How the eHealth record works
Where will the information come from?
Your eHealth record will grow over time, as more healthcare organisations connect to the system and authorised healthcare professionals are able to add clinical information.
Once you have set up your eHealth record, you will be able to view information that is already collected by Medicare, such as healthcare services received through the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS), dispensed prescription details from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), immunisation records from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), and organ and/or tissue donation preferences contained in the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR).
If you want to, you can add personal information such as:
- emergency contact details
- medicines you are taking — including non-prescription medicines and natural or herbal treatments
- contact details of the holder of your advance care directive if you have one set up.
Once healthcare organisations are connected, you will be able to request that your nominated provider (usually your GP) sets up a Shared Health Summary. This key part of your eHealth record will include:
- an overview of your medical history
- allergies / adverse reactions
- medicines prescribed
With your permission, registered healthcare professionals who are connected to the system can look at and add to this information.
For more information about the national eHealth record system visit www.ehealth.gov.au.
How will my information be kept up to date?
Once your healthcare provider connects to the system, every time you visit them information from that consultation can be added to your eHealth record. Each new entry to your record will be held as a new document, with key summary information pulled out and used to update the overall picture of your health.
Most of the information added to your eHealth record will be in summary form only.
If you find that information on your record is incorrect, you will be able to ask the healthcare provider to correct it, or have it removed from your record. You will also be able to ask your healthcare provider not to add information about a particular event to your eHealth record.
Who can see my information?
The doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are involved in your care will be permitted to access your eHealth record.
In an emergency situation, a healthcare professional will be able to check your record without your permission. This will only be allowed in line with the relevant laws, and if it is believed that your (or other people’s) health or safety is at risk.
You can allow family members, carers or other people you trust to access your eHealth record. And of course you will be able to see all the information that is in your own eHealth record.
How safe is my information?
- Your eHealth record will be protected by strict security measures and audit procedures.
- You will be able to check which healthcare organisations have been looking at your eHealth record and what changes have been made.
- If you think someone has looked at your record without your permission, you can contact the helpline on 1800 723 471.
- If you think there is an error in your information, you can ask the healthcare provider to correct it or have it removed from your record.
You can find more information on privacy and security for the eHealth record system at www.ehealth.gov.au
How do I get my eHealth record?
You can register for an eHealth record from July 2012.
Your local Medicare office can help you set up your record, or you can phone the eHealth helpline on 1800 723 471.
Where can I find out more?
Or call the eHealth helpline on 1800 723 471.
For people from non-English speaking backgrounds, the eHealth information brochure — An easier way to share your health information — is available for download in the following languages:
- Arabic & English
- Chinese (Simplified) & English
- Chinese (Traditional) & English
- Greek & English
- Italian & English