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According to the Australian Digital Health Agency, which is responsible for the My Health Record, records will be created for all Australians by the end of 2018, unless they choose not to have one.

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) supports every Australian having a My Health Record.

“Providing quality care in a modern health system relies on accessible and accurate clinical and patient information,” ACEM President Dr Simon Judkins said.

“The continued support of the My Health Record, with centralised clinical information and appropriate protections in place, ensures that health practitioners and patients can work together to allow for safe, effective and inclusive care.”

The ability for hospital emergency departments to coordinate with primary health care providers through using a digital health record is valuable, Dr Judkins added.

“This offers the potential to improve the interaction of patients and emergency physicians, the quality of patient care as well as improving efficiency of health care delivery,” Dr Judkins said.

ACEM believes eHealth systems must be appropriately integrated into existing hospital information technology systems, in order to achieve real value for patients and physicians. “Achieving this would involve investments in technology to replace existing outdated ED information systems, as well as the ability to upload important information such as medication history, advance health directives, enduring power of attorney legal documentation and acute resuscitation plans,” Dr Judkins said.

Read ACEM’s recent submission to the Australian Digital Health Agency’s consultation draft Safe, Seamless and Secure – Framework for Action.