The Australian Digital Health Agency and the University of Sydney have partnered on a pilot program to assess how the My Health Record platform can improve the cardiology service.

During the study, clinicians at Westmead Hospital will have access to participating patient's My Health Record, drawing on the information within the record to make a quicker diagnosis or decisions for treatment.

Other goals of the pilot program aim to reduce duplicate testing and bolster support for communication among healthcare providers through the My Health Record shared healthy summary feature.

A My Health record provides GPs, pharmacies and health systems with the ability to view a patient's health information securely online.

It also allows healthcare providers involved in the user's care to view the person's health records, and health professionals can upload, view and share documents, diagnose and provide treatment.

"Our study aims to provide greater accessibility to the information needed to better treat all Australians suffering chest pain, and to safely divert people with non-acute chest pain from being admitted to hospital," saif Clara Chow, academic director of the Westmead Applied Research Centre, in a statement published in the Australian Journal of Pharmacy.

Heart disease was the single leading cause of death in 2018, with 170 Australians aged 25 years and over having a heart attack every day, Australia's Health 2018 report revealed last June.

"Last month we discovered more than two-thirds of Australian adults have risk factors for heart disease," Heart Foundation general manager for heart health and research Bill Stavreski said in a statement.

"Statistics like these remind us of the importance of looking after our heart health and My Health Record provides Australians with a place to store all-important records regarding your heart history and preferred treatment methods," he said.

"We need all Australians to be aware of the prevalence of heart disease and the work left to do in improving our heart health," Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said in a statement. "This program is a great example of how we can use digital technologies to meet this goal and deliver better health outcomes to all Australians."

Australian pharmacies and general practices are rapidly adopting My Health Record, the Government's digital health record system, according to the latest figures by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

In the period between April 2018 and April 2019, there was a 13 percent increase in the number of shared health summaries uploaded by GP organisations and a 60 percent increase in the views of clinical documents by GP organisations.

Digital solutions and technology has improved connectivity between patients and providers and brought Australia to the brink of a transformative phase in healthcare, according to professional services firm MinterEllison.

A recent Melbourne Institute Health report also strongly indicated digital technology has the potential to bring doctors and patients together online through teleconsultations and shared electronic health records.

 

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