Best-practice guides on safe use of My Health Record

Female nurse holding elderly patient hand - NSW Health
10 December 2019

With nine out of 10 Australians now holding a My Health Record, NSW clinicians are being supported in how to use it safely and effectively.

A patient’s My Health Record potentially contains vital information from other healthcare providers such as GPs and community pharmacies, with peak bodies such as the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia saying it will lead to improved medicine safety.

eHealth NSW has been working with the Ministry of Health, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and clinicians from Local Health Districts and Specialty Health Networks to develop a best-practice guide for NSW Health clinicians.

In October, a draft HealtheNet and My Health Record Clinical Guide and Fact Sheet were circulated among NSW Health staff and medical defence organisations for consultation, which closed on 31 October.

eHealth NSW and Ministry of Health are now incorporating that feedback into an updated Clinical Guide and Fact Sheet, to be finalised and published on the eHealth NSW website and the NSW Health website in early 2020.

This material will complement Australia-wide clinical guidance for the use of My Health Record in Emergency Departments, prepared by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) on behalf of the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Importantly, the ACSQHC Guide notes that a patient’s My Health Record is not a complete reflection of a patient’s medical history and that the system will evolve over time. It advises clinicians to be familiar with their local policies in relation to how to access a patient’s My Health Record.

To that end, the NSW guidance material should be every NSW Health clinician’s primary source of advice and information on HealtheNet and My Health Record, given it sets out local policies and procedures.

The NSW Health guidance material instructs that where emergency access to MHR occurs (for example, when accessing an Advance Care Directive), and if treatment is modified on the basis of MHR content, the clinician must document in the patient’s electronic medical record that she/he has accessed the patient’s MHR and based the treatment plan on that content.

For more information on HealtheNet and My Health Record, email healthenet@health.nsw.gov.au

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