The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the success of the My Health Record trials which have confirmed the overwhelming benefits of the ‘opt out’ model involving automatic creation of patient records.
The formal evaluation of the trials, has recommended that the Federal Government proceed to a national opt-out approach – a recommendation which is fully supported by the Guild.
The evaluation report says in part: “Taking all the data into consideration we can see no reason not to proceed with an opt-out approach in one national step rather than any progressive staged approach.”
The opt-out trials were conducted in the Northern Queensland PHN, and in the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN, with the final report on the trials completed in November last year. The opt-out trials included community pharmacists among the healthcare providers who took part.
When compared with two opt-in trials conducted in Ballarat and Perth, the opt-out trials achieved better outcomes in terms of participation, understanding and some aspects of use of the My Health Record system.
The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, George Tambassis, said: “The Guild has long supported an opt-out model for My Health Record as the clearest path to meaningful use of a national digital health record system.
“Community pharmacy, as the most accessible community health care destination, has always been at the forefront of digital innovation and an opt-out model for the operation of My Health Record will enable community pharmacies to enhance their patient care.
“It will also foster better health professional collaboration between care settings and provide key clinical data at important points of care across a patient's journey through the health care system.
“An opt-out model will also provide a greater opportunity to further realise community pharmacies’ digital health potential within the patient-centric care model,” Mr Tambassis said.
The Pharmacy Guild has been working with the Australian Digital Health Agency to explore ways to maximise the utilisation of community pharmacy as a vital component in the My Health Record system.
The My Health Record Participation Trials Evaluation Report is available on the health.gov.au website.