Taken from https://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/majority-doctors-say-they-wont-use-my-health-record-their-own-care-survey

Poll shows most doctors are wary of the system

Paul Smith

31st July 2018

Three out of four doctors will not sign up to My Health Record for their own healthcare, an Australian Doctor poll suggests.

The billion-dollar system has been at the centre of another media frenzy after claims government agencies and law enforcers would be able to access patients’ clinical data without warrants or the oversight of the courts.

But doctors themselves also remain wary of the system and the promises it will improve patient safety and healthcare efficiency.

Of the 471 doctors who responded to Australian Doctor’s online poll (see graph below), just 75 say they currently have a record and a further 12 say they intend to sign up.

Yes, and I intend to keep it………………10
Yes, but I intend to opt out………………..6
No, but I intend to get one………………..3
No, and I do not intend to sign up…..71
Don’t know…………………………………………6
Other…………………………………………………..4

Overall, 79% say they intend to opt out before they are automatically signed up in November.

One GP said: “I think it is very difficult to say what the benefits of the system are. The information and concerns about it keep changing.

“Also, it will only ever be as good as the data put in it and if it doesn’t have the support of GPs, it won’t work well.

“I worry that it will never be trustworthy, because how can you ever be sure that the information in it is actually up to date?”

The Australian Digital Health Agency, which operates My Health Record, is embarking on a major marketing push to doctors, stressing the increasing number of documents being uploaded, such as pathology and imaging reports and discharge summaries.

But the agency faces an uphill challenge.

Asked what impact the system would have on improving healthcare and reducing duplication, only 14% of doctors said it would be “very significant” or “significant”.

More than half said it would be insignificant or non-existent (see graph below).

Very significant…6
Significant…………8
Moderate……….20
Insignificant…….37
None………………14
Don’t know……10
Other……………….6

One core aspect of the system is the shared ehealth summary providing a list of current medications, diagnoses as well as allergies and immunisation history. But only 32 (7%) of the 471 doctors who responded said they actually had a shared ehealth summary.

And when asked to list the main benefits of having a My Health Record to them personally, 45% of doctors who responded said there were none.

The My Health Record system has been operating for six years and has cost taxpayers well over a billion dollars.

The Australian Doctor poll, run over two days last week, was made up of 358 GPs, 19 GP registrars, 81 other specialists and 13 junior doctors.

AMA president Dr Tony Bartone called on the government to address on-going concerns about the system, specifically the ability of law enforcers and government agencies to access patient information held on My Health Record without a warrant or court oversight.

Under existing legislation, the agency can hand over records if it “reasonably believes” it is necessary to investigate a crime, protect public revenue or prevent the breach of any law that imposes a penalty or sanction.

“Currently, access to [a doctor’s] records is really only through a judge’s request, through the judicial oversight, through the court system,” Dr Bartone said.

“We need to see that this is enshrined as the default system for My Health Record.”

He is due to meet with Minister for Health Greg Hunt to seek reassurance that the privacy protections in the system did not undermine doctor-patient trust.