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Australia’s My Health Record to include diagnostic imaging reports and assist in better palliative care

Australia’s My Health Record to include diagnostic imaging reports and assist in better palliative care

Having a
My Health record is important because it provides an online summary of a
person’s key health information, which is controlled by the individual,
allowing access to health care providers involved in a person’s care in order
to deliver better health outcomes for patients.

An announcement
by the Australian
Digital Health Agency
discussed how Australians will
receive improved diagnostic imaging reports after Perth Radiological Clinic
(PRC), NSW Health and Mater Group announce connections to My Health Record. An enhanced
access to diagnostic imaging reports will be granted to Australians living in
Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland after the Perth Radiological Clinic (PRC), NSW Health, and the Mater
Group
,
respectively, have all announced connections to My Health Record.

Diagnostic
imaging is an important clinical tool because it allows earlier diagnosis, less
invasive treatments, and the ability to monitor progress in patients. Thousands
of Australians rely every day on x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs and other imaging
tests to help healthcare providers make a diagnosis.

PRC is the
first private radiology practice in Australia to send diagnostic imaging
reports to the My Health Record system as explained by PRC Chairman and
radiologist Dr Martin Blake.

Dr Blake
furthered, “PRC was established in 1948 and seventy years later we have
achieved yet another first for Western Australians. Sharing information with
our patients and all clinicians connected with their care is a significant step
forward for the community.”

NSW is
proud of sending imaging reports to My Health Record, reaching yet another
important milestone, as said by eHealth NSW Chief Executive Dr Zoran Bolevich.

“This
builds on the significant work we’ve already undertaken including the
commencement of uploading pathology records. Doing so via our HealtheNet
Clinical Portal is another great step forward in supporting the state’s
clinicians to connect patient care across primary and acute settings in NSW and
nationally.

Initially
patients in Western Sydney, Northern Sydney, Central Coast, and Nepean Blue
Mountains local health districts will be able to see radiology reports in their
My Health Record. This feature will be extended across most of the state by
June,” Dr Bolevich said.

Western
Sydney Local Health District Chief Medical Information Officer Associate
Professor Naren Gunja said that My Health Record and the HealtheNet Clinical
Portal have the promise of connecting healthcare information for patients,
allowing visibility across the system and improving patient safety.

“Uploading
diagnostic imaging reports to the My Health Record is wonderful as it saves
time for GPs who were previously ringing the radiology department to get
imaging reports read out or faxed to them,” Associate Professor Gunja said.

More Queensland
patients will also gain access to diagnostic reports.  Dr Shane Kelly, Mater Group CEO, shared that
Mater is upgrading its systems to connect their pathology and diagnostic
imaging practices with My Health Record.

“Our
mission drives our concerted pursuit of safe and evidence-based patient care,
and this important initiative demonstrates this commitment. This project is well
underway and Mater aims to start uploading diagnostic reports around mid-year,”
Dr Kelly said.

Australian
Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said that they are aiming at increasing
the number of diagnostic and pathology organisations connected to My Health
Record. 

“The
Agency is encouraging all diagnostic imaging organisations in Australia to
connect to My Health Record because these services are leading to increased
clinical usefulness and improved health benefits for Australians,” Mr Kelsey
said.

In a
different announcement
by the Australian Digital Health Agency, Australians are being encouraged to
include My Health Record in the ‘What Matters Most?’ during the National
Palliative Care Week 20 to 26 May 2018. It emphasised that being able to take control of their own health and their
digital health information is what matters most to people. For those people
requiring palliative care, having My Health Record takes a lot of the pressure
off.

Palliative
Care Australia CEO Liz Callaghan said that palliative care is not only about
care provided in the final stages of life, but also helps those affected to
live well with a terminal illness.

According
to Ms Callaghan, “People accessing palliative care
services often have complex needs and their care team includes many health
professionals including pharmacists, doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.
My Health Record makes it easier for those professionals to share information
about medications, test results, and care plans.”

Agency Chief
Clinical Information Officer and Executive General Manager Dr Monica Trujillo
said palliative care is for people of any age who have been told that they have
a serious illness that cannot be cured; it’s about assisting in managing
symptoms and improving quality of life.

“My Health
Record can enable important health information including allergies, medical conditions,
medicines, pathology and imaging reports to be accessed through one system. The
benefits could include reduced hospital admissions, reduced duplication of
tests, better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex
conditions, and better informed treatment decisions,” Dr Trujillo said.

Carers
Australia CEO Ara Cresswell said My Health Record can also assist with carers
or loved ones who want to assist the patient going through palliative care.

Ms
Cresswell added, “My Health Record can lessen the stress of having to remember
details of the diagnoses and treatments of others, and help prevent adverse
medication events. The ability to upload the patient’s end-of-life preferences
can also lessen the distress of those forced into making very difficult
decisions on behalf of a family member not able to communicate their own
wishes.”

Recently,
the Australian Digital Health Agency also released
a 3-month opt out period for My Health Record that will run from 16 July to 15
October 2018. Since every Australian will be offered a My Health Record, they
can choose not to have one during the said period.

Another
announcement was also released
earlier, this time about the framework for My Health Record in order to deliver
better outcomes for patients. The Framework defines how data on the My Health
Record system can be used for research and public health purposes while
preserving privacy and security of data in the system.