Interoperable Software Key to Uptake of My Health Record

Published by Health Metrics, August 4, 2021

The uptake of My Health Record by residential aged care facilities remains extremely low with just 3 percent of providers actively using My Health Record, and only 10 percent of aged care providers registered, according to figures reported by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) earlier this year.

In its final report, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended that aged care providers be required to use My Health Record by July 2022. More than $45 million was allocated in the Federal Budget to assist in residential aged care adoption of My Health Record and implementation of an electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC).

The Commissioners also recommended aged care organisations use a digital care management system that has electronic medication management and interoperability with the My Health Record by July 2022.

In its response to the report, the government has allowed for more time, with the new Aged Care Act from July 2023 setting out requirements related to digital technology and My Health Record. Leading up to this date, the ADHA said it is prioritising the aged care sector to deliver the benefits of a connected digital health system to care recipients.

Why the update of My Health Record is low

In a survey of 230 residential aged care providers earlier this year, the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) found that 71% of participants used software that did not interface with My Health Record. In addition, the Council's Care-IT report rom October last year, found that 47% of aged care survey participants had no system in place with automated interfaces to government portals, and more than 40% were still manually uploading data to the My Aged Care portal.

The report stated that the My Health Record system is “not well understood”’ and the “lack of integration” with My Aged Care further reduced the likelihood of interaction. Feedback from aged care organisations repeatedly highlighted difficulties experienced in navigating the site and frustrations associated with poor Business to Government (B2G) interfaces, and lack of Application Programming Interface (API). Government portals were also described as cumbersome, difficult to navigate and hard to get support for.

Compliant software can help bridge the My Health Record gap

Marwa Osman, provider adoption lead at the ADHA says aged care providers have to use a clinical information system that conforms with the My Health Record to upload information. Speaking at the ACIITC National Forum on May 18, Ms Osman said that “without [compliant] software, you would be accessing the My Health Record through the National Provider Portal, and the National Provider Portal is a viewing platform only so you would not be uploading to the My Health Record”

However, compliant software products have different levels of integration with the My Health Record and only some enable providers to both view and upload information, she said.

Health Metrics’ software eCase is designed specifically for aged care providers and is compliant with My Health Record. Emma Pate, Sales and Strategy Director at Health Metrics said it was “imperative” that aged care providers invest in a modern, intelligent client management system, one that is cloud-based, API driven, locally supported and one that provides superior reporting functionality.

"Providers need a system-wide lift and it’s not going to happen unless they are able to have true interoperability in their client management software. Aged care is around ten years behind the banking industry in terms of their software interoperability,” Ms Pate said.

For more information

eCase for Residential Aged Care

My Health Record in Aged Care

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