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Top 30 questions doctors ask about ‘My Health Record’

My Health RecordFor successful change management within a medical practice all staff, especially clinicians, need the opportunity to express any concerns and have their questions answered satisfactorily. In my opinion Digital Health (previously called eHealth) is the biggest change we have ever seen in healthcare and therefore an enormous challenge requiring significant support.

As a software trainer I have been training Digital Health and in particular the shared electronic health record (now called My Health Record) since the first button called PCEHR was put in our medical software. This means now, 3+ years later, I have literally conversed with thousands of doctors and practice support staff. Last year alone I trained 2,500 healthcare providers across Australia. I don’t claim to have heard every opinion about My Health Record possible but I definitely hear common questions and statements. So as a “voice of the coalface” I thought it might be helpful if I collated my top 30 questions/barriers. This week I will list the questions and in next week’s blog I will document the way I respond to these questions and barriers when training.

1.    Can patients edit or remove what I upload?
2.   Patients can omit information so I may be looking at a document that is not clinically accurate.
3.    How will I know if a patent has omitted a condition or medication?
4.    What if a patient asks me to omit information?
5.    Why do I need this? I’m the GP, I have all the information about my patient I need.
6.    We don’t get paid to be the curator of the patient’s health record; it’s too time consuming.
7.     The incentive payment goes to the Practice not me. Why should I do this extra work for no extra payment?
8.    Our patient records have years of mess. How do I get GPs in my practice to focus on data quality?
9.    Everything gets hacked. How secure is this data?
10.  I fax over information to the hospital several times a day now. Why not just keep faxing?
11.  I can just print the health summary out each visit and give it to the patient.
12.  I’d do this if the patients asked me to but they haven’t asked. This shows they don’t want this.
13.   It is just a list of documents, they are static and will quickly go out of date.
14.  Is it okay to look at a patient’s My Health Record if they are not with me?
15.  Why are other medical specialists not being supported to engage with the My Health Record system?
16.   The Government is going to use this to monitor what we do, how we prescribe etc.
17.   Can I upload a care plan?
18.   How often would I upload a health summary? Will a new summary over-ride the last one?
19.   Will this show me if patients are doctor-shoppers or drug seekers?
20.   Can I upload results?
21.   Can I upload a scanned document?
22.   What about insurance companies – will they see this?
23.   Surely the fact that doctors haven’t embraced eHealth it is an indication that it is not helpful.
24.   How will I know if my patient has a My Health Record?
25.   Are there Advanced Care Directives included in this system?
26.   Can we see imaging and pathology results yet?
27.   I read that doctors may upload information without telling the patient – can they do that?
28.   Patients can control who sees information.
29.   There are not enough patients registered yet to make it helpful. Why should my staff spend time registering patients?
30.   Can that eDischarge summary then populate my medical software with those medications? Now that would save us time.

These are the 30 most common questions/statements I hear when training and working with clinicians. Next week I will share how I respond to these questions from my Trainer/Practice Manager/Risk Assessor perspective. If you have other questions (or don’t want to wait until next week to get the complete response document) please email me: [email protected]

Thanks for reading my blog.  My goal is – by sharing lessons learnt and working together – we can continue to build and improve our national Digital Health system to benefit clinicians and patients.

With best wishes

Katrina Otto


Disclaimer: Please note I am an independent trainer and Practice Management Consultant with my own Practice Management Consultancy & health IT training business – Train IT Medical. While I am an approved trainer for MedicalDirector, Best Practice Software, Nehta, Avant Mutual Group, AHPRA, Tyro etc and regularly present education sessions on behalf of organisations, the feedback and opinions expressed herein are my own.



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