My Health Record a key to meds safety

The My Health Record system can significantly contribute to improved medicine safety in this country, according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

This week the Australian Digital Health Agency agreed to all five recommendations made by the Australian National Audit Office in its report, ‘Implementation of the My Health Record System’, with PSA welcoming the federal government’s commitment to continually improving the digital health program.

“Overall, the report found implementation has been largely effective,” PSA President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said. “Its recommendations focus on privacy and security of health information and the Digital Health Agency has undertaken to work with stakeholders to raise standards in health information management.

“Uptake and participation are vital to the success of My Health Record. Therefore, ensuring both providers and patients are confident information is safe is essential.”

PSA said it is pleased the participation rate for pharmacies stands at 90 per cent, but would like to see more utilisation across the healthcare sector.

“The usage for healthcare provider organisations is growing,” Mr Freeman said. “We’d certainly hope that as people come to understand the benefits this tool offers, we see that quickly increase.

“My Health Record’s potential to improve healthcare and save lives relies on the quality of information contained.”

PSA’s ‘Medicine Safety: Take Care’ report highlighted the impact a shared digital health record can have on care.

National implementation of the My Health Record will help pharmacists improve medicine safety, the PSA says, with access to a complete medication history providing pharmacists with the opportunity to proactively intervene to both document and reduce adverse reactions. Improved documentation, it adds, will lead to less use of contraindicated therapy, with the availability of the complete medication history enabling better detection of multi-medicine interactions.

The availability of hospital discharge summaries within My Health Record will provide the opportunity for pharmacists to proactively prevent and resolve medication-related problems post-discharge with medication reconciliation and review.

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