Is eHealth for you?

Each year the average Australia has around 22 interactions with healthcare professionals, which includes GP visits, dentist appointments and trips to the pharmacy. To ensure that all relevant medical information can be shared to enable continuous care, the Australian Government has introduced an eHealth system. From 1 July 2012 individuals have been able to register for this service, but what will it mean for your personal medical information?

Firstly, you need to apply for your eHealth record, as it is not compulsory to have one. So if you don’t like the look of the system, you don’t have to opt in as yet.

You can apply for an eHealth record by visiting www.ehealth.gov.au. Once your personal eHealth record is active, you can upload information about your allergies and medication, which may help healthcare professionals to provide better medical assistance. There is also a section where you can input details of exercise, diet and even blood pressure and while this won’t be shared with healthcare professionals, it will give you an overview of your own health.

You are in control of who sees your eHealth record and can even choose which information is available to each healthcare professional you encounter. Details of anyone who has accessed your record, and notes they have made, will also be visible to you.

An eHealth record is designed to give you more control over your own healthcare. The more people you share this information with, the better care you should receive. You will also be able to be more involved in the decisions surrounding your care.

If you need a little more information before you register for an eHealth record, you can visit the interactive eHealth Learning Centre.

Of course, eHealth records are just one phase of using technology to improve access to healthcare. eHealth also covers consultations with health professionals via the internet, from the comfort of your own home. Find out more about how eHealth technology works

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