Nearing the first anniversary of the My Health Record (MHR) collection deadline on 31st January 2020, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has announced that the total number of MHRs with information has reached 12.99 million, based on the latest statistics from December 2019.
The Agency also said that between November and December 2019, there was an 11% increase in the volume of medicine documents uploaded by healthcare providers like GPs and pharmacies, to more than 100 million documents and a 13% increase in clinical documents uploaded by healthcare providers like hospitals, pathologists and radiologists.
In December alone, GPs uploaded nearly 3 million documents and their viewing increased 10%. The total number of documents in the MHR system is now 1.7 billion.
THE LARGER PICTURE
Based on the latest statistics from ADHA as of December 2019, there are 22.68 million MHRs, of which 12.99 million records have information in them. The Agency said last year that one in 10 Australians have opted out of the MHR system, leaving participation rates at 90.1 per cent.
Last December, there was a marked increase in the uploading of information to the MHR. Pharmacists uploaded more than 5 million documents, GPs uploaded nearly 3 million documents, hospitals uploaded just over 1.5 million documents and more than 1 million pathology/diagnostic images were uploaded.
ON THE RECORD
“While it was not expected that all My Health Records would have documents uploaded in the first year as not everyone would see a GP or other connected healthcare provider service in that timeframe, we are now seeing significant increases in uploaded clinical documents and My Health Records with valuable clinical information,” said Professor Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Adviser, ADHA in a statement.
Paul Smith, a pharmacist at Capital Chemist in Huskisson NSW, said: “In the lead up to New Year’s Eve, Huskisson and surrounding towns in NSW had an unusually large number of travelers and locals seemingly stranded without their prescriptions or regular medications.
These medications included your run-of-the-mill blood pressure tablets and the like, but there were patients without their insulin, anti-epileptic medications, anti-depressants, preventative asthma inhalers, and numerous others.”
“Having access to the My Health Record database certainly helped me a great deal during this unprecedented time, as I was able to ensure a continuity of care in a safe and legal fashion.”
“The main hurdle I faced was assisting patients who had chosen to opt out of the My Health Record system. It is an extremely bad situation to be in when there were no local surgeries open, the roads to the closest public hospital were closed, and the person had nothing to show you that they are normally prescribed.”