Doctors encourage use of digital health records
EMERALD doctors and medical professionals hope to provide better services by promoting digital literacy in the region.
Next month, the Australian Digital Health Agency will make an effort with Emerald healthcare providers to encourage townspeople to use the My Health Record online registry.
As part of its Communities of Excellence program, the agency works with providers and residents of selected towns to connect them to My Health Record and ensure they understand the system’s benefits.
Dr Ewen McPhee of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland said records such as a child’s immunisation, a pregnant woman’s history, or an old person’s drug regimen should be collected in one place to allow effective, informed treatment by carers.
“The information contained in GP visits is largely held digitally now,” he said.
“One of the major issues is fragmentation. This initiative is about taking all that information and putting it in one place so it is accessible.”
Dr McPhee said that as the medical industry adds digital solutions to its repertoire, it is vital that patients access and understand their clinical history.
“The challenge is that people need to know how to access My Health Record and how to set limits on who can see the information.
“Digital literacy is still not well embedded in our community.”
Interim CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency Bettina McMahon said she is encouraged by the participation of Emerald’s providers so far.
“4.7 million Queenslanders have a My Health Record, but they need their information to be uploaded to the system to maximise its potential,” she said.
“It is important that health care providers are sharing information so they can make better treatment decisions and push Australia towards a healthier future.
“We are well aware of the issues that patients face in rural and remote communities as access to services is often difficult, and digital health innovation can make a huge difference to their health care.”
On March 14 and 15, educational workshops for those in the industry will be held at St Patrick’s Primary School in Emerald.
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