Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Commentators and Journalists Weigh In On The MyHR Debate And Related Matters. Lots Of Interesting Perspectives - Week 7.

Note: I have excluded any commentary taking significant  funding from the Agency or the Department of Health on all this to avoid what amounts to paid propaganda. (e.g. CHF, RACGP, AMA, National Rural Health Alliance etc. where they were simply putting the ADHA line – viz. that the myHR is a wonderfully useful clinical development that will save huge numbers of lives at no risk to anyone – which is plainly untrue) (This signifies probable ADHA Propaganda)

So Doctor, do you know what your duties and responsibilities are when using the My Health Record System?

Posted on 31/08/2018 by Thinus
Much have been said in the media about the impact on privacy and security of personal health records for anyone who had signed up or, in the near future, are being automatically signed up for a My Health Record.
My most recent commentary on the matter was a discussion on the matter of standing consent and the apparent contradictory advice being provided by the Australian Digital Health Authority and the Royal College of General Practitioners on this matter.
My conviction that the RACGP is providing their members with incorrect information was strengthened by a leaked ADHA document that surfaced this week

'Big data' says you're a cancer risk. Do you want your insurer to know? Do you want to know?

By technology reporter Ariel Bogle
Waiting for your name to be called. The squeeze on your arm from a blood pressure test. Visiting a doctor feels nothing like logging into Facebook, but for how long?
Your health is becoming another data point to be collected and analysed on a massive scale, as clinical records are digitised, apps track our heart rate, and new tools promise they can tell someone's mental state from a tweet.
This growing mass of health data has led some experts to call for a new "social contract" — a fresh negotiation of trust between patients and the groups that want their most intimate information.
While digital healthcare could have significant benefits, University of Maryland artificial intelligence law expert Frank Pasquale warned citizens may need protection from the unintended consequences of big data analytics in healthcare.

Can MHR help reduce medication misadventure?

My Health Record can help prevent medication misadventures that see more than 230,000 people end up in hospital each year, says Dr Steve Hambleton

Each year, approximately 230,000 Australians are admitted to hospital as a result of medication misadventure, costing our health system $1.2 billion each year.
Dr Steve Hambleton, Deputy Chairman of the My Health Record Steering Committee and former AMA President said most of these medical misadventures are preventable.
“Medication mistakes that land people in hospital can cause serious illness and in worst cases, can kill,” said Dr Hambleton.

Winnunga backs My Health Record

By Daniella White
1 September 2018 — 12:00am ADHA Propaganda
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services has backed the controversial My Health Record, saying its clinical benefits for indigenous Canberrans outweigh any risks of stigmatisation or privacy breaches.
A digital My Health Record will be created by the government for all Australians this year unless they opt out by October 15.
It has created fears of privacy breaches and security risks with up to 900,000 health professionals having access to the system.
The government recently moved to clarify the legislation to exclude police or government agencies from having access without a warrant, in the face of growing concerns.
Chief executive of the Digital Health Agency Tim Kelsey was in town to spruik the benefits of My Health Record.
He said he was confident the number of opt outs would not exceed about 10 per cent of the population - similar to other schemes around the world.

My Health Record’s invisible marketing strategy

With bad press swirling around it, it's essential My Health Record gets a solid marketing strategy in place, writes Engaging.io's Fraser Gordon.
August 31, 2018 9:32
The nature of humans means we are often dubious about things we don’t understand. We’re always looking for the catch and waiting to be disappointed. The job of marketers (good ones at least) is to recognise this and make marketing not only engaging, but informative and relevant.
So why exactly does there seem to be so much controversy surrounding the Australian government’s My Health Record program? Is it simply a case of poor marketing, or is there a deeper issue?
My Health Record isn’t something new. Originally called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), the system has been around since 2012 and already six million are enrolled in it, many of whom are unaware how they were enrolled into it.

My Health Record can help prevent medication misadventures that see more than 230,000 people end up in hospital each year

31 August, 2018 - 10:00 ADHA Propaganda
Each year, approximately 230,000 Australians[1] are admitted to hospital as a result of medication misadventure. This is almost four times the annual number of people who are hospitalised as a result of motor vehicle accidents. It’s also costing our health system $1.2 billion each year yet 23 per cent of adverse drug events in primary care are preventable.
Having a My Health Record is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risks of medical misadventure because it can alert healthcare practitioners to any serious patient medication risks before it is too late.
My Health Record is an online summary that allows people to share and control their health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers from anywhere, at any time.

My Health Record controversy

EditorAugust 30, 2018
The My Health Record scheme has proved to be yet another debacle for the already embattled federal government.
Less than one month since announcing that all Australians with a Medicare card will, by default, have a digital health record unless they opt out, the government has been forced to back track and make a number of concessions.
Folding under the outcry surrounding concerns of privacy and the integrity of the model itself, health minister Greg Hunt was forced to extend the opt out deadline by one month and also pledged to put extra security assurances in the legislation.
Before the government announced the new opt out policy, many people had not even heard of My Health Record. Ostensibly, it is an electronic summary of your health information that can be accessed by you and your healthcare providers.

Down With My Health Record

Australia offers a cautionary tale of government tech gone really, really wrong.

1:13 PM
Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.
Wes Mountain, an editor and cartoonist for the Australia-based website the Conversation, decided to opt out of his country’s new “My Health Record” program on the very first day he could.
The project, which Australia has been working on for years at substantial cost, is supposed to make health care more efficient and allow medical providers to better communicate with one another. In its early years, it was an opt-in program that let Australians decide whether to participate. But after spending billions of dollars and many years to build what political leaders assumed would be an appealing program to create a centralized health care database, the government discovered that many citizens weren’t sold on the need for, or benefits of, the program. When less than 25 percent of Australia’s citizens signed up for My Health Record in its first few years, the government didn’t question whether it was a good idea in the first place. Instead, it decided to just sign them up by default. July 16 was first opportunity for people to make the proactive decision not to take part. Then the tweets began.

My Health Record woes detailed in leaked document: Report

It's time for the Australian Digital Health Agency to take a strategic approach, but it seems it would rather fix problems 'on the fly' or just ignore them.
By Stilgherrian for The Full Tilt | August 30, 2018 -- 05:06 GMT (15:06 AEST) | Topic: Digital Transformation
A leaked document from the agency responsible for Australia's centralised digital health records reveals an organisation that's still on the defensive. In some cases it's even still in denial about problems with the system.
The document, obtained by Healthcare IT News (HITN), is dated August 20, and contains the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) responses to questions from community representatives on the My Health Record Expansion Program steering group.
"It is a rare backroom view of the ADHA's reaction to the media storm and public data privacy backlash following the start of the opt-out period in July, and shows an agency variously holding steadfast or fixing problems on the fly," HITN wrote on Wednesday.

My Health Record - Staying In or Opting Out

People With Disabilities ACT have produced a resource kit to support people with disabilities to make an informed decision whether to stay in or opt out of My Health Record.
My Health Record is a digital health record for consumers to view and manage important health information. We know that people with disabilities face more challenges in accessing and managing their healthcare information. There are many benefits to a coordinated system for managing health information, but also considerations about access and privacy.
The aim of these resources are to give a summary of the benefits and potential risks of Staying In or Opting Out of having a My Health Record. Any decision should be considered and informed based on a person’s individual circumstances, needs and support network.

Family backs new health record

29th Aug 2018 3:49 PM  ADHA Propaganda
MY HEALTH Record is here and by the end of 2018 a record will be created for every person with a Medicare or Department of Veterans' Affairs card, unless they choose to opt out.
The national digital health record system is an online summary of your key health information.
Information about health issues such as allergies, current conditions and treatments, medicine details, pathology reports or diagnostic imaging reports will be digitally stored in one place.

Setting the record straight: should you opt out of My Health Record?

On Nightlife with Philip Clark
It’s been six weeks since Australia’s digital health database opt-out period started and there’s been a lot of talk about what you should do.
Even after the Federal Government pledged to improve privacy protections for My Health Record, many Australians have chosen to opt-out of the system; and some of those have even found they already have a record.
Australian Digital Health Record’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr Meredith Makeham, the Australian Medical Association’s Chair of Ethics and Medico-Legal Committee and GP Dr Chris Moy, and UNSW Lecturer Dr Katherine Kemp spoke to Nightlife about some of the concerns raised, identified the intended benefits of the system and made the case for why you might consider staying in.
Duration: 49min 12sec
Broadcast: Wed 29 Aug 2018, 10:00pm

Measuring Australia's digital divide: the Australian digital inclusion index 2018

29 Aug 2018
DOI http://doi.org/10.25916/5b594e4475a00
With a growing range of education, information, government, and community services moving online, internet access is increasingly regarded as an essential service. The benefits of the digital economy cannot be shared equally when some members of the community are still facing real barriers to online participation. Digital inclusion is based on the premise that everyone should be able to make full use of digital technologies – to manage their health and wellbeing, access education and services, organise their finances, and connect with friends, family, and the world beyond.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) was first published in 2016, providing the most comprehensive picture of Australia’s online participation to date. The ADII measures three vital dimensions of digital inclusion: Access, Affordability, and Digital Ability. It shows how these dimensions change over time, according to people’s social and economic circumstances, as well as across geographic locations. Scores are allocated to particular geographic regions and sociodemographic groups, over a five-year period from 2014 to 2018. Higher scores mean greater digital inclusion. This ADII report incorporates data collected up to March 2018.

Government’s plans to strengthen privacy protections for my health record

In a media release on 31 July 2018, the Federal Minister for Health, Mr Greg Hunt announced that the Government will strengthen privacy provisions under the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth) (Act), to match the existing Australian Digital Health Agency’s Privacy Policy (ADHA Policy). This announcement was made after discussions between the Government and the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
The ADHA Policy requires a court order to release any My Health Record information without consent.
The Government’s plan to amend the Act will ensure no record can be released to police or government agencies, for any purpose, without a court order.

Australian government moves to improve My Health Record privacy

It's hardly an example of legislative clarity, but the proposed amendments are intended to address key privacy concerns around the disclosure of personal medical information.
By Stilgherrian for The Full Tilt | August 29, 2018 -- 03:03 GMT (13:03 AEST) | Topic: Security
As well as its poorly organised self-immolation, the Australian government found time last week to introduce legislation intended to fix some of the problems with My Health Record, the nation's centralised digital health records system.
The My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018 [PDF] addresses two of the most prominent problems with the existing legislation: Overly broad access for law enforcement, and the retention of data even when a health record is cancelled.
Under the existing My Health Records Act 2012, individuals' health records can be accessed by hundreds of agencies without a warrant. Health Minister Greg Hunt denied this, but the legislation is clear. His claimed requirement for a warrant or court order is merely the current policy of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), something that can be changed at any time.
August 28 2018 - 7:00PM

My Health Record information sessions to be held in MidCoast Libraries

Local News  ADHA Propaganda
Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network is hosting My Health Record Information Sessions in September.
Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECCPHN) is hosting free information sessions about My Health Record throughout September in various MidCoast Libraries.
My Health Record is Australia’s national digital health record system.
A My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s health information, which can be viewed by the individual and their healthcare providers.

My Health is shifting the control paradigm

By Bianca Phillips*
Wednesday, 29 August, 2018
Once the majority of Australians have a My Health Record, and more practitioners use the system, a new paradigm for health data control will emerge.
Since the creation of health records, it has been commonplace for their storage to be with the practitioner or clinic so they are available for future appointments. With My Health, digital records are stored in the cloud for over a century from the patient’s date of birth and are managed by the government’s system operator. The legislation affords patients mostly unfettered access and control over these digital records.
The right of a private patient to access their medical record first became part of Australian law after the 1996 High Court case of Breen v Williams, when legislative reforms took effect permitting patient access. The law had recognised the benefits of striking a balance between the rights of the practitioner and the patient to health information. Patient access gave them the liberty to move to another provider and take a copy of their file with them, and in some ways made it easier to file a complaint. My Health signals a further broadening of patient control over data. This will empower patients to control their medical information, but carries with it some practical limitations and risks to the practitioner.

Exclusive: Leaked ADHA document shows the agency grappling with My Health Record concerns

Lynne Minion | 29 Aug 2018
A confidential government document has detailed the Australian Digital Health Agency’s response to a raft of concerns about My Health Record, including doctors’ claims they couldn’t sign up, plans yet to be made for securing the details of children in care, and a communications strategy that had failed to adequately reach some vulnerable groups.
The leaked ADHA Q&A contains responses from the agency to questions by members of the My Health Record Expansion Program steering group, which is comprised of consumer, healthcare provider and digital health industry representatives.
According to the official document dated August 20, the steering group raised a number of concerns about the national health database, with data privacy, the safety of domestic violence victims, technical problems and clinician burden among them.
It is a rare backroom view of the ADHA’s reaction to the media storm and public data privacy backlash following the start of the opt out period in July, and shows an agency variously holding steadfast or fixing problems on the fly.

My Health Record

Monday, 27 August 2018 - 8:30am to 9:00am
On this week on Women on the Line we take a closer look at the recent changes to the Australian Government's My Health Record system. Earlier this year the Government announced that the system would be changed from an opt-in to opt-out system. What are the implications of these changes? We chat with Katina Michael (link is external),who is a Professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong, about data and privacy issues with the My Health Record system. Later in the show we hear from Jules Kim, CEO of Scarlett Alliance, chat to us about how the system will impact sex workers.

WEBINAR: Digital Health: My Health Record in OT clinical practice (NATIONAL)

25th Sep 18 -   ADHA Propaganda

Event Location:          Zoom
Register from:            28th Aug 18 11:00 AM
Register up to:           20th Sep 18 11:55 PM
Non-member Price:       AU $ 80 (incl gst)
Member Price:           56.00 (incl gst)
Places Available:       100


At the current stage of progress in digital health, My Health Record is a key feature. I will share my experiences and reflections about My Health Record in OT practice at this early stage and discuss likely trends in digital health in the next couple of years and their implications for OTs.


Participants will gain an understanding of:
  • The emergence of digital health in Australia
  • The purpose of My health Record and the types of documents it contains
  • How the use of MyHR can improve client outcomes and the work of OTs
  • Future trends in digital health
  • How OTs can prepare to engage with developments in digital health

How fake data led me to dump My Health Record

Wrong patient, wrong diagnosis - everything is wrong
Dr Pam Rachootin
24th August 2018
I can feel Big Brother’s presence engulfing me. Today I got a call from the immunisation registry. “I just want to let you know that this call is being recorded for quality assurance. Is that all right?”
“No,” I replied. “Then I have to hang up,” she said, and the line went dead. Since when do I have to be recorded to receive a phone call?
The day before, I was invited to participate in “a short survey about the bowel cancer screening program by the Department of Health”.

Time for a cyber rethink

  • By Ashley Watkins
  • 3:30PM August 27, 2018
With local and global data breaches making news headlines every week, it’s no doubt that the way impacted businesses deal with these breaches is equally in the spotlight. In 2018 all eyes have been on the likes of PageUp, Family Planning NSW and a string of others on how they dealt with the data breach, informed their customers, and reassured the public.
With new regulations such as the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses are required to be much more transparent about breaches and how they handle customer data — something which should be a positive for the industry. However, instead regulations such as these have resulted in many using the compulsory transparency as an excuse to name and shame these companies for a myriad of reasons — jeopardising sensitive information, mishandling supplier networks, or slow disclosure processes that lack transparency.

Game changer: What you need to know about My Health Record

Guest Author 28/08/2018 - ADHA Propaganda
Many patients will have one from 2018.
The change of My Health Record from opt-in to opt-out will be a game-changer for pharmacists, says PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson.
Are you up to date with the My Health Record Guidelines for Pharmacists? The free Future of Pharmacy eBook has an easy summary.
Click here to get your free copy.

Driving a modernised bureaucracy: Turnbull’s lasting legacy

By Tom Burton • 27/08/2018
Malcolm Turnbull’s legacy includes a serious attempt to modernise the federal bureaucracy. Remaking the public sector to be relevant in the digital world remains work in progress and a major challenge for the government, no matter who their leader.
Every prime minister brings something to the machinery of government. For Turnbull, his lasting legacy will be the modernity he sought for the public sector.
At the launch of The Mandarin in 2014, a year before he became prime minister, Turnbull told the audience: “We’ve got to try new things and, if you try new things, a lot of them won’t work, but so what? If you smash people because they try something and it doesn’t work, then they’ll never try anything new again.”

My Health Record: debate rages but there are gems

Authored by  Mukesh Haikerwal
THE My Health Record (MyHR) debate is still raging as the operationalisation of change from “opt in” to “opt out” continues. Many threads intertwine in the vexed program. Then-federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt – at the time of writing, he had tendered his resignation from Cabinet in the middle of the government’s leadership crisis – positively moved to rekindle confidence in the MyHR system and moved the rhetoric from triumphant to acknowledging that we don’t have the “all singing, all dancing bears” in action yet.
On 15 August 2018, the Senate referred the MyHR system to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report. There have been multiple changes to MyHR, so the legislation governing it must reflect this. There is some good in the MyHR system, but it has to evolve and grow. Political obfuscation will be akin to shooting in both feet the goose that lays the golden egg.
We need clinicians, hospitals and citizens to participate in the system. There must be confidence and a wish to participate. We need an admission of MyHR’s shortcomings from the system’s owners and builders, and there must be agreement to work with the clinical community and citizens of Australia to make good on the unquestionable benefits of keeping clinical information about a citizen in their own hands, to support their own care. The goal must be to improve the quality of health care and life, not to stifle progress.
I am guilty of being an evangelist for the use of technology in health, but it must be with the buy-in of the community, including clinicians, and with ongoing vigilance.

The digital divide: small, social programs can help get seniors online

August 27, 2018 6.11am AEST
Older Australians are falling behind younger people in their capacity to access and make use of the internet. www.shutterstock.com


  1. Sue Malta
  2. Raelene Wilding


  1. Loretta Baldassar
In Australia, use of the internet is almost universal. At last count, 86% of the population was digitally connected.
Despite the continuing stereotype that many older people are not technologically savvy, or that they can’t learn new things, in 2015 79% of people aged 65 and over had used the internet compared to 6% in 2001.
Increasingly, government services such as myGov and myagedcare rely on individuals having access to computers and the internet, and the knowledge of how to use them. Older adults who do not have these skills may therefore miss out on the services and support they require.
Comments welcome!


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Taking about medication management

"Can MHR help reduce medication misadventure?
My Health Record can help prevent medication misadventures that see more than 230,000 people end up in hospital each year, says Dr Steve Hambleton"

Do you suppose the doctor know about this, which has been around for years:


This is nps:

"NPS MedicineWise is an independent, not-for-profit and evidence-based organisation that works to improve the way health technologies, medicines and medical tests are prescribed and used."

This is the app:

MedicineWise smartphone app

Using the free MedicineWise smartphone app means you will always have your medicines and health information with you. It can also:

-> remind you how and when to take your medicines so you can get the most out of them help everyone involved in your health care to know which medicines you use so medicines mistakes are prevented

-> help your doctor and pharmacist to check and review your medicines so they can make the right decisions about your health

-> provide vital information about your medicines in an emergency, helping to ensure your safety.

-> Enter and update your information, and set alarms to remind you when to take your medicines.

Is ADHA really, seriously, with a straight face, trying to tell people that myhr is better than this?

Unfortunately, Yes.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

While we are (or at least I am) on about medication management:


"Having a My Health Record is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risks of medical misadventure because it can alert healthcare practitioners to any serious patient medication risks before it is too late."

Can someone confirm that Myhr has a proactive, alert function? Or do they really mean:

"If a healthcare practitioner gets round to examining all the prescription data in a myhr they might just, on the off chance, notice that there could be a problem, assuming the patient is actually taking their meds as prescribed and in the dosage indicated?

Anonymous said...

Having a is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risks of medical misadventure because it can alert healthcare practitioners to any serious patient medication risks before it is too late."

This is the most substance free dribble yet. Apart from most likely being misleading advertising, just how serious a clinical risk is this? I mean there will be millions of people walking around thinking the MyHR is solving all their cares and worries, so why bother taking an interest in knowing and tracking medication use.

As Pablo Picasso would say “I’d rather a frontal lobotomy than a MyHR.”

Anonymous said...

The volume of advertorials comming forth are obvious, interestingly that is all the seems to be comming out of ADHA. No real evidence backing the value of MyHR. I wonder if the problem we have is politics is so wrapped up in Twitter and social media, being seen to be everywhere, that no one in government actually has anytime to sit down and actually think things through, they seem to jump from one PowerPoint statement to the next and carry little understanding of what they are spouting

Anonymous said...

The MyHR doesn’t yet hold a “curated medications list”. Until it does (and I think they do have plans to include a “curated medicines list” document), the MyHR instead holds an incomplete and out of date list of dispensed medicines and pbs claims information. This information would need to be checked with the patient/carer, local records, the local dispensing pharmacist to see if it is relevant and useful. Yet another silo of data for the clinician to check and compare, and to be wary of the data quality and currency. I am sure that clinicians already understand the struggles with getting complete and current meds data, and will be very miffed if the MyHR is being sold as something it is not. Better to be honest surely, and work with clinicians towards the proposed improvements.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

How exactly would/could myhr fix the pill hoarding problem?

Surgery patients are hoarding excess strong painkillers: study

Australian patients are routinely discharged after surgery with a box of addictive opioid tablets such as oxycodone, a new study has revealed.

Weeks later, most are still holding on to excess pills.


Who knew health care was so complicated?