Every day there is something new that life brings your way that needs to be added to the order of life. Sometimes this is chosen, and other times it seems to be thrust upon you. It’s always a relief when the most important aspects of your life are in order. Having a My Health Record in place is a sure way of staying clear of the chaos and stress caused by the disorder of such vital and personal information but at what cost? The Health Minister, Mr. Greg Hunt, has prioritized this renovation in the healthcare system and calls it ‘My Health Record’.

What is My Health Record?

The My Health Record system is an innovative way to securely store and file your personal medical records. This program will become like a GPS for the history of your health. A typical My Health Record includes the names of your healthcare providers such as specialists, pharmacists, and your general practitioner along with their contact information. As for your personal information, all reports of scans or tests, allergies, medications you have taken, medications you are currently taking, any previous, reoccurring, or current health conditions, hospital discharge summaries, as well as, referral letters from any of your doctors will be a part of a My Health Record file.

Some more delicate information to consider adding to your file from past Medicare date consists of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) information which is found at the Department of Human Services, Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (RPBS) information through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), immunisations (only including those listed in the Australian Immunisation Register), and finally, you may record your decisions specifically regarding organ donations. Be sure to include usual and emergency contact details, if you hold an Indigenous, Veterans, or Australian Defense Force status, and either the contact information of your custodian or your advance care plan.

Your doctors will have the capability of accessing your shared health summary for the purpose of better understanding how to continue treating you if, or when, it becomes necessary. This will also help each of your other specific or private practitioners to be on the same page as your regular doctor as they will be able to better understand your history and keep up to date with your current state of health.

A most awful predicament would be to receive a false diagnosis due to the missing puzzle pieces of your health’s tendencies. With this record, Physicians will be able to better track any patterns in your health which may reveal more clear answers on how to direct you down a healthier path. As you first apply for a My Health Record you can add up to two years of your medical history in the file system. The grander the scope of understanding is that you provide, the more precise your treatment will be in curing whatever it may be that ales you. Some healthcare practicioners are wary, we spoke to one sports physiotherapist in Brisbane who was worried not about the overall system’s security but the thousand of weakpoints created for hackers who simply need to get one password from someone with access to the portal.

A My Health Record can be viewed through any device that has the capability of connecting to the internet. There are multiple levels of security to these very personal records, so you can be reassured of your file’s safekeeping. The only people who will have access to your health record will be those to whom you give permission. You have the power to control your security and privacy settings for your records, as well as adjust the details, controls, and notes. It is important to add side notes on allergies, allergic reactions, maintain the access controls to your files, affix custodian details, and review your own information. This file system also has the capability of sending you personalized notifications via SMS or email. Caring for your medical files has never been so easy. All you need to do is notify your doctor during your next appointment saying that you wish to upload your medical information to My Health Record. You are free to withhold uploading any information that you would like to remain private.

Why Are People Opting Out?

This, so far, $2 billion project will be set up for every resident of Australia unless they decide to opt out by October 15, 2018. Currently, over 20,000 signatures have been collected to petition the change of the “opt-out” deadline to an “opt-in” deadline. There have already been millions who have opted out of having a My Health Record as many are concerned about the security level of the overall system. Even some doctors are petitioning for the privacy of their patients. It is not absolutely certain that the system is secure and if there comes a time that you are uncomfortable with the privacy settings you maintain control of those settings. If you care to cancel your My Health Record you may do so at any point in time. This pertains to those who already possess an existing medical file.

Currently, over 5.9 million Australians have taken the step towards the future of medical care organization at its finest and filed a personal My Health Record. When you are ready to apply, go to a myGov account, find for an application form at a Medicare service center, or call the Helpline via 1-800-723-471. For newborns, fill out a Medicare enrolment form. If you are a resident who participated in a trial area in 2016 a My Health Record file will automatically be set up for you. So, if you are ready to finally bring order to your personal medical files then you don’t have to do anything you’ll be moved across, if you value your privacy then it may be worth considering the opt-out option.