Benefits of My Health Record for healthcare professionals

17 July, 2018

The public 3 month opt-out period for My Health Record is open until 15th October 2018. How will your patients embrace or refusal of the system effect your practice?

The My Health Record system can transform quality, experience and value in Australia's healthcare system through a range of important benefits.

Positive behaviour change as a result of My Health Record is what drives benefits realisation. The Australian Digital Health Agency is working closely with a range of stakeholders to implement a range of programs to support these changes and to measure benefits of the My Health Record system. 

The key benefits of the My Health Record system are:

  • Avoid adverse drug events 
  • Enhanced patient self-management
  • Improvements in patient outcomes
  • Reduce time gathering information
  • Avoided duplication of services.

How can My Health Record transform healthcare? 

Improving medication safety

A signification proportion of medication errors that lead to harmful medication safety incidents and Adverse Drug Events (ADE) may be preventable through increased accessibility to patient information, such as that provided by My Health Record. Evidence suggests that:

  • 2% to 3% of hospital admissions are caused by medication errors (230,000 per year at a cost of $1.2 billion annually) (1)(2)
  • approximately 10% of patients seeing a general practitioner report experiencing an ADE in the last 6 months (1)
  • there may be an overall rate of 2 medication errors for every 3 patients at the time of admission to hospital (2) 
  • there is approximately 1 error per 10 medication administrations in hospital (2)
  • 12% to 13% of discharge summaries contain medication errors (2 per patient). (2)

Access to information for people and their care providers

Access to information via My Health Record will enable self-management and reduce clinicians' time necessary to perform several information-led tasks, freeing up productivity for more critical activities. Evidence suggests that:

  • enabling self-management will save $1,300 to $7,515 per patient per year, and significantly lower hospital re-admission rates (1)
  • 13.6% of visits had important clinical information missing in primary care (3)
  • in 57.3% of visits clinicians believed missing information was outside their clinical system. (3)

My Health Record offers an electronic summary of an individual's key health information that can be shared securely online between the individual and registered healthcare providers involved in their care to support improved decision making and continuity of care. 

Reducing unnecessary test duplication

Evidence suggests that through the use of an electronic health record there is an estimated 18% reduction in test duplication (4).

Through My Health Record the savings in test duplication are:

  • estimated 6.5% of pathology tests are avoidable (5)
  • estimated 4.4% of diagnostic images are avoidable. (5)

How are benefits realised?

Technology drives positive changes to the way people work. These positive changes in behaviour (e.g., changing the process to complete a task or changing the tools to support a process) are what drive benefits realisation. For the My Health Record system, these elements include:

  • uploading of information to the My Health Record system from clinical information systems
  • a larger proportion of Australians with a My Health Record
  • healthcare organisations being connected to the My Health Record system to allow viewing and use of the information in the system
  • supporting clinicians and individuals to understand how to view information in the My Health Record system.

The implementation of the above elements in combination with positive changes in behaviour of both clinicians and individuals drives benefits realisation.