Australia - Digital Economy - E-Health - Electronic Health Records


The previous Australian Government saw e-health as a natural extension of the Medicare service and the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) was seen as a key enabler in that policy. Accessing and sharing patient medical records is very inefficient in the Australian healthcare system. Pen and paper reporting, manual processing, digital scanning of paper reports and inaccessible electronic files lock patient information away and make it difficult to retrieve.

In 2016 the system was renamed into My Health Record.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are secure, electronic records of a person’s individual medical history, stored and shared in a network of connected systems. It will bring key health information from a number of different systems together and present it in a single view.

Information in an EHR will be able to be accessed by the owners of that information and their authorised healthcare providers. With this information available to them, healthcare providers will be able to make better decisions about health and treatment advice. Over time individual people will be able to contribute to their own information and add to the recorded information stored in their personal EHR.

The EHR will not hold all the information held in their doctor's records but will complement it by highlighting key information. In the future, as the EHR becomes more widely available, people will be able to access their own health information anytime they need it and from anywhere in Australia.

E-health, including EHR, will help prevent medication errors that cause an estimated 190,000 hospital admissions each year.

As part of the 2010/11 Federal Government budget over $466 million over two years had been made available to create a PCEHR for every Australian that wants one. A further $233.7 million was added to this in May 2012.

Pilot programs started to commence in 2011 some of it in conjunction with the rollout of the National Broadband Network. Nine further implementation sites were funded with over $55 million that would enable patients to sign up for a PCEHR.

Funding was intended to establish a secure system of personally controlled electronic health records that will provide patients will be able to allow individual health practitioners such as GPs, specialists and nurses to view their medical history. One of the aims is to provide faster diagnosis and reduce medication errors as the doctor will be able to see the patient’s medication history including any known allergies.

In 2012 the Senate passed legislation necessary for the PCEHR to be instituted as part of Australia’s health system.

By mid 2013, the system had surpassed its initial target with over 520,000 patients and over 5,000 GPs registered.

However, a review was launched by the new government in late 2013 and in May 2015 the government announced it will continue with the system under the new name My Heath Record.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. My Health Record
    • 2.1 Re-launch mid 2016
    • 2.2 Update late 2015
    • 2.3 My Health Record will continue on a opt-out basis
      • 2.3.1 My Health Record opt-out test sites
    • 2.4 Outcome of the review
  • 3. Key Developments 2009 - 2014
    • 3.1 PCEHR timeline to 2014
    • 3.2 Users can control their PCEHR
    • 3.3 Wave 1 and 2
    • 3.4 Design and implement contract awarded
    • 3.5 Roll out on target
    • 3.6 Additional funding for imaging record
    • 3.7 Project outsourcing
  • 4. Other e-health record projects
    • 4.1 EMR for Perth hospitals
    • 4.2 SA ready to go
    • 4.3 PCEHR boost in Tasmania
    • 4.4 EHR in indigenous communities
    • 4.5 Advance Care Directives
    • 4.6 St Vincent’s and Mater Health Sydney
    • 4.7 Brisbane South Division Limited
    • 4.8 Mater Misericordiae Health
    • 4.9 Cradle Coast Electronic Health Information Exchange
    • 4.10 Calvary Healthcare
    • 4.11 GPs get paid for record collation
  • 5. Expected benefits of PCEHR
  • 6. Online delivery of health documents
  • 7. The most vulnerable need our assistance with e-health – PCEHR analysis
  • 8. Market surveys
    • 8.1 Accenture PCEHR Survey Update 2013
    • 8.2 2012 Accenture PCEHR Survey Finds
      • 8.2.1 Patient Access to Records
      • 8.2.2 Doctors Access to Records
    • 8.3 Electronic Health Records increases quality of healthcare (USA)
    • 8.4 US study indicates that e-records are linked to fewer malpractices
    • 8.5 Enhanced patient care
    • 8.6 National healthcare consumer survey
    • 8.7 Public health messages on Facebook
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Expected total net benefits of the funded national PCEHR system (2010-2025)
  • Table 2 - Benefits of the national PCEHR system for priority health activities
  • Table 3 - Breakdown of PCEHR benefits by care setting
  • Table 4 – Doctors “Routine Use” of Healthcare IT Capabilities
  • Exhibit 1 – PCEHR timeline – 2009 - 2014
  • Exhibit 2 – Working through record matching progress report – 2011
  • Exhibit 3 - Details of patient's e-health record as per mid 2013

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Number of pages 20

Status Archived

Last updated 3 Aug 2016
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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As usual, you’ve done a splendid job of bringing an industry well and truly into the spotlight.

I think that without your input and passion, Australia would have barely scratched the surface of the benefits that can and will be achieved with the wholesale adoption of Smart Grid and Smart City concepts.


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