The Australian Digital Health Agency is encouraging parents to have My Health Records for their children, saying these could save lives
Parents are being encouraged to talk about the electronic records at their local pharmacy, GP or via other healthcare providers, to find out the benefits of their children having a record.
The ADHA says My Health Records are a simple way for parents to monitor their child’s health, providing information such as allergies, immunisations, test results and health checks in one place.
It says that a popular feature of My Health Record is the immunisation history, which allows parents to access the history easily and ensure children are up to date with their vaccinations.
My Health Record also has a dedicated My Childhood Development section, which is similar to the “Baby Book” used by states and territories.
This section allows parents to monitor their child’s progress and keep a precise record about growth, medications, immunisations and other interactions with the health system.
“A child who has a My Health Record from birth will enjoy the great benefit of having a lifelong secure personal record of all of their key health information,” says clinical professor and Chief Medical Adviser to the ADHA, Meredith Makeham.
“This information could save your child’s life in an emergency and empowers you as their parent with secure access to key information about your child’s engagement with the health system.
“It provides children with a vitally important resource for the rest of their lives – an accurate memory of their early journey through the healthcare system – and access to their own personal medical story.
“As a young adult preparing to travel overseas, I would have loved to have had a list of immunisations at my fingertips – this is exactly what children with a My Health Record will have.”
My Health Record is reportedly in use by more than 5.9 million Australians and 12,860 healthcare organisations including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies and pathology practices.
Information sessions are being held around the country so parents can better understand what My Health Record means for them and their families. Playgroup Australia is providing information about My Health Record at its community venues across the country.
Meanwhile it was recently reported that in its own Q&A publication sent to doctors, ADHA admitted there have been nine data breaches associated with the record.
According to a News Corp investigation, there were six data breach notifications within My Health Record the 2016-17 financial year, and three notifications in the previous financial year.
This is despite Health Minister Greg Hunt asserting on a number of occasions that there have been no breaches of the system.