Australia’s peak digital health and health information organisations have united to support sharing health information through the Government’s MyHR to create better health outcomes for all Australians.

 The Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) and the Health Information Management Australia Association (HIMAA) also endorse the Government’s move to implement an “opt-out” record.

The peak membership bodies, who together provide accreditation, education, training and professional certification for the majority of Australia’s digital health professionals, say the sharing of patient information is in everyone’s interest.  The conversation should always be about how to ensure better patient care.

The three bodies have workforce development strategies or programs for clinicians and health professionals with the goal of ensuring everyone working in the health system will be prepared for the digital health future.

HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper said: “We believe ‘opt-out’ makes the health record work for the health system as a whole but preserves the individual’s right to choose”.

“HISA and ACHI members have long been aware of the risks and consequences of the lack of information sharing in healthcare and many have dedicated their careers to reducing those risks.

“Since the Government’s announcement in 2010 on the proposed establishment of individual electronic health records, many HISA and ACHI members have worked and are still working tirelessly, on improving access to health information for clinicians and patients,” she said.

“The MyHR is an important step on this journey.  A healthcare system that continues to work in silos is not good healthcare.

“The MyHR will be incredibly invaluable in bringing together the fragmented stories of our personal health journeys. For the first time, it will bring providers, individual patients and their carers together and give us access to our own health information,” she said.

“HIMAA agrees,” said HIMAA CEO Richard Lawrance, “The opt out option is not a wild card solution.

“Consumer research in Australia has supported evidence from around the world that patients actually prefer their health information to be available at point of care,  and shared between healthcare providers in the interests of a seamless healthcare journey, wherever in the country that may occur.

“HIMAA members understand that the MyHR is based on defence-grade information infrastructure, and they will continue to work with their fellow frontline health information colleagues towards its integration with similar technology in the hospital system to ensure anticipated outcomes in quality of care as well as cost burden improvement, including stronger accuracy, privacy and confidentiality provisions.”