Should you opt out of My Health Record for your family?

Great podcasts for parents and carers

Thu 19 July 2018

10 mins

You have until January 31st 2019 to opt out of the nationwide My Health Record database. If you don't opt out, the government will automatically give you (and your kids) a record. So how do you decide whether you should opt out?

My Health Record is intended as an online database for you to store documents for you or your child’s health. When you first log in, you’re given the chance to upload about two years’ worth of data. Then ongoing, you can talk to your doctor about uploading a summary of your child’s health, test results, discharge papers, etc.

“It’s really meant to be a repository of documents for your health, but it’s not quite the same as your doctor’s notes and it’s not a comprehensive picture of your health that can be relied on in every medical situation," says Ariel BogleABC online technology reporter.

Listen to Ariel on the Feed Play Love podcast

However you do have the option to make sure the right information is in there for emergencies, or on the flip side, keeping data out of there that you’re uncomfortable with. You can do this by putting some privacy controls in place, but it's important to know these aren't in place by default - you have to actively decide what you share about your family's health.

Something to consider is that like the use of any online platform, you should weigh up the pros and cons of My Health Record. 

“They can’t guarantee your data will never leak, that’s one thing. There is risk of hacking,” Ariel says. “This database it makes your data accessible to more people.”

Listen to the full episode to hear Ariel further break down the pros and cons for families, particularly when it comes to the privacy and safety of your healthcare information and data.

If you do not opt out of My Health Record an account will be automatically created for you. You do thenm have the choice to permanently delete that record after it's creation from February 1 2019.

For more on how you can opt out check out the My Health Record website.

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