Tuesday, 28 January 2020 23:29

Uploads to My Health Records reach 13 million in December with increased use by healthcare providers Featured

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The number of documents uploaded to My Health Records by healthcare providers continues to soar, with the total in December 2019 reaching nearly 13 million records - up from 12.5 million in November.

Also, between November and December, there was an 11% increase in the volume of medicine documents uploaded by healthcare providers like GPs and pharmacies, to more than 100 million documents and a 13% increase in clinical documents uploaded by healthcare providers like hospitals, pathologists and radiologists.

In December alone, GPs uploaded nearly 3 million documents and their viewing increased 10%.

The total number of documents in the My Health Record system is now 1.7 billion.

The December 2019 My Health Record statistics were published on Tuesday by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Professor Meredith Makeham, the agency’s chief medical officer, said “While it was not expected that all My Health Records would have documents uploaded in the first year as not everyone would see a GP or other connected healthcare provider service in that timeframe, we are now seeing significant increases in uploaded clinical documents and My Health Records with valuable clinical information”.

According to My Health Records,Paul Smith, a pharmacist at Capital Chemist in Huskisson NSW, was able to dispense medications to both locals and visitors trapped in the town by bushfires.

Smith said “In the lead up to New Year’s Eve, Huskisson and surrounding towns in NSW had an unusually large number of travellers and locals seemingly stranded without their prescriptions or regular medications. These medications included your run-of-the-mill blood pressure tablets and the like, but there were patients without their insulin, anti-epileptic medications, anti-depressants, preventative asthma inhalers, and numerous others.”

“Having access to the My Health Record database certainly helped me a great deal during this unprecedented time, as I was able to ensure a continuity of care in a safe and legal fashion.”

“The main hurdle I faced was assisting patients who had chosen to opt out of the My Health Record system. It is an extremely bad situation to be in when there were no local surgeries open, the roads to the closest public hospital were closed, and the person had nothing to show you that they are normally prescribed.”

My Health Records key statistics from March 2019 to December 2019 include:

  • 22.68 million My Health Records (an increase of 30,000 in December)
  • 12.99 million records with information in them (an increase of 490,000 in December)
  • 1.7 billion documents in the system (100 million increase in December)
  • 49.3 million clinical documents (5.7 million increase in December)
  • 101.4 million medicine documents (9.8 million increase in December)
  • Hospitals uploaded 500,000 more documents in December than November

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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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