Nearly 23 million Aussies have a My Health Record, but only 13 million are using it

The online medical file has around 1.8 billion documents in it.

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The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has once again allocated praise to the country's online medical file, touting that the number of people with a My Health Record sits at 22.71 million.

Although that number is near 23 million, and Australia's population was nearly 25.5 million as at 30 September 2019, the number of people that are actually using the bungled electronic record is only 13.6 million.

In announcing Australia was rushing through its electronic prescription service on Tuesday, ADHA said My Health Record already makes "critical health information available when it's most needed".

"In Australia, evidence shows there are more than 250,000 hospital admissions annually as a result of medication-related problems. Many of these are associated with poor availability of medicines information especially at transitions of care," it said.

"My Health Record is improving this access to medicines information and is an integrated record of what medicines patients are taking to ensure the most safe and effective care."

ADHA said My Health Record has a total of 1.81 billion documents in it, with only 13.6 million records containing that information. These include prescription and dispense information, Pharmacist Shared Medicines Lists, medical history, allergies, pathology and diagnostic imaging test results, immunisations, as well as hospital discharge summaries.

The ADHA added that more than 90% of pharmacies and GPs have registered onto My Health Record, and 94% of public hospital beds are connected.

There are currently more than 112 million of the documents relate to medicine, which ADHA has explained as being "prescribe and dispense"; almost 40 million pathology reports; around 6 million diagnostic imaging reports; over 6 million discharge summaries; and more than 4 million shared health summaries.

During Senate Estimates last year, of those who had a record created automatically for them on 22 February 2019, 30,402 had subsequently cancelled their record as at 14 April 2019. On the first day of the opt-out window, 20,000 people chose not to have a digital health record. 

The ADHA in January last year said 6.45 million individuals had a My Health Record. At the time, the agency said that almost half a million of these accounts had been created on purpose by Australians, with the remainder automatically set up by the government during its trial periods.

Many that had a record created for them have found they cannot delete it easily.

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