What is My Health Record?
My Health Record is a secure online summary of your personal health information. An initiative of the federal government supported by the My Health Records Act 2012, it’s a voluntary national system that provides access to every Australian’s health information with the aim of:
- Reducing the fragmentation of health information.
- Improving the availability and quality of that information.
- Reducing the occurrence of adverse medical events and the duplication of treatment.
- Improving the coordination and quality of healthcare by healthcare providers.
The personal benefits of having a My Health Record include:
- Better quality of care. All your important health information is stored in the one place online where it can be easily accessed by your doctors, specialists or hospital and used to provide you with the most suitable treatment and care.
- An accurate health history. You won’t have to resort to memory to recall your family’s medical history (eg, immunisations or medical tests).
- A potential lifesaver. It could save your life in an accident or emergency where timely intervention and treatment is crucial.
What is happening after the 2017/18 Budget?
My Health Record is a voluntary service that you do not have to participate in. However, the Australian government announced in the 2017 Budget that starting in mid-2018, a My Health Record will be created for every Australian.
This means that if you don’t already have a My Health Record, a new record will automatically be created for you, unless you choose not to opt out.
How do I register?
To register a My Health Record, you will need to create a myGov account or log into an existing myGov account. Many people already have a myGov account for accessing government services online such as the ATO and Centrelink. If you do, all you need to do is log in and link to the My Health Record service as well.
When you register for a My Health Record account, you will need to prove your identity. This will involve providing personal information including Medicare details, which will be shared with Medicare and other government departments to confirm your identity.
Once your identity has been confirmed, you will be given an Identification Verification Code (IVC), which you will use to activate your account, and a Personal Access Code (PAC), which you will give to your Nominated Representative(s) (ie, your healthcare providers) so that they can access your My Health Record.
Applying (not online)
If you don’t have a myGov account, you can still apply for a My Health Record in any of the following ways:
- In writing. Download and complete an Application to Register, which is available on the government website
- By phone. Call 1800 723 471 and select option 1 (call charges apply from mobile phones).
- In person. Visit a Medicare Service Centre in your area
Managing your account
Once you have registered, it’s time to populate your record with information related to your personal health. This can be done in collaboration with your nominated healthcare provider and can include:
- Prescription medicines you are taking
- Your Medicare claims history
- Your organ donation decision
- Hospital discharge information
- Ultrasound and X-ray results
- Pathology reports (ie, blood tests)
- Specialist and referral documents
- Immunisations included in the Australian Immunisation Register
- Any allergies or adverse reactions you may have
- Your Shared Health Summary (an overview of your health provided by your doctor)
- Your living will or advance care planning documents
- Contact numbers and emergency contact details
Once you have populated your My Health Record with relevant information about your health, you have full control over who accesses that information. You have the ability to decide who accesses your records (through the use of a PAC) and the ability to flag certain documents within your record as “limited access” in order to control who can view them. There is also a section for private notes that is accessible by only you or your Nominated Representative.
Apps you can connect
As well as the myGov website, it’s also possible to interact with your My Health Record via mobile app, which allows you to view your health information from your mobile device.
Apps that are currently authorised to connect with My Health Record include:
- Healthi. Healthi is an app from Chamonix Health Solutions that gives you convenient access to your family’s health records to help you monitor their healthcare needs. It allows you to access summary health information such as allergies, illnesses, medications, recent doctor’s visits and more.
- My Child's eHealth Record. My Child's eHealth Record is an app from the Australian Digital Health Agency that allows you to keep track of your child’s health information, developments and immunisations all in the one place.
How many people use My Health Record?
If you decide to register for a My Health Record account, you will find yourself in very good company. Nearly 20% of the Australian population is already registered (more than 4.8 million people) and it’s estimated that a new account is being created approximately every 38 seconds.
Almost 10,000 healthcare providers are now connected and more than 2 million clinical documents and 9.5 million prescription and dispense records have already been uploaded. This shows that the aims of the My Health Records Act 2012, which are to improve the availability and quality of health information, are well on their way to fruition.