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Developing a ‘My Health Record’ Practice Workflow

Developing a ‘My Health Record’ Workflow

I am starting to hear good stories of benefits for healthcare providers and their patients using the My Health Record system. Of course what we need now is most of our patients to have a My Health Record and viewing and uploading to become routine. Only then will we start to see regular, significant benefits for our practices and patients. So right now all of us (except those in the opt-out areas – Far North Queensland and Nepean Blue Mountains) need to register patients for a My Health Record.

Greenmeadows Medical Port Macquarie

We are helping our patients if we register them for a My Health Record via our conformant clinical software (called ‘Assisted Registration’) as it is a quick and easy process. Our patients who are confident with computers can register themselves online, however when we register our patients we have relevant demographic and Medicare details in our software already and therefore we ‘verify’ patients instantly and the whole process is integrated and simplified.

What I see practices struggle with firstly is how registering patients fits into their daily processes. To help with this we recently ran a Webinar (for AAPM & the Australian Digital Health Agency) – ‘Designing a workflow for registering your patients’. Like previous AAPM/ADHA webinars, we had over 500 practices watching live and we recorded it so you can  view the Recording here. I will also include the slides here as we include many links to further learning resources including software-specific resources. Shoutout of credit also to Eastern Melbourne PHN who have kindly shared their wonderful resources here and a fabulous practice checklist.

 What’s Next

Once you have designed a workflow to routinely register patients, the other barrier we now face is remembering to upload the updated summary. A new shared health summary should be uploaded every time there is a significant change to the patient’s health summary ie. medication, allergy, new diagnosis/procedure or immunisation. Our clinical software vendors are implementing clinical usability enhancements in the form of prompts to help us remember to upload when there has been a change.

MedicalDirector and Best Practice Software changes

Speaking of changes, MedicalDirector has just released a new version of their MedicalDirector ClinicalePIP calculator (for multi-location sites) that enables practices to calculate how many Shared Health Summaries they are required to upload for ePIP compliance. Their next software version (3.17) is due for release – hopefully September – and brings improvements relating to the My Health Record system. An important change will be the removal of the need to tick the box which says the patient registration form has been uploaded as completing and submitting the application form is no longer a requirement. [Obviously consent and privacy are vital aspects of the My Health Record System and ADHA Privacy & Medico-Legal Risk Advisor Vanessa Halter covers these topics in relation to registering patients in the Webinar so if you missed it – here’s the Recording]

The new version of Best Practice/Bp Premier has a (purple) notification to remind clinicians if they haven’t uploaded a summary for a while. Many will be pleased to hear the new version also has Event Summaries for the first time. Here’s a free cheatsheet on  how to upload Event Summaries in the new version. Here is a Bp Premierreal time video. When I say real time I mean fast because uploading is fast – and it needs to be. It is faster and more cost effective for a practice to upload those summaries to the My Health Record system than current processes of printing them out on paper and then fax or mail (think of the printing and mailing costs to your practice – up to $3 per letter).


Our new normal

A national shared health record is still a new concept for all of us and it will take a while to become embedded into our routine. So let’s start talking about the My Health Record system so it quickly does become our new normal. It might be time now, when the hospital does ring chasing that health summary to say, ‘have you checked the patient’s My Health Record’ before opening that patient file, printing and faxing. For admin staff, when your GP asks you to ring the hospital to get the discharge summary faxed over, gently ask ‘is it on their My Health Record?’ If we can decrease the time we spend chasing patient information this will save us all time, money and protect confidentiality.

Thanks to all those who attend my training sessions, read my blog and share your feedback. Please know I do share this with those designing our health IT systems with the aim of continual usability improvements.


With best wishes

Katrina Otto

PS. Practice photo is from Greenmeadows Medical, Port Macquarie, NSW. Credit to Practice Manager Sue Mitchell and her fabulous team. Once again this practice impressed me with their innovative, successful approach to integrating new technology and educating patients – in this case about My Health Record. If you have a success story or helpful resources to share please email me: [email protected]



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