People with diabetes could be big winners from My Health Record

Australians with all types of diabetes, who often see a range of health professionals to manage their condition, could see the biggest health benefits from having a My Health Record.

My Health Record is an online health record, that enables the safe storage, access and sharing of important health information. It will improve communication between GPs, endocrinologists (diabetes specialists), diabetes educators, optometrists, podiatrists and other health professionals that provide care to people with diabetes.

My Health Record keeps details like allergies, medical conditions and treatments, medicine details, and test or scan results in one place, which is highly beneficial for people with diabetes who often have complex care requirements.

My Health Record provides an online summary of a person’s key health information that can be securely accessed by an individual and their authorised health practitioners.

All Australians will have the option of having a My Health Record unless they choose to opt-out. The opt out period will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018. Interested Australians will have a My Health Record created for them by the end of the year.

My Health Record is particularly important when it comes to the management of complex and sometimes chronic health conditions, including diabetes.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said it was important people with diabetes were aware of My Health Record and the way it will benefit them.

“Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions in Australia - around 1.2 million Australians have known diagnosed diabetes and another 500,000 may have silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes,” Professor Johnson said.

“Once a person develops diabetes, they have it for life and because it affects their vascular system it can impact their eyes, their hands and feet, their kidneys and their heart. It can also impact on someone’s mental health.

“People with diabetes have complex care requirements that may require seeing a range of healthcare professionals and taking a variety of medication.

“This could include a GP, an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist), a diabetes educator, an optometrist, a podiatrist as well as other health professionals like psychologists.

“This mean’s a person’s information is scattered across different computer systems used by different health professionals which makes it difficult to keep track of a person’s health information.

“A My Health Record ensures a person’s concise health information is all in one place including medication prescriptions, diagnostic and imaging tests and relevant allergies. This can make diabetes management a more seamless process as people move between healthcare professionals.

“A person can also make notes about their diabetes management on their My Health Record which can be helpful when talking to different members of their diabetes healthcare team.”

“If we could all see the same information, we can work much more effectively as a team and support the person who we are trying to care for,” said family GP and Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Medical Advisor, Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham.

For more information, visit myhealthrecord.gov.au or call the free helpline on 1800 723 471.