Three-month boost in My Health Record numbers, but mostly for pathology tests

Current CEO Bettina McMahon said the month of March saw the highest amount of documents viewed to date.

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), the system administrator for My Health Record, has touted an increase in use of the online medical file in the past few months.

"We've seen a significant increase in the use of My Health Record by both consumers and healthcare providers, particularly over the last three months," interim CEO Bettina McMahon told the Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit on Tuesday.

"In relation to general practitioners, the month of March has seen the highest amount of viewing of documents yet, as well as uploads to track use."

Providing further statistics, McMahon said the ADHA witnessed around a threefold increase in viewings of documents by general practitioners.

"Around 20,000 documents are viewed each month," she added. "That's a threefold increase since the same period last year."

According to McMahon, 95% of the public pathology labs in the country are uploading into the My Health Record, which she said was another threefold increase over the last year of tests being uploaded.

"We're seeing a significant viewing, particularly in general practices, of the medicines viewed," she continued. "We're seeing GPs look at current medicines and also a large increase in looking at pathology reports, discharge summaries, and the Medicare overview. In public hospitals, we're seeing, again, medicines largely viewed along with the Medicare overview and prescription and dispense records of medicines in community pharmacies."

Also experiencing an increase, she said, was consumers themselves actually looking at their My Health Record.

The most popular documents over the last month, she said, have been pathology test results.

In April, the ADHA said the number of people with a My Health Record sat 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 electronic record as of April was only 13.6 million.

ADHA at the time said My Health Record had a total of 1.81 billion documents in it, with only 13.6 million records containing that information. These included 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 with My Health Record, and 94% of public hospital beds are connected.

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