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My Health Record: dispelling the privacy myths

Would you benefit from having a My Health Record (MHR)? That’s the question many are faced with due to the government’s decision to provide everyone with an online account by the end of the year.

Sydney North Primary Health Network digital manager Eric Dunn said there are benefits to having this record, especially when a serious accident occurs and you are unable to talk.

MHR is an individualised online summary of your key health information that all Australians will get unless they notify the government to opt out by November 15.

Dunn described the tool as a secure online summary of a person’s key health information where health providers can access information like allergies, pathology test and advance care plans.

“I personally use MHR for my own and my family’s organ donor information, next of kin information, and my daughter’s health history and medications,” Dunn said.

“It’s immediately accessible by my health providers when it’s needed 24/7, it has a medicines summary of all our medicines over time, it can speak for me when I can’t in an emergency health situation, and I can control who gets to see it.”

Concerns that arise include patient privacy, but Dunn said as you control your own account, you can see which health professionals have accessed it, ask for information not to be uploaded or removed altogether.

Dunn said that only healthcare providers involved in your care can access your record, and to do so, they need to be registered with the My Health Record system.

These professionals include pharmacies, pathology labs, and allied health professionals.

Dunn joined us to further explain the benefits of the MHR and allay some of the common privacy concerns.

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