Change required to manage My Health Record expansion


Last week's COAG Health Council meeting, including federal, state and territory health ministers, agreed on the need for change to ensure jurisdictions are ready for the dramatic expansion in the use of My Health Record by the end of 2018.

"Ministers agreed that the expansion of the My Health Record for every Australian will require changes to jurisdictional health IT systems and that all jurisdictions should assess the readiness of their infrastructure to handle increased uploading and viewing.

"The Australian Digital Health Agency is working with jurisdictions on their readiness for the My Health Record expansion, including educating healthcare providers and preparing for increased load," said the meeting communique.

The Turnbull government allocated $374.2 million over two years in the 2017-18 Budget for the nationwide implementation of the My Health Record opt-out system. Under the new system, every Australian will have a My Health Record by the end of 2018 unless they choose not to opt-out. The system currently has over five million users.

One of the issues identified is the interoperability of existing IT health systems, across the states and territories, but also across the public and private systems.

The Australian Digital Health Agency released a Request for Tender (RFT) earlier this year to develop a Strategic Interoperability Framework. It said the creation of a more interoperable environment will take 5 to 10 years.

Health ministers acknowledged the issue at last week's COAG Health Council meeting, noting, "...the current state of connection of state and territory health IT systems to the My Health Record, which shows variations in hospital systems connected across different jurisdictions and the degree to which information in the My Health Record is viewed."