BCNA News 01 Aug 2018
The period to opt-out of a My Health Record has now been extended to 15 November 2018. If you do not want a My Health Record created, you now have until 15 November to complete the online opt-out process. More information, including how to manage your My Health Record and instructions about how to opt out if you wish to do so, is available on the Government’s My Health Record website.
In response to community concerns about whether the My Health Record system will be secure and people’s medical information protected, the government has indicated that it will amend the legislation to protect people from having their medical records accessed by third parties, including the police and government agencies. The Senate has opened an inquiry into the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill, which is due to report early October 2018. BCNA will provide a submission. More information about My Health Record and the Senate Inquiry is provided below.
About My Health Record
My Health Record is an online summary of your health information. In 2018, every Australian will get a My Health Record unless they opt out. If you do not want a My Health Record, you have until 15 November 2018 to complete the online opt-out process.
My Health Record helps you keep all of your health information in one place. Both you and the health professionals involved in your care can add health information to your My Health Record. This may include medications you are taking, results from tests and scans, information about health conditions you have been diagnosed with, allergies you have and Medicare information.
You can access the My Health Record system from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. If you have a My Health Record, you can control what is included in your record and can ask that some information not be uploaded into your record.
The Australian Digital Health Agency is the System Operator and the Department of Health governs digital health policy and legislation. Registration services for health professionals are administered by the Department of Human Services.
Benefits of a My Health Record
BCNA’s 2018 State of the Nation report found that many women feel frustrated around the lack of communication between different specialists involved in their treatment and care. BCNA hopes that the My Health Record system will reduce fragmentation in care by allowing the health professionals involved in your care to access information about your diagnosis and treatment which is provided in different settings. This may improve the flow of communication between you and your treatment team. By allowing doctors to upload, view and share documents in your My Health Record, the clinicians involved in your care will also have a more detailed picture with which to make decisions and provide treatment and care.
The My Health Record will allow you to see your own health information and the same information your health care providers see, allowing you to take a more active role in treatment decision making.
BCNA also hopes the My Health Record system will help to provide holistic care by ensuring that important past health information is considered as part of treatment planning and follow up care.
BCNA would like to see the inclusion of end of treatment follow-up care plans in the My Health record to ensure that the information provided to women in survivorship is consistent with advice and information you have already received. This is particularly important for Australians who live in areas where they may be less likely to see one doctor regularly as part of their breast cancer follow-up care.
The Senate inquiry and privacy concerns
In response to community concerns about whether the My Health Record system will be secure and people’s medical information protected, the government has advised that it will amend the legislation to protect people from having their medical records accessed by third parties including the police and government agencies.
The Senate has opened an inquiry into the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill, which is due to report early October 2018. BCNA will provide a submission to this inquiry advocating on the importance of the My Health Record as part of a modern health care system and the expectation of Australians that their privacy will be protected.
More information about the Senate inquiry is available on the Parliament of Australia website.
CHF’s My Health Record Webinar Series
The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) is running a series of six webinars about My Health Record. The webinars will provide information about the benefits and risks of My Health Record to help you better understand what having a My Health Record would mean for you and whether or not you would like to opt out.
You can listen to recordings or read the transcripts of the first three webinars - ‘Privacy and Security’, ‘Overview of Digital Health’ and ‘Benefits of My Health Record’ - on the CHF website.
The fourth webinar, Risks of My Health Record’ will be held on Thursday, 6 September at 12.30pm AEST. The webinar will include information about risks to privacy and security and what measures have been put in place to manage these risks.
You can register for this webinar here.
If you have questions for the panel, you can submit them on the CHF website or ask them via Twitter using the hashtag #MyHealthPrivacy or #MyHealthQuestion.