Final days for opt out decision not end of choice
Thursday November 15 marks the end of the opt-out period for the My Health Record system, but it’s not the end of consumer choice relating to Australia’s digital health record.
Every Australian with a Medicare card or Department of Veteran’s card will receive a My Health Record by the end of 2018 unless they have opted out through the My Health Record website or the helpline by November 15.
“Over 6 million Australians have registered for a My Health Record since its inception in 2012. This number grew during the opt-out period as some people saw the benefits of joining and didn’t want to wait for the automatic creation of the records at the end of the year”, said Amanda Wilkinson, North Coast Primary Health Network’s My Health Record Program Manager.
“Those who have opted out in the 4-month period since July can still register for a record in the future at any time. Conversely, any person who receives one and decides to cancel the record later has the flexibility to do so.
“Others who opt out now, but then learn of the security features which offer better protection than they expected can register anytime in the future,” she added.
Improved features include:
- the ability to set a Record Access Code or a Limited Document Access Code to control which healthcare providers can view your My Health Record or certain documents within it
- the ability to set up email or SMS notifications to alert you when a new healthcare provider accesses your My Health Record
My Health Record is an online library of your key health information, and can be accessed by your regular healthcare providers, community pharmacies and hospitals. Your record travels with you and includes information such as hospital discharge summaries, allergies, medicines information and pathology test results. Your record retains this key information, so you and your healthcare providers can access it when it is needed.
This year more than 8500 local residents have met with North Coast Primary Health Network staff to learn about My Health Record and how it might benefit them, with some residents choosing to create a record for themselves already.
Ballina resident Ken Knight registered for a My Health Record in 2012 when it first came out and often talks about the benefits he has realised over the years.
“When the doctors ask me a lot of questions and then the hospital staff ask me the same questions, such as what tablets I’m taking and what health problems I’ve had, I tell them to look at my My Health Record and they can see everything there. At Lismore Hospital I told them ‘I have a My Health Record’ and they looked it up. It saved me having to repeat myself,” said Ken.
North Coast PHN staff have attended over 130 community events since July this year and have enjoyed talking to residents about My Health Record.
“We have engaged with our community at many different types of events this year, from Port Macquarie Library to the Tweed Hospital, and are excited to keep educating people about how My Health Record could be of use to them and their families.
“At our upcoming events residents can expect to learn what is contained in their record, who has access to it, what types of access and security settings they can put on their records, and how to opt out of having a record if they do not want one. There will also be an opportunity to ask our team any questions about their My Health Record,” ” Amanda added.
Clarence Valley residents can attend My Health Record the information session on November 14 at Grafton Library form 5.30pm – 7pm.
For more information on attending the session, please contact North Coast Primary Health Network on 6618 5400.
Those who decide not to have a record can opt out by visiting MyHealthRecord.gov.au or by calling 1800 723 471.