16 November, 2018

My Health Record To Opt Out or Not?

What is My Health Record?

  • Australia’s national electronic health record system
  • An online storage place for documents and data containing information about your health and healthcare
  • The information can come from you, your healthcare providers, or Medicare
  • You decide whether to make your information available to healthcare organisations

The My Health Record system has been available for a number of years. Previously you were required to self-register/’opt-in’ to the system whereas, you will now be automatically registered unless you ‘opt-out’ before 31st January, 2019.

What are the benefits of having a My Health Record?

  • My Health Record may provide an additional source of information for your doctor that is not readily available via normal communication channels
  • Your doctor will be able to spend more time with you and less time searching for information
  • A doctor who you do not see regularly will still be able to access your past medical history. This is particularly useful if you have long-standing or multiple medical conditions
  • 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 immunisations in order to optimise the care you receive
  • With the use of an EHR or EMR Software, it enables you to better track and manage your own health
  • You are able to track how others have accessed and updated your My Health Record

What about your privacy?

  • Your My Health Record is personally controlled; it’s your choice who sees the information in it.
  • By default, documents in the My Health Record are set to general access for healthcare providers. 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 for commercial and non-health related purposes
  • Your information cannot be provided to insurance agencies

The changes to privacy and security controls you can make include:

  1. Setting a record access code to give access only to selected healthcare providers
  2. Controlling access to specific documents to limit who can view them
  3. Giving access to a nominated representative e.g. family member, close friend or carer

What you are NOT able to do:

  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)


What are your options?

  1. 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 now, you can still get a My Health Record in the future
  3. Direct your healthcare provider to not add particular information into your My Health Record
  4. Set a record access code to give access only to selected health organisations
  5. Give access to a nominated representative such as a family member, close friend or carer
  6. Remove particular documents from view
  7. You can set up automatic notifications to receive an email or text any time a new healthcare provider accesses your record.

Feel free to discuss your decision regarding your My Health Record with your doctor.

For more information about My Health Record click here… 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