Three out of five GPs report benefits from My Health Record: ADHA chief

Doug Hendrie

20/09/2018 4:01:10 PM

Internal research by the Australian Digital Health Agency has shown 60% of GPs report one or more clinical benefits from using My Health Record, the agency’s CEO Tim Kelsey has revealed.

ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey believes that, despite reports, the ‘clinical community’ has been supportive of My Health Record. (Image: Lukas Coch)
ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey believes that, despite reports, the ‘clinical community’ has been supportive of My Health Record. (Image: Lukas Coch)

Speaking at the RACGP’s eHealth Forum 2018, Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) CEO Tim Kelsey said that a new survey of over 500 GPs has found most reported benefits, including avoidable medication error and reduced duplication of tests, by using the data on a patient’s My Health Record.
‘When we look backwards in 12 months, we’ll all be wondering why we had this conversation around My Health Record,’ he said.
According to Mr Kelsey, the ADHA survey found more than 80% of GPs who are using My Health Record feel the system will have positive benefits, while 13% reported they had avoided a medication prescription error. Similarly, close to 80% of pharmacists reported one or more benefits from using My Health Record.
ADHA lists avoiding errors in prescribing medications as one of the key benefits of the national health data repository. The agency suggests between 2–3% of present hospital admissions are caused by medication error, costing $1.2 billion annually, with an estimated 10% error rate in medication administrations in hospital.
Mr Kelsey said the survey data challenged the view that doctors are not positive about digital health initiatives like My Health Record, citing criticism by former Australian Medical Association (AMA) head Dr Kerryn Phelps as an example.
‘While there may be a prevailing view that the clinical community is not supportive, that’s not what we’re seeing,’ he told GPs, medical software developers and researchers at the eHealth Forum.
‘We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that Australia now has the world’s leading legislative protections for people’s control of medical information.
‘The world is watching Australia. We can get this right for ourselves – and for many other countries as well.’

MyHealthRecord-Conference-Article-(2).jpgAustralian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey (left) addressed GPs, medical software developers and researchers at the RACGP’s eHealth Forum 2018.
Talking about the recent controversies over privacy and security, Mr Kelsey said the agency had expected there would be debate.
‘We had anticipated there would be a sense of outrage, if I can use that word, at the beginning of the My Health Record rollout, and that it would tail off and reach a point where we are now … where we can have a considered conversation about risks and benefits,’ he said.
Mr Kelsey said that digital health is coming and, with it, the rise of the active healthcare consumer.
‘I see that all the work we are doing now is preparing for the arrival of the active consumer in healthcare,’ he said. ‘At some point, consumer demand will drive all changes in healthcare.
‘We haven’t quite seen that happen yet, but it will come, and what we really need to be doing is preparing for the arrival of the active consumer in healthcare.’
Mr Kelsey this week told a Senate inquiry that close to 900,000 Australians – around 3.5% of the population – had opted out of My Health Record. People who do not opt out will have a record automatically created for them on 15 November.
He told the eHealth Forum that the numbers opting out have in fact been lower than anticipated.
Mr Kelsey predicted that next year, debates around interoperability of secure messaging systems in healthcare and the costs associated would overtake debate around My Health Record.

Australian Digital Health Agency my health record time kelsey

Login to comment

DK   21/09/2018 7:23:02 AM

I think most of us expected benefits - the idea of being able to pull together information into one accessible record has been appealing for a very long time. The question is whether those benefits will turn out to be worth the inevitable privacy breaches and inaccuracies that are inherent in the current system. Personally, I don't see the benefits outweighing the costs and risks, which is why I spent the considerable time required to opt out twice (we were in one of the trial areas, so had to do it twice).

Dr Norman Brown   21/09/2018 7:39:37 AM

What a load of propaganda balderdash! Despite the obviously biased and coercive hype, at least 40% (and likely many more) coal face GPs say rubbish

RA   21/09/2018 10:58:15 AM

This is an absolutely classic example of the RACGP presenting useless one sided “factual” information to support their agenda and exactly the sort of embarrassing reporting that will result in less trust and support by GPs.

Quite funny though really that they think their base - a cohort of highly educated individuals who have been taught to think critically using evidence - would fall for this sort of nonsense.

Jump on to Business For Doctors on Facebook and see what your average GP really thinks about My Health Record.

Comes on folks. Wake up.

Pradeep Jayasuriya   21/09/2018 11:55:03 AM

Can we see the details of this study including the questions in the survey to derive this conclusion?

RC   21/09/2018 9:03:27 PM

" Australia now has the world’s leading legislative protections for people’s control of medical information " . Australia also has legislative protections around rape, murder and domestic violence but these things keep happening everyday in our communities.

Donald Reid   25/09/2018 12:03:18 PM

As a now retired 80 year old GP, I too am worried about the potential risk for breaches and technological failures of the sytem. However, as also one of the ageing population for whom urgent arrivals at previously uninformed medical centres of one sort or another is quite likely, I have decided not to opt out so that my information will be ready and waiting to be accessed for my benefit.