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For the record

Your electronic health record isn’t just a new way to store your health information – it could also help to save your life.


Blood tests your GP ordered. Discharge papers from your hospital visit. Immunisation certificates from your trip to Africa. Keeping track of your medical records, test results, prescriptions and scans can be challenging, especially when you’re managing multiple conditions.

A relatively new way to keep track of your medical history and health data, electronic health records can save time and even lives if used correctly. But how do electronic health records work, and can signing up lead to better health outcomes?  

Getting to know My Health Record

Currently used by more than 5.7 million patients and over 10,000 physicians, the My Health Record website is an online depository of health records that can be accessed by both providers and patients. 

Holding all types of medical data including immunisation records, pathology results, scans
and data on other medical conditions, My Health Record is an opt-in online service facilitated by the Australian Government.  


In the past, medical records were typically scattered all over the place. Stored in filing cabinets or computers in surgeries, hospitals, clinics and patients’ own homes, keeping track of medical records gets more complicated over time as your needs become more complex.

Improving the way medical records are stored and shared, My Health Record does away with dusty filing cabinets and siloed online data to store medical records in one safe, easy-to-access place. All users need is a computer or other internet-connected device to access data via the My Health Record website.

Improved access to records = better health outcomes

Apart from making record-keeping easier for both patients and practitioners, My Health Record could also be responsible for improved health outcomes.

If a patient arrives at a hospital emergency room and is unable to communicate, My Health Record allows practitioners to discover vital patient information such as allergies and medical conditions. This type of information can make a significant difference in
life-threatening situations.

People with multiple conditions under the care of various healthcare providers also stand to benefit from having all their medications and treatments listed in one, easily accessible place.

For example, a patient with diabetes and heart disease, who also has osteoporosis, could be seeing a GP as well as multiple specialists and other Allied Health professionals such as dietitians.

In this case, My Health Record would allow practitioners to see the whole picture clearly and identify possible drug contraindications if the patient is on prescription medications. 

Even people in good health can benefit from consolidating and streamlining their health records. Can’t remember when you had your last flu shot? Moved interstate and don’t receive mammogram appointment reminders anymore? Storing all this data in My Health Record means you’ll never have to spend time tracking down health information again.

Protection measures

As with all new online services, concerns about privacy and data security are often raised by people not accustomed to having their medical records stored online. As an opt-in service, signing up for My Health Record is a personal choice. Users can set parameters on who is able to access their files. For example, you may allow your GP to access all your data but your podiatrist to only access certain files.

Users are always in control of who can access or upload their information. The password-protected site also enables users to remove clinical records at any stage, opt out of the database altogether or give access to a nominated representative such as a partner or carer.

Considering the benefits of having your medical data stored in one place, My Health Record is worth investigating.

To learn more or sign up for My Health Record visit