This blog is totally independent, unpaid and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
The My Health Record Has A New Web-Site. Some Interesting Material.
The Commonwealth Department of Health have updated https://myhealthrecord.gov.au with information about the My Health Record system (previously known as Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record).
The most interesting bit was under the tab “Got a Letter”
Here is the letter:
You are getting a My Health Record!
The Australian Government is giving everyone in your area a My Health Record. This is a digital health record that can keep your important health information like any allergies, medical conditions, treatments and medicines all in one place online.
Benefits.My Health Record can help you and your healthcare providers manage your health better. Doctors and hospitals can connect to My Health Record to see their patients’ important health information when they need it – like in an emergency – from anywhere, at any time.
Security and privacy.My Health Record is secure and protected, just like online banking, and you can choose who gets to see your health information.
When will I get one?A My Health Record will be created by 15 June 2016 for you and any dependants listed on your Medicare card, or individuals for whom you are the nominated carer. Your record will be created using the information we have about you from Medicare or Veterans’ Affairs. From this time onwards your My Health Record will be available for you to use unless you ask us to cancel it.
What do I need to do? After your My Health Record is created, if you want to, you can see and manage it - go to myhealthrecord.gov.au to start using it. Next time you visit a doctor, ask them to put your health information into your My Health Record.
What if I don’t want one? If you do not want a My Health Record, you need to tell us. You can tell us from 4 April 2016 to 27 May 2016 by going to myhealthrecord.gov.au, calling 1800 723 471, or visiting a Medicare Service Centre. Have your Medicare card and other identification ready.
Where can I find more information? To find out more, read the enclosed brochure, go to myhealthrecord.gov.au, call 1800 723 471, or visit a Medicare Service Centre.
Assistant Secretary, Design and Operations Branch
Digital Health Division
Department of Health
The Australian Government is giving everyone in Nepean Blue Mountains in New South Wales and Northern Queensland a digital health record, called a My Health Record. Over one million people will get a digital health record automatically created for them by mid-June 2016. The My Health Record participation trial locations were announced by the Federal Health Minister in October last year. Primary Health Networks will be working closely with residents and local healthcare provider organisations in these communities in getting ready for My Health Record. The trials conducted in these locations will be evaluated. If this automatic registration to My Health Record in the trial locations leads to higher participation in the My Health Record system, the Government may consider doing it on a national scale in the future
A number of trials of innovative approaches to increasing participation in and use of the My Health Record utilising the current registration arrangements will also be undertaken in 2016. The location of these trials is yet to be decided
The outcomes of the trials will inform decisions expected in 2017 about future strategies for bringing forward the benefits of the My Health Record system nationally.
----- End Extract.
A few questions spring to mind:
1. Where is the discussion of the risks and benefits of this record - privacy, safety etc.?
2. Why can’t you immediately opt out when you get a letter?
3. Just how will Government assess the view of the homeless, internet deprived, illiterate,mentally incompetent and so on in terms of their being opted in or out?
There are a legion of other questions that all this throws - even before we get to evaluation of the so-called trials.
The question everyone needs to ask themselves is ‘When was the last time the Government gave you something that was good for you without some catch?” - think tax, conscription, compulsory voting and superannuation and so it goes on. In this case it is pretty clear the catch is that the Government want access to all these aggregated health records for their own management and research purposes - certainly without them telling you or asking your permission.
There is virtually zero evidence the mHR is clinically needed - if there was we would be drowning in it to prove what a good idea it is. That we are provided none speaks volumes.