Monday, 16 December 2019 23:12

Big growth in sharing patient info by healthcare providers on My Health Record Featured

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The Australian Digital Health Agency has reported a 140% growth of healthcare providers sharing and collaborating on patient information following the upgrading of the My Health Record system announced in September.

The agency says pharmacies are currently the biggest contributors to the system, uploading over 4 million documents every month with GPs also adding between 2 and 3 million documents every month.

In September, as reported by iTWire, the agency said that more than 31 million clinical documents and more than 1.3 billion Medicare documents had already been uploaded to the My Health Record digital health program, with patients benefiting from improved usability online.

In an update published on Monday, agency Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Meredith Makeham, said that “while we have published general participation statistics in the past, this update has been tailored for consumers following research which showed that more insight and relevance was needed about the statistics”.

“The update provides a more granular view of how My Health Record is being used and how this is changing over time,” Professor Makeham said.

Professor Makeham said the agency’s My Health Record statistics will be published on the My Health Record website regularly to provide more transparency around how the system is being used by consumers and healthcare providers.

As well as revealing that pharmacies are the biggest contributors to the system, key facts released on Monday show that:

  • There has been a 140% growth of healthcare providers sharing and collaborating on patient information, with both viewing and uploading information close to equal.
  • GPs are the highest users of the system, accessing documents uploaded by other GPs and healthcare providers to inform their clinical decision-making.
  • The number of My Health Records containing Medicare, clinical or medicine documents has more than doubled since January (5.39 million), now more than 12.5 million have documents in them - typically following an interaction with a healthcare provider.
  • Over 1.6 billion documents have been uploaded to My Health Records, including over 40 million clinical documents and 90 million medicine documents. More than 679 million of these have been uploaded in the last nine months alone.
  • Around 90% of public hospital beds, general practices and pharmacies are now registered to use My Health Record, with around 70 per cent uploading or viewing documents.
  • There are also over 6 million records with immunisation information and more than 1.2 million records with organ donor register information.

The Agency’s My Health Record statistics will be published on the My Health Record website regularly to provide more transparency around how the system is being used by consumers and healthcare providers.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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