A third of poll respondents don’t want a My Health Record

data representation with lock

More than a third of pharmacies are now registered for My Health Record, according to AJP’s latest poll

A significant minority of AJP readers have enough concerns that they have decided not to have a My Health Record themselves, a small AJP poll shows.

Between 16 July and 15 October 2018, Australians will be able to “opt out” of having a My Health Record.

More than a quarter – 26% at the time of writing (18 votes) – of AJP readers say they will opt out due to privacy concerns.

Stakeholders have previously expressed concern about privacy issues, with Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King on the record recently saying that the Coalition Government’s track record on IT security and privacy is “woeful”.

While Labor supports an electronic health record, “given this is the same Government that gave us census fail, stuffed up robodebt, and allowed Australians’ Medicare data to be sold on the darkweb, we have concerns about their ability to properly implement this reform,” she said.

The Australian Privacy Foundation has also criticised My Health Record as an “unreliable, incomplete, out of date summary health record system” which it says will not be of any value to health professionals.

“You can only see which institution has accessed your record, not which individual – a major flaw in auditing, security and accountability. The minister doesn’t mention that ‘the institution’ could be a medical centre, a large hospital group, a pathology company or a pharmacy chain, with potentially hundreds or thousands of people able to access your record under the one name of that organisation,” the Foundation claims.

Another 7% say they will not have a My Health Record due to other concerns, while 10% haven’t made up their minds yet.

Thirty-six per cent of AJP readers say they already have a My Health Record, with another 21% saying they don’t plan to opt out.

We also asked whether our readers’ pharmacies had either registered for, or activated, My Health Record, and found that 37% (79 votes) have done so.

Another 39% (84 votes) had not, while 50 readers (23%) weren’t sure.

Meanwhile reader pagophilus pointed out that “hospital software is not up to date with My Health Record yet”.

The figure roughly corresponds to that released by the Pharmacy Guild last week: in the latest edition of Forefront the organisation said that more than 40% of community pharmacies are now registered.

The Guild and PSA have described My Health Record as “strategically very valuable” and a “game changer” for pharmacy respectively.

Guild executive director David Quilty described the system last week as one which “will drive improved collaboration and integration in our health system” over time.

“The clinical support that is regularly provided by community pharmacists and which is recorded electronically in pharmacy dispensing systems and services platforms, such as GuildCare, has remained largely invisible to the broader health system,” he wrote.

“Over time, the My Health Record will play a key role in overcoming these IT siloes.

“In the more immediate term, with virtually all Australians likely to have a health record by the end of this year under the opt-out regime, community pharmacies will have access to the recent MBS and PBS records of their patients as well as increasingly being able to access hospital discharge summaries, the results of pathology and radiology tests, and patient vaccination and allergy-related information.”

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