‘eHealth’ is an Australian Government initiative which allows people who register to access their own health information electronically, and was introduced in July 2012.
The main component of eHealth is the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) which is an electronic record of your health information, and is controlled by you. By logging into a secure website, you are able to manage your personal record and choose the information you would like to share, and the health professionals with whom you would like to share it. You can also add your own notes about your health to your record.
Some examples of your health information that you will eventually be able to store in your own personal PCEHR include:
- Your allergies
- Test results
In developing the eHealth system, the Government has put in place security measures to protect your information and privacy.
How is eHealth different to the current system?
Most health records are currently paper based, and the ones that are electronic often cannot be shared with other health professionals or accessed by you.
This often means that:
- You have to try and remember important pieces of your health information to share with health professionals, for example, your most recent test results.
- When visiting a new doctor, you need to call ahead and request that your medical records be sent to them.
- You have to carry pharmacy prescriptions with you, which may become lost.
The eHealth system means that, with your permission, some of your medical information will be eventually become available online, in one location.
What are the benefits of eHealth?
Having your health information in one secure electronic location will eventually mean that:
- It won’t matter where you are when you need to see a doctor. Your health information will be available electronically, and you won’t need to call ahead and request that your medical records be sent to them.
- Your doctor will be able to write an electronic prescription which the pharmacist of your choice will be able to access electronically.
- You will not need to remember all of your key medical information, as you will be able to access it electronically whenever you like.
How do I sign up?
Whether or not you make your health information available through eHealth is up to you – it will only be available if you register to use the system.
You can now register for an eHealth record. You can register one of the following ways:
- over the phone, by calling the eHealth record helpline on (free call) 1800 723 471
- on the internet, by visiting the eHealth website at www.ehealth.gov.au
- in person, by visiting your local Medicare office
If you are a carer, or want someone else to set up your record for you, it is best to phone the helpline or visit your local Medicare office.
- Download the information flyers (below) explaining eHealth and Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR), and answering frequently asked questions
- Visit The Department of Health and Aging website for more information on eHealth and Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR)
- Visit the eHealth Learning Centre, which details how to use your eHealth record
- Read BCNA’s submission to the eHealth draft Concept of Operations
- Read BCNS’s submission to the legislation that will underpin the new eHealth system