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MyHR: now for something completely different

Reblogged from Pulse+IT, Kate McDonald 10 May 2019

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Most of Pulse+IT’s readers don’t need to be reminded that the My Health Record has come in for some pretty harsh criticism over the last seven years, quite a bit of it emanating from us. In that time there has been a lot to criticise but it’s also fair to say there are loads of true believers out there who have held firm, hoping even in the chilliest times that the system would heat up and get some things sorted.

Over those seven years there has been the odd good news story about the system in action rather than theory, some coming from actual users rather than spruikers. Patient advocate Harry Iles-Mann makes a compelling case for using the system, and there are several reports of clinicians finding something useful on the various medicines documents, for example. The Australian Journal of Pharmacy had a little story on how the MyHR proved worthy during the Townsville floods earlier this year. We’d argue that after seven years you’d bloody well hope so but nonetheless, there are good news stories filtering through.

This week on Pulse+IT’s Facebook chat site there were a number of compelling stories told from the field, kicked off by a post by Train IT Medical’s Katrina Otto. She reported on her partner’s experience of being referred to a Sydney hospital by his GP for pneumonia. He was discharged with what Katrina calls a fabulously well-written discharge summary by the senior medical officer that was uploaded to the My Health Record, which her partner accessed via the Healthi app on an iPad.

Better yet, the hospital community clinical nurse specialist who visited the next day was able to not only read the discharge summary on her laptop but was also able to enter her observations directly into the hospital’s EMR while onsite in Katrina’s kitchen. Katrina also mentioned another case of a doctor who was able to get some important information about a non-verbal patient from their My Health Record.

That inspired a few other stories, including one from an emergency room clinician who was able to see a test result on a patient’s My Health Record after hours, meaning the patient could be prepared for admission sooner. Another story involved a patient who had a test, the results of which were added to a shared health summary. That information proved useful when the patient was unexpectedly taken to hospital, where she was able to be observed and discharged rather than kept overnight and given unnecessary tests. The discharge summary was on her My Health Record when she saw her GP the next day.

While the plural of anecdote is not data, these stories are important to tell as use of the system grows and it becomes more than just a handy aide-memoire for patients. We’d be interested in hearing more of them, along with any less positive experiences if they are out there. Twenty-two million people have a record now so let’s see if it’s getting a work-out.

Katrina’s opinion:

Team #TrainITMedical has been presenting workshops on My Health Record across the country again this year and we are pleased to report we’ve heard an increasing number of patient and clinician benefit stories. Visiting practices, we also see a lot more time that could be saved for doctors, staff and patients if doctors are set up to access My Health Record and remember to click on that button to access a result/discharge summary etc they did not receive directly.

My Health Record saved my patient an unnecessary night in hospital” Dr Deepa Garg

With increased use will come increased benefit.
With increased benefit we will remember to use it.

So now that 9 out of 10 of your patients have a record, when the doctor says ‘Can you call the hospital and get….’ gently respond ‘Have you checked their My Health Record?”.

When the hospital/other practice rings for that health summary/medication list, gently respond “Have you checked their My Health Record?” Now is the time!  

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