ONLY 1178 residents in Orange have signed up for the federal government’s eHealth record system giving them, their doctor, pharmacist and other healthcare providers online access to their health information, despite it being up and running for more than a year.
Since August 12, health department staff have signed up 1100 residents for the optional service at the Orange Medicare Office.
The eHealth record system was rolled out in July 2012 to allow any registered healthcare provider including general practitioners (GP), pharmacists, and allied health professionals to access a patient’s eHealth record.
As a privacy measure, it is up to the individual to choose who can access their information.
“You control what goes into it, and who is allowed to access it,” a health department spokesman said.
“Your eHealth record allows you and your doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to view and share your health information to provide you with the best possible care.”
Although users of the eHealth system use the same myGov account login to access other federal government services such as Centrelink, Veterans Affairs and Child Support, the eHealth records are kept separate, according to the department spokesman.
In NSW, more than 1950 healthcare providers use the system and 270,000 residents are registered for an eHealth record.
Australia-wide 924,623 residents have signed up as of last Wednesday.
A “specific privacy regime” was set up for the eHealth record system, drawing heavily on the Privacy Act 1988, the spokesman said.
The key privacy protections include the ability to keep track of all access to a person’s eHealth record, civil penalties for unauthorised access, a secure date centre for eHealth record storage, and a requirement for all data breaches to be reported.
Most users have signed up at healthcare providers or in hospital, but people can also register online and at Medicare and Centrelink offices.
To sign up or for more information visit www.ehealth.gov.au.