Key messages

  • My Health Record is a summary of an individual's key health information.
  • The My Health Record is changing from an Opt-In model to an Opt-Out Model.
  • Consumers will have a 3 month window to Opt-Out of having a My Health Record created.
  • The Opt-Out window will begin 16 July 2018 and end 15 November 2018 with a 30 day reconciliation period to process paper forms.
  • By December 2018, all eligible Australians will have a My Health Record, unless they chose not to have one created.
  • Contact the Digital Health, Standards and Advisory team for further information on contact details below.

What is My Health Record?

My Health Record is a summary of an individual's key health information that can be shared securely between the individual and the registered healthcare providers involved in their care.

It provides for potentially lifesaving access to information such as medical history (including discharge summaries), medicines (including Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), dispense and prescription details) allergies and adverse reactions, immunisations from the Australian Immunisation Register, and reports from pathology and diagnostic imaging test results. As information in the system grows, it will support significant improvements in the safety, quality and efficiency of Australia's healthcare system.

What are the benefits for clinicians?

My Health Record does not replace existing medical records held in the healthcare provider's clinical information system, but having immediate access to patients' My Health Records can support and improve clinical decision-making and continuity of care by providing access to information that might not have otherwise been available to help validate or inform treatment. This includes better coordination and management of patients with chronic conditions or complex care plans.

It also provides timely access to information when it is needed at the point of care, including in a medical emergency. This can save valuable time and enable healthcare providers to focus on providing the best care possible as opposed to chasing information.

How is the current model changing?

A health professional holds the hand of a child, who is being hugged by a man.Currently, more than 20% of Australian's have a My Health Record and over 10,600 healthcare providers are connected to the My Health Record system.

In the 2017 Federal Budget, the Australian Government committed to expanding My Health Record by changing the participation model, from an opt-in to an opt-out model. This means every Australian will have a My Health Record created for them by December 2018, unless they choose not to. Individuals will be given the opportunity to opt out of their record's creation over a three month period commencing 16 July 2018 and ending 15 November 2018.

Based on international experience, and the My Health Record Participation Trials in 2016 that tested a range of models including an 'opt-out' model, the expansion of My Health Record is expected to accelerate the realisation of benefits for both patients and healthcare providers.

What does this mean for Victorian health services?

In most cases, there will be an increase in clinical documents being sent to the My Health Record and an increase in consumer participation. By default, health services can also expect an increase in questions regarding the My Health Record. Any consumer feedback should be handled according to existing policies and procedures.

What support will be provided?

Logos for the Australian Digital Health Agency, the State Government of Victoria and My Health Record.

The Australian Digital Health Agency is the My Health Record System Operator and will be working closely with Department of Health and Human Services to provide regular updates and support the delivery of education and awareness activities in Victorian hospitals.

The Department of Health and Human Service's Digital Health team is working with Victorian public health services to raise awareness, educate and train their healthcare providers and front line staff to ensure they are ready for the roll out of the national My Health Record Opt-Out model.

A Provider awareness toolkit has been developed and can be accessed via the resource page.

A comprehensive communications strategy has also been developed to inform the Australian public about My Health Record, including how they can exercise their choice not to have a record created during the opt-out period. This piece of work will be led by Australian Digital Health Agency at a national level, and the Victorian Primary Health Networks at a local level.

What's happening in Victoria?

Currently, some Victorian health services participate in the My Health Record by viewing their consumer's My Health Records, and sending clinical documents from their conformant clinical information systems including discharge summaries. By December 2018, a significant number of Victorian health services will be connected to the My Health Record, with nominated health services being targeted to share more with the My Health Record system.

Documents able to be uploaded by health services include discharge summaries, prescription and medication reports, as well as pathology and diagnostic imaging reports. The upload of advanced care directives will also be trialed to coincide with new Victorian legislation which will be introduced in March 2018.

Resources for health service awareness, education and training

Visit the Resources page for My Health Record awareness and education materials including fact sheets, webinars and other resources for education activities including how to request training sessions at your health service.