The Australian Digital Health Agency has released new data showing that the number of pharmacies signed up to My Health record has skyrocketed
According to the Agency, as at April 2018 – before the opt-out period began – only 33% of pharmacies were registered with the system.
As at April 2019, this had climbed to 83%.
Pharmacists are also uploading and viewing My Health Record more often, with a 667% increase in the number of dispense records uploaded to the system, and a 942% increase in the number of record views, when comparing April 2018 to April 2019.
And Tasmanian and Northern Territorian pharmacies are the most likely to be signed up, with 97% of pharmacies in these jurisdictions registered to access My Health Record.
In last place are Canberrans (76%) and Western Australians (74%).
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s national president, Chris Freeman, highlighted that more than 250,000 Australians are hospitalised each year because of medication errors, inappropriate use, misadventure or interactions – a fact noted in the PSA’s recent Medicine Safety: Take Care report.
“A large percentage of these hospitalisations could be prevented with better information about a patient’s medications,” Dr Freeman said.
“A patient’s medication profile can change suddenly, particularly if the patient has presented to hospital. These sudden changes can lead to new risks if the treating team doesn’t know all of the medicines that the patient was taking beforehand.”
“The Agency has invested heavily to connect pharmacies to the My Health Record system to help reduce the number of medication-related hospitalisations each year,” said Agency Chief Medical Adviser, Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham.
“It can be easy to lose track of your medicines, particularly if you’re taking more than one and don’t have a regular GP or pharmacist to help you keep on top of what medicines you need.
“My Health Record ensures that no matter where you are, or which healthcare provider you see, your medication details are available in one place. This visibility helps pharmacists, and all healthcare providers that use My Health Record, to make more informed decisions when providing treatment or care.”