For many people, a visit to the GP involves explaining your medical history to the doctor every time you have an appointment. You can now make this a problem of the past, by registering to have your own electronic health record, known as an ‘eHealth record’.
An eHealth record is a secure online summary of your key health information. Your record can include details about current diagnoses, allergies, prescriptions, test results and hospital discharge summaries.
The Australian Government has introduced the eHealth system so that you can have a consistent health record that can be accessed wherever you are in Australia. With your consent, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers can view and add information to your record.
Dr Jenny Draper from Wingham Wellbeing is encouraging older Australians to register for an eHealth record.
“As our population ages with advances in modern medicine, people are living longer with more complex medical problems,” Dr Draper said.
“My staff and I often spend time chasing reports from other providers, or calling pharmacies to check on prescriptions issued because of a medication interaction that may have happened, or to issue ongoing prescriptions.”
eHealth records will make it easier for doctors to provide better continuity of care because the correct information will be located in one place.
Dr Draper also said that people who do not have a computer, or do not use a computer very often, should still register for an eHealth record.
“People should not let any barriers to electronic media and computers deter their registration, as you can still have an eHealth record without actually viewing it yourself on the internet - you can look over things with your GP’s assistance,” she said.
You can register for an eHealth record in one of the following ways:
• Online – by visiting ehealth.gov.au
• Over the phone – by calling 1800 723 471 and selecting option 1
• In person – by visiting a Medicare office
• In writing – by completing a registration application form, available from a Medicare office or ehealth.gov.au, and posting it to: Personally Controlled eHealth Record Program, GPO Box 9942, In your capital city