THOUSANDS of Lithgow residents are now able to access their My Health Record created as part of a national trial.
A My Health Record is an online summary of a person’s important health information such as medications, allergies and medical history that can be shared with healthcare providers.
People can now add personal information, customise their privacy settings and nominate representatives to assist them in managing their information ahead of GPs and other health professionals contributing information from mid-July.
Carers, such as parents or legal guardians, can now also apply to access the records of any people in their care such as children or people without capacity to manage their own My Health Record.
From July 15, authorised healthcare providers will be able to be access the newly created records My Health Records around the clock from anywhere in Australia.
People can access their My Health Record via MyGov which is a secure online gateway to important government services such as Centrelink, Medicare and the Australian Taxation Office.
A step-by-step guide about how to access My Health Record is available on the My Health Record website (www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/StepbyStepGuide).
Some of the important security features of My Health Record include being able to control which healthcare organisations can view the record and being notified by SMS or email when the record has been opened.
The Nepean Blue Mountains PHN (NBMPHN) region was one of two areas selected by the government to trial the automatic creation of My Health Records for all residents to increase individual and healthcare provider participation in the My Health Record system.
More than 390,000 records have been created for people across the Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Hawkesbury and Penrith areas which will add to the 2.7 million records already in existence.
It is expected that the large increase in the number of My Health Records will make using the system a routine, day-to-day experience for both healthcare providers and consumers.
“My Health Record will mean healthcare providers will have better access to important medical information when they need it and this will improve the care they can provide,” NBMPHN CEO, Lizz Reay, said.
“Doctors and consumers can see the potential that My Health Record has to provide a seamless health journey between different healthcare providers,” Ms Reay said.
“NBMPHN has been working closely with GPs in our region to ensure they can routinely view and add patient information,” Ms Reay said.
“Adding information into My Health Record is going to become second nature to us all just like online banking or online shopping.”
“The more healthcare providers use the system the better connected our health sector will become and the better the care patients will receive.
“That is why we are working with pharmacies, residential aged care facilities, specialists and allied health providers such as physiotherapists, psychologists and dietitians to access the system.”
It is estimated that electronic heath records could save up to 5000 lives each year and help to avoid 500,000 visits to hospital emergency departments.