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My Health Record

My Health Record (MHR) is a centralised digital database housing an individual’s health information in Australia. On this webpage, NAPWHA provides information and links to resources on risks and impacts on MHR, addressing specific concerns for people living with HIV.

From 31 January 2019, the MHR scheme transitioned from being ‘opt-in’ to ‘opt-out’. This meant that unless an individual chose not to participate in the scheme, an MHR account was automatically created by the Australian Digital Health Agency for them. Individuals can choose to delete their MHR at any time.

What information is stored on a MHR?

My Health Record (MHR) is an online centralised digital database owned by the Australian federal government of summary health information for all Australians, including people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the one place. The information can be accessed by the individual, selected healthcare providers and various other participants in the MHR system.

Healthcare providers such as GPs, specialists, pharmacists and hospital staff can all add documents to your MHR. Your MHR will be populated with Medicare (PBS and MBS items, like the last time you went to see your doctor) records from the previous two years as the record is set up. It can include your prescriptions, your medical conditions, allergies, test results (like pathology results, sexual health screenings, blood tests or X-ray reports). It can also hold documents uploaded by your GP (like referral letters to specialists) and hospitals can upload discharge summaries and follow-up care information. This is what is known as ‘primary use’ of your MHR.

For some PLHIV this might be useful. It will improve health outcomes and reduce waiting times for test results and inefficiency (pathology, polypharmacy, etc). It is likely to reduce the incidence of adverse medical events and ensure everyone has the information they need to treat you in a responsive and timely way. 

Want to see how the My Health Record website works on a fictitious record?
You can access a My Health Record Consumer Portal “Sandpit Environment” which simulates the look and functionality of a consumer’s view of the My Health Record system for a fictitious patient, and replicates many of the functions with which consumers may interact. The training environment also provides a simulation of the My Health Record Consumer Portal. This system simulates the look and functionality of a consumer’s view of the My Health Record system for a fictitious patient, and replicates many of the functions with which consumers may interact.

Get started with On-Demand training

1. In a web browser, type the web address to take you to a login screen:  https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/using-the-my-health-record-system/digital-health-training-resources/on-demand

2. The username is ‘OnDemandTrainingUser’ and should be completed for you in the field. (Note that the username is case sensitive)

3. The password is ‘TrainMe’ in the field. (Note that the password is case sensitive)

4. Click ‘Go to On Demand Training’. This will take you to the My Health Record “Sandpit Environment”.

5. Select the patient called ‘Caleb Derrington’ – as he has the most documents in his My Health Record, so it’s easier to get a feel for how it works.

Risks and impacts of your MHR

The NAPWHA My Health Record Factsheet published in 2018, is a resource that gives basic information on privacy concerns of MHR, and outlines some of the benefits and risks.

In order to properly operate the privacy controls of MHR, you would need to understand and assess every single piece of information on your MHR and make a decision about who it should be shared with. You will also need to have the IT skills to operate the system and set the controls. If you have limited time or limited tech skills, you may not be able to effectively operate the privacy controls and your information could be unnecessarily disclosed.

Control who can look at your MHR information

Control who can look at your My Health Record information — this resource published by the Australian Digital Health Agency offers gives a step-by-step guide to how to set access controls on your My Health Record.

Only the healthcare providers giving you medical care can look
at your MHR. If you want extra privacy, you can set access codes or delete documents and Medicare information from your record at any time. This resource includes instructions on how to set a Record Access Code; how to remove a doctor from the Healthcare Provider Access list; and how to set a Limited Document Access Code.

How MHR information is protected

How your My Health Record information is protected — this resource published by the Australian Digital Health Agency offers a frequently asked questions.

Who can see my health information? Can the police, Centrelink and ATO access my record? Can an insurance company or my employer access my record? Can my health information be used for research? Can someone use Google to find my health information? What if someone looks at my record when they shouldn’t have? What if there is information that I don’t want my healthcare provider to see? Do I have to do anything to keep my health information private?

Control your health information securely, in one place

Control your health information securely in one place — this resource published by the Australian Digital Health Agency outlines basic information of My Health Record.

How to look at your My Health Record for the first time. How your healthcare provider uses your My Health Record. Control who can see your health information. Setting your notification preferences.
When you first look at your record, there may not be much information in it. Your past medical records and test results may not be in it. You or your healthcare provider can start adding new information to your My Health Record at any time.

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