPs to prepare for the My Health Record opt-out process and to make informed decisions about the use of the system in their practice.’
 
The RACGP is working in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency to deliver an education and awareness program for general practice. The program will involve education via face-to-face workshops in each of Australia’s 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs). Fifteen two-part webinars will also be scheduled.
 
The education program is designed to address any questions regarding the impact of the My Health Record expansion, including how the electronic health record has changed over time, its current functionality, and scenarios for use and safeguards to protect consumer health information.
 
All activities will be accredited for four Category 2 QI&CPD points.

Dates will soon be announced on the RACGP website. Email ehealth@racgp.org.au for more information.



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